Understanding Correlated Parlays



While novice bettors are advised to only stick to straight bets, there are opportunities to making long-term profits on teasers and parlays as well. Generally, parlays are considered sucker bets but a few instances are present where parlays may actually turn out to be profitable. In this article, we’ll look at a unique type of parlay, known as a correlated parlay.

Definition Of Correlated Parlays

A correlated parlay consists of two or more individual wagers accumulated onto one bet card where the odds of one of the wagers will increase if another wager ends up winning. An intuitive example of a correlated parlay is taking a team to cover the spread for the first half of a game and taking the same team to cover the spread for the entire game. You can see why these two individual wagers are correlated – if a team covers the spread during the first half of a game, it’s more likely that the same team will also cover the spread for the entire game.

Problem With Correlated Parlays

The definition of correlated parlays above may seem too good to be true. In fact, why would sportsbooks choose to accept correlated parlays if this significantly increases the risk that sportsbooks will get burned. That’s exactly where the problem with correlated parlays lie. Very rarely, sportsbooks will accept correlated parlays. However, the majority of sportsbooks will not accept these types of parlays due to the increased likelihood of winning them – I’ve yet to come across an online sportsbook or a Vegas sportsbook that accepts correlated parlays. If you’re lucky enough to find a sportsbook that actually accepts correlated parlays, take advantage of this opportunity for as long as you can. Once the sportsbook catches on, chances are, your betting account will be closed.

Historical Data

We’ve indicated that a team that covers the spread during the first half of a game is more likely to cover the spread for the entire game as well. But how much more likely is this? We analyzed data from past NFL and NBA games to see if this observation was in fact true. In the NFL, favorites covering both the first half and full game spreads occurred 73.3% of the time; underdogs covering both the first half and full game spreads occurred 76.7% of the time. Additionally, in the NBA, favorites covering both the first half and full game spreads occurred 70.1% of the time; underdogs covering both the first half and full game spreads occurred 69.8% of the time. From this historical data, the winning percentages are pretty staggering and it makes sense that sportsbooks tend to not allow correlated parlays to be placed. Since a two-game parlay typically yields a payout of 2.50 to 3.00, or +150 to +200, you’ll be able to profit from correlated parlays over the long-run, assuming you know what you’re doing.

Conclusion

When it comes to correlated parlays, this doesn’t solely apply to first half-full game spreads. Instead, if you can use historical data to show evidence of correlation with other betting options, you should definitely take advantage of this by locking in the parlays. However, sportsbooks will have likely already identified which betting options correlate with which other ones. As a result, the toughest part with correlated parlays is finding a sportsbook that will be willing to take your action.