Every weekend thousands of Americans analyze the MLS schedule in a bid to compile a winning parlay. They choose multiple selections and roll them into a single wager in the hope of earning a large profit from a relatively small stake. Dozens of soccer fans across the globe have secured life-changing piles of cash through parlays.
One bettor earned a $750,000 payout from a $1 bet after correctly predicting the results of 19 soccer games at William Hill in 2011. Another earned $350,000 off a $3 parlay featuring nine legs, and there have been many more instances of bettors taking the sportsbooks to the cleaners.
Soccer is soaring in popularity across the USA, fuelled by improvements to the overall quality on show in the MLS and a number of high-profile European imports, and betting on soccer is growing all the time. You can learn how to bet on MLS at our site and we have created this guide to MLS parlays to help you join in the fun.
What is an MLS parlay?
An MLS parlay allows you to combine multiple predictions into a single wager in order to receive higher odds. Let’s say you think Atlanta United will beat New England Revolution, Seattle Sounders will draw with FC Dallas, Toronto FC will beat DC United and Philadelphia Union will beat New York Red Bulls on a particular weekend.
If you have a $100 bankroll, you could divide it in four and wager $25 on each of those outcomes. Alternatively, you could place a $100 parlay and you would receive a much higher payout if all of your predictions proved to be correct. The catch is that your bet will crash and burn if just one result goes against you. That makes parlays tricky, but your potential rewards are vast.
You are by no means confined to simply betting on the result when putting a parlay together. You could go for Atlanta United to beat New England Revolution, over 2.5 goals in the game between Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas, Toronto FC to beat DC United 3-1 and both teams to score when Philadelphia Union face New York Red Bills, all rolled into one parlay.
How do MLS parlays work?
An MLS parlay presents you with the exciting opportunity to rack up much higher profits than you would earn if you simply wagered on each game individually. For example, if you bet $25 on Atlanta United to beat New England Revolution at -200, $25 on Seattle Sounders to draw with FC Dallas at +300, $25 on Toronto FC to beat DC United at -175 and $25 on Philadelphia Union to beat New York Red Bulls at +110 and all of your predictions proved correct, you would earn a handsome profit of $129.29.
However, if you rolled them all together into a $100 parlay and they all proved correct, you would earn a profit of $1,878. If one leg of the parlay lets you down, your bet loses, so it is risky, but the rewards for success are far higher. You could even go for a $10 parlay and make a $187.80 profit if successful, and many bettors like the potential of earning a high payout despite having a low risk.
How is an MLS Parlay Bet Calculated?
The easiest way to calculate the return you stand to make on an MLS parlay is to convert the odds into decimal format. Odds of +100 become 2.00 in decimal format, +150 is 2.50, +175 is 2.75, +187 is 2.87 and so on, while -150 is 1.67, -200 is 1.50, -300 is 1.33 and so on. There are a number of online tools that will convert odds for you, and many sportsbooks also allow you to choose between American odds, decimal odds and fractional odds.
Sticking with the example used above:
- Atlanta United to beat New England Revolution at -200 (1.50 in decimal)
- Seattle Sounders to draw with FC Dallas at +300 (4.00)
- Toronto FC to beat DC United at -175 (1.57)
- Philadelphia Union to beat New York Red Bulls at +110 (2.10)
You would then multiply 1.50 x 3.00 x 1.57 x 2.10 = $19.78. That tells you that for every $1 you wager, you will gain a return of $19.78. That would leave a $100 parlay earning you a return of $1,978, including a $1,878 profit and the return of your $100 stake.
You will never really have to work it out for yourself, as all good sportsbooks will tell you the potential return you stand to make on your betslip when you compile a parlay, but it is useful to understand the process.
How Can You Create a Winning MLS Parlay?
Sportsbooks love taking parlay wagers, as they typically earn a healthy profit from them. Some people strike it rich, but most parlays crash and burn because bettors do not apply a robust strategy when making their selections. Here are some tips to help you compile a successful parlay:
- Try to avoid the temptation to group all the favorites together in a parlay on a particular weekend. At least one team will generally have an off day and let you down. Analyze which favorites really deserve that status.
- Do not include huge underdogs in parlays. They can easily bust your bet, and if you really think that team will win, a single bet on it at high odds should suffice.
- Think carefully about including teams playing on the road in your parlay.
- Make sure you do a great deal of research before adding a selection into your parlay. Check out expert MLS predictions for inspiration. Assess injury lists, motivation levels, fatigue, form, head-to-head records, defensive concerns and so on before making a selection.
- Do not simply stick to betting on teams winning or drawing for your parlay. Look at handicaps, total goals, both teams to score and prop bets to bolster your parlay. Take a look at MLS picks to find helpful suggestions.
- Remember that you do not have to go wild with a parlay in a bid to become a millionaire off a $5 stake. Parlays can also be very effective when you choose three or four selections that you really like the look of.