When the season ends, one type of wager becomes incredibly sought after, the future bet. Although you could argue that every bet needs to be placed before the event takes place, futures take this one step further. Rather than predicting basic aspects of a game, such as the next goal scorer or who will win the match, you are aiming for something far more long-term.
Futures involve a mix of distinct possibilities, but most follow the moneyline bet. This is where there is one number next to the wager you are considering. If you want to know more about this type of wager, we recommend checking out the moneyline guide. The beauty of futures and future betting is how widely used it is. All the best online sports betting sites will have dedicated sections to place futures on almost every sport.
There is one important aspect to note when talking about futures, they rarely have promos. Sportsbooks offer odds that stay relatively constant for futures. That means they rarely get boosts, free bets, or any other form of sportsbook promo. This is because to predict a future bet accurately, you need to look several months down the line. That means any bet will have good odds as they won’t settle the outcome until the end of the season.
What is a Future Bet?
Futures are one of the most straightforward wagers you can make. It means you are betting on an outcome way before the event takes place. Take the NFL for example. The season just ended so teams are enjoying the offseason. This is where you can place a wager for a team to win the division, the conference, or win the Super Bowl. That is not the only NFL future bet you can place, but they are the most common. At the FanDuel Sportsbook, you can place futures on individuals, such as the MVP, coach of the year, and a team to win ten or more regular season games.
The popularity of futures comes from the odds. Say you had a hunch that Doug Pederson would be the NFL Coach of the Year 2022-23. Depending on the sportsbook you use, you could get +1400 if you were to place a bet now. That means a $100 wager could return $1,400 if your prediction is right. Compare this to your typical everyday NFL bet, which has odds in the low hundreds. A minus should tell you that whatever you bet, you will win less in profit. So a $10 bet at the odds of -125 would see you get $8 in profit.
This is one of the best parts of future betting. You can place the bet and forget about it. As they won’t settle the outcome until the end of the season, you can just stake as much or as little as you want and then move on. That is also the major downside, as that money will remain out of your reach for a long time.
How Do Future Bets Work?
Future betting works just like any other wager, it just takes place over a longer period. If you are new to online sports betting, whenever you place a bet, there is a period where you have to wait for the bet to be completed. If you are interested in live betting, you could bet on a match after it has started, plus you could bet on an event that occurs before the game officially finishes. In both these situations, there is a wait until they settle it.
In futures, they take this wait one step further. Instead of waiting for one game, or halftime, you are waiting for the conclusion of the season. In the NBA, you can bet right now on the 2022/23 NBA Championship Winner, the regular season MVP, and the conference winners. It does not matter who you bet on, you will need to wait until most of the season is over before they officially complete any wager. If you bet on anything like the Stanley Cup, The Super Bowl, or NBA Finals, you will need to wait until the end of the season as these are typically the last game.
Some sportsbooks, like Caesars, have an incredible future betting section. This is where you can bet on just about anything likely to occur at the end of the season. You can bet on a wide variety of NFL future bets. Such as the finalists from each division, which two teams will make the Super Bowl, and what the outcome will be when the division winners square off. These are all predictions you can’t be sure about, as they are months away. However, that is exactly what makes them so rewarding.
How to Place Future Bets
You can place future bets at any of the best sports betting sites. Some sportsbooks have dedicated areas to futures before the new season starts. The PointsBet Sportsbook has sections for sports in their offseason. You can click on MLB Futures, NFL Futures, or NCAAF Futures from the main menu. They will most likely remove these categories when the season starts.
If the sports betting site you visit does not have dedicated categories, you can find futures inside of each sport. The sportsbook will typically have a selection of bets, including live bets, featured wagers, and various upcoming events. They will also have a dedicated feature betting tab for almost every sport. All you need to do is browse and select the wager you want to bet on. Sportsbooks adjust odds on the fly, but futures are a little more stable. Sure, if a team makes a huge signing their odds might get reduced, but certainly not by much. So, there is no need to rush and place a future bet.
As we mentioned above, it is unlikely for a sportsbook to offer you a promo when making a future bet. However, what you may find is that the sportsbook highlights interesting or popular bets for you to consider. This can include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the next Super Bowl at 15/2. The same bet might have been worth more just a few weeks ago, but its popularity may have caused it to change.
Future Betting Examples
We have spoken a lot about the benefits of futures and future betting, but perhaps you need to see it for yourself. Below, we have collected a few examples of sports betting futures from a variety of sportsbooks. While each sportsbook might have a different range of futures to consider, there will be a lot of overlap.
Sports Betting NFL Futures Explained
If you are an NFL fan, one way to get ready for the next season is to look at some futures. NFL futures are wagers you can place now about the potential division, Super Bowl, and conference winners. If you were to visit FanDuel for NFL futures, they have a section on the award winners at the end of the season. This includes coach of the year, comeback player of the year, and regular season MVP. BetMGM has a similar selection, but with greater choice. You can pick the top two in each division plus some stat leaders, like the season leader for passing yards.
NBA Betting Futures
The NBA betting futures are like the NFL. You can pick division winners and the outright winner. Plus, they have similar accolades at the end of the season. This included the regular season MVP, Rookie of the Year, and the most improved player. Sportsbooks like PointsBet have an even greater choice of NBA awards, including the sixth man of the year.
What Does MLB Betting Futures Mean?
Just because the season has started does not mean you can’t place any futures on the MLB. Some sportsbooks like PointsBet might not take future bets, so make sure you check before you sign up. The MLB has similar futures to the previous sports mentioned. You can pick winners for World Series, American League, and National League. Plus, they have end-of-season rewards for both leagues, such as the Cy Young and MVP.
NHL Future Betting
The NHL’s future betting options varied in each sportsbook. PointsBet allowed you to place wagers on the outcome of the NHL Draft plus the outright winner. BetMGM only had three types of NHL futures, including the champions of the Stanley Cup, the Eastern Conference, and the Western Conference. Make sure you check your sportsbook to see what NHL future betting they offer.
How to win Sports Betting Futures
While we wish we had a guaranteed way to win a future bet, that is unfortunately not the case. There is no secret way to win a future bet. Instead, we have some advice to help you choose wisely.
- A long wait: Whatever you decide to bet on, you can't rely on your traditional sources of information, such as form or performance. Even after you place a future bet, a lot can change between now and the official start of a season. So, just remember that you will have no way of knowing. Don’t beat yourself up when it’s wrong.
- Stake what you can afford: Whatever you decide to bet, you will essentially say goodbye to this money. Even if you are right, it will be the best part of a year before the bet will end. That means you will be without your stake for months at the minimum. Only bet what you can afford to lose. If you look at almost every future, they have fantastic odds. So, it’s easy to win a lot even when you stake a little.
- Forget about it! One of the healthiest ways to enjoy this wager is to bet and forget. Don’t check in on this wager every week. Just let it ride and see where it goes. As we said above, you are essentially saying goodbye to this cash as soon as you place the bet, so leave it that way. It will either make victory taste sweeter or will help you deal with the pain!
Futures Betting Odds
If you are looking to bet on the outright winner of a game, you will be lucky to double your money if there is a clear favorite. That’s why futures are so popular. Even a clear favorite, let’s say the outright winner of the MLS, still has fantastic returns. Los Angeles FC had the lowest odds at +340. Meaning a $100 bet will net you $340 in profit at FanDuel.
Looking at other futures with a less clear favorite, you will see where the appeal comes from. In the 2022 World Cup, you can bet on the golden boot winner; the player to score the most goals in the tournament. The favorite here is Harry Kane with +650 and Ronaldo is there for +1100. Meaning another bet worth a hundred bucks would see $1,100 in profit if you bet on Ronaldo. Crazy right? The issue with these bets is there is no way of knowing if you will be right or not, but that’s why they pay so well. Your intuition could net you some serious winnings compared to a standard point spread bet.
Depending on the sportsbook you bet on, you could be able to cash out. This is where they allow you to withdraw the bet, or part of it, as it currently stands. If you bet on Kane to score the most goals at the World Cup, and he starts off with a hat trick. Then you could cash out after one game for a tasty profit. It won’t be the full $650, but it will be more than your stake, that’s for sure!
When do you Place Betting Futures?
One of the most troublesome parts of sports betting is deciding when to do it. For future betting, you want to time the bet as best you can. Below are a couple of tips to help you win your future bets!
- Timing is important: If you place a bet on the Rams to win the Super Bowl almost immediately after their triumph in Super Bowl LVI, you would have seen mediocre odds. That’s because they would be the favorite to defend the title. If you wait and see how the offseason goes, you might see other teams strengthen or weaken, affecting the odds. Most of the time, the early bird gets the worm, but that’s not always the case.
- Has there been any news? Bettors flock to the sportsbooks when big signings or changes come. This surge of betting has a direct effect on the odds, as the sportsbooks will reduce the most popular bets. This could either be a sign of something to avoid or a chance to follow the herd.
- Bet small to reduce risk: If you have a look at most futures, they have fantastic odds and a healthy return no matter what you stake. If you have a spare $20, then placing a long-term wager where you could five times your stake is not a poor investment. Sure, if it comes true you will wish you spent more. But if it doesn’t, then you saved a lot of cash.
Why try Sports Futures Betting
If you are unsure if futures betting is for you, how can you find out? Well, the main reason anyone would place a future bet is that the season is over. Once the NFL, NBA, or NHL season ends, there is nothing to bet on besides a few pre-season games. Futures give you the chance to bet on something meaningful, just a long way down the line.
Some of the best sportsbooks have an incredible selection of futures to enjoy. The BetMGM Sportsbook has a brilliant collection of bets, allowing you to be more specific with your predictions. Another excellent sportsbook for futures is PointsBet. They have an almost unbeatable selection of wagers. They allow you to form a parlay of over under scores for the number of wins each NFL team has across the season and whether a team will miss the playoffs.
You can see each sports betting site's future bets before you even sign up. This means if you are yet to join a sportsbook, you can browse before you join. If you want a complete breakdown of the best sportsbooks, then you should check out our reviews. The FanDuel review has everything you need to know about one of the best online sports betting sites out there, and we gave DraftKings the same treatment.
What are the Best Online Sportsbooks for Future Betting?
If you’ve heard enough about future betting, then you might be ready to join an online sportsbook. Below are just some of the best online betting sites for future betting. If you are unsure which sports betting sites operate in your state, look over our betting site guides.
Futures at PointsBet
The PointsBet Sportsbook is one of the best for future betting because of how easy it is to find the sports you want. They regularly update their navigational bar to give you access to important events at the right time. While any major tournament is taking place, like Wimbledon, it rises to the top of the navigation bar. This is where you will find dedicated tabs to MLB, NFL, and various other futures. These categories allow you to jump straight into future betting, a feature you will struggle to find anywhere else.
Caesars Sportsbook Future Betting
Caesars has an outstanding reputation for several reasons. One such reason is the fantastic sports betting service they provide. Caesars Sportsbook has a brilliant range of futures to choose from across almost every major sport. Looking specifically at basketball, you can bet on the NBA conference winners, championship winners, and various award winners. There is a similar selection for other sports, but a seriously impressive selection for the NFL and MLB. There are around 40 different future bets to consider at Caesars for the NFL alone. Compare that to the five or ten you would get at your average sportsbook, and you’ll see why Caesars stands out.
Futures at the BetMGM Sportsbook
Unlike PointsBet, the BetMGM Sportsbook has a different way for you to find futures. Whichever sport you wanted to bet on, say soccer, football, or hockey, you just visit the betting page and look for the relevant tab. Almost every sport has a section dedicated to future bets, giving you an enormous selection to choose from. You can even browse futures after the season has started, such as baseball. BetMGM is fantastic for futures as they have such a wide selection.
DraftKings Sportsbook Futures
The selection at DraftKings is another not to be overlooked. For the NFL, they have multiple sections just for futures. They have team futures, individual award futures, and future parlays, where you can make a parlay with huge returns. The future parlays at DraftKings are simple predictions for whether each team will finish with a positive win-to-loss ratio. You can pick as many or as few of the 32 teams as you like; the more you choose, the better the returns. Plus, in various other sports, such as the NBA, DraftKings has unique and exciting Futures you won’t see at any other sportsbook.
Future Betting at the FanDuel Sportsbook
You might have heard of FanDuel from its excellent daily fantasy sports and now sports betting service. Well, it earned this reputation thanks to providing you with many wagers across a multitude of sports. The futures at FanDuel are great for sports like the NFL and the NBA. For other sports, like hockey, they have little choice when compared to sportsbooks outlined above. As of right now, you can only bet on the NHL draft picks and 2022/23 Stanley Cup winners at FanDuel.
Sports Betting Futures Summary
There you have it, everything you need to know about betting on futures at an online sportsbook. Just to recap, futures are an excellent way to turn a small stake into a large jackpot if your bet comes true. You will need a lot of patience, as the outcome of a future bet is not usually settled until near the very end of the season. Almost every major sport has a future bet to consider.
If futures are important to you, then you should make sure the sportsbook you join has an excellent selection. The sportsbooks that stood out to us include DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM, but there are several others to consider. Whichever sports betting site you decide to join, please remember to gamble responsibly. Any of the sportsbooks recommended above have exceptional tools to help you stay in control of your spending.