Guide To Parlay Betting In Indiana
It takes time to make a decent profit off single-game wagers, even for the most seasoned sports bettors. However, you can boost your profits by focusing on the same games you plan to bet on anyway.
Parlay bets are one of the most popular offerings at legal, regulated sportsbooks. These are wagers that afford the opportunity for excellent returns from a small initial investment.
However, they can be quite challenging to hit, which can limit their appeal. Others take a different approach and use the wagers as part of a fine-tuned handicapping strategy.
To decide what works best for you and your situation, a full understanding of parlay betting will help immensely. That’s what we aim to do right here.
Read on as we go through all of the ins and outs of parlay betting.
What is a parlay bet?
A parlay bet is a wager in which you include multiple outcomes on a single bet slip.
To be considered a parlay, the bet must include at least two choices, aka legs, but it can be 10 or more selections on a single slip.
The cap on parlays will vary depending on the book, so consult its help and rules section for specific details.
For example, some operators will limit parlay tickets to 12 selections, while others may allow 15.
For each game you add to a parlay ticket, the odds rise along with the potential return.
That’s a good thing, but more perspective is necessary. As the sports betting odds climb, the likelihood of it happening decreases.
As such, sportsbooks are willing to pay out a fantastic return in the unlikely event of a massive parlay hitting.
While that may sound discouraging, it is possible to have success with parlays, and there are plenty of bettors who do just that.
We’ll cover some simple parlay strategy tips you can use in a bit.
You can place parlays on all the major team and individual sports. You can build them around moneylines, spreads and totals, or some combination of the above for individual games and events.
Some sportsbooks will also feature parlays as promotional offerings in which they put one together and enhance the odds, so keep your eyes peeled.
Parlays are potentially profitable wagers, and they can also enhance the entertainment value.
As an example, consider a parlay in which you make your call on the outcome of an entire 10-game slate for a sport you love.
Not only are you in line for an excellent return if your picks are all correct, but you increase your engagement with every game on the docket.
When used correctly, parlays can be fun and potentially profitable. However, a note of caution applies: Discipline is a key tenet of long-term success.
Examples of parlay bets
Parlay bets vary in size from two-game tickets to 10 or more outcomes. The odds increase with each leg added to the ticket, as does the potential return.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples, starting with a simple two-game bet.
After examining a slate of NFL betting opportunities, you have two games that you really like — one favorite and one underdog — with the following moneyline odds:
- Indianapolis Colts -118 over Houston Texans
- Las Vegas Raiders +162 over Kansas City Chiefs
For individual bets, a winning $100 wager at odds of -118 would return $184.70, while a correct bet of the same amount at +162 would result in $262 coming back.
That could be a nice day if all goes well.
You’re confident in both games, so you decide to take a shot at even greater returns by including them on a parlay bet in addition to your individual wagers.
After doing so, the total odds for the parlay are at +384. Here’s the math for a potential return on a $20 bet:
- $20 winning bet at odds of +384 gets a return of $96.94 (the initial bet amount plus a profit of $76.94).
As you can see, parlays can offer up the chance for an even greater return on games you plan on betting anyway.
Now, let’s consider an example involving betting on NBA games. You zero in on five contests you like at the following moneyline odds:
- Boston Celtics -250 over New York Knicks
- Memphis Grizzlies +150 over New Orleans Pelicans
- Indiana Pacers -162 over Cleveland Cavaliers
- Los Angeles Clippers +100 over Los Angeles Lakers
- Denver Nuggets -108 over Utah Jazz
After researching all five games, you’re most confident that the Pacers will take down the Cavaliers.
You place a single-game wager on that game, but also decide to take a crack at a five-game parlay for all the games you reviewed.
After adding the games to the slip, you get total parlay odds of +2088.
Here’s what the potential return could be for a simple $10 wager if all five of these selections came in:
- $10 winning bet at odds of +2088 offers a potential return of $218.86 (the initial stake plus a profit of $208.86).
Exceptional returns such as that make it rather easy to understand why parlays are so popular.
However, remember that the risk increases with each outcome added to the slip. While it can and does happen, hitting a multi-team ticket is far from easy.
Parlay betting lines
The odds will vary depending on the lines and how many you add to the slip.
For spread and totals bets, which are set at the standard odds of -110, you can easily find a range based on the number of bets on the slip by using a free parlay calculator online.
Here’s what the odds look like for two- to 10-team bets when all the odds are set at -110:
- Two-team parlay: +264
- Three-team: +495
- Four-team: +1128
- Five-team: +2335
- Six-team: +4641
- Seven-team: +9042
- Nine-team: +33,485
- 10-team: +64,108
As you can see, the odds astronomically rise when it comes to large parlays.
Of course, the odds won’t always be as clean as all selections at -110, even when it comes to spreads and totals. Market action can lead to shifts in odds, so consider the above list as a general guide.
Most web-based parlay calculators will point you to the potential return when you plug in the odds. However, they won’t necessarily display the total parlay odds.
For an easy workaround, you can simply add your selections to a parlay ticket on your online or mobile sportsbook of choice. Once all the selections are in, you’ll see the total odds.
You can also plug in a fictitious bet amount to see the potential return; just be careful you don’t submit the bet before you’re ready. Afterward, just delete the individual selections from the slip and move on with your research.
Handicapping for parlays
To handicap parlays, you’ll want to follow the same principles you would typically follow for breaking down each of the individual games.
Here’s a simple five-step process that can be quite helpful regardless of the sport:
- Overall Strength of Two Teams: Is one side clearly better or are they not that different?
- Recent Play for Both Squads: How have the teams performed over the last three to five games?
- Matchup Advantages and Disadvantages: Any areas ripe to be exploited or shut down on either side?
- Game News and Notes: Is there any player or coaching news that may impact the contest?
- Analysis of Odds and Lines: Have the odds held steady or have they swung a bit off of market action?
Following those five steps can help lead you on the right track. You can then add on additional details that you deem essential, such as advanced stats or historical matchup results.
For the parlay itself, you need to take your thinking a bit further:
- Do you want your ticket to include only the games for which you are most confident?
- Are you looking for a mix of underdogs and favorites?
- How many selections do you want on the slip?
Once you can answer those three questions, you’ll have a grip on how you envision your parlay ticket.
We’ll walk through some additional parlay betting strategy tips in a bit.
What are the chances of hitting a parlay?
Unfortunately, there’s just not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The odds are going to vary for parlays, depending on the number of choices and the lines for each of them. As a result, the actual chances of your parlay ticket coming in are also going to vary.
Also, remember that there simply aren’t any guarantees once two teams step onto the field of play. That is true regardless of how fine-tuned a handicapping strategy may be or the strength of the advice you’re receiving.
Balls and pucks can bounce funny, injuries and player issues can pop up unexpectedly and coaches, players and officials can make bad calls at any point in time. Each of these instances — and many others — can impact the final result in an instant.
Said another way, it’s tough enough to pick the winner consistently in a single game. Now take that and multiply it by two for a two-team parlay or by nine for a nine-teamer.
We don’t intend to discourage you from placing parlay wagers, but rather to help provide perspective.
Parlay bets can absolutely be hit and provide you with outstanding returns. Be sure to keep your goals realistic and know that there’s no way to win every single one.
To understand the actual odds of hitting a parlay, it can help to look at them in the form of the odds you would see when betting on horse races.
Here’s a general guide you can use for multi-team parlays when the odds for all selections are at the standard of -110:
- Two-team parlay: 13-5
- Three-team: 6-1
- Four-team: 10-1
- Five-team: 25-1
- Six-team: 40-1
- Seven-team: 75-1
- Eight-team: 150-1
- Nine-team: 300-1
- 10-team: 600-1
A key takeaway is how the odds double regularly once you get to a certain number of selections.
It can also be helpful to break down the list into tiers. For instance, two- or three-team parlays being slightly realistic, eight-, nine- and 10-team parlays are moonshots, while the rest are in the middle of the two extremes.
Parlay betting strategy
While parlay betting can be challenging, it doesn’t mean you should wing it and hope for the best.
Instead, you can still structure your approach with an eye toward profitability while also taking some shots at glory along the way.
Let’s use the average Sunday slate of NFL games as an example.
If you eliminate the three primetime and one international game from the equation and assume that no teams are on a bye week, you’ll have 12 games to consider.
As per your usual routine, you break down all 12 games and walk away with varying levels of confidence. You choose the ones you like for individual game wagers.
For parlay purposes, you should keep those levels of confidence in mind.
One helpful approach is to break the games down into three tiers: high confidence, medium confidence and low confidence.
Let’s say you go through that exercise and you come away with the following:
- Two games are rated as high confidence.
- Three games are rated as medium confidence.
- Five games are rated as low confidence.
You can’t get a good read on the other two games, so you pass on them completely. There are games in each category, and you can use them as the basis for a simple parlay strategy:
- Two-game parlay for high-confidence games.
- Five-game parlay for high- and medium-confidence games.
- 10-game parlay for all the games.
For simplicity purposes, let’s say that all 10 games have odds of -110. You feel the best about the first selection on that list of games.
A two-game parlay at -110 would result in odds of +264, so a $10 winning bet at those odds returns a total of $36.40.
Next, you place the five-game parlay and find odds of +2335, as well as the 10-game parlay at total odds of +64,108. For both of these bets, you reduce your stake to $5.
Unfortunately, the two larger parlays don’t come in, but your two-team wager does.
Here’s the math for your parlay results:
- You wagered a total of $20 on three parlays.
- One came in with a total return of $36.40, but the other two were losses.
- You’ve profited $16.40 for the day.
Here, you’ve placed the biggest focus on the most likely parlay — the two-teamer — while also taking a shot at even bigger returns.
You’ve scaled your entry fees based on the level of risk. If your high-confidence parlay of the day comes in, you’ll profit.
Naturally, there will be times when even the bets you are most confident in will break differently. There’s no way around that, but you can mitigate the bankroll damage by keeping your parlay goals realistic and by structuring your wager amounts accordingly.