NBA parlays allow hoops fans to roll a number of different selections into a single bet in order to rack up higher odds. For many people, the appeal of an NBA parlay lies in the ability to use your expertise to turn a small stake into a huge payout.
You will occasionally hear stories of bettors earning life-changing piles of cash from a small wager on an NBA parlay. In March 2019, a bettor at the Riverwalk Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, earned a $104,412.44 payout from a $25 parlay featuring 20 different basketball selections.
One was a moneyline bet on the Washington Wizards to beat the Charlotte Hornets, and there was a nervous moment when Washington gained a potential go-ahead layup with 3.6 seconds to play. However, Bradley Beal missed and the parlay stayed alive. The bettor was also reliant on a great comeback from the Dallas Mavericks against the Orlando Magic.
There are many more examples of these exciting parlay payouts. If you have checked out our guide on how to bet on NBA, read on to learn more about NBA parlay bets.
What is an NBA Parlay?
An NBA parlay is a single bet featuring multiple predictions on different games. You might think the Knicks can cover against the Spurs, the Mavericks can cover the spread against the Wizards, the Hawks can cover against the Pistons, the Bucks can cover against the Rockets and the Clippers can cover against the Warriors.
You could divide your bankroll into five and bet on each game individually. Or you could roll all five selections into a single parlay bet, and you will enjoy a far higher payout if your predictions all prove to be correct.
You do not have to stick to spread betting. You can choose total points on a number of different games, or moneyline selections, or you can mix and match. You might go for the Knicks to cover against the Spurs, over on total points when the Mavericks take on the Wizards, the Hawks to cover against the Pistons, the Bucks to beat the Rockets on the moneyline and under on total points when the Clippers face the Warriors, all in one parlay.
How do NBA Parlays Work?
NBA parlays allow you to secure high odds by combining a number of different predictions into a single wager. Each of your predictions has to prove correct or your bet is a loser. This can lead to a situation where four results go in your favor and then one team lets you down, causing your bet to crash and burn.
It is harder to compile a successful parlay than to bet on games individually, but the potential rewards are far greater. For example, if you bet $10 on five different NBA teams to cover the spread, each at odds of -110, you stand to make a profit of $45.50 from your $50 bet. However, if you roll all five selections into a single $50 parlay you stand to make a profit of $1,221.
That is a much higher potential payout, but you run the risk of one team having a bad day and causing your entire wager to come crumbling down. The more legs you add to the parlay, the harder it becomes, but the greater the payout you stand to make.
How is an NBA Parlay Bet Calculated?
If you want to calculate the potential return you stand to make on a parlay, you simply have to convert the odds into decimal format. Many sportsbooks will allow you to switch from American or fractional odds to decimal odds in a couple of clicks. If that is not possible, you can find plenty of online tools to do it for you. Just remember that -110 is equivalent to 1.91 in decimal format.
If you pick five teams to cover the spread and the odds in each instance are -110, you would simply multiply them together: 1.91 x 1.91 x 1.91 x 1.91 x 1.91 = 25.42.
This tells you that for every $1 you bet, you stand to gain a return of $25.42 if successful. Therefore a $50 parlay would see you gain a return of $1,271 if successful, including $1,221 in profit and the return of your $50 stake.
Here is another example focusing on moneyline odds:
- Charlotte Hornets to beat Chicago Bulls at +100 (2.00 in decimal odds)
- Denver Nuggets to beat Memphis Grizzlies at -300 (1.33)
- Milwaukee Bucks to beat Houston Rockets at +110 (2.10)
- Minnesota Timberwolves to beat Brooklyn Nets at +175 (2.75)
You would multiply them together: 2 x 1.33 x 2.1 x 2.75 = 15.36. That tells you that you will be returned $15.36 for every $1 you stake if these predictions are correct.
How do You Compile a Winning NBA Parlay?
Parlays are great fund and they present you with the tantalising opportunity to earn a six-figure payout off a small wager. However, it is extremely tricky to compile an effective parlay.
Sportsbooks love accepting parlay wagers, as they generally make a strong overall margin from them. Here are some tips to help you stand among the bettors that make a success out of parlays:
- Do your research before adding a leg to your parlay. Read the expert NBA picks for inspiration. Check out each team’s recent results, head-to-head records and injury concerns. Factor in fatigue. Has one team just come off a long and gruelling road stretch? Think about motivation. Has one team already qualified for the playoffs and the other is still fighting?
- Avoid simply combining all the moneyline favorites into a parlay. At least one generally lets you down. Work out which favorites genuinely deserve that status and which ones are best to avoid.
- Try to mix and match between spread, total points, moneyline selections and prop bets to compose the perfect parlay. Sticking to one category limits your options significantly. Check out NBA predictions for expert advice on individual game betting options.
- Look for alternative spread lines that skew the odds in your favor when putting a parlay together.
- Avoid including huge underdogs in a parlay.
- Look for sportsbooks that offer reduced juice. Five selections at -105 (1.95 in decimal) yields a return of $28.20 for every $1 staked, as opposed to $25.42 at -110. That makes a huge difference, stacking the odds more in your favor. Also look for sign-up bonuses that help improve your odds.