What are Future Bets?
A futures bet is just that, a bet made for an event that is taking place sometime in the future. Most future bets pertain to betting on a team to win a series or a championship, for example, the odds to win the Super Bowl or the World Series.
Because the futures odds are set so far ahead of an event, payouts on them can be quite high. An example of a futures bet paying off is when Leicester City, who were considered 5000-1 long shots to win the Premier League, did just that, making a few risk-taking bettors a great deal of money.
Bettors will often place their future bets near the beginning of a season. During the regular season, in any sport, plenty of things can happen that will affect the team’s odds to win a championship. Factors like injuries and player trades can lead to the futures odds being adjusted throughout the season, and those ups and downs can be good times for bettors to take advantage of better odds. If a strong team has a shaky start, their odds might drop, but if you have faith that the team will turn things around, a futures bet on that team might be a wise choice.
NFL Futures Betting
At the beginning of the 2018-19 NFL season, for example, betting on the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl would be a +10000 futures bet. Betting on the New England Patriots to win would be a +500 futures bet.
If you took a look at these odds before the season started and decided that you thought this would be the year that the Tennessee Titans were going to win it all, and you were right, your $100 bet would earn you $4000 if they won the Super Bowl.
If that seems like a crazy bet to make, consider that at the beginning of the 2017-18 NFL season, the futures odds on the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl was +5000. That means that if you’d placed a $100 bet on the Eagles to win, you’d have won $5000. Just a $10 bet would have earned you $500.
NHL Futures Betting
Futures betting works the same way for the NHL as it does for football. Recent Stanley Cup winners are often the top chalk when it comes to betting on the future Cup winner, but if you’re willing to take a risk on a team you think is about to play their best hockey of the year in the playoffs, you might consider a futures bet on an underdog contender.
Of course, if futures betting interests you, you aren’t limited to the betting on the Stanley Cup Championship or the Super Bowl. Most sportsbooks offer futures odds on conference and division championships as well.
Perhaps you’re more certain that the Toronto Maple Leafs will win the Eastern Conference than you are that they’ll hoist Lord Stanley’s cup at the end of the NHL season. In that case, if you were correct, a modest $50 bet on the +500 Maple Leafs would earn you $300.
The only other thing required for a futures bet is patience. A bet on next year’s Super Bowl winner just days after the Super Bowl means you’ll be waiting a whole year to see if you cash in. Sometimes, that wait can pay off big.