Parlays are a hot-button issue in the world of sports betting. Some professional bettors look at them as taboo. Winning multiple bets is much harder than winning one, so they’d rather just look to exploit their edges without taking on any additional risk. Even the best handicappers only win games between a 55-60% clip, so it makes much more sense to just bet on each event.

Parlays are much more appealing to Joe Public. It allows them to combine big favorites without taking on a ton of juice or win a big sum of money without a ton of risk. Same-game parlays have only increased the public’s appetite.

However, whether you bet parlays often or just sprinkle them from time to time, you always want to make sure you’re getting a fair price.

That’s where the FantasyLife Parlay Calculator comes into play.

What is a Parlay?

Before we can get into a parlay calculator, we first have to understand what a parlay is. Essentially, a parlay allows you to combine multiple wagers into a single bet. If all of those bets win, you’re rewarded with a bigger potential payout than if you bet them individually. However, if even one of those bets loses, the entire parlay is graded as a loser.

Let’s look at an example. 

Let’s say you like three bets in NFL Week 1: Lions +7.0, Colts +3.5, and Titans +3.5. Instead of betting all three wagers individually, you can create a three-team parlay.

A $100 three-team parlay would pay out approximately +600 if all three teams cover. If you were to bet all three teams individually for $33.33 a piece, you’d be looking at roughly $100 if all three teams won. In a parlay, that increases to $600.

Of course, that added upside comes with extra risk. If you bet the three games individually, you’d turn a profit if you won two out of the three of them, and you’d recoup some of your money if only one team covered. However, those scenarios would now result in a full $100 loss in a parlay. 

That’s the downside.

Historically, parlay bets would include two or more unrelated wagers. Those could be different sides or totals, where one event has no real impact on the outcome of the other.

Same-game parlays have changed the equation.

Instead of all your legs having to be completely independent of each other, you can now create correlated wagers from inside the same contest. For example, taking the over on Patrick Mahomes’ passing touchdown prop, the Chiefs team total over, and a Travis Kelce anytime touchdown would be an example of a correlated same-game parlay. Mahomes hitting the over on his total means the Chiefs would need to score a bunch of points, which increases the likelihood of a Kelce score.

That said, that correlation comes with an added price tag. A standard three-team parlay – with all three wagers at -110 – would check in at +600 on an online sportsbook. A three-leg same-game parlay might be closer to +300 or +400. Even if all three bets are -110, the added correlation of them being in the same game will result in far lower final odds.

What is a Parlay Calculator?

A parlay calculator is a tool to make sure that you’re not getting ripped off by the sportsbooks. For years, parlays were considered bad bets because the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks did not offer fair odds on them. A four-team parlay pays out at +1100, while the true odds of the parlay are closer to +1250. The more teams you added to the parlay, the more the odds became skewed in the casino’s favor.

Thankfully, online sportsbooks have helped turn things back in the player’s favor. For the most part, parlays are now priced pretty fairly. However, you can use the parlay calculator just to confirm that the math is right.

Let’s say we’re looking at a four-team parlay, with each of the four legs checking in at -110. We can input those four wagers into the calculator to get our “true odds:”

Parlay Calculator

Using the calculator, we can see that the true odds for this parlay are approximately +1228. That means that a $100 original wager will return $1,228.33 in profit, good for a total payout of $1,328.33.

Inputting a comparable parlay into DraftKings results in the same exact numbers:

Bet Slip

That’s great news! Our actual parlay is priced the same way on the sportsbook as in our parlay calculator, which means we’re getting a fair price on our bet.

If the listed odds are worse in the sportsbook than in the calculator, your wager is being priced unfairly. If you’re unable to find a better price at a different sportsbook – always make sure to shop for the best line! – that’s a scenario where you’d want to avoid placing your wager.

Not all the wagers you select have to be priced at -110. You can input any sort of favorite or underdog, and the calculator will tell you the true odds. Parlays with underdogs are obviously going to pay out a lot more than parlays with large favorites. For example, a two-team parlay with two -250 favorites has true odds of approximately -105, while two +250 underdogs increase the figure to +1125.

Unfortunately, the parlay calculator is only useful for traditional parlays. The pricing in same-game parlays is a bit arbitrary, so you won’t get that price at any sportsbook. You can still input the individual wagers to see the “true odds” but remember that doesn’t include any correlation. When it comes to same-game parlays, you’re really best off just shopping for the best price across your available sportsbooks since there can be much greater pricing fluctuation with SGPs vs. traditional parlays.

Additionally, our calculator currently works with American odds, so if you prefer decimal odds or fractional odds, you’ll first need to convert them with our odds converter.

Parlay Odds Table

Assuming standard -110 odds, parlay payouts should be pretty linear across the industry:

Number of TeamsTrue OddsVegas PayoutOnline Payout

As you can see, you’re getting slightly better odds online than if you bet a parlay card in the casino for most wagers. Only until you get to nine teams or more does the parlay card offer superior odds, and your odds of actually hitting one of those is minuscule.

Parlay Examples

As mentioned previously, parlays are available for basically every sport. That includes the NFL, NBA, and MLB, but it also includes the NHL, NCAAB, WNBA, and many more.

Not all wagers can be combined into parlays, but as long as the events are independent, you’ll likely be able to place them together. Parlays can even be used across multiple different sports or to combine futures.


With Week 1 right around the corner, this is the perfect time to look at some potential parlays. You could consider parlaying a few of your favorite teams on the moneyline in their opening contest on FanDuel:

FD Bet Slip

You could also look at some season-long player prop bets. For example, you could make a parlay for Patrick MahomesJosh Allen, and Joe Burrow to each throw at least 30 touchdown passes:

FD Bet Slip 2

As always, make sure you’re taking advantage of the parlay calculator to ensure you’re getting a fair price. For the passing touchdown prop, a three-leg wager with -550, -240, and -240 moneyline odds work out to +137, so this one appears to be priced correctly.


The NBA doesn’t have any lines up currently, but a near-infinite number of parlays are available to you. Spreads, totals, moneyline odds, player props – they’re all fair game in the NBA parlays. Wagers from the same game will fall under the same-game parlay category, but independent wagers should follow the same true odds listed in the parlay calculator.


Major League Baseball is another sport with a ton of possibilities. Run lines, moneylines, totals, yes/no run first inning, strikeout props, homer props, and more should fall under the same parlay guidelines. Combing a moneyline, a total, Juan Soto to homer, and Taj Bradley to record at least 4.5 strikeouts on Caesars is priced at +2093 on the day I’m writing this article:

Caesars Parlay Slip

Those wagers are individually priced at -135, -110, +310, and -164, respectively, which once again jives with the true odds from our parlay calculator.

Should You Bet Parlays?

That’s a question that only you can answer, and it ultimately comes down to your preference as a sports bettor. Are you trying to “hit the lottery” by turning a little bet amount into a big sum? If so, parlays are probably appealing to you.

However, parlays should be a limited part of your overall strategy if you're trying to be a serious sports bettor. Parlays are going to be much tougher to win than straight bets since you have to get multiple bets right to win any money. That’s easier said than done. 

Even massive favorites lose in the NFL, NBA, and MLB seemingly weekly. Correctly picking the outcome on multiple events – especially when factoring in a point spread – is not easy. Building your bankroll with straight bets is typically considered the most responsible form of sports betting.

That’s not to say that you can’t sprinkle in a parlay from time to time. Parlays are fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of trying to win more money? That said, I never expect to win a parlay. Most of my parlays are long shots – NFL underdog parlays are some of my favorites since the underdog wins the game outright at a high percentage when they cover – but they’re a fraction of my betting portfolio.

Regardless of how often you are betting parlays, you should only be betting them at “true odds.” After all, the sportsbooks set the lines a certain way for a reason. To price them differently on combined wagers is simply not fair to the player (except for same-game parlays). Make sure to check your parlays with the parlay calculator to ensure you’re not getting ripped off.

Parlay FAQs

What types of wagers can be parlayed?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but generally speaking, any independent game or event can be parlayed with another. There’s no distinct advantage between parlaying things with no correlation, so the betting sites will generally allow that.

The only wagers that will not show up in a traditional parlay are things from the same game. Same-game parlays fall under their own distinct category, and the added correlation will result in different pricing.

What happens if one of my legs pushes?

If one of the legs of your parlay pushes, it will ultimately be removed from the equation. The rest of the parlay will then be graded based on the result of the other legs.

For example, let’s say you bet a three-team parlay with the Chiefs -7, Bengals -3.5, and Bills -4.5. If the Chiefs win exactly by seven points, they would be removed from your parlay, which would now become a two-team parlay with the Bengals and Bills. If both of those bets win, your original wager would now be treated like a two-team parlay, paying out +265 instead of the initial +596. If the Bengals or Bills failed to cover the spread, the entire wager would be graded like a loser.

What happens if one of my legs is canceled?

If one of the events in your parlay is ultimately canceled, it is treated the same way as a push. It is simply removed from the wager, and the bet is then graded without it.

The only area where this can get a bit tricky is baseball. Depending on the type of bet, there are different rules for how rain-shortened games get treated. 

For example, bets on the moneyline are graded any time a game goes final; it doesn’t matter if it’s a full nine innings or five. For totals and run line wagers, the game needs to go at least 8.5 innings for it to count. There are some other unique quirks for MLB betting – and not all sportsbooks treat them the same – so make sure to know the rules before making your wagers.