Sports gambling is fun, exciting and thrilling. It gives fans the opportunity to turn a normal, ordinary game into one with real money stakes. You live and day with every play, hoping your bet will hit. And it's everywhere you look nowadays. More states are allowing sports gambling to be come legal, and professional sports leagues are even partnering with apps like FanDuel and Draft Kings. There's countless shows dedicated to sports betting and even more 'experts' out there who give you there can't miss picks for the week. Now while a lot of players choose to bet on a particular game - or a player - that is happening that day, there are other bets available to them that don't happen right away. They are called future bets and today, we're going to take a closer look at what exactly they are, some of the benefits, some of the disadvantages and what players can expect. So what are we waiting for? Let's dive in!
What are future bets
Most players are familiar with the three most popular sports bets: the spread, the money line and the over/under. Those are bets that you place on a particular game that day or that week. There's also parlays which are two or more bets on the same ticket, and game or player props, which are bets placed on specific actions happening. Those are all bets you can place on a particular game or player. A future bet is different because you're placing a bet MONTHS before the result is known.
Before each season starts - and we're talking every sport - the odds makers will have their odds of each team winning that sports respective championship. A future bet is when you place a bet on one of those teams to win the championship.
And it doesn't have to even be the championship. There are future bets available for things like making the playoffs, making the conference championship round, winning a division or conference. And placing future bets on teams isn't the only type of future bet available.
The odds makers will also have future bets available on specific players to win individual awards as well. Things like the MVP, Heisman trophy, rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, coach of the year and so on.
Benefits of futures bets
Futures bets always come with good odds - even for the favorites. That's because it's difficult to win a championship. A lot has to go right for a team, so even the favorites to win will have to catch a little luck along the way. That's why the odds for futures bets are always going to be in the favor of the player.
Let's take football for example. Once the Super Bowl is over, the odds makers will come out with their odds of teams winning NEXT YEAR'S Super Bowl. And it's not just football. After every major championship the odds makers quickly come out with their odds for the next year.
Typically, the team that wins the Super Bowl is made the favorite to win again the following year - as with every sport. But where this differs from a regular game is in the odds. As we know, a favorite in any particular game is never going to have good odds. That's because they are the favorite so the odds should reflect that. A heavy favorite might have -250 odds, meaning you would need to bet $250 just to win back $100.
A future bet changes all of that. The favorite to win the following Super Bowl might be placed at +500, meaning a bet of $100 would win you $500. So why the difference? It's because winning a championship takes a lot! Teams will change, rosters will change, injuries will happen, other teams will get better. A full year will pass and you never know what will happen. And if the favorites have good odds you can imagine what the long shots have!
Future bets are also available to be placed in a parlay. One of the most popular futures bets is picking the Super Bowl champion, World Series champion, NBA champion, Stanley Cup champion all on the same ticket - and if there's a World Cup that year then that's frequently added as well. Those parlay odds would be crazy high and have the potential of paying out pretty nice if they hit!
Disadvantages of futures bets
Futures bets have great odds and the potential to payout big - and that's because they're difficult to hit! If you're a sports fan then you know how difficult it is for teams to win championships. Even the favorites have roster turnover, unforeseen injuries, bad games, other teams getting better. You need to be good and have luck to win. That's why so few teams repeat as champions - it's hard to do. So while you might think placing a futures bet on a favorite to win will be easy money, you might be in for a rude awakening.
Another aspect of futures bets that can be seen as a negative by some players is simply the time it takes for them to conclude. They are 'futures' bets meaning their action won't happen for quite some time. For some players having to wait an entire year to know if they won or not isn't appealing to them. They would rather bet on a game and know the outcome that same day.
So there we have it. Our look at futures bets and why they can - and can't - be lucrative to players. Despite the long wait to find out if you're a winner, we love futures bets because of the sheer randomness that they have. Every year there's a team with some pretty high odds to win that comes out of nowhere. There are plenty 'worst to first' stories where teams no one thought would win have that magical year where everything falls into place. Because of that, we love futures bets and recommend the next time you're looking to place some bets you add one - or two - to your ticket!