If you are just starting your online sports betting journey, and you don’t know how to place bets just yet, we are here to give you some pointers. It may seem complicated at the beginning, choosing the right sportsbook, picking the type of bet you want to place, which sport to bet on, etc – but stay tuned!
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This is where we come in and show you the way. Apart from a money line bet where you just pick which team will win a game, there is another simple bet you can place.
A futures bet is another way you can start placing bets if you aren’t familiar with sports betting. It is riskier and a bit more difficult to predict the eventual champion of a tournament, event, or championship, but you do place all your faith in one team.
What is Futures Betting in Sports Betting?
Futures bets are a type of bets that are placed prior to an event, tournament, or league championship starting. This type of bet is popular with both new players and experienced veterans because it gives them the opportunity to pick which team will be the winner of a major trophy.
This bet is popular amongst bettors because they don’t have to do a lot of research before placing their wager. They can simply bet on their favourite team and watch the whole regular season, tournament or any other event go by without having to research individual games.
There are also individual futures bets which can be placed. Instead of betting on a team to win a tournament or championship, players can select a player to be the MVP. Most bettors will pick their favourite player, regardless of the futures odds. The earlier players place their bet the better because as time goes by the futures odds change.
How Does Betting on Futures Odds Work?
All online sportsbooks will have their futures odds up before an event starts. So before the start of the NCAA tournament, the MLB season, NBA championship, the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl, all of the futures odds will be up and it is up to you to choose your team or player to place money on.
Whichever sport, team, or player you choose, the futures odds will be listed from the best odds to win to the worst odds to win. We’ll take the Kansas City Chiefs as an example, as they have the best futures odds to win the 2022 Super Bowl. They have way better odds than the Indianapolis Colts which are at the bottom of the list for winning the Super Bowl.
The vast majority of casual bettors will look at the futures odds, see which teams or players are favourites to win, and all that is left is to decide how much money to wager. There are a lot of risks involved in a future bet, however, but if you place the future bet as early as possible, the potential payouts can be quite big.
Types of Futures Bets
When it comes to types of futures bets, there are a few that are quite popular with every bettor. There are multiple types of futures bets out there offered by sportsbooks, but to keep things simple and short we will just showcase the most popular futures bets and most common futures bets amongst sports gamblers.
Outright Bets – The most common and most placed futures bet is the outright bet. Here, sports gamblers choose one team before the start of a tournament or season and place future bets on them to win the whole thing. It is important to mention that the earlier sports bettors place futures bets, the better the bet odds will be.
Prop Bets – Proposition bets or more commonly known as prop bets are types of bets that can be placed on the side that don’t really affect the outcome of the event, tournament, or season. For example, apart from choosing the Super Bowl winner, you can make a prop bet on the side of who will be the MVP at the Super Bowl.
Parlay Bets – Parlay bets are also present with futures bets, however, they aren’t that common or popular amongst bettors because they are one of the most difficult to get right. A parlay bet is when you wager on two or more outcomes, and you will only win only if every outcome is true. Even though the potential payout can be enormous, most bettors stay away from parlay bets.
Kinds of Futures Betting Markets
If you go on any sportsbook right now you will be able to see various futures betting markets available. Most bookmakers will certainly give out odds from futures markets like the NFL, NBA finals, MLB World Series, AFC Championship, March Madness, and every other major sports event.
NFL football is potentially the most popular futures market, not only with Canadians but across the globe. Before the start of the regular season, many NFL fans will have locked in their NFL futures, betting on the NFL team that they think will win the Super Bowl. Making the future bet before the start of the season gives them better futures betting odds, than placing the bet when the postseason starts.
It all comes down to which sport you like or which sport you follow the most. People place futures bets on their favourite team or favourite player, even if they don’t have the best odds. If you are more experienced in sports betting, you will probably take your futures bet more seriously and do some research before you place your wager.
Advantages of Futures Betting Compared to Other Sports Betting
More and more new gamblers show up on sportsbooks wanting to place some bets. Futures bets have become more popular recently, and because of that, we would like to show you what are the advantages of placing a futures bet.
Given the fact that a futures bet is one of the riskiest bets you can place, the odds will be quite high, on top of that the earlier you place your wager the potential payout can be sky-high.
Futures bets can be placed at any point in a season, tournament, or event, which gives you more opportunity and a lot more options. Keep in mind that the more the season or tournament progresses, the odds won’t stay the same, so make sure to get your bets in early.
There is always the fun element when it comes to sports betting futures, you don’t have to worry about an outcome of a single game at the start of a season because there are plenty of games left. You get to watch your team for months, and if you are lucky in the end, profit from your team winning.
Potential Downside of Futures Bets
Like with every bet, there will be disadvantages, and futures bets certainly have their downside. The main downside to futures bets is that they have too many uncertainties. At the start of a season or tournament, the team you placed a futures bet on may seem the strongest on paper, however, once the games begin, injuries play a big factor, some trades may occur, even coaching staff departures.
When it comes to the payout, even if you are certain that you will win, which is pretty impossible, you will have to wait until the season or tournament ends to get your winnings. If you aren’t a casual bettor who likes to place, for example, a mere CA$10 on a futures bet, and is unbothered to wait for the outcome, stay away from futures bets.
Futures Betting Strategies
If you are an experienced bettor, you will know that just picking a team at random isn’t the right move and that there are quite a lot of strategies when placing futures bets. From placing the bet at the right time to hedging a bet, there are multiple ways to strategize your futures bets.
What Does Hedging a Bet Mean in Futures Betting?
Hedging a bet is basically protecting any profit that a player is almost certain is coming his way. This is done by placing a second bet against the original bet that the bettor made in the past. When the results are in, the bettor has secured some kind of profit.
For example, if a player has placed a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Championship before they come up against the Brooklyn Nets in the final, the bettor places a second bet for the Nets to win the Championship. All in all, hedging a bet will get you a smaller profit, but it’s better to get something rather than nothing.
Betting on Multiple Games or Players
Although many bettors place a futures bet on a single team or player, there are options to place more bets, making your payout even higher. Alongside your future bet, you can make various other types of bets that will increase the odds and the income. Keep in mind that if you get one of those bets wrong, the futures bet will go down with them.
Betting During Mid Season
Many experienced bettors will tell you that even if placing your bet before a tournament or season starts will get you more winnings if the outcome is right, it is way less risky to place your futures bets during mid-season.
This is because by this point of the season you will be able to see which teams are doing good, which ones are on a winning streak, did any of the underdogs make a surprising run, etc. Although placing a bet this far in the season will give you lower odds, you will have access to way more information than at the start of the season.
Line Shopping in Futures Betting
Line shopping is essentially bettors browsing through the internet, looking for online sportsbooks that give out the best futures betting odds. This is considered a key strategy because may be able to find a sportsbook that apart from giving favourable odds, will have special promotions.
You may be able to claim some free bets, get a lucrative deposit bonus, or other types of bonuses that may benefit you greatly.
Removing the Vig in Futures Betting
Removing the vig from a futures bet gives you the actual probability, opposed to the implied probability that sportsbooks provide bettors. By removing the vig you will see a more clear picture of what the sportsbooks themselves see, the outcome being of a particular game or tournament.
FAQs for Futures Betting
Where can I place my futures bets?
There are thousands of sportsbooks online where you can place any type of bet that you want. It is key to not go in in the first one you see, because there may be another that will give you better odds, and one that may have some special promotions available like free bets on future bets.
How do I calculate the odds to win a futures bet?
To not go into detail and because some new bettors may get confused, we recommend browsing the internet for odds calculators. There are numerous free calculators on the internet that can be used to calculate all of your betting odds.
How long should I wait for a futures bet?
If you want a big payout, the best thing you can do is place your bet before the season, tournament, or specific event has started. The odds will be way better, than for example during mid-season.
If I win, how will I get paid for my winning futures bet?
If you have placed a bet online, you certainly have a verified account. Now, if you manage to win your bet, all of your winnings will be paid out once the game or event is over.
Can I parlay my futures bets?
Of course, you can! However, many experienced bettors do turn their heads when it comes to parlay bets because the risk is super high.
Can I cancel any of my futures bets?
The chances of finding a sportsbook that allows you to cancel any type of bet are pretty rare. However, if you browse the internet enough, you might be able to find one.
Can I place my futures bets in a sportsbook?
Every sportsbook that you come across will have odds for major sports events. There are even special sportsbooks that are solely dedicated to futures betting.