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Parlays Will Kill Your Bankroll

Scott Morris | October 7, 2022
Parlays are bad

Sometimes betting strategy is not just knowing what to bet, but its also knowing what not to bet. In this article we will be taking a look at the parlay bet, which is a very popular type of wager offered at every online sportsbook.

Ahhh…the parlay. It’s like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Or maybe it’s like Casey Anthony, attractive but deadly. If you’re unfamiliar with the parlay, keep this in mind. If you want to be Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me, you are going to get fat. Your cholesterol is going to go up and, eventually, you are going to tap out of this thing we call life.

The parlay is a combination of bets packaged together as a single wager. In order to win a parlay, all of the individual bets must win. When one leg of a parlay fails, the entire wager is a bust. Still, the parlay is an attractive bet. Visions of turning $15 into $44,000 or $1 into 49 grand dance in the minds of bettors. Those wins are not the norm, but they do happen. 

That’s the pull of the parlay, which is extremely popular during football season. They’re probably even more popular now that most bettors can easily parlay most anything right from the app on their smartphone. It’s the odds that get the bettor though…just like Close got Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction.  

You can bet $50 on two individual NFL games at -110 odds and win $90 total when they both payout. Or your wife and daughter can go out of town while you have a go at the sexy woman you met at work. Meaning you can parlay those two games and get odds of +260. According to the generally accepted NFL parlay payout table, you would receive $260 when you wager $100 on the same two teams in a parlay bet. 

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Yeah, then you wake up and your pet rabbit is somehow boiling on the stove. Or…in the world of parlays…you really liked three college football teams. They put Glenn Close to shame. You liked them so much that not only did you parlay the bet, you made it a round robin.

Stay Away from ParlaysIf you don’t know what round robin bets are, it’s okay. You can go HERE and learn all about them. The short version is that a round robin made your four-team college football parlay into ten different bets. When only one of your three teams actually wins, you have visions of Glenn Close drowning in your bathtub. 

Now, are all parlays bad? Meh, no. There is a time and a place for everything. As far as parlays go, the easiest way to explain how a bettor should use them takes us back to Super Size Me. Think about a steady diet of McDonald’s day-in and day-out. It will eventually wreak havoc on your body. A Big Mac every now and then, though, isn’t such a bad thing. 

It’s the same with parlays. A steady diet of parlay betting is going to crush your bankroll. You will end up bankrupt. A parlay every now and then…that’s not such a bad thing…especially when you hit one!



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