Correlated Parlays in the NFL

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29:   Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives in for a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 29, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Tonight is the official start of the 2015-16 NFL season.  But before we look forward, let’s take a step back. Let’s examine the NFL results we have tracked going back to 2003 broken down by both favorites/underdogs and overs/unders.  Below are the results of the last 12 seasons:

FDOU

There is not a discernible trend to be found among these four types of bets.  But what if we were able to combine them to find a profitable strategy.  What we are looking for are called correlated parlays. Essentially the odds of one leg of a parlay winning increases the chances that another leg of the parlay will also win.

For example, say you wanted to parlay Tom Brady Over 2.5 TD passes with the Patriots Over 30 points. Those two events are obviously correlated.  If Brady throws for three or more touchdowns, the odds of New England scoring more than 30 points increase.  The problem is that every single sportsbook is going to disallow this type of parlay.

But they will allow parlaying the favorite and the over, or the underdog and the under.  So let’s take a look at those results over the past 12 seasons.  I also added in the breakeven point it would take for the parlay to be profitable assuming -110 vig on both lines.  Here are the results:

correlated parlays

Hmm, well that’s disappointing but not unexpected.  The reason sportsbooks allow these parlays is because they are generally going to lose.  It is interesting that the favorite & over combination has risen above the breakeven point on three separate occasions considering that is a popular parlay among recreational bettors.

Obviously, there are many more iterations that could be done to search for profitable correlated parlays. Lower totals, large point spreads, rested teams, and many other factors could be analyzed to improve results.

If you have an idea for a correlated parlay (or one that you are already playing and want to see the actual results behind it), head over to our community and let us know using the button below.

Discuss this Post

©2016 Sports Insights Inc.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?