Basics of Betting on Futures

What is a Futures Bet

Example: “What is going to win the World Series this year?”

Futures are the odds posted ahead of major sporting events like the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, World Series, NCAA Tournament, college football playoff, and Super Bowl.

Our Guide to Betting on Futures

The key to futures bets are how long you are going to tie up your bankroll.  The average bettor doesn’t like to have that money tied up for months at a time, even though they can be very profitable.  Back in 1999 if you took the St. Louis Rams to win the Super Bowl, you could have gotten 300/1.  That is a HUGE pay day.

So what are the best ways to play futures bets?  The first rule is bet early.  The earlier you get in, the higher the payoff.  Betting the Rams before the preseason you could have gotten 300/1, but after the first couple of weeks when Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk were putting up incredible numbers you wouldn’t have seen better than 20/1.  That’s a big dropoff.

If you like the moves a team has made in the offseason, see if there is any value in their futures numbers before you even place the bet.

Now, if a team is a heavy favorite their number won’t move early in the year.  You can wait a little bit.  This helps you in two ways.  One, is the team playing like you thought they would.  Two, you don’t have to worry about a big injury taking them down.


If that favorite struggles you can spot some value.  A team starting at 20/1 who loses the first week might jump up to 40/1.  That’s when you snag them.  A couple of wins and that number will drop right back to 20/1.

On the other hand, avoid teams that are hot early.  A couple of wins and people jump on the bandwagon, driving the number down.  If a team starts at 20/1 but wins their first few games, expect to see single digit odds.

It’s always important to shop around for the best number.  That’s why we check the best sports betting sites. You’ll always find Bovada and 5Dimes highly rated so you can feel comfortable depositing into multiple shops.

Remember to check the schedules out too.  If a team opens up with 3 really tough games wait to get your action in.  They might struggle before the schedule opens up and their odds should be a little higher.  If their schedule starts out easy, you want to get that bet in ASAP.

Don’t forget to lock in a profit.  Let’s say you had those Rams at 300/1 to win the Super Bowl.  The big game comes and the Rams are -200 favorites.  If you put $100 on the 300/1 you would win $30,000 if the Rams won.  If you put $20,000 on the Rams -200 you win $10,000 if St. Louis wins the game minus your $100 futures bet.  If the other team wins you get the $30,000 from the futures bet minus the $20,000 loss from the money line.  You’ve just guaranteed yourself a $10,000 profit.  Not a bad move!