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Best Parlay Bets

My top NFL parlay picks were pretty ambitious last week. They didn’t pan out, but I certainly hit some picks that some didn’t see coming.

The big one was the Browns upsetting the Steelers, while the Colts ATS and Baltimore winning were two other bets that converted.

If you’re a high roller and see three bets that you’d like to wager on one of those sites, then placing a three team parlay would make the most sense. This parlay would have odds of 5.96-1. When betting all three teams separately, you’re limited to risking $1,100 to win $1,000.

  • Another bet I love and feel had to be in my NFL parlay picks for the 2021 NFL Divisional Round is the Over for this Ravens vs. Baltimore did slow things down in a tight 20-13 win last week, but I tend to think they won’t have that luxury in Buffalo.
  • That said, this is an awesome parlay, full of Wild Card NFL bets I happen to love. Whatever combination you go with is up to you, but if you roll with the whole lot at Bovada, the upside is insane. If you want to be on the NFL this week, make sure you shop around. Hit up the best NFL betting sites before placing any bets.
  • NFL parlay bets, with their greater odds allow you to wager less and win more. Most spreads and totals markets will be odds of around -110 or -120, a three-team parlay on these markets typically pay around 6/1 (+600) with a four-team parlay paying around 12/1 (+1200).
  • In that case, you total parlay is reduced by one team. For example, if you put together a four-team parlay at 12.28/1 betting odds and one of your plays ends as a PUSH, it would be reduced to a three-team play at 6/1 odds. The betting odds for parlays using point spreads is fixed and based on the total number of teams you group into one bet.

I was pretty surprised to see Derrick Henry struggle so badly, while Washington’s offense was somehow pretty darn good with a street free agent quarterback running the show.

The Rams vs. Seahawks game also should have been a snoozer, yet it exploded and tallied 50 total points.

My NFL parlay failed, but if you cut the parlay down or attacked those three bets individually, perhaps you still had a winning week.

I’m back for more for the 2021 NFL Divisional Round, but this week I’ll probably reign in my ambitious streak a bit.

Let’s see which NFL parlay picks for the 2021 Divisional Round stand out.

This bet asks what the total points across the entire 2021 NFL Divisional Round will be. Mystic slots app. To compare to last week, the Wild Card round had 303 total points.

Naturally, that has this week’s total looking super low.

Of course, last week did have six games, and this week bettors only have four to work with.

Last week was also not projected to be nearly as high-scoring as this week, either. The Wild Card round featured some pretty slow teams in Chicago, Washington, and Seattle.

This week, three of the four games have totals set at 50+, and all of them could easily go over. You don’t need all of them to hit the Over to give yourself a shot here, though, and I think 203.5 is beatable.

I’ve been talking up the Rams to start the week, and they’ve graced two of my NFL Divisional Round betting posts already.

I like them as a potential upset, and their 7-point spread has them coming in as one of the safest NFL bets in the 2021 NFL Divisional Round.

Naturally, I feel obliged to include them in my Divisional Round NFL parlay picks.

Obviously, I could just be looking at this game completely wrong. If you tend to think so, perhaps checking out this Rams vs. Packers NFL betting preview will be more your speed.

Green Bay is the top offense, they’re healthy, well-rested, and will be at home. All of that makes them stand out (and could make me look silly), and that’s before you start looking at the rash of injuries that could derail the Rams.

But Sean McVay is a mastermind, Aaron Donald is a force up front, and Cam Akers is a rising star.

It still amazes me how the Rams slow played Cam Akers. Yes, he had some pass pro concerns and the ribs injury sapped developmental time, but, damn, the kid is a tackle-shredding machine.
Very much a top-20 fantasy RB in 2021 drafts.

— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) January 9, 2021

With the Packers not having top offensive tackle David Bahktiari on hand (out for season) and their defense previously having issues against the run, this feels like a bad matchup for the green and gold.

I won’t go all the way with the upset play for my NFL parlay here, but the Rams ATS looks very good on paper.

Ravens vs. Bills Over 50 (-110)

Another bet I love and feel had to be in my NFL parlay picks for the 2021 NFL Divisional Round is the Over for this Ravens vs. Bills clash.

Baltimore did slow things down in a tight 20-13 win last week, but I tend to think they won’t have that luxury in Buffalo. Josh Allen and co. have one of the league’s best offenses, and they don’t really run the ball that much.

That likely means Allen will come out swinging for the fences early (and get the game humming along), or the Ravens put up points and force the Bills to throw like they want to, anyway.

Both of these offenses have explosive ability, and I don’t think the opposing defenses will be able to consistently or effectively limit either offense.

This projects as a fun shootout and the reasonable total puts the Over very much in play.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Win (+145)

Here’s my big value bet for the Divisional Round. It’s always possible there just aren’t any upsets this week, of course.

Every single underdog is on the road, and the four home teams are quite good. Going into Kansas City, Buffalo, New Orleans, or Green Bay and getting a win is, well, not easy.

So, if you just don’t want to bet on any upset picks this week, I don’t blame you.

Even so, Tom Brady and co. just hung 31 points on a pretty decency Washington defense, and they’re as talented as anyone.

And they know it.

The Bucs also have a nasty taste in their mouths after a 38-3 beatdown by the Saints earlier this year. It’s tough to beat any team a third time, and I have a feeling Tompa Brady moves on to the NFC title game.

Top 2021 Divisional Round NFL Parlay Bet

  • Total Points Over 203.5 (-115)
  • Los Angeles Rams (+7) -120
  • Ravens vs. Bills Over 50 (-110)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Win (+145)

Last week’s NFL parlay was pretty insane when it came to what you could have won. It only got half the picks right, though, because it was also overly ambitious.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I can still admit it was on the risky side. Any parlay is, but this week’s is a tad more tame. I think there’s still some value here, however, as $100 would turn this week’s NFL parlay picks into $739.75 at Bovada.

I love the Rams to beat the spread, and I have them in my 2021 Divisional Round NFL upset picks. You only have four games to work with, though, so for this NFL parlay, I’ll stick to just one underdog play to wrap things up.

If you want to go the extra mile and add the Rams on as +255 underdogs instead of playing it safe ATS, though, that ups the payout to $1,526.05.

As usual, you can add NFL parlay picks to what I’m giving you, or you can take 1-2 picks off. You also are free to shop for better prices at other NFL betting websites or just target all of these bets individually.

Football Parlay Bets

Whatever you do, I wish you luck. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the games!

A parlay is a wager on multiple games all placed into a single bet. In theory the payout for a 2-team parlay is the same as if you bet one game, collected your winnings plus stake, and then bet the winnings plus stake on a second game. A three 3-team parlay in theory pays the same as if you repeated this process of rolling forward an additional time and a 4-team if you repeated it yet another time… so on and so forth. Some online betting sites allow players to bet up to 25-teams in the same parlay, while most allow a lesser amount such as 10-team max or 8-team max. Now I stated “in theory” because when it comes to football parlays the payouts are often less.

What’s important to note for football betting is many online sportsbooks short-pay point spread selections when adding them to a parlay. In their defense, they get away with this because built deep into their betting rules are terms such as “fixed parlay odds” for football point spreads. Although this might seem unethical, bettors always see the payouts prior to confirming their bet. So, this is more a matter of betting sites taking advantage of recreational bettors who don’t know any better, than it is cheating.

Best Parlay Bets Won

Beware of Fixed Odds Parlays

The image to the right shows the fixed parlay odds for football point spreads offered by popular US betting site BetOnline (review). Now to make sure we’re clear you can wager any number of selections as you’d like in the same football parlay. If each selection wins you’ll get the payouts shown to the left. If any one or more selections lose your entire stake is a lost. Now let me take some time to show what the payout would be if you wagered these individually and then rolled your profit forward each time.

You start with a $100 bet and wager it at -110, this is $100 to win $90.91 so if it wins you end up with $190.91. You then wager that all on the next game at -110, and this is $190.91 to win $173.55 so if it wins you now have $364.46. $100 was your stake, so your profit is $264.46. At BetOnline $100 pays $260. I calculated this by noticing their odds are listed as 13/5 and $100 has 20 parts of 5 so 5*13=$260. As you can see by offering “fixed odds” BetOnline is able to short the payout by $4.64. I’ll save showing the work behind the math, but if you were to keep rolling your $100 initial stake plus winnings forward 6 consecutive times without a loss you’d end up with $4841.27, of which $100 was your stake, and $4741.27 profit. Notice BetOnline only offers 45 to 1 on a 6-team parlay, when the actual odds are over 47.4 to 1. If you think this is small, it’s not; it adds up in a hurry.

When betting sites offer fixed parlay odds on point spreads generally the more teams you bet the worse the odds become. If you were to roll all bets forward 8-times, staking your full return each time, you’d get paid 175.45 to 1 and notice BetOnline only pays 165 to 1 on 8-team parlays. I cover some of this math in my article on football teasers in case you’re interested in how it is calculated, but for now let me state at BetOnline 6-team fixed odds parlays for football give you odds of -111.92 per team and BetOnline 8-team fixed odds parlays for football give you odds of -111.67 per team. For BetOnline parlays it’s fairly consistent and just a matter of rounding. However at sites such as Sportsbook.com and BetUs.com the payouts are even worse on higher number of teams.

Best Parlay Bets This Weekend

How to Get Around Fixed Odds Parlays

There’s a trick you should know about. In Las Vegas, and with many online sportsbooks, fixed odds only apply to point spreads priced -110. If you were to add an alternative selection you can force the sportsbook to give you the true odds. For example an 8 team point spread parlay at BetOnline where 7 teams are -110 and one team is -115 you’ll end up with a payout of 171.8 to 1 instead of the 165 to 1 they offer if all teams were -110. You’re also more likely to win because teams priced -115 win more often than teams priced -110. The golden rule is to never select only teams priced -110 at betting sites that use fixed odds for football parlays.

Another option for parlay bettors is to just turn to sites which don’t short the payouts. Sites I know of that use true odds as opposed to fixed odds include www.bovada.lv and www.bookmaker.eu. Of course there’s another challenge parlays present. The best way to beat sports betting is to line shop for the best price. Forcing yourself to only bet in parlays, instead of straight point spread bets, limits you to using just a single betting site. Truth be told, more times than not parlays are an enemy of football bettors than they are a blessing. There are however times betting parlays does make sense.

Correlated Parlays Are Great

If a betting site allowed you to parlay yes or no for two propositions listed as “will it be rainy today?” and “willing it be cloudy today?” obviously you’d have a huge edge betting parlays instead of straight wagers. Unfortunately online betting sites block parlays for anything too heavily correlated. For example, a college football line from late last season was LSU –49 / NWST +49 with an over/under of 56. Obviously the betting sites did not allow parlays on this game because the results were too heavily correlated. However, there are times where correlations that do make sense are allowed. I recall the opening round of the January 2012 NFL playoffs had a very injured Pittsburgh Steelers team visiting the struggling offense and strong defense of the Denver Broncos. The line was Broncos +7.5 and over/under 33.5. The betting sites did allow me to parlay Denver and the under, which in my opinion was correlated for the reason I thought if Denver did cover the point spread it would most likely be by a low total. This wager didn’t work out as the game turned into a shoot out (go figure eh?) but I’m sure you see the point that betting parlays when there is a correlation does make sense.

Using Parlays for Bonuses

Bookmaker.eu offers a decent free play sign up bonus and then also offers 20% reload bonuses for deposits made on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These bonuses are issued as free play credits, and it makes great sense to always use these on parlays. The reason is when you bet say $100 cash at +$100 and win you get back $200 (your stake + win). When you bet using free plays you only get back $100. This is because your $100 staked was a free play; it’s now used up and all you get is your return because win or lose that free play is gone. When you instead use Bookmaker free plays as parlays you’re getting to recycle this stake multiple times.

Parlay

Circumventing Betting Limits

Round Robin Parlay Bets

The final good use for parlays is to circumvent betting limits. For example, if you’re wagering with www.bovada.lv and they have a $1000 max bet on a football point spreads (the same they often do) but this bet has such large expected value you want to get a lot of action down on it. You could then bet more by adding this selection to various 2-team parlays. Perhaps you make one bet straight, and also make a $1000 parlay on the moneyline of the largest favorite on the board plus this team.

Final Thoughts

Parlays are mostly lottery type gambles for recreational bettors, but when used on correlated outcomes, or to increase free play value, or to circumvent betting limits they can be smart plays. In most all other cases you’re far better off betting straight using a football betting system over adding the selection to the parlay. However, if you’re just looking to gamble, be reminded to avoid fixed odds by either adding a team priced something other than -110 to your betting ticket, or by using betting websites with favorable parlay odds. Popular US friendly betting site www.bovada.lv is a great choice for casual gamblers looking to wager football parlays.

Editor’s note: This article provided a decent introduction on “what is a parlay bet” and some basic strategy. If you’re interested in taking your game to the next level, read our page on football betting strategy where many articles to advanced topics are linked.