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Straight Betting vs. Parlay Betting

While there are a ton of different betting markets to be found on any sportsbook, there are really only two main different types of betting: straight or parlay betting.

Straight bets are basically the simplest bets that you can find: a straight bet is a single bet on an event such as a Moneyline, point spread, or point total bet. It’s basically any bet where you’re betting on a single outcome during a game or event. Examples of straight bets would be Moneyline wagers on a winning party, a point spread bet on a participant, or a single point total.

Futures bets and prop bets are not considered ‘straight bets’ because of their unique and fluctuating nature. But neither of those two types of bets (which are explained in the sections above) would fall under the second main betting type: parlay betting.

Parlay betting is basically the opposite of a straight bet: you’ve got to choose several markets to create a parlay. The idea behind a parlay is that if you think you can predict the outcome of several markets, you can group them together as one bet with much higher—and therefore more lucrative—odds that will bring higher returns.

A common use of parlays is the pairing of several—usually two, three or four, but often many more—markets with very low odds that yield (+) plus odds when grouped together. Another common instance is pairing a so-called ‘sure thing’ favorite with a reasonable underdog to make betting on the former more worthwhile.

While parlays always seem awesome when you’re considering the odds, remember that they’re only higher because a punter needs every bet to hit for them to hit their parlay. For example, if you do an eight-way parlay and hit 7/8 markets, you lose your bet just the same as if you’d gone 1-8.

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