Parlays have become one of the most popular wagers in US sports betting. And it will be no different in Massachusetts.
But, because parlays involve multiple legs combined in one bet, the odds can get a bit complicated.
So … how do you calculate the odds of a parlay?
The parlay bet has helped surge the popularity of sports betting apps. For many bettors, picking one game is not enough, because it doesn’t return as much in potential winnings. Plus, a parlay bet is more exciting. It’s like the feeling you get from swishing back-to-back-to-back-to-back jump shots: Can you believe you just did that? Did anyone see that happen?
The surprisingly simple formula to figure out parlay odds
In the US sports betting market, most sporting events are offered in American odds, which are represented as a moneyline typically. For example, +125 means a $100 winning bet will win you $125, plus your original stake of $100.
For the purpose of our parlay odds tutorial, we’re using American odds because that’s what Massachusetts sports betting apps will use. If you wish to use decimal odds, simply move the decimal two places left. For example, +150 becomes 1.5 and so on.
If you’d like to figure your own parlay odds for any bet, you can use this formula:
- A: Leg #1 moneyline odds plus wager stake, divided by wager stake
- B: Leg #2 moneyline odds plus wager stake, divided by wager stake
- C: Leg #3 moneyline odds plus wager stake, divided by wager stake
- A x B x C = parlay odds
You can continue to add as many legs as you want. Just make sure to multiply each new number in your final formula.
For example, here’s a three-leg parlay with American odds:
- +150 ($100 bet to win $150): 250/100 = 2.5
- -150 (Bet $150 to win $100): 250/150 = 1.666
- +300 ($100 bet to win $300): 400/100 = 4
- 2.5 x 1.666 x 4 = 16.66
- Parlay odds are +1566 (we’ve subtracted the $100 stake for the wager)
Basically, after making your mathematical calculation, you shift the decimal two places to the right and subtract your stake ($100 or $50 for example).
Luckily, you don’t need to be Albert Einstein to create a parlay. There are no quizzes, and no grades will be handed out. Sports betting apps have parlay builders that allow you to craft your own parlay and see your odds instantly. No calculators, no slide rulers, no need to take off your shoes and count little piggies.
Creating a parlay bet in your Massachusetts sportsbook app
Once online Massachusetts sports betting launches, you’ll be able to download sportsbook apps for free. Each of those apps will offer parlays for chosen sporting events.
Here are some of the top Massachusetts sportsbooks that will have parlay bet opportunities:
- Caesars Sportsbook
Your parlay strategy can be great fun, because that type of bet can deliver a big payout for a relatively low stake. For example, a $5 parlay bet on +5317 odds could win you $270.88 from a Massachusetts sportsbook.
LOOKING AHEAD: Massachusetts Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
Parlay betting terminology
Leg: A bet in your parlay. It may be the moneyline, point spread or Over/Under. Or it could be an event to happen in a game, such as a player scoring a certain number of points. The latter is known as a prop bet.
Three-Way Parlay: A three-leg parlay is made up of three bets. For example: moneyline on three different NHL games. If all three bets win, you win your three-leg parlay for a much bigger payout than simply hitting on one game.
Same Game Parlay: A parlay built on events within a single sporting event, like an NBA game, NCAA basketball game or NFL game. In this type of bet, it won’t matter who wins the game. It only matters if you win every leg of your parlay to earn the bigger payout.
Round-Robin Parlay: Want to really have some fun? Create a round-robin parlay, which is sort of like a parlay of your parlay. Don’t walk away confused; it can be great fun. In a round-robin parlay, a bettor can combine spreads and totals for multiple parlays. In that case you may have as many as 56, 64 or even 128 or more ways to win a parlay in your round robin. And all legs don’t need to hit to win money. Check with your app to see if they offer round-robin parlay betting in Massachusetts.
These aren’t the same as a Same Game Parlay Plus or Same Game Parlay Extra at FanDuel Massachusetts and DraftKings Massachusetts, respectively. In those, all legs of all parlays must hit in order to win the whole SGP+ or SGPx.
Parlay Insurance: Some sportsbooks will offer insurance on your parlay, which offers you a safety net against losing your wager based on certain conditions. For example, if your six-leg parlay hits on five legs, a sportsbook might offer insurance for you to get betting credit for your original stake or a lesser amount. Check your Massachusetts sportsbook for details on parlay insurance, which varies by company and type of bet.