NCAA Football Correlated Parlays

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
6 minute read

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: College football correlated parlays bets were profitable for quite a while, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Bet these at your own risk. Offshore betting sites 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 or not profitable. 

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.

Correlated parlays are available in other sports, but they are nowhere near as prevalent as they are in college football betting. We recommend regular college parlay betting before diving into this article.

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What Is A Correlated Parlay Bet?

A correlated parlay is a bet comprising different bets that 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 will win as well.

A real-life example of this would be if it’s dark and cloudy outside, it’s extremely likely to rain. Put simply, the two bets are correlated.

College betting sites 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 depending on 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. Some can be as strict as 20%.

Example Of A College Football Correlated Parlay

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

College Football Correlated Parlays

Online betting sites 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, college betting sites that accept 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.

Local Bookies Taking College Correlated Parlays

Local Bookies Correlated Parlay Bets

We cover the major difference between online sportsbooks and local bookies (not the regulated markets of Nevada) in our article on the differences between online betting sites 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 continue to 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 who pays his players, you would be crazy not to bet correlated parlays.

College Football Betting: Favorite and Over or Underdog and Under?

Ideally, one could be on both sides of 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. This is not 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 under, 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?

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. To learn more about college football betting visit our guide NCAA Football Betting.

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About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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