How Same Game Parlays Work

Key points

  • Same-game parlays (SGP) continue to grow in popularity at online sportsbooks.
  • An SGP allows bettors to place multi-leg wagers on a single contest.
  • The potential for great returns exists, but there’s also a lot of risk.

Many bettors will take a shot at larger payouts with multi-leg bets. As such, parlays are a popular option at online sportsbooks. Recently, this has expanded to include same-game parlays.

These are parlays where all of the legs are from a single contest. The overall concept is the same as a traditional parlay, but there are a lot of moving pieces that you should fully understand before putting your money at risk.

What is a same-game parlay?

Parlays have been a part of the sports betting landscape for decades. Traditionally, parlays have called for bettors to combine two or more bets from different games. To win your parlay, you need to get all of your picks correct.

While some sportsbooks allowed small combination bets on a single contest, such as a moneyline or spread plus the over/under, parlays on individual games weren’t widely available. That has changed dramatically in recent years.

FanDuel Sportsbook was the initial driving force behind same-game parlays, but they are now available on most mobile betting apps. Single-game parlays allow you to combine multiple bets from the same contest on a single wagering slip, such as a moneyline bet on which team will win, an over/under on the total score and a prop bet on a specific player.

Just like a standard parlay, all your picks need to be correct for you to win. If you’re wrong on just a single choice, the entire bet loses. As a result, same-game parlays are high-risk, high-reward.

Do all sportsbooks offer same-game parlays?

As a general rule, when a sports betting innovation catches on, it won’t be too long before you see similar offerings at many sportsbooks. We’ve witnessed that recently with the continued growth in the availability of same game parlays. You can find them at many leading books, including the following:

While you can find SGPs in many places, note that the rules for same-game parlays can vary by book. Some sports betting sites may have stricter limits on what you can include for the bet, and same-game parlays may not be available for all sports at every site. For additional details on individual online sportsbooks, check our reviews.

Same-game parlay examples

To further illustrate the concept of same-game parlays and how they work, it helps to see them in action. Let’s begin by taking a look at a combination that you could put together for an MLB game.

Same Game Parlay MLBFor this parlay to be successful, four things need to happen:

  • The Louis Cardinals must win.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cardinals must combine to score more than 7.5 runs.
  • Paul Goldschmidt must hit a home run.
  • The game must be scoreless after the first inning.

If all of those things happen, you’ll receive a payout at odds of +2429. For perspective, a $10 winning bet at those odds would bring back $242.90 in profit.

Let’s take a look at an example for an NBA game while increasing the number of legs:

This time, we need a total of six things to break our way:

  • The Philadelphia 76ers need to win the game by more than 1.5 points.
  • The total points in the game must be over 209.5.
  • James Harden needs to score the game’s first basket.
  • Pascal Siakim must score more than 24.5 points.
  • Joel Embiid must grab more than 11.5 rebounds.
  • OG Anunoby needs to dish out more than 2.5 assists.

That’s a lot of moving pieces for one bet. At odds of +16348, a $5 wager would return a profit of $817.40.

When viewing the potential returns on winning same-game parlays, it’s not too hard to see why they have become so popular. However, the potential returns come with a massive caveat: Getting every pick correct is far from an easy trick to turn.

What dictates the odds for same-game parlays?

The odds for a same-game parlay are based on two major factors: the number of selections you’re including and the odds for each of those choices. The sportsbook sets the odds as you add your choices to the slip.

Interestingly, the calculations behind the scenes can lead to some differing odds for what seem to be similar bets. Let’s demonstrate using the following NBA game line:

SGP odds on NBA

For both choices on the spread and total, the odds are at -110.

Since the odds are -110 across the board, we should see the same price if we go in the opposite direction, right? Wrong. If we choose the Minnesota Timberwolves on the spread along with the over, here are the same-game parlay odds:

SGP Examples

We have odds of +235 for the first option and +247 for the second. While not a massive difference, there is still a discrepancy for a same-game parlay using individual legs with the same odds.

To add to the confusion, we could get the following odds for a regular two-leg parlay on separate games in which the odds for both picks are -110.

So what gives? In short, sportsbooks seem to be setting the odds for same-game parlays individually while considering the overall likelihood of the two outcomes. Naturally, the books have algorithms doing the heavy lifting and calculating the numbers automatically as bettors add their selections to their slips.

For bettors, we can’t know for certain what the true odds are for the bet without doing some calculating of our own, and there’s the possibility that the sportsbook is charging a premium in the form of the potential payout.

So does that mean that same-game parlays are automatically a bad deal? Not exactly, but it is another factor that we have to consider before placing the bets.

Multi-leg wagers are challenging to win consistently. In general, it’s best to keep your expectations in check, pay careful attention to budgeting, and always wager responsibly.

What are the real odds of winning a same-game parlay?

Unfortunately, there’s not a blanket answer. If we look at a single-game wager, there are a lot of variables to consider when trying to figure out what might happen. For a same-game parlay, we then have to multiply those factors by the number of picks in the parlay.

Quite simply, the odds won’t be equal or standard, and the quality of your options will vary. However, we can gain a better understanding of the likelihood of things breaking our way by taking a look at the true odds for wagering on multiple selections at the same time.

To keep it simple, let’s assume that all of the legs for our parlay check-in at -110. If we assume that we have an equal chance of being right on each of our individual picks, here are the odds of being correct on all of them for parlays of varying sizes:

  • Two picks: 3 to 1
  • Three picks: 7 to 1
  • Four picks: 15 to 1
  • Five picks: 31 to 1
  • Six picks: 63 to 1
  • Seven picks: 127 to 1
  • Eight picks: 255 to 1
  • Nine picks: 511 to 1
  • Ten picks: 1,023 to 1

As you can see, it’s tough enough to win a parlay of four legs or fewer. Once you get past that point, the odds climb in even more dramatic fashion. By the time that you get to double-digit legs, you’re in astronomical territory.

This doesn’t mean that you should completely shy away from same-game parlays, but it does demonstrate the importance of being realistic with your expectations. A lot of things have to break right for you to win.

Yes, it can happen from time to time, as evidenced by big scores that you may read about on various social media platforms. However, you can quickly temper that enthusiasm by remembering this: Losing parlays account for a large portion of sportsbooks’ profits.

How much can you make on same-game parlays?

Payouts will depend on the odds at the time that you place your bets, while long-term profit depends on your overall success rate. As for individual payouts, they can climb dramatically as the odds rise:

Same-Game Parlay OddsPayout for a $10 Winning Bet
+250$25
+500$50
+750$75
+1000$100
+1500$150
+2000$200
+3000$300

However, that’s only if you’re correct with all of your choices. If you slip up just once, then the parlay loses and your stake goes by the wayside.

Can you improve your chances of winning a same-game parlay?

No matter what you wager on, you’re going to take your fair share of losses. When it comes to a same-game parlay, the risk of a loss is even greater. To help mitigate some of the damage, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep it small: For each leg that you add to a same-game parlay, the chance of being correct on all of them diminishes. Instead of taking on such a massive amount of risk, you can improve your chances slightly by keeping it small, as in four legs or fewer. It’s difficult enough to be right on two to four selections at once, but you have a much better chance of doing that than getting 10 or more correct.
  • Look for correlations: Do your best to visualize a game script for how things will play out. Once you have that pictured, begin scouting out the correlated possibilities based on how you envision things. For example, if you think an NFL game will be a shootout, then taking the over on the total score plus props for QB and WR yards can tie together nicely. The goal is to find outcomes that are most likely to happen in concert.
  • Spot the inefficiencies: Sportsbooks are very good at what they do when it comes to setting odds, but they’re not perfect. Look for odds or projections that seem to be off. For example, a top NBA player could have a points prop that’s much lower than normal. That’s a spot to circle and research further. If you see no valid reason to expect an off night, you’ve found a solid prop to add to your same-game parlay.

Are same-game parlays good bets?

Many bettors love the idea of making a great score from a single bet. As a result, the popularity of same-game parlays isn’t likely to diminish anytime soon.

However, same-game parlays are challenging to win consistently. Multi-leg wagers may offer a chance at big payouts, but your odds of winning decrease as your potential profits rise.

It really comes down to what you are looking to accomplish with sports betting, along with your overall risk tolerance. If you find same-game parlays entertaining and understand that you may lose often, then they could be a fit for you.

Most importantly, remember to always play responsibly while keeping your expectations in check. Sports betting should be a form of entertainment.

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