A future bet is, to put it simply, a gamble on an event that will occur in the near or far future. Teams that will win national titles (such as the NFL, MLB, or NHL Stanley Cup), players who will win individual titles (such as MVP or Rookie of the Year), and other regular-season and off-season events that could impact the odds of sports betting, such as the coach who will be fired first or the player who will be selected first in his class, are some of the most popular future bets.

Dynamics of Future Bets

The fundamental concept of sports betting futures that you should always keep in mind is that the odds differ from one website to the next. This effectively explains why, earlier this year, different sportsbooks had varying opening lines for the Super Bowl 50 chances.

It’s also important to remember that bookmakers may find it difficult to balance betting activity in subsequent wagers. For instance, managing the action in NCAA Football odds would require managing the action on more than 100 teams, which is a difficult undertaking. That’s partly the reason why some sportsbooks steer clear of the futures market.

Notably, the possibility of enormous risks and unimaginable losses is the main deterrent for most sportsbooks from engaging in futures betting. One notable instance of such a loss occurred in 2011, when the St. Louis Cardinals, who were way down in the MLB wild card standings at the time, were given odds of 500-1 to win the NL pennant and 999-1 to win the World Series in early September. The Cards eventually won the World Series and the NLCS championship as their stature climbed throughout the season as other teams declined.

Undervaluing the Cards caused numerous Las Vegas shops to suffer staggering million-dollar losses. Since then, in order to protect themselves, the majority of Las Vegas books have either stopped accepting bets or increased the juice in their future betting markets by 40–70%. Thus, in order to prevent being duped into placing poor wagers, bettors should consider the “extra juice” before making their selections.

Advantages of Wagering on Future Bets

Fun Factor: To identify a club, player, or coach to back for a win several months from now, an astute bettor frequently needs to sort through all the inflated hype and chatter. Basically, this is one of the reasons that most future sports bettors are more likely to be recreational investors who don’t mind making a little down payment and waiting for a reward in the future than most casual bettors who prefer to take advantage of instant payouts.

Potentially Large payments: Putting early bets on future odds has the potential to multiply a few bucks into large payments if someone gets a correct future odd, much like in the St. Louis Cardinals example. As an example, a bettor who put his money on the Cardinals one week before the World Series would have to purchase the odds at exorbitant prices.

Disadvantages of Wagering on Future Bets

Too Many Uncertainties: A number of events, including injuries, coaching changes, Cinderella runs, and roster changes, can easily affect the final outcome of the bets when placing futures wagers, especially when doing so far in advance of the real season’s start. It goes without saying that placing future bets becomes riskier the more uncertain the situation, which lowers your odds of winning.

Long Wait for Payouts: A beginning balance of $100 or $1000 can be transformed into thousands of dollars in a week for shrewd bettors who routinely gamble their money. For some bettors, the potential for enormous gains in a month or a year can seem limitless. If you chose the correct future wager, you may have to wait weeks or months before you get paid out on future wagers. Your immediate demands, which may be met by daily or weekly bets, cannot be met as the funds are committed to future wagers.

fluctuating and varying: As was already said, future bet odds differ from one website to another, making it difficult for bettors to keep track of them. Furthermore, there is a chance that the high volatility of sports betting futures will hurt sports investors. The recent changes in the Patriots’ NFL future odds after quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal serve as an excellent illustration of this.

Final Thoughts on Sports Betting Futures

Simply avoid sports betting futures if you lack the stomach for long-term investing; otherwise, you may develop ulcers or worse, seemingly for no obvious reason. Future bets are designed especially for bettors who can wait through extended periods of time without being anxious or influenced by what happens on a daily basis in the sports media. As a general rule, make sure you research solid lines and understand the juice calculation formula for future bets. These two steps will help you stay ahead of the curve in the complex sports betting futures market. If you combine all of that with a little bit of luck, you can soon be the next big future betting winner, laughing all the way to the bank!