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NFL Parlay Betting

It's been a wild start to the NFL season: Antonio Brown is with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Eli Manning's been benched. Star Dolphns corner Minkah Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers. Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade and "Big Ben" Roethlisberger (season) and Drew Brees (six weeks) are out.

Will that make NFL parlays easier to predict as the season goes on? These new developments definitely affect spreads and NFL Betting tips.

But imagine going on a 12-game winning streak with your NFL picks? If this happens, you’ll get 12 separate payouts, which is far less than what you’d win had you put all those picks in a 12-team parlay. With parlays, you can win over 2,300X your original wager, up to the maximum payout of $100,000 at Bovada Sportsbook. That’s because you’re betting on all 12 picks at the same time together; if any of them loses, the entire parlay loses. High risk, but very high reward.

What Are NFL Parlays?

An NFL parlay is a series of connected bets that must all win for the bet to pay out. You can put as few as two teams together in your combo bet teams in this case refers to both spreads and totals, as well as moneylines, props and futures where available. The fewer teams you have in your NFL parlays, the smaller the payout. A standard 2-team parlay will cash in at just over 26/10 if both your picks come true, which will happen a lot more often than completing a 12-team parlay.

What Can You Parlay?

There are a lot of different betting lines you can put in your parlays – even lines from different sports. But there are some restrictions. For example, you can’t bet both sides of the same spread, moneyline or total. You also can’t bet the same team on both the point spread and the moneyline, and you can’t combine the first-half line with the line for the full game. On the other hand, you can bet both the spread and the total from the same contest – and this is a common strategy for betting on NFL parlays.

How Do NFL Parlays Work?

As an example, here’s a possible 2-team parlay from Super Bowl XXIV, where the San Francisco 49ers faced the Denver Broncos at the Superdome in New Orleans:

San Francisco –12
Over 48

For this combo bet to pay out, the 49ers needed to win by more than 12 points, and the combined final score had to be more than 48 points. In this example, San Francisco beat the Broncos 55-10 to cash in both halves of the bet. If either line had come up short, this parlay would have lost – unless there had been a push. If the Niners had won by exactly 12 points, that line would have been ignored, and the parlay would have reduced to a standard spread bet. A 3-team parlay with a push reduces to a 2-team parlay, and so on; the same thing happens any time one of the lines is graded "No Action".


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How Are NFL Parlays Calculated?

The parlay payouts in online sports betting are based on the “true parlay odds” for your combo bet, with the juice included. A 2-team parlay where each selection carries the standard –110 line will pay out at roughly 2.645/1, perhaps slightly more or less due to rounding. If you had bet $100 on the above Super Bowl parlay, you would have won around $264.51. Payout charts for NFL parlays up to the maximum 12 teams are available at Bovada.

These calculations get a little more complicated when the line isn’t the standard –110, or you have a moneyline, prop or futures bet in your parlay. If you want to do the work yourself, you can use an online parlay calculator to determine your payout – or you can let the software at Bovada do it for you. We’ll calculate your potential payout in real time and show it to you as you fill out your NFL parlay picks on your Bet Slip.

What’s a Good Parlay Strategy?

Many people who bet NFL parlays will combine the maximum 12 teams, looking for the biggest payout possible. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but 2-team parlays tend to have more betting value for your football bets – and it’s because you can combine the spread and total from the same game. There’s a subtle relationship between these two lines; big favorites have more chance of covering the spread in high-scoring games, while big underdogs are more likely to cover when the score is low.

In our Super Bowl parlay example, the Niners were massive 12-point favorites with Joe Montana at quarterback, and the total was fairly large for the time at 48 points. Playing indoors at the Superdome helped Montana throw five touchdown passes, giving San Francisco more than enough points to cover the spread and cash in the Over. Conversely, Super Bowl III was a good spot to make the underdog-Under parlay with Joe Namath and the New York Jets (+18) playing the Baltimore Colts with the total set at 40 points; the Jets won 16-7. Remember this dynamic when you fill out your NFL parlays at Bovada Sportsbook.

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