UPDATED: A 16-Leg, $726K NFL Parlay At BetMGM Sportsbook Hinged On The Detroit Lions. It Actually Ended OK!

Written By Matt Schoch on September 20, 2021 - Last Updated on March 14, 2024
NFL Parlay Lions Packers September 2021

If you’re a Detroit Lions fan, you might think you have a lot invested in their games each week. But the stakes were enormous in the Monday Night Football showdown against the Green Bay Packers for one BetMGM Sportsbook player.

If the Lions had secured the big upset — they were double-digit underdogs — the bettor could have turned a $25, 16-team NFL moneyline parlay into a … brace yourselves … $726,959 payout.

And for a half, there was hope. But a 3-point Lions edge at the break gave way to a 21-0 Packers run out of intermission and a 35-17 Green Bay victory.

And no massive Cinderella score.

However, in an update provided Wednesday by the sportsbook, a deal made by the player and BetMGM before the game resulted in a great $133k payout for the player anyways.

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First 15 NFL parlay legs hit for BetMGM player

The player had hit all 15 legs in the NFL’s Week 2 until Monday night, though we don’t know how many swings they took on other bets that ended up being losers.

For this (almost) winning ticket, here were the values the player locked in:

  • Washington -175
  • Bears -130
  • Browns -650
  • Rams -190
  • Bills -175
  • Patriots -250
  • 49ers -160
  • Raiders +190
  • Panthers +150
  • Broncos -275
  • Cardinals -190
  • Buccaneers -650
  • Cowboys +135
  • Titans +190
  • Ravens +180

That left the Lions, which were locked in at +400 to win for the bet. This result would have been by far the biggest upset on the ticket. The Titans and Raiders, both at +190, were otherwise the biggest underdogs to come through this weekend for the bettor.

If you were wondering about the customized payout here, you’re looking at a roughly a +2900000 odds set on the parlay.

More Michigan sports betting coverage

When is cashing out an option on parlays?

Like most Michigan sports betting operators, BetMGM offers cash outs for bets that could be winners. This option is especially helpful for parlays that have hit some legs already, but when you might not be sure about what remains.

We still don’t know the exact situation the BetMGM bettor faces in advance of Monday’s game, but Andrew Doughty, who does content for BetMGM, provided a Twitter poll with a clue.

He asked followers if the person should take a cash out of about $145,000 on such a parlay, with more than 90% siding the way of the “sure thing” — if it were offered.

And that’s where there is still some clarity needed. According to multiple national media reports, this parlay was a free bet and  the bet originated from Michigan (which, frankly, would make sense given the Lions being on the back end of this parlay). Such a scenario and the location information have not been confirmed by BetMGM as of the 11 p.m. hour on Monday, however.

If that was the case, it’s worth mentioning that early cash outs are not available for free bets, so there could have been a wide variety of factors at play here.

Doughty later tweeted that had this better gone on the Packers money line for this game, the 16-leg payout would have been around $169,000.

Hedging your bets: A good lesson

We are not providing direct advice here, but players who have a decent chance of hitting big parlays in often have the option to consider a strong hedge heading into some of the final legs.

This thought came about, too, in the Michigan sports betting world when an in-state player cashed a parlay of almost $80,000 betting 14 college football unders earlier this season.

Since the heavy lifting was mostly done on this 16-leg ticket, it would have been a shame to come up empty on the winnings if the Lions can’t pull the upset.

In this case, the bettor could have ensured some winnings (while potentially shaving some away from the ultimate big score if the Lions do pull off the stunner) by hedging and placing a separate bet on the Packers to win.

Of course, the slim chance of a tie also should be considered in any of these situation.

Obviously, a bet on the Packers to win would have meant short odds (Green Bay was -650 at BetMGM at midday Monday, for example), so you’d need to bet a lot to win just a little. Plus, most average Joes don’t have that kind of money to grab at a moment’s notice.

But you can bet this player was doing lots of math and risk management calculations Monday, trying to figure the best course of action.

A 16-leg NFL parlay for a bettor at BetMGM Sportsbook rests with quarterback Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. (Duane Burleson/AP)
Photo by Anna Koldunova/Dreamstime
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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