Online Betting / Betting Guide / Everything You Need to Know About Futures Betting: Written by Expert Bettors

Everything You Need to Know About Futures Betting: Written by Expert Bettors

James Leeland
Editor
Fact checked by: Jim Knight
Publish Date: 10.04.2024

A huge part of sports betting is futures betting. With all the great tournaments in sports, from the Super Bowl, to the Premier League, the NBA and NHL seasons, and the World Cup, there are many betting options.

We’ve formulated this guide to help you understand how you can make the most of your bets, and where you can go for the best results when placing your futures bets. We’ll cover the best way to use futures bets, and cover what makes futures bets so valuable when done carefully. Now, let’s dive into this guide.

What is Futures Betting?

Essentially, when you are betting futures, you are placing a bet on the long term outcome of an event. All futures bets will focus on long term outcomes of longer events, which include leagues, tournaments, cups and other long term sporting formats.

There are many different types of futures bets you can make, most of which we will cover at a later point in this review. All of the top online bookmakers will feature futures betting options. Some of the most popular options include who will win a particular tournament, how many goals a particular player will get and who will perform the best over the course of the tournament, among others.

How Does It Work?

Betting on futures can be hard for most new bettors to follow, as you’d have to wait weeks, months or in some cases years, to get your potential winnings. However, when you’re thinking of future bets, the process is actually no more complicated than placing any other bet.

Let’s say you wanted to place a bet on the Premier League this year. Let’s also say, for argument sake, the League favourites are Manchester City at odds of 1.61. All you have to do is place a wager like you would with any other sports bet, and once the bet is cleared, your futures bet is in the running. However, there is one key difference to keep in mind: timing.

When Is the Optimal Time to Place A Futures Bet?

When you are interested in sports betting futures, bets are available throughout the league, but the odds will slowly drop as the league progresses. The reason for this is that it becomes more predictable on who will win the league you’re betting on, and that will drastically affect the odds.

So, let’s say you decided to back Manchester City later in the league, and they dominated as predicted. The odds could drop all the way to 1.2, and later to 1.0, which is not advantageous at all for the player. When it comes to futures sports betting, betting early is always the better option.

That being said, backing a dark horse could be smart. If you placed a wager on Arsenal, a team that would not have been top of the odds at the start of the league, you could be placing odds of around 6.5 on most sportsbooks. However, as the league has progressed, Arsenal have proved that they are one of the best teams in the Premier League, so the odds would not be as valuable as they were at the start of the season.

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Examples of Common Futures Bets

There are plenty of different futures bets you can make across multiple sports, but you will find there’s a common theme when you’re wagering on them. We’ve compiled a list that details the most common types of futures bets.

  • League Winners This one is fairly straightforward. You are essentially placing a wager on the team you believe will win the league on the sport you are betting on. These future bets are found across most popular sports, such as the NFL, NHL, soccer, basketball and rugby, among more. These are the most simple, but can be the most valuable opportunity. Often a season can change a team, so betting an underdog could be a better bet.
  • Tournament Winners These are essentially the same as league, but are much shorter, due to the single elimination nature of tournaments. This includes tournaments such as who will be the conference winners within the NFL, who will win the final sixteen in the FIFA World Cup, among more.
  • Player Futures Player futures are a little different, and more complex than other futures sports betting options. Let’s take an example here. If you pick Saka to be the MVP of the year, then that’s a potential futures bet in the making.

You can place this bet at the start of the next Premier League, and back Saka, then watch his performances to see if they stack up.

Four Key Tips in Our Futures Betting Guide

Now, there are plenty of strategies floating around in the online betting world about how you can maximise your futures bets. However, when it comes to strategy, betting on futures is all about putting a little more thought and care into your bets than usual. These are long term bets, so you need to put more consideration into it.

Tip 1: Pick the Right Sportsbook

This one is the most important step. You need to choose a sportsbook that offers value on futures bets, and will make it worth your while placing such a long term investment. Which sportsbook you choose will depend on the type of bettor you are. For example, if you are particularly interested in NFL betting, go with Fanduel. For a little more variety, BetMGM is a better choice to try. But, if you’re looking for more potential to stack multiple future bets, Bet365 and their bet builder can help you out.

It’s all about choosing the platform that helps you when wagering on futures based on your interest. There are many other sites, but when making our futures betting guide, we found these sites to be a good place to start.

Tip 2: Look for Potential Changes In Odds Or Performance

If you’ve been a bettor for any amount of time, you know the nature of sports betting is the constantly shifting odds. Futures sports betting is no different in that regard. Manchester United may be on top form going into the season, but if many of their players are prone to getting injured after only a couple of games, that’s an issue. There may be overtraining at play, which could be disastrous if you place a future on them.

Tip 3: Analyse, and Put Some Thought Into Your Futures Bet

Our futures betting guide would recommend doing this for every sports bet you make. However, the whole nature of future betting involves long term investment, and for a long term investment, you need to put in the thought necessary to make sure your bet is a smart one.

For example, don’t back a team like Burnley to win the Premier League just because the potential payoff will be massive. Burnley have not won the Premier League in its existence, so why would that change now? Be smart.

If you are to back an odds underdog, make it an underdog who has a fighting chance. Always consider how extenuating circumstances could affect some teams more than others, such as the theoretical point about United’s teams overtraining. It’s covering all your bases, and making sure your bet is a smart one.

Tip 4: Hedge Futures Bets

We would recommend this strategy for all futures betting because it helps balance the risk of these bets with the massive potential rewards. Hedging bets is when you place a second bet that contradicts the result of your first, in order to make sure you minimise any potential losses, and walk away with some kind of winnings.

If you have a futures bet on a team to win a league, then placing another futures bet on them to only make it to the finals, or the top three, would be an example of placing a hedged futures bet. It can be tougher to do when considering futures bets, as long term results have many different factors that are unpredictable, but it is still possible.

An Example of Hedging a Futures Bet

Let’s continue to use the Premier League as an example. Let’s say you are backing Manchester City to win the Premier League. To hedge this bet, you’ll have to place a couple of different bets to make sure you walk away with winnings. You can wager they will make it to the finals, which is a possible result, but also not definite.

You can also place a third wager that they will finish in the top five, which is another strong possibility considering their performances in the league, and will definitely be likely considering their points on the table at the moment. While none of these results are confirmed to happen, all three are at least strong possibilities, so you have hedged your futures bet as much as possible with these additional bets.

How Much Can I Win With Future Bets?

Futures bets, due to their nature, can get you significantly more winnings than regular bets if you are successful and of course no bet is guaranteed! We’ve put together a quick table to show you a full scope of the odds, the probability and how much you could potentially win with future bets.

StakeDecimal OddsImplied ProbabilityPotential Payout
£10/ $101.245.45%£12/ $12
£10/ $106.016.67%$50/ £50
£10/ $1011.09.09%$100 / £100
£10/ $1051.01.96%$500 / £500
£10/ $10101.00.99%$1,000 / £1,000
£10/ $10501.00.2%$5,000 / £5,000

If you compare that to regular odds on each way bets for example, the probability would roughly be about 3% less on the odds above. Odds on straight bets would be more valuable, at 2% more, however, it is more valuable than other betting types.

The Disadvantages of Futures Sports Betting

Our betting guides will always tout futures betting as a unique form of sports betting, but it does come with some pitfalls every bettor should consider before they try it out.

1. Greater House Advantage

The first major issue to consider is that the house will have more of an advantage. With this type of betting, there are more than two outcomes available to wager on, so naturally, it will be more difficult to win under these conditions. Take into account that the house will also have more outcomes that they can place their controlled odds on.

2. Long Wait Period for Bets to Settle

The other major disadvantage is that once you commit to a future bet, you’re in. You have to commit to your bet for a long period of time, and that wager will be tied up in that bet until it settles weeks or months down the line. So much can change in many different sports over a period of time, so placing an obvious bet three months ago may not seem as such a good decision now. Betting on long term outcomes is full of variables, but when it pays off, it is worth it.

Some Great Possibilities Available for Futures Bets

Futures betting is a serious commitment to make, but if you know what you’re doing, it can be a worthwhile commitment. We’ve laid out plenty of great information for you to understand about futures bets, and how you can make the most of it.

There’s plenty of great strategies out there for a futures bet. You can leverage them, and hedge them, and cover pretty much any sport. Of course, to make the most of every bet, picking the right sportsbook is essential. You also have to be careful of the long term implications, but they can be fun, and if you’re patient, they can pay off.

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Future Betting Guide FAQ

❓ How does future betting work?

Future betting is when you bet on the outcome of a multistage event, such as a tournament or league. You place your bet at the start of the league, and you find out the result at the end of the league/tournament.

💲 Are future bets worth placing?

They can be, if you are smart about them. If you place a future bet on an underdog that is underestimated and overperforming, you could see potentially huge winnings if they deliver in the tournament/league.

🤔 What is an example of a futures bet?

An example would be if you placed a wager on Tottenham to win the Premier League on odds of 81.0 on Bet365. This is a future bet on the Tottenham Spurs team.

⚽ What is the best sport to place future bets on?

This depends on the bookmaker you are using. Fanduel are extremely valuable with the NFL. But there are plenty of sportsbooks out there that offer a great variety of sports to place future bets on.[/

💡 What are the different types of future bets?

There are league future bets, tournament future bets and player future bets. The first two are betting on a team to win the competition, and the player bets on a player to accomplish a specific goal, for example, player of the year.