Myth of Sports Betting: “Big” Payouts

“Enormous” Payouts

The usual way to bet the NFL is to bet one game at a time and give 11-to-10 chances (risking, for instance, $55 to win $50 or $110 to win $100). Normally the bet is on one group against the point spread, or the over-under on the entire score of a game. But, bookies also offer other types of bets. What makes these stakes alluring is they seem to pay more. However, in fact, these exotic bets usually cost you.

Parlays and Parlay Cards: Parlays are often bet in 2 – or three-game groups. On a two-game parlay, a bettor gets 13-to-5 odds if he wins both matches. For a small investment, the payoff appears big: on a $50 bet, a payoff of $130. On a straight wager, by contrast, a bettor must risk $143 ($130 plus the $13 vig) to win $130. And when he is going to wager two matches at $50 per year, he must risk $110 to win only $100. So why not bet parlays?

The problem is that the odds of winning two of 2 stakes is 3-to-1 against. That means the fair payout chances should likewise be 3-to-1 (or 15-to-5). However they are not. Instead, they are only 13-to-5.

A parlay generally pays off at odds of 6-to-1. Here a $50 bettor receives $300 on a $50 investment. Sounds fantastic, does not it?

On the other hand, the likelihood of cashing that three-team parlay ticket are just 1 in 8.

Another sort of parlay is the parlay card, or”sheet” On these, the payoff odds are even worse–often only 5-to-1 for choosing three matches. This gives the house an edge of 25 percent. Four-teamers usually pay 10-to-1, which gives the home a 31.25 percent edge. A ten-teamer might pay 500-to-1, which sounds great until you understand that the odds against going 10 for 10 are 1,023-to-1, which gives the home over 50 percent edge on such proposal.

Teaser Bets: Each year the amount of bettors that bet on teasers grows. Why? The games that they remember losing by”a point or two.”

The most common sort of teaser bet is that the two-team teaser where a bettor gets six points on all 2 games. The price of those extra points is providing 6-to-5 (or 12-to-10) odds on the bet. In all teasers, all games must win for the bettor to get paid. Additionally, in most teasers, if any match ends in a tie, then the teaser is considered no bet. (On a ten-point teaser, a tie leaves the teaser a loss.)

In any given season, a game has a little more than a two-thirds chance of falling over 5 points of this final line (the rate was 68.8 percent for 1990–1999). These matches would be wins six-point individual-game teaser bets irrespective of which side you gamble. But you have to win two games to win a six-point teaser.

By squaring the 68.8 percent success rate for 1990–1999, we find that you would have won just over 47% of six-point two-game teasers. Nevertheless, putting 6-to-5 chances means you must acquire 54.545 percent of two-team teasers simply to break even. That means the house had an edge of over 12 percent.

On the other teaser bets, the film is just as bleak.

The best bet at the NFL is betting the point spread or over/under on individual games. Giving 11-to-10 odds is generally the cheapest price you may give.

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