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Do Parlays Have To Cover The Spread

Are spread bets feasible for parlays? Do these legs need to cover the spread to win your parlay wager? We answer these questions by covering the parlay spreads below.

Cover The Spreads in Parlays

Parlays can only win if all of its legs win, meaning it needs to cover the spreads for every spread wager. If the team or players you backed did not reach the required score gap, you lose the entire parlay regardless of its unresolved legs.

Why would anyone make parlay wagers with spreads despite losing the whole thing if a single bet loses? Parlays are risky wagers with an incredibly high payout when there are many moneyline, spreads, totals, props, or future bets. A two-team parlay pays out 2.6 to 1, while a five-team parlay can grant you 22 to 1 for your stake if it wins.

Point Spread Wager Basics

This section tackles the “cover the spread” meaning in sports betting. Point spread wagers are predictions on the final score margin of a game. Covering the spread is when the team can get a score surpassing the predicted margin.

Spreads with negative signs are the favorites’ scores, while those with positive signs are for underdogs. Let us say in a Super Bowl match; we have the following spreads for both teams:

  • Buffalo Bills: -3.5
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +3.5

For the Bills to cover the spread, they need to end the game with a point margin of four or more against the Buccaneers. You win your spread bet on the Bills if they score 35 against the Buccaneers 30 points.

If you back the buccaneers, they cover the spread if the game ends with a score margin of three or fewer. A score of 25 – 24 in this game means you win the buccaneer’s point spread bet.

In another example, here are the spreads for an NBA game:

  • Brooklyn Nets: -6.5
  • Philadelphia 79ers: +6.5

The Nets need to score more than seven points to cover the spread. A game is ending in Brooklyn winning with 110 – 105 means bettors lose their spreads. You win the spread bet if you are backing the 79ers, and the game ends with the same score.

Spreads tend to be good alternatives to moneyline wagers in matches where everyone expects the favored team to beat the underdog. This type of wager provides better prices and odds when a moneyline favorite’s returns are too low, and an underdog is less likely to beat their opponent. There is still excitement to be had with this game since an underdog does not have to win the game. They need a point gap lower than the predicted margin to cover the spread.

Are Point Spreads Good For Parlay

Spreads tend to be valued bets due to their reasonable chances of winning and possible payouts. Their odds tend to be around -105 to -120. Calculating the payout is an excellent way to read this type of odds. If a spread of +5.5 for a team has American odds of -110, you need to wager $110 to win $100. You will get a payout of $210 or a profit of $100 if you stake $110.

The payout for these odds is close to 2 to 1 or more than 90% of your stakes. The implied odds of a point spread is around 50% to 53% chance of winning.

Below is an example of spread parlays with three legs and their potential profit for a $100 stake.

-6.5 -110
+3.5 -120
+7 -105
Parlay profit $583.33
Three-Leg Parlay Payout

Here is what the profit for those will look like if we stake $100 for all three spreads.

-6.5 -110 $90.91
+3.5 -120 $83.33
+7 -105 $95.24
Total payout $269.48
Three Spreads Profit Potential

As illustrated, spread parlays have the better profit potential since you only need to stake $100 for all three wagers. Note that there is still a significant risk you lose one of the spreads in your three-leg parlay, which will make you lose your entire wager. Adding more spreads to your parlays will increase the risk and the possible payouts. If you want to see how much you can get from your parlays if all of your teams cover the spread, check out our parlay calculator.

Parlays have to cover the spread for you to win the leg and the entire wager. There is always a significant risk of losing your parlay if you lose a single spread bet. Behind the risk is a large payout should every team cover the spread.

This article was published on November 24, 2022, and last updated on November 23, 2022.

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