How to Calculate Football Parlays

First off, lets go over Parlay bets, and then we can go over how to calculate football parlays with each odds. A parlay is a bet on a group of games – without mixing lines, sports, or teams. In other words, you could bet on three different games within the same league and under one same line all with just one bet, of say $10 – multiplying your potential winnings a whole of lot more. There are calculators online that will output the data for you if you're betting football online but you should know the basics. Lets assume the following:

One $10 bet on:

Colts over Bears, Patriots over the Bills, And Jets over the Dolphins

Take note that parlay bets rely on the outcome of the others – if one loses, then they all lose – and you lose.

Now, going over the American odds, the Decimal odds, and the Fractional odds, within the different sports and markets, it would come in handy to know how they are calculated.

Decimal Odds – Parlay Calculations

Decimal odds, which are the most used out there, are the simplest to calculate. Say the above games had the following odds:

Colts (1.5) vs. Bears (2.5)

Patriots (1.5) vs. Bills (2)

Jets (1.2) vs. Dolphins (2)

At a $10 bet, the calculation would be the following:

1.5 * 1.5 * 1.2 = 2.7

2.7 * $10 = $27 potential return

Much better than simply making 3 single bets, each at $10, would you not agree?

American Odds – Parlay Calculations

American odds, mostly used in North America are perfect for football parlay calculations. With totally different numbers from the above, lets assume the following:

Colts (-110) vs. Bears (+230)

Patriots (-110) vs. Bills (+200)

Jets (-100) vs. Dolphins (+200)

At a total bet of $10, the calculation would be:

(100/110 + 1) * (100/110 + 1) * (100/100 + 1) = 7.22

7.22 * $10 = $72.2 possible winnings

If you had chosen an underdog to win instead, the positive (+) odd would have been divided by 100, such as the Bears for instance: (230/100 + 1)

Fractional Odds – Parlay Calculations

Lastly, the fractional odds mostly used in the UK as well as for racebooks. Once again, the numbers will be different from the above examples so do not get confused on the different outcomes:

Colts (1/2) vs. Bears (3/2)

Patriots (1/2) vs. Bills (2/3)

Jets (1/3) vs. Dolphins (2/3)

Again, with a total parlay bet of $10, the calculation would look like so:

(1/2 + 1) * (1/2 + 1) * (1/3 + 1) = 3

3 * $10 = $30

Quite simple once you get the hang of it and try it yourself with your parlay bets – just for the heck of it… You will probably be one the few that will know how to calculate parlay bets for all odds – nothing really needed nowadays with the odds calculator on the sportsbooks, but you never know, just in case you now know how to calculate football parlays.

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