In simple terms, a future bet is a wager placed on an event that will be happening in the near or distant future. Some of the most common future bets include teams that will win national titles (like the Super Bowl in NFL, World Series in MLB, and Stanley Cup in NHL), players who will win individual titles (like MVP and Rookie of the Year), and other regular-season and offseason issues that can affect the sports betting odds like the coach who will be fired first or the player who will be drafted first in his class.
Dynamics of Future Bets
The very basic aspect of sports betting futures that needs to ingrained in your mind is that the odds vary from site to site. This, essentially, is the reason why the odds to win the Super Bowl 50 odds opened differently at various Sportsbooks earlier this year.
As another crucial note, balancing betting action in future bets can be cumbersome for bookmakers. For example, dealing with the action in NCAA Football odds would call for balancing the action on 100-plus teams, which is a daunting task. Partly, that’s the reason why some Sportsbooks tend to avoid venturing in the arena of future bets.
Notably, the biggest of all reasons why most Sportsbooks avoid activities related to future betting is that they come with the potential of massive risks and incalculable losses. A good example of such losses was in 2011, when the St. Louis Cardinals (placed at the time far behind in the MLB wild card race) were offered at 999-1 to win the World Series and 500-1 odds to win NL pennant early in September. As the season went on, the Cards grew stronger in stature, while other teams regressed, earning them the NLCS title, and the World Series eventually.
As a result of underestimating the Cards, several Las Vegas shops incurred mind-blowing million-dollar losses. Since then, most of the Las Vegas books either keep away from future betting activities or add 40-70% juice to their future betting markets to protect themselves. Bettors should thus factor in the “added juice” in their sports betting decisions to avoid getting lured into bad bets.
Advantages of Wagering on Future Bets
Fun Element: It often takes a smart bettor to sieve through all the exaggerated hype and talks to find a team, player or coach to bet on to win something several months down the line. Essentially, that’s one of the reasons most future sports bettors tend to be recreational investors that have no problem with putting a few bucks down and waiting for a payout in the future, as opposed to most casual bettors who tend to look for quick payouts.
Potential Good Payouts: Like the case of the St. Louis Cardinals, making early wagers for future odds has the potential of multiplying a handful of bucks into big payouts if someone lands a right future odd. This is in contrast to, let’s say a bettor who wagered his money on the Cardinals one week to the World Series, who had to buy the odds at overpriced rates.
Disadvantages of Wagering on Future Bets
Too Many Uncertainties: When betting on futures, especially way early before the actual season begins, several factors like injuries, coaching changes, Cinderella runs and roster changes can easily influence the eventual outcome of the bets. The more the uncertainties are, the riskier it is to place your future bets, which obviously lessens your chances of winning.
Long Wait for Payouts: For intelligent bettors who wager their funds regularly, a starting sum of $100 or $1000 can be turned into thousands of dollars in a week. In a month or year, the possibilities of massive profits can be endless for such bettors. In future bets, you often have to wait for weeks or months in order for your payday to come, assuming that you picked the right future bet. With the money tied up in future bets, your immediate needs (that could be solved by daily/weekly bets) cannot therefore be solved.
Varying and Fluctuating: As earlier mentioned, the odds of future bets vary from one site to another, which can tedious for bettors to monitor. Moreover, sportsbetting betting futures tend to fluctuate a lot, which can be disadvantageous to sports investors. A perfect example is the recent fluctuations on the NFL future odds for the Patriots, following the suspension of QB Tom Brady for his alleged involvement in the Deflategate Scandal.
Final Thoughts on Sports Betting Futures
If you have a low appetite for long-time investments, simply stay away from Sports Betting futures or you’ll end up with ulcers, or something worse, for no apparent reason. Future bets are meant and specifically tailored for bettors that have no problem with waiting for long durations without panicking or getting swayed by daily developments in the world of sports media. As a standing rule for future bets, ensure that you shop well for good lines and learn the formula used to calculate the juice, which will help you to cap the tricky market of sportsbetting futures. Add all that to a bit of some luck, you could be the next big future betting winner laughing all the way to the bank very soon!