NCAA Football Correlated Parlays
UPDATE March 2016: College football correlated parlays bets were profitable for quite awhile, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Bet these at your own risk. Offshore sportsbooks still don’t accept them, but betting them with locals in the past few years have seen subpar results. It seems the market has adjusted. The information will be left below, but it is our opinion that these wagers are now -EV.
It’s rare that we talk about wagers that aren’t currently available to bet at online sportsbooks, but here at Safest Betting Sites, we leave no stone unturned in regards to what’s available for bettors that is +EV. Correlated parlays are available in other sports, but they are nowhere near as prevalent as they are in college football. We recommend bettors understand basic parlay betting before diving into this article.
Best NCAA Football Betting Sites 2018
What Is A Correlated Parlay Bet?
A correlated parlay is a bet where the bets are closely linked together in terms of outcome. They’re not technically tied together, but if one bet wins it’s extremely likely the other bet wins as well. A real-life example of this would be if there it’s dark and cloudy outside, it’s extremely likely to rain. Put simply, the two bets are correlated.
Sportsbooks figured out long ago that they couldn’t allow players to parlay the first half and total and game total, since if one hit, they were likely to hit the other bet as well. Even though parlay odds still come with a bookmaker’s advantage, they would take a bath at the +265 odds offered for correlated two-team parlays. It took online sportsbooks a bit longer to figure out that correlated parlays in college football offered a similar advantage. The threshold for a bet to be correlated varies among who you talk to, but most online sportsbooks don’t allow bettors to place bets if the point spread covers more than 33% of the total, but some can be as strict as 20%.
To illustrate what we mean, here’s an example of a correlated parlay in college football. In Week 1 2015 season, the Baylor Bears are -32 at the SMU Mustangs. The total on the game is 73 points. By doing some quick division, we can divide 32 by 73 and come up with about 43.83%. Since the spread makes up more than 43% of the total, this bet would classify as a correlated parlay.
The logic behind correlated parlays is straightforward. Using our above example, if the Baylor Bears cover the spread of -32 points, it’s likely the game is high scoring and that it goes over the oddsmakers’ projected total. On the flip side, if SMU covers the spread of 32 points, it’s more likely the game stays under the projected total of 73.
College Football Correlated Parlays Aren’t Available Online
Online sportsbooks took a beating about five years ago once bettors realized how profitably these college football parlays were. Any sportsbook that doesn’t want to go broke doesn’t allow them. There may be some spots that do accept correlated parlays online, but we wouldn’t advise betting them.
For one, a sportsbook that accepts correlated parlays may be extremely risky in terms of players being paid. These sites are not generally reputable. Also, even players do happen to place a correlated parlay, it might later be graded no action due to software error or bookmaker mistake. This situation played out for a bettor who placed a number of correlated parlays at WagerWeb. Though the funds he deposited were eventually returned, the winnings made from his correlated parlay betting were ultimately voided.
If any player manages to bet correlated parlays at an online sportsbook and wins a substantial amount, we fear the same thing may happen when it comes time for him to withdraw. For this reason, we can’t recommend betting correlated parlays online.
Bettors May Find Out Locals Taking Correlated Parlays
We cover the major difference between online sportsbooks and local bookies (not the regulated markets of Nevada) in our article between the differences of online sportsbooks and local bookies. We recommend bettors take most of their action online for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to betting correlated parlays, just about the only place to bet them these days is with locals.
As mentioned above, the online betting world realized quite a few years ago that these bets were extremely +EV to bettors. Locals, on the other hand, have taken longer to adjust. There are many unsuspecting bookies across the country that are still unaware of how profitable these bets are and who continually accept them.
There’s a good chance bettors get cut off from their bookies after they win a bunch, but this also happens regularly in the online world if bettors win too much. If you’re lucky enough to find a trustworthy local bookie that pays his players, you would be crazy not to bet correlated parlays.
Favorite and Over or Underdog and Under?
Ideally, one could be on both sides on the same game, which would equate to printing money, but only the dumbest bookie in the world would allow someone to do that. However, if bettors had two solid locals, they could bet the over and the favorite with one local and the underdog and the under with the other.
However, this likely isn’t possible for most. The question then for bettors who have the chance to bet correlated parlays is should they be taking the favorite and the over and the underdog and the under? Conventional betting wisdom would most likely point bettors in the direction of betting more underdogs and unders, simply because overs and favorites are more public wagers and therefore less sharp, but the results seem to paint a different picture.
Underdogs hit slightly more than favorites in the long run, but when large favorites cover the spread, the game normally goes over at an alarming rate. The higher the amount a team is favored by the more likely the game goes over if they cover the spread.
What Is A Correlated College Football Game?
Using more than an 8,400 game sample size, when favorites of -28 or more cover the spread, the game goes over at about a 65% clip. These numbers jump even higher as the point spread gap between the two teams becomes larger. When teams favored by 35 points cover the spread, the game went over 67.6% of the time. The percentage goes to 69.7% of the time when teams of 40 points or more covered the spread. These numbers aren’t even in the same ballpark when it comes to underdogs and the total going under.
Based on this data, we advise bettors to wager the favorite and over more often than the underdog and under. However, this is an excellent spot to utilize handicapping abilities. Even though both sides are clear +EV wagers, if bettors break down the game, they may be able to increase their edge with these already highly profitable, but rarely available wagers.