Just when you think nothing new can happen to sports betting, along comes a new bet that might become the most popular wager type in the industry. On Tuesday during its investors call for 2023 Q3, DraftKings shared a video presenting a new product called the “progressive parlay,” which could offer ways to win more multi-leg wagers.
What Are DraftKings Progressive Parlays?
The progressive parlay allows customers to build a parlay from between three and nine separate wagers (or “legs”), with chances to win even if some of those legs fail to win. In a typical parlay, all of the best or legs must be successful for a payout. That’s why parlays offer such high odds, and also why consumers love them. It’s sort of like building your own sports betting lottery possibility.
But with the progressive parlay (a term DraftKings has applied to copyright), the player can win almost all of the legs and still get a winning ticket. In a short video example on Tuesday, DraftKings showed home a 7-leg parlay would still pay out if the ticket won as many as 5 or 6 of the bets. The odds for winning would not be as high as if the parlay was fully completed, but it would still be a nice winner for the customer.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins believes players who may have been reluctant to make a three-leg parlay a four or five-leg wager, might be willing to do so if they have a built-in opportunity to win even if they fail on a few legs. It also means more parlay bets will be placed, and more people will play against the house in what has become the most popular bet style in most states.
Nearly every sportsbook has a “parlay builder” folded into its platform. DraftKings and competitors like Caesars and FanDuel typically offer pre-made parlay bets for most sporting events. The “same-game parlay,” where a bettor builds a parlay consisting of wagers in one game, is one of the most bet products for NFL odds, NBA odds, and MLB odds. In some states, like Colorado and Illinois, which release betting-type wagering, parlays make up 20% or more of the overall money wagered.
DraftKings does not have a date for the launch of progressive parlays, but it could be as soon as later this year.
How DraftKings Progressive Parlays Could Help Your Sports Betting Strategy
Let’s be honest: Sports betting sites like parlays because they are difficult for a consumer to win. Casual bettors are attracted to them for the novelty, the opportunity to wrap bets together for a game they have personal interest in, and the possibility of big payoffs from long odds.
But winning many bets is harder than winning one, which is why the sportsbook (the house) wins most parlays. In many cases, the bettor only places a few dollars on the line. Even a $5 parlay bet on +1200 odds, for example, will still pay out $60 if it hits.
The progressive parlay can tilt some of the favor back to the consumer. If you only need to win four out of six legs, or seven out of nine, it removes some of the doubt of building a big parlay.
It can also eliminate some of those “just missed it” parlays where you’re correct on each leg except one. Close was never a winner before, but with a progressive parlay sports bet, you could be close and still win some money.
How could progressive parlays add to your bottom line?
Strategy No. 1: Use Progressive Parlays To Mitigate Risks
Currently, a parlay bet is win ’em all or lose. You must be successful on each leg to get your payout. But, with a progressive parlay, you could use a longer parlay wager as a sort of safety net against another bigger, longer odds wager.
For example, say you lay down $200 on the moneyline at +130. That wager may feel a bit shaky, and you only win if your team is a winner.
But with a progressive parlay, you could build a four-leg parlay, wager a smaller amount, and even if you miss one leg, get some money back to mitigate the possible loss in the larger bet. Or place multiple parlays, and go longer for less money, to mitigate larger wagers on shorter-legged parlays. It’s up to you.
Strategy No. 2: Go Long and Short With Your Parlays
Currently, you can change a same-wager on a parlay one way, by altering the amount you bet. For example, you can choose the same five events (legs) for an Astros/Dodgers game and bet $5, and create that same parlay and wager $50. Your chances of winning are precisely the same.
But with the progressive parlay, you could place one wager at $5 as a straight parlay and the other at $50. And if the second bet wins the qualifying number of legs to win as a progressive, it will win something. In this way, you can tinker with winning possibilities for a parlay, and create an even longer parlay with more legs.
You could still win something even if you fail to win each mini-wager inside that parlay.
Strategy No. 3: Win Less Money, but Win More Often
Say you’re mainly wagering 2-3 leg parlays now and missing on too many of those bets by one leg. You could wager with progressive parlays instead, and place more individual parlays for less money on each. Your hope is to win more parlays (because you’ll win now even if you’re 3-for-4 on your legs) and get more frequent payouts.
You won’t win as many long odds bets, but if you increase your win percentage, you can grow your overall earnings. It’s sort of like deciding to shoot more close-range jumpers and increase the shooting percentage, rather than launch a bunch of threes that you only occasionally make. Yes, you’ll only get two points per make, but if you make far more of them, you can get more in return.