How to Bet on Futures: An Introduction to Futures Betting

What is a futures wager?

Futures bets are bets made on future outcomes, such as which team will win the championship or which player will be named MVP. Longer-term outcomes and outcomes that are often resolved at the conclusion of a season or tournament determine these wagers.

How futures trading operates

Futures betting odds may go live before the start of a season and accept wagers all season long. Bookmakers may change the odds in response to the performance of a team or event, injuries, trades, and season results.

No matter what transpires throughout the course of the schedule or how bookmakers change their futures odds thereafter, the odds at which the futures bet is placed are locked in for the gambler.

Understanding futures odds

Futures odds are presented as a list, with each option’s odds. Most frequently, these are listed in order of highest winning prospects to worst.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed at the top of the futures odds at +500 (win $500 on a $100 wager), making them the clear favorites to win the 2022 Super Bowl.

The Indianapolis Colts, on the other hand, are listed at the bottom of the futures odds with greater chances to win the Super Bowl at +2,800 (win $2,800 on a $100 wager).

Returns on futures wagers

Each and every futures wager has odds, and those odds have an implied chance of winning. The risk is smaller and hence, the possible reward is smaller the greater the suggested probability.

The potential payout is higher for futures bets with a thinner implied probability, but the chance of losing is significantly higher.

Stake Odds (American) Implied Probability Potential Payout (Profit)
$10 +120 45.45% $12
$10 +500 16.67% $50
$10 +1,000 9.09% $100
$10 +5,000 1.96% $500
$10 +10,000 0.99% $1,000
$10 +50,000 0.20% $5,000

When are futures bets paid out?

When the event or occurrence has taken place and been rated by the bookmaker, future bets are paid out.

Futures wagers on the outcome of championships are frequently paid out quickly after a winner has been selected. Even if the wager has been decided before the last game of the schedule, some futures, such as Over/Under season victory totals, won’t be paid out until the completion of the regular season.

Many futures bet types

The most popular futures bets are those on championship outcomes, such as the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, or March Madness winning team. Futures wagers generate an increasing number of wagers at sportsbooks each year since they are so well-liked by casual bettors and sports fans.

Here are the most recent Super Bowl 56 futures odds:

Where can I wager on futures?

Futures wagers are available at all online sportsbooks and casinos. Look around for the futures bet you wish to place because odds and options differ from book to book.

Here, you may locate the top sportsbooks for futures wagering.

Benefits of futures wagers

The popularity of futures betting keeps rising, especially among casual bettors.

The following are some benefits of placing bets on futures markets:

  • Futures odds frequently provide a plus-money return, allowing you to potentially win more than you bet.
  • You are not restricted in terms of when you may place bets because many futures bets can be made throughout the season.
  • Futures wagers differ from book to book, giving you the opportunity to compare odds for your wager.

Negative aspects of futures wagers

However, there are significant drawbacks for the bettor when placing bets on futures markers:

  • Sportsbooks offering futures odds have a significant house advantage because there can only be one winner. Before accounting for team strength and other variables, the Super Bowl winner, for instance, is a 1-in-32 (or 3.03%) probability.
  • Depending on when you place your futures bet, the money is locked up until the market is resolved for a considerable amount of time.
  • With futures bets, there are more variables that might affect the result over the course of the wager, such as injuries, trades, and the performance of rival teams.

Futures betting techniques

The following are some of the finest futures betting strategies:

  • “Buying cheap” occurs, especially early in the season, when talented teams or players aren’t performing to their full potential.
  • When people suffer, there is sometimes an overreaction, which causes the future chances to change and offer a bigger payoff. Frequently, these difficulties are transient, and the team overcomes them and performs at the high level that is expected of them.
  • The identical futures markets will be offered by many sportsbooks, although the odds will frequently differ between operators. Look around to see which book is offering the best return on the futures odds if you have the choice to wager at more than one.

Defending futures wagers

As the field of candidates begins to narrow over the regular season and postseason, hedging futures bets is one of the most well-liked tactics.

You might have the chance to lock in a profit by betting on the opposing team if you were able to bet on a team with higher odds to win the championship and that club worked its way up the futures board into one of the favorites.

For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs, who had dropped four of six games between Week 5 and Week 10 of the NFL season, had +1,200 odds to win the Super Bowl in 2020. At those odds, a $100 wager on Kansas City would have been profitable.

The same bettor could have placed a $100 betting on the San Francisco 49ers at +110 to win $110 when Kansas City won the Super Bowl, ensuring the return of their initial $100 investment plus a $10 profit.

Another way to hedge your bets is to wager half of the reward on Kansas City (+600), which would pay out $660, on San Francisco +110, which would pay out $700. In the event that the 49ers won, the bettor would win $560 ($660 win on 49ers – $100 bet on Chiefs), whereas in the event that the Chiefs won, the bettor would receive $600 ($1,200 win on Chiefs – $600 bet on 49ers).

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