With the Wild Card Playoffs in the rear view, the true Super Bowl contenders have stepped to the forefront of the NFL playoffs. Excitement is building, and bettors could make a solid case that almost any of the remaining teams could make a run. Therefore, they may find themselves tempted to make an NFL futures bet, either to win the Super Bowl or at least get there.
However, a higher value proposition may exist. Simulating a futures bet, one can often get a higher payout by simply building a manual parlay. Bet the team in question to win each game individually, rolling the stake over each time for a bigger and bigger bet.
Not familiar with this concept? Read on before you place your NFL futures bet because it just might increase your expected value.
How It Works: Rolling Parlays Vs. NFL Futures
If you’re reading this article, you likely know how betting futures works. If you don’t, read this article about futures and then come back.
In any case, betting futures obviously locks you into a price. Sometime, you’ve got a great price. Maybe you bet the 49ers when they were stumbling to a 3-4 record after the Chiefs crushed them. In those cases, you’re in great shape and don’t need to worry about the current market prices.
If you’re still hunting for a sweat, there’s actually another way to bet futures that some sharp bettors have used for years. It’s built into the mechanics of parlay betting and often yields greater ROI than clicking whatever price the sportsbook gives you on the futures market.
Maybe you still want to bet the 49ers, for example, but you’re unenthused by the current price.
Try betting them on the moneyline in their upcoming divisional playoff game against the Cowboys. Then, assuming they win, you take the entire amount the bet returned — the original stake plus the profit — and bet on the 49ers again in the following round. If they again win, you do the same in the Super Bowl.
The requirement for winning this “rolling parlay” is the exact same as an NFL futures bet. Except, the payout is often much more handsome.
More To Consider Before Trying a Rolling Parlay
Before we dive into each team’s futures odds versus estimated rolling parlay odds, we should note a few things.
This exercise requires us to prognosticate betting lines in the forthcoming games. Different opponents and playing home or away will create different market prices, changing the parlay odds. Additionally, something like a QB injury can drastically change the prices as well.
We’re just doing our best to forecast the lines with market power numbers. To account for probabilistic nature of future opponents, we used weighted market prices for the conference championships and then the Super Bowl.
Now, let’s check on each team in the field and see how their current NFL futures prices compare to potential payouts from a rolling parlay.
NFL Futures Vs. Rolling Parlays: Team By Team
|Team||Best Super Bowl Price (Jan. 19)||Estimated Rolling Parlay Price||Difference Per $100 Bet|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+310||+300||-$10|
|San Francisco 49ers||+450||+425||-$25|
|New York Giants||+3000||+5500||+$2,500|
Even for the Cowboys and Bengals, bettors stand to win some extra dough by using the parlay method. Given the Bengals’ injuries, it makes even more sense to use the parlays with them. The house of cards could come crashing down if they lose more pieces on the offensive line.
That concept carries over the favorites as well. While bettors stand to win about the same amount of money either way, keep in mind that they can pocket some of their winnings and reduce their stake if, say, Jalen Hurts’ shoulder flares up again.
Overall, these findings jive with my math from last season, which found that the longer the shot, the more likely a rolling parlay will give a greater return than a futures bet. It’s not necessarily something you need to worry about when backing favorites. But, it’s still an option.
Don’t shortchange yourself on NFL futures prices. Consider using a rolling parlay to maximize your potential profit and flexibility.