College Football Parlay Betting Strategies

Tired of playing single games and taking the worst of the vig/juice? I can’t say I blame you. Risking the obligatory $110 to make $100 in a single college football game is a tough way to churn a profit. 

Fortunately, college football and its plethora of weekly betting opportunities are tailor-made for something a little bit more exotic. If you are new to the world of parlays, it may be time to broaden your horizens. If parlays are part of your weekly betting strategy, it is probably time to tighten up your game a bit. The interesting thing about betting parlays is that there’s a fine line between amatuerish betting and savvy wagering. 

Without further ado, let’s dig into the intriguing world of parlays. When to bet them, how to bet them and why we are betting them to begin with.  

The perfect combination

Before picking the perfect number of games to include in your parlay, let’s address the simple premise of why we are putting together a parlay to begin with. It’s all about creating wagering value. Of course, with added value, comes added risk. A good handicapper has to be willing to find the perfect number of games – limiting himself to only the ones he has a very good opinion about – and decide whether or not he’s getting the most bang for his buck.

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Right away, I want to dismiss the idea of playing parlays consisting of more than four games. Anything more than four is gambling, not investing. Huge difference. 

Before I get further into this discussion, let’s take a quick look at parlay odds and returns assuming a $100 bet:

  • 2 team =$250
  • 3 team =$650
  • 4 team = $1300
  • 5 team =$2500
  • 6 team =$5000
  • 7 team =$10,00

People shooting for the stars are the same ones playing lotto tickets and usually the same ones without any solid handicapping opinion whatsoever. Don't play the parlay just to be playing the parlay. I'll argue that you should only be playing 3 or 4-team parlays, and that having four good wagering opinions in a day or a week is a rarity that only comes along a few times a year. 

A two-team parlay is OK I guess, but there's not a ton of value there. By process of elimination, the 3-team parlay is the sweet spot. Your $100 investment nets $650 when you are correct so that means you can lose five 3-teamers in a row, connect on the sixth and still net $50 profit. Not awful from a pure risk standpoint, and look it if you happen to get hot and connect on a few 3-team parlays in consecutive fashion. 

To recap, here's a few iron-clad checkpoints for betting parlays:

  • have solid wagering opinions
  • lean towards the 3-team variety for practicality and profitability 
  • stay away from parlays greater than 4-teams
  • beware of the lean value on a two-team
  • only bet a parlay when you think there's a good chance you can captialize on multiple opinions 
  • don't shy away from making straight bets on single games even when you play them in a parlay
  • don't bet games just because they are on prime television

See there? The rules are really quite simple. College football is made for parlay betting simply because of the volume of games offered on a typical wagering Saturday. It's a great way to package value, minimize risks and enjoy nice profits when you are correct. 

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: