Sports Betting Strategy: Accumulators
Parlay bets allow you to combine four or more selections into a single bet in an effort to secure a higher potential return. It is one of the most popular bets among casual sports betting fans, and it can be great fun to compile a parlay.
However, many punters come unstuck due to a poor strategic approach. That's why we have listed some important points in this parlay betting guide to bear in mind before placing a bet with a top bookmaker.
What is a Parlay Bet?
A parlay is a bet type that consists of multiple selections rolled together into a single wager. Instead of backing each one individually at lower odds, you combine them to gain higher accumulative odds.
This makes your potential profit greater, but there is a catch: each one has to win for your bet to pay off. If one selection lets you down, your bet crashes and burns.
On a particular weekend, you might like the look of these bets:
- Rafa Nadal to beat Marin Cilic at 1/2
- Alexander Zverev to beat Denis Shapovalov at 4/6
- Naomi Osaka to beat Coco Gauff at 11/10
- Johanna Konta to beat Karolina Pliskova at 6/4
These four single bets combined make up a fourfold parlay. If you bet C$10 on each one as a single wager, and all four predictions prove to be correct, you would earn a profit of C$37.67 from your C$40 stake. However, if you combine them into a parlay on your bet slip, your profit would be a much more impressive C$486 from a C$40 stake.
If just one player lets you down, your bet is busted, but the potential returns from the bookie are far higher, which is why so many punters love parlays.
A bet featuring two selections is referred to as a double, three is a treble, and four or more is considered a parlay. The more legs you add to your parlay, the greater the potential profit. You can combine selections from multiple sports into a single parlay.
Parlay Betting Tips
Many punters like to adopt a consistent betting strategy that helps them compile the best parlay bet on an ongoing basis. These include:
- Rolling a number of short odds favourites together
- Picking a few underdogs that could upset the odds and combining them
- Consistently focusing on special bets like both teams to score in football
- Backing strong teams with home advantage to all succeed
- Sticking to certain leagues and tournaments that they know well
It's also important to keep an eye on which betting sites offer welcome bonuses for new customers and which sites offer promos. There are a number of bookies out there offering parlay insurance, meaning if one of the selections on your bet slip lets you down, the stake will be refunded. Then there are parlay bonuses, where a bookmaker will pay out bonus funds depending on how many legs your parlay includes.
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How are Parlay Odds Calculated?
For any sports fans that like to bet, parlay wagering offers a tantalising opportunity to make high returns off a small stake. The easiest way to calculate the potential payout on parlays is to convert the odds into decimal format. Sticking with the example used above:
- Rafa Nadal to beat Marin Cilic at 1/2 = 1.5
- Alexander Zverev to beat Denis Shapovalov at 4/6 = 1.67
- Naomi Osaka to beat Coco Gauff at 11/10 = 2.1
- Johanna Konta to beat Karolina Pliskova at 6/4 = 2.5
You then simply multiply them together to calculate your total return from the bookmaker:
- 1.5 x 1.67 x 2.1 x 2.5 = 13.15.
- Your total return from a C$40 stake at odds of 13.15 would be C$526.
- Take off the C$40 you laid down and you are left with a profit of C$486.
Anyone interested in online parlay betting will find that betting sites allow you to view odds in either fractional or decimal format. The site will also tell you what your potential return is on your bet slip when you place an parlay.
How to Create a Winning Parlay
The best advice for landing an parlay win is to stick to what you know. Focus on a few key sports or competitions that you are familiar with and resist the temptation to bolster your bet with weird and wonderful selections on teams you have never seen play. Also avoid being tempted by an unfamiliar betting market that you're not comfortable with. Before you place a bet, parlay tips such as these might help:
- Avoid selections with really low odds, as they do little to boost your cumulative odds and a freak result could bust your coupon.
- Stay away from selections with really high odds, as they can work as single bets.
- Find that sweet spot by making selections that offer a reasonable amount of value and combining them.
- Be cautious about adding draws into parlays.
- Generally try to stick to the home team winning.
- Do not confine yourself to winner markets, as there are a number of intriguing special bets to choose from.
- Do your research.
- Combine selections from different sports to boost the odds, as long as you are familiar with them.
You can benefit from a wealth of online stats before compiling your parlay. If you are interested in football betting, you can find out how well each team has fared at home and away, how often both teams to score pays off in their games, how frequently matches featuring each team see over 2.5 goals, the head-to-head record between the teams, any injuries or suspensions and so on.
If horse racing is your thing, you can find out plenty of info on factors such as form, handicap history and a horse's preferred ground, while comprehensive trainer and jockey stats are also easily attainable online.
Never bet blind. Do plenty of research and compile your parlays with intelligent predictions from a position of knowledge. You can also throw in total points bets, handicap bets, draw no bet options and all manner of special wagers into an parlay, so check out all of the sports betting available from the bookie before making your selections.
Why Choose Parlay Betting?
A clever parlay bet can result in a healthy payout as long as the punter puts some thought into betting strategy and selections are chosen wisely. There are numerous stories down through the years of ambitious bettors who have won huge money from placing a speculative parlay bet, but a more cautious approach can also be hugely rewarding.
Choosing a number of selections correctly and landing a winning parlay is a hugely satisfying way to beat the bookmaker. When it comes to online parlay betting, there are some new betting sites that offer great parlay odds, where new customers can find welcome bonuses and exciting promotions before placing parlay bets.
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