If you have some disposable cash to play with and want to increase the entertainment value of your NFL week, parlay bets are a fun investment. A parlay consists of multiple bets on the same ticket with shops accepting as many as 12 bets, though the numbers and odds vary at different sportsbooks. And you can have different types of bets on the same ticket, but they all must win in order to pay out. Winning nine bets on a 10-team parlay makes for a great story, but it’s still a loser.
When choosing to play a parlay there a different wagers that can be made. A straight moneyline bet is one option, but you can also bet the spread and total of a game. Most shops also take player prop bets as well as margin of victory. Picking a team on the moneyline because it’s favored by a touchdown or more doesn’t guarantee a win and it lessens the payout since odds are higher. Having several favorites on your betting slip does give you a better chance of cashing a winning ticket, though.
Let’s look at some games on the Week 1 NFL schedule to get some insight as to which teams have a chance of making a winning parlay card so we can beat the house.
NFL Week 1 Betting Lines
Parlay Card Favorites
It probably isn’t a wise strategy to bet the farm on a 12-team parlay on the opening weekend of the NFL season. Sure we have stats and numbers we can use as a reference and all the big-name players returning give you an idea of what a team looks like. But every season is different and unless you’re Tom Brady every player has to prove themselves once again. And even the odds might be a little out of whack since we really don’t know a heck of a lot about the teams.
To improve your odds of cashing a winning parlay card it’s always smart to pick a few favorites on the moneyline. Going with all favored teams gives you a better a chance to win, however the payout isn’t nearly as hefty as what it would be if there were a few underdogs or spread picks.
One favorite I feel strongly about are the Tennessee Titans, who are laying 5.5-points to the New York Giants on Sunday. They may not be as good as the 12-win club a season ago, but they are better than the re-building Giants and they still have a sour taste in their mouth after their playoff loss to the Bengals. I’ll back Tennessee minus the points as one pick on my parlay card.
Many felt Carson Wentz was the weak link last year keeping the Colts out of the postseason. Needing a win in their last two games they came up empty with a putrid performance in a loss to Jacksonville in the finale. So, the Colts made a change acquiring Matt Ryan, who still has something in the tank and he should be rejuvenated joining a team ready-made for playoff contention. On the road in the season opener against Houston, the Colts are -355 on the moneyline, which doesn’t help our payout, but should at least give us a win.
Another moneyline favorite that won’t cost us a lot is the Miami Dolphins. They are giving 3.5 points to the Patriots and with all the work the Fins did during the offseason some have them projected as a threat to Buffalo in the AFC East. While that remains to be seen I like them at -180 in this matchup simply because they’ve had New England’s number in South Beach, and that was when Brady was slinging the ball for the Pats.
Parlay Card Underdog Winners
In order to sweeten the pot on our parlay card payout backing a few dogs on the moneyline is a must. The Cowboys won 12 games last season and probably should’ve beaten Tampa Bay in the opener. A late field goal denied them but it turned out to be a decent season anyway, at least until the playoffs. The Boys led the NFL in scoring and yardage in 2021 behind Dak Prescott. But the defense emerged as a strength behind defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons and interceptions leader Trevon Diggs. At +121 on the moneyline I’ll back the Boys in the rematch.
I’m not sure why the Chargers are getting as much attention as they are. They do have a fine QB in Justin Herbert and some quality pieces, and playing the opener at home has them favored over the Raiders. I like Vegas after their playoff run last year and think they’re poised for big things as long as Josh McDaniels doesn’t screw it up. I’ll back the Raiders at +151 on the moneyline for the outright.
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