College Football Parlays

College Football Betting: Parlays

By Loot, College Football Handicapper,

Parlays are a very popular form of betting in college football. Anyone trying to get a bet in at the last minute at a sportsbook will attest to the popularity of this type of bet, as the air is filled with people rattling off a series of picks–all trying to hit the big bucks. Parlays are bets where you pick 2 or more teams and put them all on the same ticket. All teams on the ticket must for your bet to be successful. Here are the payouts*:

2-Team Parlay: 2.6 to 1
3-Team Parlay: 6 to 1
4-Team Parlay: 10 to 1
5-Team Parlay: 20 to 1
6-Team Parlay: 40 to 1
7-Team Parlay: 75 to 1
8-Team Parlay: 150 to 1
9-Team Parlay: 300 to 1
10-Team Parlay: 700 to 1

*You can actually receive better payouts (huge difference on the 5-10 teamers) at MyBookie Sportsbook. You need to select the “Super Saver” bonus when you sign up in order to take advantage of this great offer.

A quick glance at this chart shows exactly why these are attractive wagers for some. But make no mistake, the bookie wants you to make parlays. First of all, the odds you receive on parlay payouts do not reflect the true probability of actually winning these bets. The actual odds of these various parlays far surpass the odds you receive as a bettor. It’s a built-in juice that exceeds the standard -110 rate you receive on straight wagers.

It should be considered a recreational type of wager. Maybe you’re in Las Vegas for the weekend and you just want to have a little fun betting on football. You’re not that serious about football wagering and you rarely bet, so you go ahead and make a parlay. Maybe you ask your wife to pick a bunch of winners for giggles. Stuff like that.

But serious football bettors, or those who are trying to be, generally approach parlays with a lot of discretion and a general sense of aversion. First of all, in college football you’re dealing with kids. If you make a 4-team parlay in college football. you’re asking a lot from a large amount of very young men, most of whom will never be professional football players.

And not only are you asking a lot out of kids, you’re asking too much out of yourself. Make a straight bet on one college football game and sit there and see what a grind it is. It’s not easy to beat the spread. Now you’re asking yourself to do it multiple times on the same bet without fail? Not the easiest thing to do.

The key to betting football is to have your bottom line reflect how good or bad you are. A habitual parlay player might actually be a fine handicapper of college football games, but he’s losing overall because he’s behind the 8-ball with these silly parlays. If you bet a 5-team parlay, you can win 80% of the games and lose the bet. If betting straight, you would have enjoyed a nice weekend.

If you want to try to buck the odds and play parlays, keep them small. Bet low amounts and don’t pick too many teams. At the most, pick 4 teams. And make them a small accompaniment to your straight bets. If you win, it can boost your bankroll a bit or alleviate some damage if your straight bets didn’t do very well. And if you lose, it won’t be devastating to your bankroll.

Did you know you can parlay money lines? A nice hail-mary play involving very little risk is to parlay a pair of moderate underdogs. Another popular move is to parlay a pair of big favorites where betting them individually would involve too much of an investment. Perhaps you’re fairly sure Alabama and Boise State will win on Saturday. Alabama is -500 and Boise State is -400. To win $200 you would need to bet $900. That same $900 bet on a two-team parlay would win $450. But be careful, that move can be dangerous.

If you play parlays a lot, or even parlay money lines and totals, you should do some research and pick the right book. In college football betting, some games cannot even be parlayed. Some books offer very few money lines on college. And parlaying over-unders in college ball is an issue handled very differently by various books.