Thinking about betting a baseball parlay, but don’t know if it’s a smart play? Here is a look at how baseball parlays work and the returns you will receive if you win your bet.
For starters, baseball parlays are a little different than other parlays. For instance, in basketball and football there are fixed payouts for the number of plays you make. The reason for that is in those sports, the majority of the betting is done on the spread, where the same odds can be found on the favorite and the underdog. In baseball, the majority of the bets come in on the money line, where the favorite could be listed at -200 and the underdog at +175. If there were fixed payouts in baseball, everyone would simply load up on all the big favorites and win at a pretty high rate.
Instead of fixed payouts, your money is built progressively through each bet. For example, say you had a $50 three team parlay on the Yankees -150, Dodgers +115, and Braves -135. The initial $50 dollars would be bet on the Yankees -150, if that wins then you would be up t0 $83.33. That $83.33 would then be bet on the Dodgers +115, if that wins you would be up to $179.16. As you might have guessed, the $179.16 would then be placed on Braves -135, if that wins you end up winning your parlay and walking away with $311.87. Not a bad $261.87 profit ($311.87 -$50) on your $50 bet. It doesn’t matter what order you calculate the odds, as long as all three cash the winnings will be the same. However, if any of the three bets happens to lose, you lose your $50 and walk away with nothing.
The next thing I want to explain is how to calculate the returns so you know how much money you are looking at winning with your parlay bet. This can be a little tricky at first, but I will include an example later that should make it easier to understand.
The first thing you want to do is take 100 and divide it by the money line value. For example, if the money line was -150, you would take 100/150 and get .666667. The .666667 is the amount of money you receive for every $1 you bet. There are two ways you can go about figuring out how much you will walk away with.
1) Take the .66667 (profit/$1) times the amount you bet and add that to your initial bet. Again, let’s say you bet $50. You would take the .666667 (profit/$1) x $50 (initial bet) and get $33.33 (winnings). Simply add the $33.33 (winnings) to your initial bet ($50) and you get $83.33 (money received after winning bet).
2) Take the .66667 (profit/$1) and add 1 to it. By adding 1 you no longer have to add your initial bet in the end. So for a $50 bet you would take 1.666667 x 50 (initial bet) and get $83.33 (money received after winning bet).
With underdogs, it’s just the opposite of the first step. This time you take the money line value and divide it by 100. So, for an underdog listed at +150, you would take 150/100 to get 1.50. The 1.50 is the return you would get on each $1 you bet. The way to figure out how much you will walk away with is the same as with favorites. To make things easy we will again use $50 as our sample bet.
1) 1.5 (profit/$1) x $50 (initial bet) = $75 (winnings). Then take your $75 (winnings) + $50 (initial bet) to get $125 (money received after winning bet).
2). Take 1.5 (profit/$1) + 1 = 2.50. Then take 2.50 x $50 (initial bet) = $125 (money received after winning bet).
Parlay: Rockies -140 and Cubs +125 (We are going to use the Rockies play first then the Cubs, but remember you can do it in either order)
Step 1) Figure out your return/$1 on the Rockies -140
Step 2) Figure out your winnings on $50 bet
Step 3) Figure out your total money with initial bet
Step 4) Figure out your return/$1 on Cubs +125
Step 5) Figure out your winnings on your $85.71 bet
Step 6) Figure out total money won for parlay