How to make a parlay bet
Mitch Marner making the face every bettor does when they cash a parlay. Photo by Paul Sancya/AP.

A parlay is when you bet on more than one event on a single ticket. Every bet (known as a leg) on that ticket must be successful in order for you to win the parlay. Like a single-event bet, you only wager once but you can add two, three, four, five, or more outcomes to the same bet slip.

If any of them are wrong, however, you will lose the parlay. 

Parlays are attractive because of their payout potential but they are harder bets to win because you need to predict multiple scenarios correctly. 

You can mix markets on a parlay, so your ticket could have a moneyline play, point spread bet, as well as a player prop. Or it could be three moneyline bets or three over/under plays.

The parlay can also be cross-sport, meaning you could combine an NHL and NFL bet on the same ticket, giving you literally thousands of possible combinations on any given day. 

How to make a parlay bet

Still unsure of what a parlay bet is? Below is an example. 

PickOddsMarket
Raptors -3.5 vs. Wizards-110Point spread
Leafs to beat Bruins-140Moneyline
Blue Jays over 5.5 runs+105Total

All three of those events have their own set of odds. You could make single wagers on each game but you could also turn that into a parlay and bet all three on one ticket.

The odds would change once making it a parlay and increase the payout potential because of the greater difficulty in successfully predicting all events.

The odds on this parlay are +569, meaning you would stand to profit $569 on a $100 bet. Here's how much you would earn if you correctly bet each of those contests individually.

TeamOddsWagerWin
Raptors-110$100$90.91
Leafs-140$100$71.43
Blue Jays+105$100$105

As you can see, the ROI on the parlay is significantly more than if you made separate bets for each game. But, again, it’s important to remember that while parlays are enticing, they come with much more risk.

For NFL Sunday, many bettors like to play either moneyline or point spread parlays or some combination of the two. But parlays can be done on any night and they are popular betting options for sports like the NBA and NHL as well.

Some sportsbooks also offer same-game parlays, which consist of adding multiple events from only one contest to the same ticket.

So, for example, you could make a Leafs-only parlay that combined the moneyline, total and a player prop, such as Auston Matthews to record a goal. Not all sportsbooks offer this, but it is growing in both availability and popularity. 

NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.