What Does Correlated Parlay Mean In Sports Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/2/2014
A "correlated parlay" is a parlay wager that includes two or more events, generally in the same game, that have a strong relationship to each other - if one happens then the other is very likely to happen as well. These situations are very attractive to bettors because they increase the chances of making a profit. Sportsbooks do not like giving up a big advantage to bettors, so in most cases they will not allow a correlated parlay. Some books won’t allow two events in one game no matter what, while others will be more selective and will only disallow bets they deem correlated. Some books will even cancel bets after the fact if correlation turned out to be strong.
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It will be less confusing after an example. The most common way to understand a correlated parlay is to look at a side and a total in football. If a team is a very large favorite - say 20 or 30 points - and the total is reasonably low, then it stands to reason that if the favorite covers the spread it is going to be more likely than not that the game will go over the total as well. If a team is favored by 35 and the total is 50 then it wouldn’t take much to go over if the spread is covered. You very likely would not be allowed to parlay the favorite and the over in that game,
That’s an extreme example. As a general guide, if you multiply the spread in a football game by three and the result is bigger than the total then it is likely going to be viewed as a correlated play.
While correlated parlays are very tough to find - and bet - these days, the philosophy can be applied legally in some situations. One example is at the end of a regular season. Let’s say that at the end of the series there are two NHL teams fighting for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference - the Hurricanes and the Panthers. If the Hurricanes, who play first, win then they are in and the Panthers are out. If the Hurricanes lose then the Panthers can play their way in with a win. A couple of possibilities are reasonable to assume, then. If the Hurricanes lose then the Panthers are likely to be particularly motivated in their game - they will know the result, and will know what is on the line. If the Hurricanes win, though, then the Panthers will be crushed and aren’t at all likely to play at their best. Depending on your viewpoint, then, you could argue that a Hurricanes win and a Panthers loss or a Hurricanes loss and a Panthers win would be somewhat correlated results, and betting them could give you an edge. That’s about as close as you can legally get to a correlated parlay.
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