Lots of bettors dream of hitting big parlay bets and a select few every year do have that dream come true.
If anything, same-game parlays have helped increase that trend. NFL parlays, NBA parlays and others all have the appeal of putting very little money in to potentially win a lot.
Despite the difficulty of winning, parlays are very popular in states where sports betting is already legal. In New Jersey, for example, 55.1% of the house’s profit is from parlays.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering whether same-game parlays are worth it when Massachusetts sports betting eventually legalizes. How can so many bettors be wrong, right? You might be surprised.
Which sportsbooks offer Same Game Parlays?
So what exactly is a same game parlay? Quite simply, the “same game” parlay, also known as a SGP, is when you combine multiple bets from a single game onto a single ticket. The more bets you add to the ticket, the higher your odds (and payout) will be.
Same-game parlays are particularly popular for NFL and NBA games because of the variety of bets those sports offer. Here are some of the main sportsbooks you can expect in Massacusetts and what they offer for SGPs:
DraftKings Sportsbook MA
DraftKings same-game parlays allow you to bet on NFL, NBA and MLB games, as well as some soccer games. As for cashing out, DraftKings MA may let you do that live during the game depending on the particular situation.
With same game parlay betting, you can get more access to team and player props, plus have more flexibility when altering lines such as a point spread or an over/under.
FanDuel Sportsbook MA
Easily one of the most popular sportsbooks out there, FanDuel’s same game parlays are a popular choice among bettors.
While other books may require a minimum of four or five legs for parlay insurance to kick in, the FanDuel Sportsbook app sometimes runs specific promos offering insurance up to $10 on same game parlays of three legs or more for specific sports.
Recently, the operator announced “same-game parlay plus,” which lets you combine SGPs from one game with bets from another game. In other words, you get to have those distinct bets available without having to keep it all in one game.
BetMGM Sportsbook MA
BetMGM sports app has offered insurance on certain parlays in the past — say if your parlay of five or more legs loses by a single leg. However, it did not list any promos of that nature when we checked for this page.
BetMGM online sportsbook tends to offer same-game parlays exclusively for NFL and NBA games.
Caesars Sportsbook MA
One promotion Caesars Sportsbook likes to run is to provide a $25 risk-free same-game parlay for specific games. Like some of the other sportsbooks here, you may also be able to claim parlay insurance if you lose by just one leg. You also may be able to find some options to cash out early.
BetRivers Sportsbook MA
The BetRivers app offers cash-outs for same game parlays either before or during the game. Many other sportsbooks will only let you do up to 10 legs for a single game parlay, but BetRivers may go as high as 12.
PointsBet Sportsbook MA
PointsBet Sportsbook, meanwhile, has in the past offered insurance up to $25 on same-game parlays with a minimum of four legs. It’s run same-game parlays for options such as the NFL, the NBA, MLB, college basketball and more. Like most of the other books, you also may have the option of cashing out early.
Expected value and risks in parlay betting
It’s no secret that parlays are riskier compared to a regular bet because you have to get every leg of the bet right to win anything. Let’s say you have a four-leg parlay for $20, and it goes 3-1. Since it’s a parlay, you lose your $20 and win nothing. If you’d instead placed those four bets individually at $5 each, assuming -110 odds and another record of 3-1, you’d be looking at $8.65 in profit.
Also, the potential payout in relation to the true odds decreases as you add more legs. For example, with a three-leg parlay, it is typically about a 6/1 payout with 7/1 true odds.
However, for a 10-leg parlay, you get paid about 720/1 compared to the true odds being around 1,023/1. You are losing about 30% of the value here compared to less than half of that on a three-leg parlay.
What’s the optimal number of legs for a same-game parlay?
The trick with this question is that some bettors may measure the risk versus reward differently. The bigger parlays can have huge payouts, but you are more likely to win a smaller one. Using -110 odds for each leg as the standard example, let’s break it down.
2-4 leg parlays
These offer the most genuine value compared to larger parlays. But, this is especially true for the two- and three-leg parlay bets because they tend to lose less than 15% of their value from the vig compared to 25% to 30% from higher bets. Not to mention, these types of bets are much easier to win because you have fewer opportunities to be wrong.
5-8 leg parlays
The thing is, once you hit four legs, the vig starts to increase to over 25% on typical parlays compared to the true value. Parlays in this range are not far off from four, though. Plus, going from, say, a four-leg to a five-leg parlay can double your typical payout — as long as you don’t end up 4-1 on your picks and kicking yourself for adding that extra leg.
8+ leg parlays
While the benefits are the same as the above section, this asks a lot because it requires you to go 8-0 or better when it comes to picking bets. With the average odds starting at 180-1 for eight legs and going up to 720-1 for 10 legs, the percentage chance of winning this bet is almost certainly not worth it. However, it can be like winning the jackpot when you hit one of these. Bettors have, for instance, won over $1 million on a 15-leg parlay.
What is parlay insurance?
Parlay insurance protects you from losing your entire bet from one bad leg. While you do not get any of the profits, you can receive a refund of up to a certain amount. Typically, this can be from $10 to $25. Refunds are generally in site credit, meaning you need to wager it again (and win) to see any real benefit, but it’s better than losing that amount outright.
Can I cash same game parlays out early?
The answer to this depends on the sportsbook. Many may allow you to do so, but it often depends on the situation.
NFL vs. NBA same game parlays: Key differences
Both sports have many similar aspects, such as using point spreads, moneylines and over/unders as possible legs on these parlays. The main difference can be the player props you might be able to add.
For example, NBA players usually have props on their points, assists or rebounds. Whereas NFL players may have yards props depending on their position, touchdown passes for QBs and touchdown scores for skill players.