moneyline betting

Football Parlay Betting

Football Parlay Betting

Once considered fun wagers or even ‘sucker bets,’ parlay betting is now considered a smarter way to bet on favorites – in some cases. Parlay betting is a form of football wagering where you pick two or more games on the same ticket and get a better payout (profit potential).

But the trick is that all the games on your parlay ticket (also known as accumulators by some sports bettors) need to win in order for your bet to win.

How does parlay betting work?

First off, find the games you want to bet on and make sure they are smart bets. Parlay betting is more of a high-risk style of betting, but you still want to be smart about bet.

Next log on to your favorite sportsbook in your state and open up the football betting tickets. Click your first game. Click a second game. Click a third game if you want to play a 3-game parlay.

Click the ‘parlay these bets’ link or button (your app or mobile sportsbook should make this easy, if you are not sure, consult the Help sections or live chat), choose how much money to bet, and then confirm the wager.

The menu will confirm your three selections and tell you how much you will win if all three games hit. Then, watch the games, cheer on your teams and hope the betting gods are smiling on you tonight!

What parlays pay out?

True parlay odds will vary slightly based on how much juice the sportsbook is charging for a bet. But assuming you are paying a standard -110 commission (more on juice or vig here), the parlay payout chart below is pretty close.

You can see the payout on a 2-game parlay is attractive, if you are betting two huge favorites. That is better than 2-1 odds, which sometimes means NFL parlay betting is your best option to maximize your profit.

Games Payout
2              13/5
3              6/1
4              10/1
5              20/1
6              40/1
7               75/1
8              150/1

If any games are a push (or tie) in your parlay bet, then that game is removed from the ticket and your parlay defaults to the next number. For example, if you bet a 4-game parlay and one football game at -6 ends 26-20, then that game is a push. The parlay ticket becomes a 3-game parlay and your resulting payout odds move down to 3-game parlay odds.

Is parlay betting 'sucker bets?'

Some state lotteries (and similar betting organizations in other countries such as Canada) offer parlay betting but did not offer fair odds. In other words, if you won your bet, your payout might only be 1-1, instead of 2-1 or greater with correct, fair odds. In these examples, the bettor wasn’t getting full value for his wager, which some people say is a sucker bet.

In other instances, casual or recreational bettors – playing just for fun – would make parlay bets with 6 or 7 or 10 games. The payouts were super high, but the odds of winning were super low. So that’s why the term ‘sports lottery’ came into play because it was more like a lotto ticket than a real sports bet.

Still, if you bet six huge favorites on a 6-game parlay ticket, it can be very exciting when the first five all win and you are watching the Monday Night NFL game and needing your favorite to clinch the bet!

When is parlay betting the best way to bet on football?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to football parlays bets. The first is to treat parlays as fun bets or lottery tickets – bet a bunch of games, parlay them together, make a small bet and hope for the big payout. This doesn’t happen very often, because it seems tough enough to pick one game correctly, let alone four or five on the same ticket.

The second is to bet parlays with big football favorites. Bet the moneyline on two or three teams to win, get a 2-1 or 3-1 payout on your wager. If you can find two big favorites that you really like to win, it can be the best way to get extra value and profit from your NFL or college football wager.

How do you bet parlays at the sportsbook?

Most sportsbooks and sportsbook apps make it pretty easy to understand. In most cases, you can simply click on the two or three games you want to bet on, then click a ‘parlay’ button or link on the betting menu. That will group the bets together and indicate your payout, based on whatever amount you want to bet.

So if you want to bet $50 on three huge college football favorites, you would earn a 6-1 payout for a $300 profit if all three teams cover the spread.

Check out the sportsbook review pages here at for the best legal sportsbooks in your state.