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Learn to Bet on Sports: What is a Futures Bet

We’re continuing our “Learn to Bet on Sports” series here at ScoresAndStats.com.

Today, we’re going to discuss futures bets – a bet many of you are likely familiar with already.

What Is a Futures Bet?

A “futures bet” is a wager on an event that concludes in the distant future.

The most common example of a futures bet is picking a team to win a title. For example, you can bet on a team to win the NFL Super Bowl, NBA Championship, MLB World Series or NHL Stanley Cup.

Futures bets are commonly placed before the season starts.

Sports bettors are often anxious about a new season starting and bookmakers will price up a lot of futures bets to generate action (betting volume). While I believe futures can be great investments for your sports betting portfolio, beating the juice (vig) isn’t easy.

One of the biggest downsides of futures betting is the increased house edge (vig).

How Do Futures Odds Work?

Let’s take a look at example of a futures bet priced up at America’s Bookie right now.

They have the Dallas Cowboys priced at +1600 (16/1) to win the 2021 NFL Super Bowl. If Dallas ends up winning the Super Bowl, bettors that placed this futures bet would win 16x their wager.

If you bet $100 on the Cowboys, you’d win $1600 profit if they win the Super Bowl.

As you can see, futures bets can have hefty payouts when you hit, but trying to predict the winner of the Super Bowl before the season has even started is extremely difficult.

Learn to Bet on Sports: What is the Over/Under and How to Bet Them

When Can I Wager on Futures Bets?

The majority of sports handicappers place futures wagers during the off-season.

Sportsbooks release odds as soon as the previous season is complete. After the NFL Super Bowl is completed in February, bookies begin releasing futures odds for the upcoming season.

You can bet on futures bets throughout the entire season at most bookies.

Futures odds fluctuate based on the amount of action on a wager, form and news. For example, if Aaron Rodgers gets injured for the Packers, you’d see their futures odds take a nosedive.

 


What Is A Futures Bet? How To Bet NFL Futures


 

Examples of Futures Betting Markets

There are hundreds of futures markets available at online bookies.

- Championship Winners (Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, etc.)

- Conference/Division Winners (AFC/NFC Winners, AL/NL Winners, etc.)

- Tournament Winner (PGA, Tennis, etc.)

- Regular Season Win Totals (Over/Under)

- Will X Team Make the Playoffs

- Award Winners (MVP, Heisman, etc.)

- Soccer Futures (World Cup, UEFA Champions League, Golden Boot, etc.)

What Are the Negatives of Futures Bets?

Apart from the high house edge, there aren’t a lot of negatives.

One negative is that your money is locked up for weeks or months at a time. If you have a limited bankroll to bet on sports then locking up your money for a long time is often counterproductive.

However, if your bankroll isn’t a concern, futures bets present great betting opportunities.

Some futures bets are easier to win than others. For example, if you follow a team closely, you’ll have a good idea of what that team’s win total should be. Bookies don’t spend a lot of time on setting win totals, so there’s often value in these futures markets.

Should You Wager on Futures?

Absolutely, as long as your bankroll isn’t adversely impacted.

Futures bets are an exciting way to get action on a team for the entire season without having to bet on every single game that team plays.

You also don’t need to win futures bets consistently to turn a profit. If the Cowboys win one Super Bowl every 15 years at 16/1 odds, you’d be in the black.

About the Author

Scott is one of our newest writer and handicapper here at ScoresAndStats.com, but he has been writing sports betting content for more than a decade online. His work has been featured on many websites.

 

Scott is a millennial (born in 1989) who grew up in Toronto, Canada and he has never left the big city. He grew up playing a few sports (hockey, soccer and baseball) when he was younger. His favorite sport was hockey and he played goalie. He still likes to get out to the rinks to play some pick-up with his buddies.

 

Growing up in Toronto, Scott is a huge fan of all Toronto teams.

 

He watches the Maple Leafs and Raptors religiously. Scott also enjoys watching the Blue Jays, Argonauts and TFC.

 

His best sports memory was when the Raptors were crowned the 2019 NBA Champions. Unfortunately, he’s still waiting for the Maple Leafs to win a Stanley Cup during his lifetime.

 

Scott may be a diehard fan of Toronto sports teams, but he loves watching all sports. He’s a huge UFC fan (look for his UFC betting articles for most events) and he’ll watch just about anything, including tennis, golf, soccer and cricket.

 

Scott is a numbers guy and he likes digging deep into the statistics when handicapping games. He also likes to identify value bets in markets most bettors overlook, including player/team props.

 

When he’s not handicapping and watching sports, he enjoys golfing in the warmer months. He also loves burgers and poutine. Not only is that his favorite meal, but he has tried over 100 burgers in Toronto and he’s constantly looking for the best new burgers in the city.