New Jersey's sports betting figures offer a reminder of how hard parlay bets are to win

·2 min read

New Jersey, which has taken over as the top state for sports betting, has a profit of $608 million on completed sports bets made this year, through October. 

More than half of that profit came from parlays. 

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement put out its October figures on Wednesday, and other than the sheer volume of sports betting in the state, the most startling number might have been how much of the house's profit has come from parlays. Through October, it was $335.2 million. 

That means parlays account for about 55.1 percent of the state's overall profit on sports betting. Think about that before you play that five-teamer hoping for a big score. 

Parlays account for biggest profit

If you bet parlays, you know how hard it is to hit them. You'll hit one and keep chasing that win you told all your friends about. That's the allure. 

That's also why they're so profitable for sportsbooks. Here's the breakdown on New Jersey's year-to-date profits via the state's figures though October: 

Parlay $335,232,531
Other $105,343,521
Basketball $75,282,173
Baseball $53,555,836
Football $38,600,964

The house always wins. It just wins at a faster rate with parlays. 

Here's New Jersey's win percentage on each category of bets through October, based on the total handle the sportsbooks take in for each:  

Parlay 17.1%
Other 5.3%
Baseball 4.2%
Basketball 3.9%
Football 3.2% 

Many NFL bettors like betting parlays each week, and sportsbooks profit from them. (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)
Many NFL bettors like betting parlays each week, and sportsbooks profit from them. (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

Parlays account for a lot of sports betting

New Jersey does a ton of business on sports betting. The handle for sports betting this year on completed events is almost $8.4 billion. The profit from casinos, racetracks, and their partners in sports betting was $84.2 million in October, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. 

Parlays are the biggest part of that. A parlay is a combination of games with odds increasing with each game. A three-team parlay usually pays 6-to-1 if you win, but a bettor needs to win all three games. Going 2-1 on those three games is just a loss for a bettor. You'll see stories of 12-team parlays with more than 300-to-1 odds hitting, turning a small bet into a small fortune, but they're hard. The payoff is enticing though. That's why people play the lottery. 

Casual bettors will always lean into parlays. Just remember that the sportsbooks are more than happy to take those parlay bets. 

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