What are futures bets?


4 min read


In the world of online sports betting, there are many different types of bets you can place. From parlay bets to prop bets, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes time to make a wager. Another type of bet is a futures bet, which focuses on the outcome of a long-term event rather than a single game. For example, placing a bet on which team will win the Super Bowl at the end of the season, or even betting on which teams will make the playoffs.

Futures bets typically have higher odds compared to betting on individual games, since there are so many more variables that can affect the outcome. As a result, payouts are potentially much larger. Just remember, your stake will be tied up for a long period of time since you have to wait for the result of the futures bet.

What are some examples of NFL futures bets?

You’ll often see these NFL futures bets at sportsbooks and online betting sites. These are pretty popular and standard at the start of the NFL season:

  • Super Bowl Winner
  • Conference Champions
  • Division Winners
  • Playoff Teams
  • Season Win Totals
  • Individual Awards (MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, etc.)

How are odds calculated for futures bets?

The odds on futures bets will differ from sportsbook to sportsbook and are calculated by oddsmakers based on several factors. Generally, oddsmakers will look at the strength of a team, the betting market’s perception of a team, strength of schedule, injuries and roster changes, and even historical trends. Sportsbooks will also adjust the odds based on public betting patterns, since at the end of the day, they want to minimize their exposure to risk. You’ll also want to stay on top of unexpected events, as they can affect the odds on futures bets. For example, an unexpected coaching change or a suspension of a player during the season — remember what Antonio Brown did while playing for the Buccaneers?

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How often are the odds adjusted on futures bets?

The odds on futures bets will most certainly be adjusted throughout the season. How frequently they are adjusted will depend on the sportsbook and the specific market. Certain events will also cause changes to be made, such as an increase in betting activity, injuries or roster changes, and other factors like coaching changes. Some sportsbooks may update their odds more often than others, so it’s important to pay close attention to your futures bets. More importantly, keeping up with NFL-related news will alert you of any possible changes to the odds on your specific futures bets.

What’s an example of a futures bet?

While futures bets are one of the more straightforward types of wagers you can make, an example can go a long way to better understand how they work. So let’s say the 2023 NFL season is around the corner, and you want to place a futures bet on the winner of Super Bowl LVIII that is happening on February 11, 2024 at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada. Here are some hypothetical odds at the start of the season for this futures bet:

  • Kansas City Chiefs: +500
  • Philadelphia Eagles: +650
  • Buffalo Bills: +1300
  • Denver Broncos: +1400
  • Baltimore Ravens: +1600

The odds you see are the implied probability for each team winning the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season. The Kansas City Chiefs would be considered the favorite to repeat. Let’s say you want to bet $100 on the Bills at +1300 odds. This means if the Bills were to win Super Bowl LVIII, you would win $1,300 and get back your $100 stake for $1,400 total. As we mentioned earlier, expect the odds for each team to change throughout the season.

What are the advantages of futures bets?

Arguably, the biggest advantage of a future bet is its potentially high payout. Since you are staking money for a long period of time and realistically making a decision early on in the season based on limited information, the chances of a successful bet are understandably low. As a result, you can win a lot of money with a low wager. Futures bets are also great for casual bettors, who don’t intend to watch every game of the season or follow the sport too closely. Betting on a Super Bowl winner at the start of the season is quite popular!

Another advantage is a lower frequency of bets, which is again, why future bets are great for casual bettors. Instead of placing a wager on individual games, conservative bettors can have some fun with futures bets.

What are the disadvantages of futures bets?

As we mentioned earlier, futures bets will tie up your stake for a long period of time. For some bettors, this can limit bankroll and reduce the number of opportunities to place other bets. Other disadvantages include high risk and uncertainty, as well as a much lower probability of winning. And unlike live betting or betting on individual games, futures bets typically offer fewer opportunities to adjust your position or react to changes.

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