Fred Faour: Why parlays are not a great way to play
Everyone loves to play parlays. It gives you a chance to win a lot by betting a little.
With a parlay, you tie multiple games together. You will often see news stories about people who will bet say, $5, to win several thousand. That is rare. It gets publicized, because the books want you to think it is common. It’s not. Betting five and 10-game parlays are lottery tickets. So how can you make it work for you? A few tips:
The odds never match the return. Yes, even if you are playing a 15-game lottery ticket, if you hit, the return will never match what you should get. Books know this. You see a big return and think you are getting value. You aren’t. Most people are so happy with the score, they don’t care. You should.
The best time to play? Instead of playing lottery tickets, look at added value when you have a sure winner. Let’s say you like a team that is -300. There is no value in that. But tie in one other game with a team that is closer to even money and you can increase your return. Two-teamers are less of a lottery ticket and more of a way to increase value.
Teasers are a better play. If you are going to play multiple games, teasers, where you can alter the lines, are much better value. You still should limit it to three teams max, but this is a good chance to get an even money return on multiple plays.
Remember, in general, parlays are sucker bets. But these are a few tips to help you make money and find the right time to use the parlay to your advantage.