What are Same Game Parlays?

Perhaps you've been combing through your favorite sportsbook app and come across Same Game Parlays. Maybe you've even seen them trending on social media.

Same Game Parlays have picked up steam in recent months and weeks as sports betting spreads its legal wings across the nation. If you have noticed this trend, you might have some questions.

How do they work? Are they easy to win? Or, what even are they? Luckily, we have the answers you're looking for!

Updated on 05/28/2024
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What is a Parlay, Anyway?

Simply put, a parlay is a type of wager for which a bettor needs to correctly predict multiple outcomes.

If any of the predicted outcomes are incorrect, the wager settles as a loss. That means a bettor can predict six outcomes, be successful on five, be wrong on only one, and lose a wager.

So why would anyone like parlays?

Parlays typically have a lower chance of winning, but with high risk comes high reward. Some bettors prefer parlays because they can provide bigger payouts.

Let's use an example. After scanning the board for college basketball betting opportunities, a bettor comes to the conclusion that they love three spreads.

  • Duke -3 vs. North Carolina (-110)
  • Villanova -4 vs. Connecticut (-110)
  • UCLA +7 @ Arizona (-110)

Duke beats Carolina by 20. Villanova beats Connecticut by 10. UCLA loses to Arizona by 10.

If a bettor parlayed all three spreads, they'd have lost their wager because UCLA did not cover the spread against Arizona. Even though Duke and Villanova covered, the bettor needed to go three-for-three to cash the parlay.

If UCLA did cover the spread against Arizona, the bettor would have won a parlay that came in close to 6/1 according to our Parlay Calculator.

Overall, parlays are high-risk, high-reward propositions. In our example, a bettor who placed straight bets on each of the three spreads would have profited and a parlay bettor would not have. But, when parlays hit, they quickly boost a bettor's bankroll.

Implied Probability

It's important to understand implied probability when betting parlays. Here is a simple breakdown:

If there is a minus sign in front of the odds, you take the value of the odds and divide it by the odds plus 100.

  • -130 odds: 130 / (130+100) = 56.5% implied probability

If there is a plus sign in front of the odds, you do 100 divided by the absolute value of the odds plus 100.

  • +130 odds: 100 / (130+100) = 43.5% implied probability

That's important because most bettors use parlays for the potential of a large payout. Large payouts are great, but responsibility and discipline are crucial when making wagers that are less likely to win.

Same Game Parlays

How do They Work?

Now that you have a general understanding of parlays, you may be wondering how a Same Game Parlay works. It may seem straightforward, and it mostly is, but there are a couple nuances with Same Game Parlays.

First and most obviously, all of the parlay legs have to come from one single game.

Second, sportsbooks don't quite offer the same odds on Same Game Parlays as they would a parlay of bets from different games.

We'll start with the latter. A Same Game Parlay in a game between the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz may look something like this:

  • Warriors ML (+115)
  • Steph Curry OVER 25.5 points (-110)
  • Donovan Mitchell UNDER 25.5 points (-110)

In our example, the bettor clearly believes the Warriors will beat the Jazz on the backs of Steph Curry's offense and the team's stifling defense against Utah's leading scorer, Donovan Mitchell.

Perhaps the biggest caveat with Same Game Parlays is the payout.

While parlaying together the three legs from our example would generate odds of +683 according to our Parlay Calculator, DraftKings offers the SGP at +500 odds. Why?

For SGPs, sportsbooks take into account how closely correlated each outcome is with the others. In this case, the Warriors winning becomes more likely if Steph Curry scores more than 25 points and if Donovan Mitchell scores less than 25 points.

Inversely, parlaying a Warriors win with Steph Curry going under his point total and Mitchell going over his would give a bettor +800 odds. Here, DraftKings is saying it's less likely that Warriors win if Steph Curry doesn't score a lot and Donovan Mitchell does.

Is There Value in SGPs?

That depends on who you ask. Some bettors calculate value through complex math to determine if the odds presented by the sportsbook are fair or not. Most people would answer yes if they've been successful and no if they've had trouble.

For the most part, sportsbooks do a good job of accounting for their own risk when it comes to betting odds (check our betting odds calculator), including Same Game Parlays.

Bettors who have a particularly good grip on a few teams would likely say there is value on SGPs, especially since the odds aren't calculated the same way at every sportsbook. FanDuel offered +493 and +720 odds for the two examples we used above compared to DraftKings' +500 and +800.

The neat thing about SGPs is they allow bettors to shape their own narrative for how a game will go. If you're a big SEC basketball fan, maybe you're interested in betting on a game between Kentucky and Alabama.

You believe Kentucky will be able to defeat Alabama by slowing down the Crimson Tide's frenetic pace, so you parlay Kentucky to win with the under for the point total.

Throwing payouts and value out the window for a moment, that's a pretty cool thing to watch play out if it happens.

Big Wins with Same Game Parlays

As mentioned above, parlays ordinarily generate larger payouts than straight bets. Odds for Same Game Parlays can be even greater than normal parlays, or a bit lower depending on the correlation between each leg.

Here are some awesome examples of bettors striking gold with SGPs at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Where to Bet Same Game Parlays

In the early stages of online sports betting legalization, some bettors were able to take advantage of sportsbooks that did not adjust Same Game Parlay odds based on how correlated the outcomes were.

In an unfortunate twist, a few sportsbook removed the ability to parlay bets from the same event. Due to high demand, those sportsbooks reconfigured their logic and, once again, offered Same Game Parlays.

SGPs have become extremely popular in major sporting events like the NBA and NFL Playoffs. Mobile sportsbook users will often see sponsored or promoted SGPs when they log into their app.

Because of the popularity boom, you'll be able to find Same Game Parlays at plenty of legal sportsbooks, including the following:

Final Thoughts on SGPs

Whether you have a hunch on how a certain game will play out, or if you want to have an extra incentive to watch a big game, Same Game Parlays are a fun way to get in on the betting action.

There are practically an infinite amount of approaches to SGPs. Some bettors like to make bets based on a certain narrative they believe will take shape. As mentioned above, betting based on narrative can make an SGP more likely to win, but that also lowers the payout.

Other bettors might take the opposite approach. Parlaying a couple outcomes that seem inversely correlated lowers the win probability for the SGP, but it increases the potential payout.

If you decide to dabble in Same Game Parlays, you should bet how you feel comfortable. Find your niche and use it your advantage. A common place to start amongst bettors is with their favorite teams or favorite sports. If you're really plugged into a particular sport or team, you may feel more confident in the potential outcomes.

However you choose to approach Same Game Parlays, be responsible, and remember that it's supposed to be fun!