futures betting

Not every customer or sports fan can keep up with a professional sports team throughout an entire season day in and day out. The same person can still love a sport in many different and unique ways and have a view of a team for the totality of their season instead of by a game-by-game basis.

What Is Futures Betting?

If that same customer believes they has a better grasp on a team's total outlook over the entire season instead of wagering on a singular event in one night, then futures betting may be more interesting endeavor compared to the day-to-day grind of a long season.

Placing legal sports futures betting wagers is banking on the result of a full season, tournament, or regular season award. Find free picks, including NCAAB free picks and free NCAAF picks all season long at WagerTalk. Including futures bets picks.

Most Popular Futures Bets

The most popular futures bets are wagering on over under total wins for a team, wagering on who's going to earn those sports regular season MVP award, or which team is going to capture the championship during that season. This can be done both before and during the season, giving customers multiple ways to have success at the sports book when a certain team or franchise has on the field success.

How Does Futures Betting Work?

As mentioned earlier, futures betting placements usually take place before the season of that sport begins but can be placed during the season as well.

As an example, let's say the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship are +600 before the season starts, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at +750, the Brooklyn Nets at +1100, the Dallas Mavericks at +1200 and the Memphis Grizzlies at +1400.

A customer risking $100 on an NBA Championship futures wager would bring back different amounts depending on the team wagered upon. Season-long future bets usually have plus odds because of so many variables within a season.

Team/Odds Payout (With Stake)
Warriors/+600 $700
Bucks/+750 $850
Nets/+1100 $1,200
Mavericks/+1200 $1,300
Grizzlies/+1400 $1,500

What Are Strategies For Betting Futures?

Using the example above, a customer places a $100 NBA Championship futures wager to win $1,200 on the Nets before the season begins. The futures market changes often, depending on how the team is performing, injuries, trades, and other variables.

The customers odds are locked at the time the wager is placed, so if the Nets begin the season 32-9 in the first half of the season and their NBA Championships Odds drop to +600, the $100 to win $1,200 future wager placed before the season is still valid.

If the Nets got off to a slower start and were hovering around a .500 record at the halfway mark, their NBA Championship futures odds may or may not change to drastically, but possibly can increase from +1200 to +1400.

If the customer still believes the Nets will turn it around for the postseason, they can add more to their original futures wager with more lucrative odds.

Timing Your Futures Bets

There is a timing strategy aspect of future wagering because of the swings throughout a season. The best price for a futures ticket is not necessarily before the season begins.

This is a fun aspect to future wagering because a customer can put their prediction to the test and literally put their money where their mouth is.

If a team is coming off a championship hangover, but still has their core intact (much like the Golden State Warriors, for example), it may be more profitable to wait for the Warriors to have their beginning of the season struggles before placing the NBA Championship future wager on the following season.

Finding rock bottom for a normally, powerhouse team can have its benefits in the futures wagering markets.

Customers should always price shop around different sportsbook operators for the same futures bet to get the best price available.

Hedging Futures Bets

Continuing with the NBA example, the Nets have reached the NBA Championship and that customer's $1,200 payout is still an open wager.

The best-case scenario would be if the Nets were the favorites against the Warriors. If the Nets have a -200 series price and the Warriors have a +150 series price for the Finals, the customer can either ...

  1. Let their original futures ticket play out. This allows the $1,200 payout to the customer to be collected if the Nets win the NBA Finals against the Warriors.
  2. The customer can take the Warriors money line series price as an underdog to guarantee a winning futures wager. For instance, the Warriors NBA Finals series practices is +150 and the customer wagers $300. If the Nets win the series, the customer is subtracting $300 from their $1,200 payout and taking home $900 as, in short, an insurance policy. If the Warriors win the series, the customer loses their original $100 futures wager on the Nets but receives his stake of $300 on their series wager, in addition to $450 worth of winnings. This would be a net positive of $350 for the customer on the entire season.

Hedging Futures Pays Off With The Underdog Winning

Hedging future bets really comes into fruition when predicting an unlikely champion or individual award winner. In one of the biggest surprises in sports history, Leicester City recently won an English Premier League title after being recently promoted.

Finishing ahead of the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United, Leicester City had 5000-1 preseason odds for coming in first place. This is both the thrill and a negative of future betting, as hitting an underdog of that magnitude is a story one can have forever, but taking these risks rarely come into fruition.

Future wagering is normally a bonus for the sportsbook operators, as there is only one champion or award winner per season, and all the other tickets are graded as losers.

When Do Futures Bets Get Paid Out?

The standard before using any sportsbook operator's mobile app, reading the house rules for futures wagering will take away most questions customers have. Different sportsbooks handle grading futures tickets different, so it's best to know their practices.

Over under win totals may be graded when the season of that sport is finished, when the regular season ends, or when the number has been passed during the regular season.

The same goes for regular season awards such as MVP awards or Cy Young awards, which can be graded during different parts after the season.

Looking for more free sports picks and sports betting tips?

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Looking for more free sports picks and sports betting tips?

  • Latest Betting Odds and Public Action: Vegas lines updated in real time, including who the public is betting on.
  • Last-Minute Handicapping Advice: Check out our extensive library of handicapping tips and advice from professional Vegas handicappers (we also recommend taking the time to look over our sports betting tips video library)
  • Want an expert opinion? Check out the latest Free Sports Picks and Best Bets from our team of expert sports handicappers.

Make sure to bookmark all the above!