Myth of Sports Betting: “Big” Payouts

„Big“ Payouts

The typical way to bet the NFL would be to bet one game at a time and provide 11-to-10 chances (risking, by way of example, $55 to win $50 or $110 to win $100). Normally the wager is on one team against the point spread, or the over-under about the entire score of a game. However, bookies also offer other types of bets. What makes these bets alluring is that they seem to pay more. But in fact, these exotic stakes generally cost you.

Parlays and Parlay Cards: Parlays are usually bet in twoor three-game groups. On a two-game parlay, a bettor becomes 13-to-5 odds if he wins both matches. For a small investment, the payoff seems big: on a $50 a payoff of $130. On a straight wager, by contrast, a bettor must gamble $143 ($130 plus the $13 vig) to win $130. And when he’s going to bet two games at $50 each, he has to risk $110 to win just $100. Why don’t you bet parlays?

The dilemma is that the odds of winning two of two bets is 3-to-1 against. That means the fair payout odds should also be 3-to-1 (or 15-to-5). However they are not. Instead, they are just 13-to-5.

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

However, the odds of cashing that three-team parlay ticket are only 1 in 8.

Another sort of parlay is the parlay card, or“sheet.“ But, the payoff odds are much worse–frequently only 5-to-1 for choosing three matches. That gives the house an advantage 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 good until you realize that the chances against going 10 for 10 are 1,023-to-1, which provides the house over 50 percent edge on such proposition.

Teaser Bets: Every year the number of bettors who wager on teasers grows. Why? The games that they recall losing by“just a point or two.“

The most typical sort of teaser bet is that the two-team teaser where a bettor has six points on all 2 matches. The cost of those additional points is providing 6-to-5 (or even 12-to-10) odds on the bet. In all teasers, all games have to 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 period, a game has a little over a two-thirds chance of falling within 5 points of the closing line (the rate was 68.8 percent for 1990–1999). These matches will all be wins six-point individual-game teaser bets regardless of the side you gamble. But you must 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. However, laying 6-to-5 odds means you must win 54.545 percent of two-team teasers simply to break even. That means the home had an edge of over 12 percent.

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

The best bet in the NFL is betting the point spread or over/under on individual games. Giving 11-to-10 odds is normally the cheapest price that you can give.

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