True odds, or better yet, an overlay, is exactly what you should be looking for with every bet that you make. Parlays are no different. But just because parlays offer larger than normal payouts does not necessarily mean that you will be able to find true odds or better with every bet you make.
After all, making bets a little less favorable than true odds is how sportsbooks make money. If this was not a profitable business, organized sports betting would not exist.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t give yourself an edge. Every once in a while, books make mistakes, and that means that you can make smarter bets. Over the long run, this will lead to a higher profit rate. Yes, you’re still going to make losing bets. But your winners will pay out at a higher rate than normal, meaning that your win rate will be higher. Over time, that means more money in your pocket.
Finding true odds or better is the best way to make every parlay that you make a lot more meaningful. Rather than betting because you have a pretty good idea that you’re right in your prediction, you are betting because you think that your predictions are right, and it makes mathematical sense to do so. A lot of people do not like the math behind betting, so they ignore it. Unfortunately, these are the same people that consistently lose money on their bets. A good eye for winners and losers isn’t quite enough to beat the books.
If you’re one of those people who don’t like doing the math, don’t worry. There are a lot of tools out there to help you. Here, we’ve put together a brief guide to get you started.
Doing the Math
True odds are pretty simple to figure out. First, take the given odds for each individual bet that you are making and convert it to a decimal format. This math can be a little tricky, but there are conversion calculators online that are really easy to us. After this, just multiply all of the numbers together. Let’s say that you have four components to your parlay: -110, -120, +110, and +120. These break down to 1.91, 1.83, 2.1, and 2.2. Multiplied together, you get 16.15. This is your payout rate on the bet if all four parts end up working out for you. Now, if the sports book is paying out at a 16.15-1 rate, then this is a true odds bet. If it is a lower payout than this, then you are not getting true odds. And of course, if the payout is better than this, then you have found an overlay and are getting a great deal on the parlay.
Finding these bets should be a high priority for a parlay fan. They are the opportunities that can help you to be profitable over the long run, and they are the things that separate great bets from bad ones. Although you might find that you’re making far fewer bets than you once were, you’ll find that your earnings rate has gone up. That means that for every $1 risked, you are making more money. This is the essence of what makes a successful sports bettor. A long term vision is not easy to take in this business, but if you want to be a better gambler, then it’s precisely what you should be doing. One bet does not make or break you. Even the best sports bettors are wrong once in a while and even the worst will get lucky once in a while. It’s where you are at the end of a year that will determine whether you’ve been profitable.