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The basics of parlay betting

Basketball season is here. Here’s how to make the most of it, with the help of bet365 (and up to $500 in Bet Credits).

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On December 23rd, 2020, one day after this year’s delayed professional basketball season tipped off, Sacramento went to Denver in a matchup that highly favored the team from the Mile High City. Sportsbooks made Denver the 7.5 point favorite against the spread, while the money line odds had them at +300 which means that you’d need to bet $300 on them to net $100 in winnings.

The game ended up being an overtime thriller, with Sacramento eking out a 124-122 win on a buzzer-beating tip in. The result blew away the Over/Under of 226.5 by 19.5 points, and those who bet on the underdogs from Sacramento were in for a payday.

Every single one of those numbers represents a potential wager. Basketball is a numbers game. Points, rebounds, blocks, steals—the list of counting stats goes on as do the permutations of how those numbers feed into games themselves. In sports betting markets, those potential outcomes multiply. You can bet on first half totals, winning margin, whether a player will set a personal record for scoring or rebounding, even if the game will head to overtime or not.

With so many stats to keep an eye on, finding an easy way to wager can quickly become a hardwood hedge maze. That’s why bet365 created the Parlay Builder, an intuitive interface for sports bettors who want to place interlocking wagers on professional and college basketball games. But before you go off and construct your perfect bet (new users of bet365 can earn up to $500 in Bet Credits), let’s talk about how parlays work.

If this then that

Parlay betting—also known as “Accumulator” betting—is the practice of betting on multiple outcomes to all happen on a single betting ticket. The general dynamics are pretty simple and can be made across games and leagues, whether you’re betting on a “prop”—a bet that’s made on an event happening within a game—or the outcome of a particular matchup. So if you want to bet that Cleveland’s football team, Boston’s basketball team, and Minneapolis’ hockey team all win their respective games while Miami’s stud shooting guard scores more than 21 points, you can do that with a parlay bet.

Parlays pay out at a compounded rate since predicting outcomes across several betting markets is complex. For example, if the money line on Dallas and Oklahoma City has OKC at +175, that means that betting $100 on Oklahoma City will pay out $175. But combining that bet on OKC with several other bets on a single ticket will amplify the total winning potential based on the combined odds of the total bet.

Calculations for money line predictions are basic: You multiply each individual bet’s odds and subtract the total by 1 in order to get the final odds for the parlay bet. So if the three outcomes you’re betting on have money line odds of -130, +140, and +180, then your parlay odds are calculated like this:

((230/130)*(240/100)*(280/100)) - 1 = 10.889

That final number is the odds that all three bets will hit. Betting $100 on each of those outcomes separately will net you $396.92; betting $100 on a parlay ticket with those three outcomes will net $1008.89. If you’re wondering why the payout for a parlay bet is so much higher than for single bets, well, it’s pretty hard to predict three outcomes in a row!

An easier way to parlay

But for as exciting as creating a parlay bet can be, building one can be complicated and time consuming. That’s why bet365 created the Parlay Builder for professional and college basketball games. With Parlay Builder you can select up to six bets from a single game. Want to easily bet on total points, the player with the most rebounds, 1st half spread, and the money line in Philadelphia vs. Houston? With bet365’s Parlay Builder, you can do all that on a single bet and even combine it with other bets to create a multi-layered parlay bet. The best part is that bet365’s Parlay Builder updates your entire bet’s odds automatically so you can see how each choice impacts your payout.

Not every game will end like that thriller in Denver, but Parlay Builder lets you create a bet that adds excitement to every rebound, dunk, and steal. Basketball is a numbers game, place your bets.

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