What is a Parlay?
A Parlay (also known as an 'accumulator' or ‘multi’) refers to a bet containing multiple single bet selections. The odds of each leg are multiplied, however, each leg must be correct for the bet to be a winner (unless there's a specific sportsbook promotion).
There has to be a minimum of two legs in your bet for it to be classified as a parlay. The maximum number of legs in a parlay is dependent on the sportsbook you are placing the bet with. A parlay can combine different bet types across a range of markets as long as they are not conditional (such as Team A to Win the 1st Quarter and Team A to clear the 1st Quarter Spread). You can create Parlays across different games / events and markets, or within the same game / event. If creating a parlay within the same game / event, these are known as “Same Game Parlay’s” or SGP’s for short.
Parlay Bet Example
For example, on a NFL Sunday you might think that the Giants, Patriots, and Bengals are going to win ATS against their respective opponents so you could combine these three selections into a single parlay bet. Although, the payout will be significantly increased for a parlay bet, for this bet to win you would need all 3 of these teams to win ATS for your bet to win, instead of just one like you would for a single spread bet.
Why Bet on Parlays?
Parlay bets are higher risk but higher reward bets which often seem like good value to sports bettors with lucrative payouts. Their big payouts lure sports bettors to combine all their single bets into one big parlay bet. A benefit of a parlay is that you can combine singles bets which may initially have many small odds and aren't good value on their own, into a parlay with significant value. For example you may not think it's worth it to place a bet on a favorite to win at -200 odds, however if you pick 4 favorites from 4 different games all at -200 odds and combine them in a parlay, your odds will multiply to +406. Although you need all 4 favorites to win for this bet to win you have significantly increased the value of your bet for a potential higher reward.
To learn more and to calculate the value of your own parlays, check out our Parlay Calculator.