There are stories all the time about parlay wagers during NFL season, where someone places an extensive parlay ticket and ends up getting all kinds of wins and money and notoriety as a result. But even with those stories in mind and with the potential winnings in mind, are parlay bets during NFL season a good idea? A quick look at them would say that there is a definite case to be made that they are not.
The biggest issue with parlays is the fact that they are not giving you odds that are representative of the probability of winning the bet. SportsInsights does a great job of breaking this down, as bettors can expect to take a payout that isn’t as high as it should be if they play parlays across NFL games, even if those parlays feature a ton of teams and are difficult to hit in the first place.
Betting on the NFL is all about money management. That includes both playing using units that are sustainable for you to ensure long-term success and making sure you are getting the best possible odds to maximize profits. By default, parlays are taking away your chance at getting the best possible odds, which should be a huge red flag.
Then there is the fact that it is just harder to win when betting on parlays. For a parlay wager to win, a bettor is required to hit on every leg of the action, with even one losing leg tanking the entire bet. But in an industry where hitting 54% of your picks is considered incredibly good, a bet that demands 100% accuracy on multiple events is lunacy.
Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz detailed how even a game he thought he couldn’t lose ended up costing him a massive parlay payout. And while anyone who stuffs a bunch of baseball games into a parlay deserves to lose, his experience is a testament to just how hard it is to win one of these longshot wagers. Because even when you look like you have a clear path to your payout, one stumble or poor quarter can take your money and flush it down the drain.
Of course, parlay betting does serve a purpose for recreational bettors, as it is just a fun thing to do. There is nothing wrong with throwing a couple of bucks at a parlay with some massive odds with the hope that it can turn into a sum of money that is meaningful. In that way it can be thought of like a slots game with a huge jackpot payout. Sure, the odds are long that you’ll ever see it, but a few bucks for a few hours of entertainment is fine. But for bettors who are serious about their bankrolls, using tried and true NFL betting systems, using smart money management strategies, and staying away from parlays and other gimmick bets is always going to be the most sustainable way to make a profit when betting on the NFL.