Sports Parlay Betting: Types of Wagers, Odds, & Strategies

All sports bettors are looking for the thrill of a big win, and parlay betting is one of the best ways to do so.

In this guide, we’ll answer the question about “how do parlays work”, as well as examining the best parlay strategy, how to win, and anything else you need to know before placing a parlay bet.

Let’s get to work learning about how to bet on parlays.

Table of Contents

What Is a Parlay Bet?

Parlay sports betting takes multiple contests, and instead of wagering on them separately, you bet on all of them at once.

However, there are risks associated with this betting style, as well as potentially massive rewards.

Parlay betting follows the same logic as a single bet — you need all contests on the ticket to win.

So, no matter how many contests are on the ticket, you need all of them to win for the parlay to be deemed a success and win the bet.

The odds add up when you have multiple contests on a ticket. Whether it’s 3-team parlay odds, 5-team parlay odds, or 10-team parlay odds, they’re not only added, but the online sportsbooks increase the odds due to the elevated risk associated with a large number of contests.

As we continue, we’ll dive into parlay subsets and answer these questions and statements:

  • How do round robin parlays work?
  • How to parlay bet on Bovada and other sportsbooks
  • Moneyline parlay odds
  • What is a Same-Game parlay bet?
Sportsbook odds board

What Plus/Minus Numbers Mean

No matter what kind of bet you make with sports, “+” and “-” lines are all the same. Generally, the “+” illustrates the underdog, and the “-” shows the favored team. All bet types offer these, including moneyline, spreads, totals, futures, and more.

Example: If the parlay odds are +987, you’ll win $987 if you wager $100. On the other hand, if parlay odds are -241, you’ll need to wager $241 to win $100.

This is how sports betting odds work across the spectrum.

How Odds Are Calculated

Parlay betting odds calculate in multiple ways. First, parlay betting takes into account what the odds on the individual contests are.

From there, the online sportsbook calculates those odds, including the individual odds and the number of favored teams and underdog teams you’ve selected, and also considers how many contests are on the ticket as more variables result in more risk.

What Happens If You Tie In a Parlay Bet

If you’re wondering about a tie in parlay betting, you should ask yourself, “what is a push in a parlay bet?”

We say this because they’re similar, but there’s a slight twist with parlays.

If your parlay has three contests on it — each known as “legs” — the parlay will remove that bet from the parlay. The odds recalculate to represent the remaining legs or the bet.

What Types of Things Are Typically Parlayed Together?

Learning to place a parlay bet starts with what parlays together. Believe it or not, you can parlay most things.

After examining the top online sportsbooks, the one combination we found that isn’t available to parlaying futures bets.

Example: Betting on the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl and division winners.

General Strategy

Pen on Top of Parlay Bet

Learning What to And What Not to Parlay

In parlay betting, getting infatuated with that final line can become quite easy. On a single bet, odds of +1087 or whatever is something you’d never do because that demonstrates a pretty big underdog.

However, you can stack multiple favored teams together with a parlay to get these crazy “+” line odds.

Example: Pittsburgh (-270), Virginia Tech (-320), Duke (-260), TCU (-380), Maryland (-2000), Arkansas (-230) has parlay odds of +351.

What then tends to happen with some bettors is there are concessions made to boost the bottom line, but not having a totally objective viewpoint on the individual outcome of an event.

When this happens, you’re more likely than not to lose because you’re losing objectivity in hopes of some kind of phantom winnings.

On the other hand, the best parlays to make are ones that are correlated.

Example: Betting on a team covering the spread and a player performing well in single-player props.

These kinds of parlays have the opportunity to sink quickly if things go awry. Still, you lose a parlay if even one leg loses anyways, so why not attach your ticket to one contest as opposed to multiple?

Use Welcome Bonuses and Promotions

With so much added risk with parlay betting, anytime you can get additional site credit to help offset that risk and take that leap of faith is great for betting confidently.

Popular bonuses include risk-free bets, deposit bonuses, parlay insurance, and more.

When you’re betting using these site credits, you’ll feel way more comfortable betting instead of convincing yourself to bet more actual cash.

Lines Shopping

Lines shopping goes for all kinds of sports betting, but especially for parlays. Again, considering the risk, if you’re able to get more points in the totals line or spread, or even just the betting odds, combining contests at sportsbooks with the best odds may result in slightly less money, but winning slightly less money is better than losing completely.

Popular Types of Parlays and Their Strategies

What Are Parlays Written Over Different Sports Balls


A standard parlay brings multiple contest results together as opposed to one game or doing other things like teasing lines.

Example: Betting on the Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays to win outright.

With a standard bet, these would be two teams that aren’t playing against one another but exist in the same sport. You can parlay multiple sports together, though.

Same-Game Parlays

Going back to correlated parlays, this is exactly how you should approach Same-Game parlays. This type of bet didn’t always exist but is now incredibly common.

Example: Betting on the Los Angeles Lakers to win and LeBron James to score more than 27.5 points.

There are certain things you can’t parlay together, such as a team winning outright and covering the spread.

Round Robin Parlays

To get involved with round robins, you’ll need a parlay of at least three legs.

A round robin, it’s a system within the online sportsbook that’ll take three or more legs in a parlay and produce multiple ways to bet on them with different combinations.

You’ll then select the amount you want to wager, but it’s for each parlay you choose to use from the round robin selections.

This can be a great idea, especially for positively correlated parlays or bets you feel confident in.


Teasers or “teasing the lines” allow you to “buy points” on parlays with two legs.

The most common sport in which this occurs is football (NFL and College).

Example: New York Giants +4.5 and Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5. These are the baseline point spreads. With a teaser, you can choose to “tease the line” by six, 6.5, or seven points. At six points, this’ll turn into the Giants +10.5 and the Steelers -0.5.

However, by doing this, the betting lines change.

Example: New York Giants +4.5 (-110) and Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 (-110) is +264. When you tease it by six points, it goes to -150.

This can be hugely beneficial but isn’t something we’d recommend doing for the sake of doing it because you do lose substantial value.

Parlays By Sport

Sports Betting

We could look at how parlays operate individually sport by sport, but overall, it’s all quite similar.

The main differences are teasers because this involves six points or more in football or 0.5, one, or 1.5 points in basketball.

Even 0.5 points are massive in lower-scoring sports like soccer and baseball, so it’s not available.

However, this is always available if you want to parlay together teams that’ll win moors betting online or point spreads (run line in baseball; puck line in hockey).

Where to Find Best Parlay Options and Odds

In browsing around the top online sportsbooks in the US, the infrastructure for parlay betting is nearly identical. With that, when comparing the best sites for parlay betting, sure, you can examine the odds of each bet. Still, the best way to do so is to examine the available bet types and bonuses, as this is a great way to be profitable.


BetUS Casino Logo

While you’ll need an account to view parlay betting odds at BetUS, it’s worth creating an account because that plays right into line shopping.

As for bonuses and promotions, BetUS just has a massive library of options, headlined by its welcome bonus with up to $2,500 in deposit bonus value.

As for the online sportsbooks on this list, this is by far the largest amount of potential monetary upside, and the wagering requirement is manageable at 10x.


  • Large library of bets available
  • $2,500 welcome bonus value
  • Easy user interface


  • Need an account to review parlay betting lines


Everygame Casino Logo

With so many parlay-specific offers, Everygame ranks high on our list. The user interface design is one flaw due to how outdated it looks.

The welcome bonus here is three separate deposit bonuses worth up to $250 each for a combined value of $750.

From there, here are the other offers:

  • 100% deposit bonus up to $100 for football
  • Earn p to $100 extra for US Open-based parlays
  • Win weekly $50 free bets for parlays if you lose a parlay by exactly one leg
  • Win $1000 in site credit if you have the largest net profit from a parlay bet

As you can see, this is a parlay bettors paradise. Still, the $2,500 offered in deposit bonuses at BetUS takes the cake in terms of overall monetary value, making Everygame No. 2 on this list.


  • $750 deposit bonus
  • Multiple parlay-based promotions
  • Don’t need an account to review odds


  • Outdated-looking user interface


MyBookie Casino Logo

Besides the user interface being a bit clunky and not the most aesthetically pleasing, MyBookie is excellent for parlay betting.

The welcome bonus is a 50% match up to $1,000, but there’s also a 10% cash bonus and sports reload bonus available.

There are multiple ways to gain value from these, and you can also review betting odds on parlays without an account.

The betslip is intuitive and easy to use and indicates the different parts of it for parlay betting.

So, if you can look past a somewhat bland user interface, you’re all set.


  • Exceptionally easy to use betslip
  • No account needed to review parlay odds
  • $1,000 deposit bonus


  • The user interface is built in a way — aesthetically — that can make it hard to differentiate menus on the site


BetOnline Logo

With its 50% deposit match up to $1,000, BetOnline offers even more with a 25% reload offer and multiple crypto-only offers.

While you need an account — like BetUS — to review the odds, you can still see the betslip. This betslip has clickable buttons at the top of it. Once you select multiple legs for a potential parlay, you can review the parlay and teaser options, if available.


  • $1,000 deposit bonus offer
  • Easy betslip with clickable options for parlays and teasers if available.
  • Additional promos


  • Need an account to look at betting lines


Bovada Banner

Like MyBookie and Everygame, Bovada is an online sportsbook on this list where you can review parlay betting lines without needing an account. This is certainly a valuable trait, but it lands at No. 5 on the list because of its lack of promotional offers and a welcome bonus far less than the other four.

At Bovada, the welcome bonus is a 50% match up to $250. The wagering requirements are great at just 5x, but looking at BetUS, you get up to $2,500 with 10x.

This is certainly far more casual-friendly, of course. Still, parlay bettors tend to be a bit more advanced, generally speaking.


  • $250 Welcome Bonus
  • Can review betting odds for parlays without an account
  • Great betslip that readily shows all parlay bet types


  • No additional promos are available


  • No. Once you’ve created your parlay and placed a bet, the odds remain the same until the bet settles.

  • While we don’t want to say no, you should plan on not being able to. There may be instances where you can contact the online sportsbook, though.

  • Parlay betting odds derive from the individual contest odds and the accounting for the risk associated due to the number of legs on a ticket.

  • Yes. You can parlay prop bets together. However, you may find that parlaying together, prop bets from the same game may not always be available.

  • If one leg in a parlay pushes, this bet removes itself from the parlay, and the odds shift to represent the remaining legs.

  • To place your first parlay bet, you’ll need to have an account and deposit funds first and foremost. From here, you’ll find two or more bets you’d be interested in doing. On the betslip, it populates with individual betting odds as well as if you were to parlay them.
    There’s a separate field on the betslip for parlays, so once you type in the amount of money you want, you’ll see the potential winnings and submit the wager.

  • Betting a parlay on Bovada is more or less the same process as described above. You can also examine round robin wagers and teasers to see what makes the most sense for the bet you want to create.