Betting: When is it smart to do a moneyline parlay?

Jared Quay, Preston Johnson & Matt Moore of the Action Network talk through the good and the bad when it comes to betting a moneyline parlay.

Video Transcript

MATT MOORE: We do have a question that somebody asked about moneylines and parlays. Daniel Manu asks, "What do you think of parlaying multiple moneylines?" Preston, I'm gonna bet that you're against it.

PRESTON JOHNSON: Not necessarily. I think in general, people don't know what they're doing as far as projecting probabilities and what the prices mean in terms of what the probabilities are of those teams winning. So you can absolutely have value in a moneyline parlay.

If you have two teams that you think-- for example, let's say the Raptors were minus-200. That implies they need to win the game over 66.7% of the time for it to be a profitable endeavor. You think they win more like 75% of the time-- crazy off market, but it should be like minus-300-- then you should be using that and parlaying it with your other edges you have on the NBA card.

Now you can't just assume blindly that it should be minus-300 just because you think so. You need to at least have some sort of reasoning. Or if you're modeling your own stuff, then that's obviously something you can go off with to compare to the market prices. But I think most people, yeah, they're just betting moneyline parlays just because, and that's never gonna be the right thing.

But if you have an edge, I mean, people are gonna bet it in multiple ways. Derivatives, whether it's first half, first quarter, whether it's full game, whether it's on the moneyline, whether it's in parlays with other games that they think they have edges on. So it's not necessarily an absolute no-no. I think it is for recreational bettors because they're not able to kind of pick out where their edges are and understand the probabilities and where a parlay could potentially pay off.

But I know guys that definitely take advantage of certain opportunities when things are mispriced that they think they have an edge. So it's not a 100% no-no. But 98% of the time, it probably is something people should stay away from.

MATT MOORE: I will admit to liking a round robin. I will admit to it. Every now and then, it's fun to have a round robin. Because I feel like I'm pretty good at analyzing the NBA, and I'll hit three of four games absolutely correctly. And I would've hit the parlay, but then I miss out on that one last game where I'm just completely wrong because the NBA's very hard to bet night to night. So I will admit to liking the round robin parlays that pair you up on different parlays between those teams.

JARED QUAY: That's a sucker bet, man.

MATT MOORE: I know.

JARED QUAY: I'm a-- it just is. I like the moneyline parlay, but I would say don't go over three. Don't go over three.

MATT MOORE: Right.

JARED QUAY: But I feel like that's the only way to parlay. If you're gonna parlay with the points, I mean, you might as well play the lottery. That's too hard to do, especially in the NBA where 1 point, as you said earlier, Preston, could be the difference in the game. But if it's a moneyline parlay, you genuinely know teams are gonna win, just not by how much. So I'm a fan of it, but don't go more than three because then you're just pushing your luck.

PRESTON JOHNSON: I'll say this. I'll add one more thing, Matt, before we change the subject, maybe articulate it a little simpler for some of the audience. If you're thinking about doing a two-team moneyline parlay, and you don't like betting on those teams against the spread and laying the points as well, then you probably shouldn't be using it as a moneyline piece in a parlay option, OK?

So, yeah, if you like the Raptors minus-5 anyway, and you want to get more exposure and then use the minus-200s as a moneyline piece, feel free because you anticipate there's an edge. But if you're not comfortable laying 5, then you probably shouldn't be using it in a moneyline parlay. Because that moneyline price is correlated to the minus-5. It's just in a different perspective. And people think, oh, well it's way more likely that they're gonna win, so I'll use that. But, look, you should probably just be laying the 5 points at that point.