If you’re looking for long-term profit, betting on singles is the only way to go. Parlays can’t matematically keep up on the long run. Accumulators or combos, as other people like to call them, were designed by bookies only to narrow down your chances of winning. And I’ll explain why.
Odds represent probabilities calculated by bookies for different outcomes of a sporting event. For instance, if you’d have to flip a coin, the chance of each possible outcome would be 50% (heads or tails). The equivalent of 50% in decimal odds is 2. So if you’d bet 100 units on heads, and another 100 on tails, you should get your money back no matter what the result should be.
But bookies never offer you those kind of odds, because their payout is usually under 95% – that meaning, that instead of offering odds of 2 for either outcome, they will only offer 1.90. The 5% missing from the hundred is called the bookie’s margin.
How Margins Change
Let’s say you want to bet on 4 teams, knowing each has 50% chances to win. Presuming you would have 100% payout for you bets, you’d get odds of 2 for each. Therefore, let’s calculate the total odds of the accumulator: 2*2*2*2 = 16.
Now, let’s use a more realistic 95% payout, resulting in odds of 1.90: We’ll now do the math again: 1.9*1.9*1.9*1.9 = 13,03.
So let’s find out what the bookie’s margin is when betting on this combo:
(16/13,03 – 1) * 100 = 22.79%
However, if you’d bet the same 4 matches individually, the bookie’s margin would remain 5%.
I hope this helped you understand why betting on parlays just makes it impossible for long-term profit. We used 95% payout for out example, but there’s not even a handful of bookies offering that much. Visit our Sportsbook Deposit Bonuses page to find some of the best signup bonuses available on the market.