In Part I of Major League Baseball Wagering, we discussed many of the basic principles regarding betting, and we considered simple wagers that you could make. We learned how to read game lines and looked at some examples of typical and popular wagering opportunities. We now know how to use this information to intelligently wager on Major League Baseball (MLB). Now we’re going to take a look at more complicated types of wagering, including MLB futures, parlays, multiples, round robins and teasers.
MLB futures are appropriately named. You are betting on something that is fairly far down the road. A typical futures wager would be putting money down in May on which team will win the American League pennant or which two clubs will play in the World Series. Futures bets are placed on an outcome and not a single game and typically that outcome will not be decided tomorrow or the next day. You may make a futures wager that the Yankees will win the AL East when they are three games up with four to go in the regular season, but such a bet isn’t going to have a very big payoff. The point is that with futures you can generally get much higher odds prior to the start of or early in the season when the outcome is difficult to determine. When the result starts to become clear or fairly certain, odds begin to even out.
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Parlays are multiple bets placed with a single wager. You have to win them all, or most of them in some special cases, in order to collect. Single parlays are defined as multiple bets within the same sport. A single multiple or single parlay is defined as where, in order to win the wager, all selected bets within the combined bet parlay must win.
Some define single parlays and “multiples” differently, so don’t assume that every sportsbook will use the same terminology to refer to parlays. Research the site’s betting rules and policies before wagering. By combining bets into a parlay, you can increase your possible winnings, but keep in mind that these aren’t easy to hit. Many sportsbook sites have restrictions on what you can combine, and how you can combine them.
For example, some sites won’t allow a pay-off on “related” wagering. If you wager the Cubs to win outright in a game and also wager they will win 2 – 0 (exact score), you may only be able to collect on one of these, because they are related. The Cubs winning by 2 – 0 also means they win. If you had a parlay formed in this way, it may not only pay on only one of the two, but the bet may be declassified from a parlay to a straight bet, which further decreases the winnings. Single sport parlays generally give two to two-and-a-half to one on a single sport parlay double; two bets within the same sport, yet unrelated. A single sport parlay triple, which is three bets parlayed into one wager, generally pays approximately six to one.
Multiple parlays, also known as all ups and accumulators, are classified as multiples or multiple bet options. This simply means that the parlay classified as a multiple always combines picks from two or more different sports. By selecting two or more single bets from two or more different sports, and then combining them, you create a multiple wager. The beauty of this type of wager is that you can get high odds on your possible return. Keep in mind, the odds are high for a reason. The outcomes aren’t easy to predict.
A round robin, or boxed multiple, is another way to wager on a number of events, or several outcomes of the same event at one time. With this type of single ticket wager, you “box” several contests or outcomes. Thus, you are wagering that at least some of your chosen combinations will beat the odds.
You can actually “box” all possible combinations in some cases. If at least two of your multiple combinations win, you win. With a boxed multiple, you must think about the most likely combinations that could produce at least two, preferably more, correct outcomes.
For example, you wouldn’t want to box exact score on the Padres versus Giants game in nine different combinations because it is only possible for one of the exact scores to be correct. With a boxed multiple, the more combinations you choose correctly, the higher the return. In this case, one multiple wager can produce a larger than usual dividend on your investment. Again, as in parlays, and for baseball wagering, beware of related wagers and policies surrounding your boxed multiple choices.
Teasers are multiple selections of two or more outcomes on a single event. Every sport has its own point range and rules for teasers, but generally speaking, the point totals are varied in a way that may favor the bettor. For example, if you are looking at possibly placing a wager on an over/under on total runs scored in the Red Sox vs. Yankees game, you may want to consider going with a teaser instead.
If the straight bet over/under line is 6, you can move the line on a teaser higher or lower, depending on what is offered and your prediction. Teasers can also function on point spreads to possibly give the bettor an advantage. Usually the point spread is decreased for the favorite or increased for the underdog. Generally, a more favorable wager will cost you more, but it can dramatically increase your chances of winning.
Wagering on MLB is akin to an art. No one has a crystal ball when it comes to wagering, but there are predictions that can be made correctly based on experience, information and logic. If you want to get beyond the single straight bet mode of wagering, think about why you would choose a particular straight bet.
Extend your logic and expectations from there. If you predict a win for the Diamondbacks against the Dodgers and you feel they will beat the spread, ask yourself why. Is it because of the starting pitchers? Possibly you’re basing your prediction on recent run totals that have been tallied against similar teams? When you start analyzing the reasons a straight bet makes sense, you can start to see how this information can be efficiently used to place wagers on MLB futures, parlays, multiples, round robins and teasers.