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If Bets are a great way to manage your bankroll while still playing for the big win. By protecting yourself from hitting a cold streak while still picking more than one games, if bets might be just the wager you’re looking for.

To get the most from the explanation of If bets below, you’ll want to understand how points spreads and money lines work. We have a full explanation of point spread betting as well as a breakdown of money line betting. Otherwise, read on to get into this interesting sports betting option.

How If Bets Work

If bets are easy to make. Start by picking two or more bets you like. The bets can be on point spreads, overs, money lines, or any other type of bet, and they can be on different sports and values.

Let’s say, for example, that it’s October, and you like the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in their playoff game, behind a strong start from Clayton Kershaw.

In the meantime, you’ve also got your eye on early season NBA action, and you want to pick the New York Knicks to shoot well against LeBron, Dwyane and Chris and cover +6 against the Miami Heat.

An if bet on those lines might look like this:

Los Angeles Dodgers (-110) at St. Louis Cardinals (-110)
Miami Heat (-6) at New York Knicks (+6)

An if bet on these lines puts the two bets in a causal sequence. The first bet must win in order for your wager on the second game to count. If the first bet loses, the second bet has no action.

Say your if bet is for $10, and the Dodgers come out and win behind a three-hit complete game by Kershaw. That bet wins $9.09, and in an if bet, another $10 is automatically wagered on the next game in your bet, the Knicks to cover +6.

Alternatively, let’s say Kershaw comes out and somehow allows back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time in his career, and is run off the mound in three innings, well, that first bet loses. In that case, the if bet structure protects you from a second bet – you first bet loses, and the second game is never wagered on.

The if bet essentially creates a waterfall effect of bets, if each consecutive bet is successful. Once there is a loss, the sequence is over. The Difference Between If Bets and Parlays

The other element of if bets to keep in mind is that, unlike parlays, winning payouts are not subject to a multiplier. In a successful parlay bet on these two games, a $10 wager would pay out $26. With an if bet on these two lines, a $10 bet would pay $18.18.

The difference is that if bets protect the bettor from a second loss, and a parlay—though it has the potential for a bigger payout—is busted if either game doesn’t work out. In the meantime in an if bet, if the Dodgers win but the Heat come out and trounce so that New York can’t cover +6, the total bet counts as a net 91 cent loss.

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