The Impact Proline Tie Rules Has On NFL Betting

With 15% of NFL games decided by a field goal, Proline tie rules can cost you a lot of winning tickets. (Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA)

At first glance, parlaying all three NFL teams playing home games on U.S. Thanksgiving looked like a pretty good deal at Proline.

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Getting 6:1 odds (well, 5:1, since the Proline payout includes your original wager) on three favourites to win seemed pretty appealing.

Especially when we compared it to what online sportsbooks would pay on what appeared to be a similar wager:

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WOW! Proline was paying nearly double for the same bet! Weren’t online sportsbooks supposed to offer way better odds than Proline?

Whoa, wait a minute. Remember those pesky little Proline tie rules? They vary across Canada, but the one constant one is that NFL teams need to win by more than 3 points or the game is graded as a tie.

So, we decided to reflect that must-win-by-3-point-requirement on our sportsbook parlay. We took each team by -3.5 on the point spread and parlayed those together with the same $100 bet:

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Okay… now that makes a lot more sense. The online sportsbook was offering $719 return on a $100 wager, $207 more than Proline (remember, the Proline payout includes your original wager). That’s an extra 29% payout!

It just goes to show you what a huge difference that 3-point tie rule in NFL football makes. With approximately 15% of NFL games decided by 3 points (not to mention the games that are decided by less), that turns a lot of would-be winning Proline tickets into losers.