Parlays are a ubiquitous part of sports betting. However, as you wager in the new world of Canadian sportsbooks, you may encounter a wrinkle on the standard parlay. The same-game parlay is now a part of the sports betting lexicon.
Although the name of this wager may make the truth of them fairly self-evident, there are some nuances that you need to know. So, here is a rundown on how same-game parlays work.
What is a same-game parlay?
A same-game parlay is a regular parlay, only all of its legs come from the same contest or match.
Every other aspect is unchanged from the typical parlay. A parlay is a combination wager that folds several individual wagers into one massive Frankenstein’s monster of a bet.
Each one of those individual wagers is known as a “leg.” A parlay must contain at least two legs, but could – in theory – have an unlimited number of them. However, in practice, most sportsbooks will set the maximum number of legs for any parlay somewhere between 12 and 15.
The catch for any type of parlay is that you must select every leg correctly in order for it to pay. Even a single mistake is enough to lose the wager. Thus, parlays are usually the highest-risk wagers in a sportsbook’s lineup.
How do same-game parlays differ from regular parlays?
You are probably wondering what differences do actually exist between the two types of parlays. Furthermore, you may be curious about why you might want to use same-game parlays over their standard brethren.
The short answer is that there is a slightly better chance of winning a same-game parlay than there is a regular parlay. Although the legs offered from a same game are only tangentially related to one another, they do play against and influence one another to a nonzero degree. A nonzero bit of influence means that there is some statistical difference.
Indeed, if we compare a same-game parlay and a regular parlay with the same exact odds on each leg, we find that the payouts offered for same-game parlays are slightly lower.
For instance, let’s say you are considering two legs at -110 and -108. In a typical parlay, this opportunity might offer payouts at +267. A same-game parlay with the same odds only offers a payout at +232.
Even though the difference is not tremendous in absolute terms, a 15% change is quite significant. However, don’t get too excited.
For one thing, the actual change in the odds is unlikely to be as profound as the 15% pay reduction would suggest. Though there is a difference in the two propositions, a sportsbook is not going to compensate for the change at true odds. Instead, it is going to take a bit extra for itself as a vig on the lower percentage winners.
The other thing to realize is that the effective difference between a bet at +267 and +232 might not mean very much in terms of your actual chances of winning. You’re still a 2:1 underdog to win, roughly speaking, and the odds of winning any type of parlay only get longer from there.
So, it’s important to understand that same-game parlays are not some sort of risk-free balm for parlay bettors.
Are same-game parlays available on every sportsbook app?
No, but that’s changing. FanDuel Sportsbook was the initial driver of this new type of sports bet, but many different top sportsbooks have adopted their own versions of same-game parlays.
At last check, you could find same-game parlays at the following top sites in Canada:
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
However, new options for same-game parlays are popping up on sportsbooks everywhere. So, don’t consider the list above to be exhaustive. If you plan on using a different book, the best thing to do is consult its list of offerings directly.
Strategies for betting same-game parlays
Regardless of whether you choose to try same-game parlays or the regular type of parlay, you’re going to lose most of your wagers. That’s the reality, but you don’t have to make things any worse than they are. Instead, here are a few tips for keeping your chances of winning as high as they can be, even if it’s not very high.
- Look for correlated legs. Take advantage of the one undeniable perk offered by same-game parlays – the correlations between the legs. Think about what legs might go together. For instance, if you expect a particular football team to win the game, it’s not unreasonable to expect that its star quarterback will have a big game. Focus on groups of legs that will likely follow along with each other if your read on the situation is accurate.
- Look for iffy odds in the weeds. Most sportsbooks and oddsmakers are quite adept at setting their lines for the big betting options. The spreads, the moneylines, the totals, and the major propositions are mostly going to be on point. However, things get dicier the farther down the card you proceed. So, look for betting options that don’t make the most sense. If you see a player or team that seems predicted to have an off-night, it might be worth a wager if there’s no reason to suspect they will.
- Limit your legs. No matter the type of parlay you choose to wager, it’s best to keep your number of legs low. As you’ll discover when you’re building your bets, the odds of winning a parlay get dramatically worse with each additional leg. The relative tameness of a two-leg parlay with both legs at -110 (3:1) pales dramatically to 7:1 with the addition of just a single extra bet, and the overall odds of winning a 10-leg parlay are more than 1000:1. So, keep your parlay wagers, same-game or otherwise, to a minimum of legs unless you have a good reason to expand the profile.
Are same-game parlays worthwhile wagers?
If you choose not to add parlays of any kind to your sports betting portfolio, that’s a reasonable position to take. The high probability of loss can be quite the grind on your emotions.
However, there’s no denying that you can apply a significant multiplier to your money if you hit a parlay or same-game parlay. Even the smallest parlays are rarely going to pay less than 2:1 on your bet, and a successful 10-leg parlay could easily pay out 200 times your stake or more.
Same-game parlays do permit a certain modicum of control over their outcomes in a way that normal parlays do not. As we mentioned, it is advantageous to look for legs that feed off one another, as they can (slightly) increase your chances for success.
Above all else, if same-game parlays or regular parlays are to be part of your sports betting experience, make sure not to bet any money that you could use elsewhere. You never want to be in the position of needing a parlay to win for your lifestyle or overall health. They are simply too high risk to be worth anything more than truly disposable income.