High Risk, High Reward: Explaining Parlay Betting With NY Online Sportsbooks

Written By Grant Lucas on January 30, 2022 - Last Updated on February 1, 2022
New York Online Sports Betting Mobile

For years, New York has awaited the launch of legal online sports betting.

At long last, this new world of expanded gambling arrived in early January. New Yorkers no longer need to cross the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey in order to wager online. (That is, unless a Syracuse basketball game is the subject of their bets.)

Now, NY bettors can take advantage of some of the most popular online sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM. And they can take part in some of the most popular NY sports betting offerings and bet types.

Including parlay betting.

What is parlay betting?

If you’re a sports fan, if you follow popular sports media companies on social media or via their apps, you have likely seen photos of parlays.

A bettor who spent a 50 cents and turned it into $130,000, as three people actually did in Pennsylvania.

With parlay betting, rather than selecting just the moneyline or just the spread or just this quarterback to pass for over 250 yards, users string these bets together on one bet slip. To count as one bet.

Each part of this wager is known as a “leg.” And with each additional leg, the potential payout grows. Parlay bets have become quite popular for the casual and recreational bettor. What’s not to like about the possibility of cashing out big for such a minimal bet?

That said, there’s never a sure thing in legal sports betting. Especially with parlay betting. See, with each additional leg, the difficulty of winning becomes greater. If even one part of the parlay loses, the entire bet loses.

What is a same-game parlay?

As popularized by FanDuel Sportsbook NY and integrated by a variety of other online sportsbooks, same-game parlays are just as it sounds.

It used to be that bettors could only build a parlay using bets from all different events. A moneyline NFL wager here, throw in a point spread from this NBA game, add in the over for Gerrit Cole strikeouts, etc. Now, users can put together parlays for just one game.

Consider the AFC championship involving the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals. With DraftKings NY, for example, bettors can compile a same-game parlay featuring the following legs:

  • Kansas City moneyline
  • Ja’Marr Chase anytime TD
  • Travis Kelce anytime TD
  • Patrick Mahomes over 249.5 passing yards
  • Joe Mixon under 79.5 rushing yards

Once the bet is submitted, the user doesn’t need to flip around to see how their various bets are faring. Sit back, relax, enjoy the single game that has five wagers tied together.

As previously noted, the more legs you add, the higher the potential payout if each leg hits. However, with more legs comes greater risk of this parlay losing, otherwise known as “busting.”

How do I place a parlay bet

For the most part, nagivation and bet-building are simple with online sportsbooks in New York. All users really need to spend time on is deciding which legs to string together.

Back to the NFL playoffs and Championship Sunday, for example. Let’s say you have a few bets that, individually, you feel confident about hitting. For good measure, you also decide that the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo is on a tear and cannot be stopped against the Denver Nuggets. Those bets individually look like this:

  • Los Angeles Rams moneyline (-165
  • Kansas City Chiefs point spread (-115)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo over 31.5 points (-105)

Lastly, bettors just need to navigate to those individual games and select those bets. The betting app will compile this list of individual wagers for you and calculate the odds and payout. (In the case of the above legs, that amounts to +486 odds and a potential $108.55 payout on a $20 wager.)

After confirming how much you want to bet, all you need to do is click “submit.”

What are the odds of a parlay bet winning?

Have we mentioned this yet? The larger the parlay, the higher the risk of losing.

With that said (again), what exactly are the odds of certain-sized parlays hitting? First, it depends, really. For the most part, each individual bet carries different odds. So a three-leg parlay with all bets carrying odds of -110 might have a better chance of winning than a three-leg parlay of bets carrying odds of +110.

For posterity sake, though, consider the following odds of a parlay hitting if each leg had odds of -110.

  • Two legs: 13-5
  • Three legs: 6-1
  • Four legs: 10-1
  • Five legs: 25-1
  • Six legs: 40-1
  • Seven legs: 75-1
  • Eight legs: 150-1
  • Nine legs: 300-1
  • 10 legs: 600-1

Among casual and recreational bettors, parlays have established themselves as one of the most popular bet types in the legal sports betting world.

Of course it’s entertaining. But remember, that’s what sports betting is: a form of entertainment. While parlays can certainly become life-changing if each leg hits, bettors should be wary of getting caught up in the pie-in-the-sky mindset of one big payday based on a 10-leg parlay.

Be realistic. Responsible. Have fun. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the senior managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. In 2020, he shifted his attention to the Empire State as lawmakers continued to work toward passing legal online sports betting in New York. Previous the lead writer for PlayNY, Grant now oversees content for the site. Before covering the expansion of legal gambling, Grant served as a sportswriter with The Bulletin newspaper in Bend, Oregon, covering high school, Oregon State and University of Oregon athletics as well as the Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to that - after graduating from Linfield University, where he played baseball for former Yankee and World Series MVP Scott Brosius - Grant worked as a digital content reporter for the Trail Blazers.

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