The risk/reward ratio of parlays has long made them an enticing proposition for bettors. Naturally, adding more “legs” to a parlay wager boosts both the difficulty and potential payout. Needless to say, the more outcomes in play, the less tolerable these bets are for the faint of heart.
The flip side — the part that makes parlays the darling of many bettors — is how sweet it is when these long-shot wagers do hit.
A New Jersey bettor at FanDuel Sportsbook at New Meadowlands Racetrack experienced that side of the equation Friday night. His MLB/NBA six-team parlay came through, turning his $4,999 wager into a $525,867.50 payout:
|New York Mets||RL -1.5 (+130)||Beat Marlins 11-2|
|New York Yankees||ML +148||Beat Rays 4-3|
|Golden State Warriors||ML +240||Beat Rockets 118-113|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||ML +138||Beat Cardinals 2-1|
|Los Angeles Angels||ML -180||Beat Orioles 8-3|
|Boston Red Sox||ML -215||Beat Mariners 14-1|
No shortage of sweat during six-game gauntlet
One way to at least slightly bump up the odds of parlay success — theoretically — involves going heavy on moneyline (ML) bets. Statistically, there’s typically a higher degree of success in predicting an outright winner than a margin of victory.
However, baseball can certainly be a difficult sport to prognosticate night to night, especially in the early going this season, it seems. So, a six-teamer that relies on correctly pegging four MLB winners still carries a hefty amount of uncertainty.
Predictably, Friday’s winner had to survive a handful of close calls, which all came about an hour apart. The final one of the night involved the sole NBA leg of the wager, one where the better took advantage of a somewhat surprising moneyline:
Yankees-Rays (End time: 10:15 pm Eastern)
One of two MLB underdog calls that went right. Rays starter Tyler Glasnow — the primary reason for the Rays’ status as favorites — had given up two runs to the Yankees through five innings. However, Tampa had just overcome that deficit with a three-run surge just before the right-hander took the hill to start the sixth. Glasnow began to succumb to forearm tightness at that point. He was subsequently pulled after allowing two of the first three hitters of the inning to reach.
Reliever Emilio Pagan would go on to allow New York to regain the lead by yielding two runs after entering the game. Then, the bettor would have to sweat out four more chances for the Rays before the Yanks’ 4-3 lead held up for a win. That included a no-out, bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh that reliever Adam Ottavino wiggled his way out of by retiring the dangerous duo of Tommy Pham (strikeout) and Ji-Man Choi (inning-ending double play).
Pirates-Cardinals (End time: 11:09 pm Eastern)
Meanwhile, over in St. Louis, the Pirates and Cardinals were locked in a somewhat unlikely pitcher’s duel. The better had taken an underdog Pittsburgh squad to win outright with the Cards sending the inconsistent and aging Adam Wainwright to the mound. The wily veteran was seemingly operating in a time warp, however, as he’d held the Pirates scoreless through seven innings after allowing a leadoff homer to Adam Frazier.
Meanwhile, although Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams was just as sharp, St. Louis had finally broken through in the home half of the seventh with a Paul DeJong infield single that knotted the game at 1-1. The sweat wouldn’t last too long, however. Starling Marte put the Pirates right back on top in the visitors’ half of the eighth with an RBI single. Reliever Kyle Krick made it interesting in the home half of the frame by putting two on before whiffing Dexter Fowler and inducing an inning-ending double play from Kolten Wong.
Warriors-Rockets (Approx. end time: 11:55 pm Eastern)
This one may arguably have been the most gut-wrenching of the three while it unfolded. Despite checking in as sizable moneyline favorites, the desperate Rockets hadn’t been able to separate from a short-handed Warriors squad dealing with the absence of Kevin Durant. Then, after snapping a 95-95 tie with 6:43 remaining on a James Harden 10-footer, the Rockets failed to score during the following 3:56. The Warriors built a five-point lead during that span.
Eventually, Chris Paul’s driving layup got Houston to within 104-102 with 1:45 remaining. That’s when the Splash Bros. came through for the lucky New Jersey bettor. Stephen Curry (11 points) and Klay Thompson (three points) would go on to score Golden State’s final 14 points to vault the Dubs into the conference finals and the bettor into a six-figure payday.
Lead image courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook Meadowlands