Putting together a Thursday Night Football parlay in Bengals-Ravens game of the week

Now this is a Thursday Night Football matchup we’ve been waiting for! After weeks of being forced to watch quarterbacks like Bryce Young, Tyson Bagent, Kenny Pickett, and Will Levis in prime time, we are finally blessed with a true Thursday Night class. Week 11 features former MVP Lamar Jackson hosting AFC-hopeful Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in what could be the game of the week.

While oddsmakers expect the Ravens to walk away Thursday night with a win, it is a lot closer to a “pick ‘em” game as the odds might suggest. The Baltimore Ravens are currently 4-point home favorites to Burrow’s Bengals, but it is often understood that home teams are spotted a 3-point advantage in any odds. That means this feels like a great opportunity to place a little money on the line to make your game-watching experience even more fun, especially if you think the Cincinnati Bengals have a chance to pull off the upset.

Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook still has the money line for a Ravens win at -198, meaning in order to win a $100 payout on Baltimore winning the game, you would have to wager (and risk) $198 on the bet. On the flipside, if you were willing to bet on the Bengals pulling off the technical upset against the Ravens in Baltimore, a measly $100 bet would pay out $164 on the current +164 odds.

But if, like the oddsmakers, you think the Ravens are going to win, you can string that bet together with others in what is known as a “parlay” to potentially increase your payout. You can head over to DraftKings Sportsbook for a full definition of what a parlay is, but essentially, a parlay is a string of multiple bets (each individual bet known as a “leg”), where for there to be any payout whatsoever, each leg of the parlay has to be correct. It is all-or-nothing. In a three-leg parlay, if one of the bets misses but the other two hit, there is no “partial payout.” It is simply a loss. But if all three bets hit, that is where there might be opportunity for money to be made.

So consider this four-leg parlay for tonight’s game:

  1. Ravens WIN (-198). This goes without saying. Lamar Jackson arguably had the worst game of his 2023 season against the Cleveland Browns last week, and he should be looking to bounce back in a big way against the Bengals.
  2. Bengals OVER 10.5 points (-700). But the Bengals offense is nothing to scoff at. Cincinnati has too many weapons on offense to not zoom past 11 total points in the game.
  3. Joe Burrow OVER .5 interceptions (-110). Joe Burrow has thrown six picks this season, two of which came last week against the Houston Texans. Burrow has thrown interceptions in back-to-back games two times already in 2023, and could make it three times with at least one pick against a talented Ravens secondary.
  4. No Safety scored in the game (-3000). Neither team has scored a safety or had a safety scored against them in 2023, so hopefully the streak can remain alive one more week.

The parlay odds for this bet would be +210, meaning a $100 bet would pay out $310 (the original $100 bet plus an extra $210). Again, this takes all four individual legs of the parlay have to come true for this bet to pay out. But look at the odds: Instead of a $100 parlay, if four $25.00 bets were placed on each of these legs individually and all four were to come true, the total payout would be $139.76 (the original $100 bet plus an extra $39.76). By stringing these four bets into a four-leg parlay, a winning bet pays out over five-times more than the four solo bets by themselves.

Does this mean the parlay is a safe bet to make? Of course not. Every bet also presents risk. But stringing together a series of less-risky bets into a parlay, while the risk is greater because it presents more opportunities for the overall bet to miss, the potential reward is greater. Once a basic parlay bet is understood and made, the feeling of it hitting is like no other, and soon, a novice sports better can eventually start stringing together ultra aggressive parlays for a big-time payday. You can head over to DraftKings Sportsbook to try to make it happen.

If you like this material, make sure you’re subscribed to The SB Nation NFL Show podcast where we cover Thursday Night Football sports bets every week. You can catch us wherever you listen to your podcasts. As always, you can follow me on Twitter/X @ChrisDunnells. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

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