When it comes to sports betting, the media glamorizes the big score. Sportsbooks put out press releases describing huge paydays. Just last month, BetMGM boasted of a bettor who played a seven-leg parlay that included six South American soccer matches and a Los Angeles Dodgers World Series game at odds of 2,579-1 and hit on all seven for a profit of $128,995.
That’s understandable. Big wins are sexy. They’re also rare, once-in-a-lifttime occurrences. It’s like playing the lottery. No one expects to hit the lottery when they buy a ticket. And anyone who thinks their big parlay play is sure to come in is equally daft.
It’s no different than those guys who’d box endless trifecta possibilities at the racetrack. For every one they hit, there were dozens upon dozens of expensive tickets that were cast adrift like costly confetti.
Hitting on these so-called exotic bets will pay dividends for you almost as frequently as hitting on the exotic dancer at the local club does.
That’s why straight bets are what you should be wagering. Not some of the time. All of the time.
Moneylines, point spreads and totals are where you should be investing your wagering dollars. It’s simple math, really.
So, Why You Should Focus On Single Bets
Suppose you played a three-leg moneyline parlay on the NFL. You took the Dallas Cowboys at -115 to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Philadelphia Eagles at -135 to top the New York Giants and the underdog Miami Dolphins at +145 to upend the favored New England Patriots. If it comes in, the payout will be 15-1. That means on a $50 wager, you’d pocket a $350 profit.
The day starts out great. The Cowboys win 31-21. And the Dolphins pull off the upset, beating the Pats 24-20. But the Eagles let you down. They fall 17-13 to the Giants. Your parlay is dead and your $50 is gone.
On the other hand, if you’d played a straight moneyline bet of $50 on each of these three games and get the same outcome, let’s see what happens.
So far, you’ve gained a profit of $115.98. Take away the $50 you lost on the Eagles and you’re still $65.98 ahead of the game.
No, it won’t get a press release out by the sportsbook but at the end of the day, you’ve got $65.98 more in your account than you had at the start of the day, and isn’t that the objective? As Meat Loaf once warbled in song, two out of three ain’t bad. However, in parlay parlance, two out three is a disaster.