Dangers of Parlays and Teasers in the NCAA Tournament

By Loot, College Basketball Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

The urge on the part of many bettors during NCAA tournament time is to go big. The hopes are big, the bets are big, and we need to make sure we don’t lose big. The tournament is indeed rife with opportunity. We see undervalued underdogs, overvalued favorites, and other little diamonds in the rough left and right. We just need to remember that it is in no way easy. Regardless of how many “locks” you think you see, every singular straight bet is a grind.

The bookies thrive during this part of the year, largely due to so many players asking for too much via parlays and teasers. Most games are going to be a struggle to get a cover. At the end of the tourney, you will hopefully win more than you lose to the extent that you are able to turn a profit. Not to mention that parlays and teasers aren’t the only way to notch major scores betting on college basketball. Getting on a hot streak with straight bets can often times also do the trick.

Not that there aren’t going to be some isolated spots to play parlays and teasers. There very well might be. But when playing those types of bets a lot, you are simply making it too hard on yourself. In addition, you may be cutting yourself off at the knees by rendering winning picks worthless because they were dependent on other picks also winning.

The point-spreads are tough during this time of the year. The bookies are at the top of their game with this being one of the most feverish betting times of the year. The lines are also market tested with a huge volume of public and smart money pouring in. In other words, this may not be the ideal time of the year to start slugging it out with the bookies, asking for multiple things to go right without fail.

When you make a winning pick during this time of the college hoops season, make it count! That sounds basic enough, until you see how many otherwise sharp bettors jeopardize their picks with parlays and teasers. Whether you make a correct pick against the spread or on the money line, you have to make sure you pocket the money.

Nothing stings more in college basketball betting than making a great pick and have it rendered moot because a completely different pick was a clunker. When making a parlay, the games may be at different times. You sweat the first game and it goes your way. But you don’t get paid. Then you sit and watch a different game on your parlay lose, maybe by some last-second free-throw/foul debacle where you come out on the wrong side. Well, worst case, you should be 1-1. But no, that last game that ended on something pretty random spoiled what was otherwise a pretty solid day of making picks. It’s bad enough when some cruel twist of fate at the end of a game ruins a single straight bet. To have a group of other winning picks ruined by that can be a very tough pill to swallow.


When making parlays and teasers in the NCAA, it could work out. Maybe you get hot and rack up some nice profits with some well-placed parlays and teasers. More likely you will be ruing the decision to not make straight bets. In most walks of life, you get credit for what you do right, while getting docked appropriate credit for doing things wrong. If you’re a parent and have 5 kids and 4 of them turn out to be doctors while the 5th ends up being a crackhead, no one will be saying you’re a bad parent. In other words, we need to make sure we get credit for the things we do right and not have the one mistake render it all worthless. With parlays and teasers, where perfection is required, one mistake undoes all the good work. In an area like sports betting, where such a precious few percent of people actually win, we have to make the most out of the picks we manage to get right.

When betting on one game, there is some variety. You can bet on the money line. If looking for big payouts, maybe find a few underdogs, where you win more than you bet. Don’t be afraid to bet a favorite on the money line or to maybe buy some points to insulate yourself. Whatever the case, try to have your wagers revolve around one game and not be reliant on other things going right to get credit.

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