2500 points = $1
When earning points, there's a multiplier, depending on the game. For some games, even ones with moderately high house edges like roulette, it's 1x ($1 bet earns you 1 point). Not good. For straight sports bets, it's 3x. Meh. But for parlays, it's 25x!
And even though it's in the title, I'm gonna need to say this, because I know some people right now are screaming "Because they're parlays dude! That's why! They're horrible!" Nope, not true, at least not at Bovada. And from what I understand/assume, most online sportsbooks. (I'd be curious to know how many sportsbooks still butcher their parlays.) They pay exactly the same as if you bet at -110 and let it ride over and over. In the end it's the same ~5% house edge, you are simply increasing volatility (drastically, I might add, which I'm aware can ruin you, but that's not the point here). Another example of these butchered parlays, is your typical 5 team parlay. At Bovada, it pays almost 25:1. Yet go Google "what does a 5 team parlay pay" and you will get answers like 20:1. Curious if Bovada is the outlier, or if this simply something that was done in the past. Or maybe it's a brick and mortar thing?
Also, in general, these rewards are better than they look. Which they look like this… Sports pays 3x, and 2500 points is $1. So it requires $833 of bets to earn $1. That looks awful, not even worth talking about, right? Except you're not "spending" $833, you're gambling it; the vast majority of that $833 will be returned to you. So let's multiply that $833 by 5% (roughly the house edge of sports betting and roulette) = only $42! $833 is really $42 truly spent… So they're giving you $1 back for every $42 you're projected to lose. That's not insignificant, and is on par with other reward programs in life, such as your credit card. But still, $1 for $42 is not that great, I agree. OK well that's just regular sports bets. Parlays are 25x the points (733% more points than straight bets, a shocking difference, thus why I made this thread), so now we're talking about getting $1 for every $5 you're projected to lose. Keyword projected, as you will be paid whether you win or lose. So mathematically, parlays pay 20% of the house edge back to you at Bovada, whereas straight sports bets only pay 2.4%. (I wasn't kidding when I said $833 to earn $1 is way better than it looks.) That's a considerable amount of house edge removed to consider playing more parlays, despite the variance.
Kind of strange if you ask me. Like the reason you still might not want to bet parlays, despite the lower house edge due to the rewards, is the swings. Agreed. OK, but to the casino, what reason would they offer this? It doesn't make them more money. Not unless the average person bets literally 9x as much when they bet parlays. Which obviously isn't true. So they're encouraging people to play parlays, giving them 8x the rewards, why?