Boxing Parlays

Betting Boxing Parlays

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

In the world of sports-betting, we often hear a lot of bad things about parlays. Some people will tell you that it falls under the category of “asking for too much.” There is some credence to that. It can be hard enough to win one fight. Asking for multiple winners on the same ticket is in fact asking for a lot to go right. The other criticism is less applicable to boxing parlays–that it is a bad-value bet heavy on bookie commission.

Most of our understanding of the dynamics of a parlay stems from basketball and football wagering. When placing parlay wagers in those sports, we remember that we are dealing with point-spreads. In other words, the parlay payout occurs on a set schedule–a formula devised by the bookies to extract juice out of the bettors. In football or basketball, a three-team parlay generally pays 6-1. The true odds of hitting that bet is 7-1, so you see how the bookie benefits from the juice.

Obviously there is no point-spread in boxing wagering. A fighter either wins or loses. Part of that dynamic is the fact that each fighter gets a set of odds. So there is no formula. A parlay with, say, two boxers on it can result in a wide range of payouts. In basketball or football, for example, it would be a 13 to 5 payout no matter what.

The result of that is truer parlay payouts–winnings that actually reflect the true odds of what you’re asking to have happen. That brings an added sense of appeal to parlaying boxers. You’re not getting juiced to death, you’re actually getting a fair representation of the true odds of the proposition.


When you look at how to mentally compute boxing parlays, you see that it is a truer representation than what you get betting on sports involving point-spreads. Let’s say you make a $100 parlay on two fighters. One fighter is +150 and the other is -200. You could take either fighter first, it doesn’t matter. The $100 goes on the +150 fighter. You win that and now that $100 is $250. That $250 goes on the -200 fighter. If you win that the $250 becomes $375, meaning you won $275 subtracting your $100 wager.

It’s difficult to decide which fighters to include on the parlay. Let’s say you’re making a three-team parlay. The odds of the fighters are -200, -220, and -600. So you have two favorites and a one very robust favorite. It would really be awful to win the two bets with the lower-priced favorites, only to get snake-bitten with the -600 favorite. A $100 parlay on just the -200 and -220 favorites would pay $118 and change. The -600 fighter takes it to $154 if he wins. Is it worth it?

Parlay wagering requires some creativity. Picking which teams to include forces you to take many considerations into account. And your standards should remain high. Just because you’re playing a parlay doesn’t mean it’s open-season to take a stand in fights where you would otherwise not get involved. There may be some fights you pick whose odds are too long to justify making a straight bet. That’s one thing. But never use a parlay as a receptacle for fighters who did not make the cut when you were putting together your straight bets.

Underdog parlays can offer sterling value. With upsets so rampant in this sport, it’s easy to notch a couple upset winners on the same ticket for a robust payout. Let’s say you honed in a few quality underdogs. You make a $100 parlay on a +330 and a +280 underdog. Your winnings would be a robust $1534! But when you pick an underdog like that, winning money shouldn’t be dependent on another big dog also winning. So when making underdog parlays, back up your wager with straight bets, so you still profit in the event that only one of them should win.

Is making mostly straight-bets a good move? Sure it is. That should be the meat-and-potatoes of our boxing wagering. But the fact that the parlay is an un-juiced wager makes it worth taking a look at. We don’t always want to have correct picks needing other picks to come through for us to win, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wise to make some well-placed parlays here and there to boost our bottom line.