Middling and detached parlays have been a typical tool deployed by serious bettors for some time. They help balance risk, and maximize their portion of EV bets. Typically, we see these opportunities in-season, when a particular game’s line moves significantly during the week. However, the offseason can be ripe with these opportunities if you know where to look. For example. while investigating NFL Futures options, we found an interesting one for 2021 we thought we would share:
See Miami’s current Win Total:
That’s +123 paid out if Miami wins 8 or less games.
Now take a look at their odds to make the playoffs
That’s +137 IF Miami makes the playoffs. Meaning if you wager on Miami to win < 9 games, at +123 AND separately bet Miami to make the playoffs at +137, you have two positive EV plays, where at least one of those instances happening is very strong.
YES, the season has expanded to 17 games, and “9 wins” will not carry as much weight as it did in the past, but based on the historical rates of wins needed to make playoffs, even adjusted for what we could expect in a 17 game season, there is still plenty of upside here:
|Playoff Likelihood (pre 2020)||1%||10%||51%||88%||98%|
|*Adj for 17 games||1%||9%||48%||83%||92%|
The only way NOT to win money on either of these tickets is if Miami wins 9 or more games and MISSES the playoffs, which we can expect to happen a little less than half the time with 9 wins.
Especially given the expanded playoff field to 7 teams in each conference now, winning 9+ games, AND missing the playoffs CAN happen, but is unlikely. Additionally, that low amount of risk is subverted by additional value you get from the chance of a “middle”. Miami COULD end up winning 8 games, and MAKE the playoffs, allowing you to cash both tickets. This will happen around 10% of the times a team goes 8-9.
Its rare to have such a likely positive EV, especially in the NFL so I would jump on this while you can.