NBA Parlay Betting Explained

NBA Parlay Betting Explained

NBA Parlays, also known as Multi Bets, Accumulators, Multi, Multiple or All-Up bets are selections of two or more legs/bets combined into a single odds stake. If one or more leg of a Parlay fails, the bet automatically loses. Parlay betting is much riskier than Moneyline of Straight Up betting, but the payoffs are much larger (and the ride is generally pretty exciting).

Let’s base our examples from the following legs for NBA Basketball –  

Let’s say that you have $30 to bet, and you wish to turn these 3 single bets into a Parlay –

Leg 1. Moneyline bet on the Nuggets at +102 odds
Leg 2. Moneyline bet on the Bulls at -167 odds
Leg 3. Spread Bet on the Lakers (-6.0) at -109 odds

As shown in Bet Slip –

Bet Slip
Leg Stake
Nuggets__+102 $10.00
Bulls__-167 $10.00
Lakers (-6.0)__-109 $10.00
Combine Legs
Total Stake $30.00
Return $55.40

You’ve now placed a $10 bet on each selection and all 3 bets won.

Payout = ($10 * +102) + ($10 * -167) + ($10 * -109) = $55.40
Profit = $55.40 – $30 = $25.40

This equates to odds of +521 for a $30 bet (if you won all three).

Now for the Parlay…

Now you’ve decided to create a Parlay (Multi Bet) using the same legs.

With a Parlay bet, the total odds equal the multiplication of the individual odds.

Bet Slip example –

Bet Slip
Leg Stake
Lakers (-6.0)__-109
Combine Legs +521
Total Stake $30.00
Return $186.00

In this example, the Parlay odds equal (+102 * -167 * -109) = +521.

Suppose you outlaid the same $30 on this Parlay, with all 3 selections winning. Your total winnings would be:

Payout = $30 * +521 = $186.16
Profit = $186.16 – $30 = $156.16

It’s clear that Parlays provide a much larger return on investment than 3 single bets.

Should a single selection have lost?

Let’s say that the third selection on the Lakers lost, the 3 single bets would have returned:

Return = ($10 * +102) + ($10 * -167) + ($10 * 0) = $36.20
Profit = $36.20 – $30 = $6.20

In comparison, the Parlay would have lost $30.00. This shows the risk vs reward nature of Parlay betting.

Single Multiples

The NBA Parlay example above was a 3-leg Parlay that needed all 3 selections to win to return a winning bet.

A common term for a bet that requires all selections to win is single multiple, or parlay.

As the example had 3 legs, it would be called a 3 Play Parlay, or a Treble.

Some bookies place limits on how many legs/selections can be added to a single Parlay, with a typical cap of around 8-10.

Below are other terms for Parlays that contain between 2 and 5 legs.

  • Two selections: 2-leg Parlay2 Play Parlay / Double
  • Three selections: 3-leg Parlay3 Play Parlay / Treble
  • Four selections: 4-leg Parlay4 Play Parlay / 4 Folds
  • Five selections: 5-leg Parlay5 Play Parlay / 5 Folds

Boxed Multiples

In addition to a single Parlay or Multi Bet, some bookies enable you to create Multi Bets that do not require all legs to be correct to return winnings.

These bets are called round robins or boxed multiples.

For example you could create a 4-leg Multi Bet that requires 3 of 4 legs to win, or a 6-leg Multi Bet that requires 4 selections to be correct (referred to as a 4-leg Multi x 15, due to there being 15 possible winning combinations).

Because the required number of winning legs is less than the total number of legs, there are a number of result combinations that can offer a return.

For example –

Using the example of the 3 leg Multi x 4.

There are 4 combinations in which the bet could offer a return.

Let’s name our betting legs A, B, C and D.

The 4 winning combinations are – ABC, ABD, ACD and BCD.

What’s the downside?

Boxed Multiples can be quite pricey to outlay. The multiplier on the end (4-leg Multi x 15) indicates the quantity that your outlay will be multiplied by once in your Bet Slip.

If you were to stake $5 on a 4-leg Multi x 15, then 15 separate 4-leg multi bets are created using your 6 selected legs.

Each bet will be multiplied by $5.00, with your total bet being $5.00 * 15 = $75.00.

Exotic Multiples

Exotic Multiples combine 1 or more single bets and/or parlays.

The combinations offered vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. These can include –

  • Trixie  4 bets consisting of 3 legs
    – 3 x 2 Play Parlay / Doubles
    – 1 x 3 Play Parlay / Treble
    At least 2 selections must win for a return.
  • The Patent – 7 bets consisting of 3 legs
    – 3 x Singles
    – 3 x 2 Play Parlay / Doubles
    – 1 x 3 Play Parlay / Treble
    At least 1 selection must win for a return.
  • The Yankee – 11 bets consisting of 4 legs
    – 6 x 2 Play Parlay / Doubles
    – 4 x 3 Play Parlay / Trebles
    – 1 x 4 Play Parlay / 4 Fold
    At least 2 selections must win for a return.

To best get to know these kinds of products, we recommend making some minimal bets. There is really no better way to learn that to watch the outcomes in real time.

We can only throw so many equations out into the world.

You cannot use legs from the same game in a Parlay

Multi Bets are not accepted if the outcome of any one NBA game coincides or is affected by the outcome of another. These outcomes are called related contingencies.

For example, you cannot place a Moneyline Bet and a Spread Bet from the same game into a single Parlay.