In sports betting, winning an individual bet is usually a challenging proposition. Lines are set and adjusted to make sure the casino or website can have equal action on both sides of a bet. Combining multiple bets into one to receive a higher potential payout is called a parlay. Plenty MMA bettors have asked, should I parlay UFC fights?
If single bets are difficult to consistently win, a parlay adds more risk, but not necessarily a higher reward. It all depends on the odds of events taken individually or together.
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If you decide to parlay a bet with two underdogs winning outright, you might be looking at a nice payout.
Parlaying two favorites to prevail is not likely to net much of an advantage in payout. They’re both supposed to win, so the collective payout shouldn’t differ much from those of the individual bets.
UFC 253 Co-Main Events
Saturday’s UFC 253 takes place at the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Main Card is available on pay per view, with the preliminary cards broadcast on ESPN2.
There are co-main events in UFC 253, the first between light heavyweights Dominick Reyes (12-1-0) and Jan Blachowicz (26-8-0). Reyes is the favorite at -300, with Blachowicz paying out at +220. A $10 bet on Reyes will net $3.33, and the same amount on his opponent pays $22.00.
In the nightcap, middleweight favorite Israel Adesanya (19-0-0) takes on Paulo Costa (13-0-0). The odds for Adesanya are at -175, paying out $5.71 on a $10 wager. Costa’s odds are at +145 with a $14.50 payout on $10 as the underdog.
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If bet individually, wins by favorites Reyes and Adesanya would net $9.01 on the original $20 wagered. A $20 parlay bet for wins by both fighters would net $21.90, a $12.89 increase over the individual wagers. That’s a significant difference, especially if the bettor feels strongly that both favorites will prevail.
On the other side of the equation, winning bets on both underdogs would net $36.50 on two $10 bets. Now, here’s where it gets fun, especially if the bettor has some strong inclination to bet the underdogs. The $20 parlay on Blachowicz and Costa pays $136.80, a whopping $100.30 improvement. Does that help when you ask if you should parlay UFC fights?
Is it likely that two underdogs win on the same night when UFC underdogs win 37% of the time? Clearly, the odds suggest that even one won’t pull off the upset, much less both of them. The mathematical chances are about 14%, but if you’re willing to take a flyer, the big payday awaits.
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If you’re like me, winning three bucks on a winning bet doesn’t hold much interest for me. I either need to put more at risk or place a bet with higher odds for a bigger payout.
In this case, the parlay for Reyes and Adesanya is somewhat attractive for me with a decent payout opportunity.
Since favorites win 63% of the time in UFC, the mathematical probability of both favorites prevailing is about 40%. The odds for the parlay are paying about +110, but history would indicate it should be +120 or higher.
Of course, those numbers don’t take the individual matchups into consideration, but it’s another piece of data to consider.