Correlated Parlays

A correlated parlay is a type of parlay bet in which the outcome of one bet is likely to affect the outcome of another bet.

Correlated parlays are bookies' nightmares and professional bettors' best friends due to the wager's profit potential. Correlation in parlays is a high-risk high-reward system.

How are correlated parlays different from regular ones? Can you make correlated parlays in any sport or game? This article takes a detailed look at correlated parlays to answer both questions.

Correlated Parlays 101

A correlated parlay consists of wagers that are connected or tied to one another. The principal behind the correlated parlay is the high likelihood of all its legs coming true if one of them wins. Wagers in a correlated parlay include the favorite point spread for the first half and the entire game. A game spread will likely win if the favorite covers the spread in the first half.

Why are bets tied to one another a big deal for parlay wagers? Parlays are a cluster of bets taken from one or more games called legs. These legs consist of moneylines, point spreads, totals, props, and futures. For parlays to win, every leg it carries needs to win. Correlated parlays are more likely to win than regular ones due to their correlated wagers.

Standard Parlay Bets

A parlay bet is a combination of two or more bets in which all the bets must win for the parlay to be a winner. The appeal of parlay bets is that they offer the potential for a large payout because each bet's odds are multiplied. However, parlays are also more challenging to win than individual bets because all the bets must be successful for the parlay to pay off.

Parlays are available across online and land-based bookmakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. If you are in Canada, parlays and accas are available on the top betting sites in Ontario, for example.

Profitability of Correlated Parlays

Correlated wagers are the only time when parlays become smart bets among professional bettors. Anyone earning a living through sports betting will hesitate to make parlays due to their risk despite the potential profit of these wagers. Even if a bet can grant you ten times your stake, it is still a loss if a single leg loses.

Under normal circumstances, many professional bettors will ignore a two-legged parlay despite how much money they can make since you need both legs to win. There will always be a risk that a team will not cover the spread, achieve a specific score, or win the game. In normal circumstances, these wagers are unrelated to one another or are not correlated.

Due to the correlated wagers, the risks among parlays become manageable or within a tolerable level. You can bring down the risks by making two-team correlated parlays with two spreads, totals, or props.

How much can you expect to make from parlays with two legs? The payout for this type of parlay is 2.5 to 1. Remember that you are staking for two types of wagers just once.

To help you see the profit potential, here is an example of a parlay with two spread wagers with their market price and a stake of $100:

First Half Spread-120
Game Spread-130
Total Parlay Payout$324.36
Example of a parlay with two spread wagers ($100 stake)

The two-leg parlay can grant you a payout of $324.36 or a profit of $224.36. Let us compare that with single or individual spread bets with a stake of $100 for each wager.

First Half Spread-120
Game Spread-130
Total Individual Bet Payout$360.25
Two-leg parlay with individual spread bets.

If you take out the stake amount of $200, your profit for both bet winning is $160.25. The difference of $64.11 between the individual and correlated parlay wagers shows the money-making potential of the former.

You can further reduce the risk by making another parlay with underdog spreads. There is always a chance underdog will cover the spread in a game instead of the favorite. Thanks to the payout of a two-legged parlay, it is possible to make two of these in one game and achieve a consistent profit for nearly any game.

By setting two-legged parlays consisting of spreads for both teams, you have all bases covered to get a win and make a profit from the game. You are taking home $124.36 with a $200 stake on both wagers and an expected $324.36 payout for one of them.

Examples of Correlated Bets

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Correlated bets are not that hard to find in sports matches if you know what you are looking for. This guide has been mentioning "first half spreads" wagers earlier, and there is a chance readers cannot find them under the spread column. These wagers are team prop bets and are available in the tab or page with them listed for a specific game.

Basketball and football correlated wagers also include second-half spreads. If the favorite can cover the spread in the first half, they will likely do the same for the second and the whole game. These wagers can be considered for three-legged correlated parlays if a sportsbook allows it.  

Totals and props related to the over/under results are good examples of correlated wagers. These wagers are correlated since a team that covers the first or second half will cover the entire game. Total wagers apply to both basketball and football matches.  

Score-related player props are also correlated with the game point spread and totals. Should Kevin Durant get over 35.5 in a Brooklyn Nets game, chances are high that the team will cover the spread or get the totals over a score by the end of the game.

What about baseball, where there are no point-spread bets? There is a handicap line for this sport called the run line, which is the margin of victory or loss of a team. Due to the scores of baseball matches, including MLB games, the spread is usually around -1.5 and +1.5.

Correlated wagers to a baseball run line include over/under team props such as over 6.5 runs scored and total hits over 15.5. Props that back the team's score or point gap are correlated with the run lines.  

How Bookies Stop Correlated Parlays

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Unfortunately, for advantage bettors, bookies are familiar with correlated parlays and always look for one within their betting platform. UK and US online sportsbook operators know about the advantage of parlays made of wagers tied to one another and sees it as a danger to their monthly revenue.

Most online sports betting sites do not allow you to parlay two or more legs within the same game since these are correlated. Since these are the most commonly correlated bets, bookies will likely void or cancel first-half and game point spread parlays. Of course, this happens if a bettor can create a correlated parlay.

One possible vendor where you can make correlated parlays are local sports betting venues. Some operators provide more leeway to their bettors by being open to building parlays for any events. On the other hand, some operators will only cancel correlated parlays if these are made of spread wagers.

If local bookies allow you to make correlated parlays and are mindful of these types of wagers, an excellent way to make your wager pass their notice is to mix up the bets. Use score-related props that favor the favorites or the underdogs to create correlated parlays, such as over/under player props with game totals.

To increase your chance of getting your parlay approved, create one with at least three correlated legs. Local bookies likely follow the pattern of correlated parlays that usually come in two-legged ones with spreads. However, they will likely allow one with a fair chance of losing.

Finding Correlated Bets in Same-Game Parlays

Despite the profit opportunities of correlated parlays, major sportsbook brands provide same-game parlays that allow you to take legs within a single match or event. FanDuel was the first brand to drive this betting opportunity, followed by its competitor, DraftKings.

Why would a sportsbook such as Points Bet allow SGP and market them extensively on its platform? Bookies allow SGP because this type of wager has drastically different odds than regular parlays.  

Let us illustrate this with a sample of a same-game parlay in DraftKings using Lakers spread of +4.5, Anthony Davis Points 25.5 over, and Darius Garland Points 21.5 over with a $100 stake.

LA Lakers +4.5-110
Anthony Davis 26.5 Over-125
Darius Garland 23.5 Over+105
Parlay Payout$675
Example same-game parlay with a $100 stake.

Here are the odds with the same legs for a regular parlay and the same stake of $100.

LA Lakers +4.5-105
Anthony Davis 26.5 Over-120
Darius Garland 23.5 Over-105
Parlay Payout$698.83

While the difference is small, correlated parlays made through the SGP promotions have a much smaller payout. The reduced payouts are one of the reasons why bookies are comfortable with SGP options for bettors.

Another reason bookies heavily promote SGPs and why these money-makers is to make bettors think they have an advantage. There are legs anyone can add for their SGP that are not correlated, such as an NBA player's total rebound or the first NFL player to score a touchdown. These two wagers are not tied to a team covering the spread or getting a game score over/under the predicted mark.

Fortunately, these promotions are where you can create correlated parlays in major sporting seasons such as the NBA, NFL, and World Cup. Even with a lower payout, same-game correlated parlays can still make you money if done correctly.


What are correlated parlays? 

A correlated parlay is made of wagers that are tied to each other. If one of the correlated wagers were to occur, the rest would also happen. One example of correlated bets is team props for first-half spread and game spread. If the team can cover the spread in the first or second half, they will likely do so for the entire game.

How can you profit from correlated bets? 

The odds of correlated parlays winning are slightly higher than regular parlays due to how the legs of the former are tied to one another. An excellent way to decrease the risk is to create two correlated parlays that tackle both teams' point spread for the first half and the game. You can get a payout that covers the stakes for both parlays while netting you a comfortable profit.

Can you find correlated bets in MLB games if it does not have point-spread bets?

Instead of point spreads, baseball has run lines that are similar to spread bets. MLB games also have total bets for each team, which can be paired with play props that cover runs or total hits.

Why is it hard to make correlated parlays? 

Most bookies are familiar with correlated parlays, which are likely to void or cancel one made of legs from a single game. In addition, nearly every online sportsbook will not allow you to form parlays in one game.

Are same-game parlays an excellent opportunity to add correlated bets?

Sportsbooks such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and Points Bet have a same-game parlay (SGP) promotion that lets you add legs within a single game. While SGP legs have a lower price than regular ones, these promotions allow you to create profitable correlated parlays.

Correlated parlays are the only kind that professional bettors consider making due to their likely hood of winning. You can create these parlays among sportsbooks that offer same-game parlays for significant games.