How To Bet Futures

Future betting definition, example and strategy

  • While quicker and quicker payouts through live and traditional game betting are as popular as ever, futures are another bet type that can be utilized. 

  • As the name suggests, wagering on a “future” means that the outcome will occur down the road, most of the time after a series of months, or at the very minimum, weeks. 

  • While the clear downside of placing a future bet is that a long-term investment can hold your bankroll hostage since you might have to wait months for a payout, you can take advantage of long odds to win bigger sums of money than betting on traditional game-by-game outcomes. 

  • But, if you know your stuff, these futures can be considered investments, just like real estate or those in your stock portfolio. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it keeps you on the edge of your seat for an entire season (or at least until your bet is decided). 

  • The typical future bets fall into these categories: win totals, team accolades or player accolades. Let’s get into all three of them.

Win Totals

Some hypothetical examples of win total futures include: the Buffalo Bills to win over 8.5 regular-season games or the Miami Marlins to win under 64.5 regular-season contests. With both of these examples, it’s important to realize a couple of things. First, sportsbooks list over/unders with the goal of attracting equal amounts of bets on both sides (on the over and on the under). Therefore, these numbers are usually very realistic and the over and under have corresponding moneyline odds. Therefore, let’s say that over 8.5 Bills wins has a moneyline of -120 while the under has a +142. That means that they’re a favorite to win nine or more games, but there’s more financial upside to betting the under.

When betting on win totals, it’s important to look at a few key factors including, but not limited to: recent history, roster turnover/additions, coaching changes, development of key players, injuries and strength of schedule. And remember, tracking these bets throughout the course of a season doesn’t mean that you have to be a homer and bet in support of your favorite team. As is the case always, avoiding the urge to bet with personal emotions is key. 

Team Accolades

Some examples of team accolade futures include: the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Finals, the Montreal Canadiens to win the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Braves to win the NL East Division and the Connecticut Huskies to reach the Final Four. As seen above, win totals have binary options and don’t present a significant financial upside.

However, if you hit on a team accolade future, you can really bring in the bucks. Consider this example. If you bet on the Arizona Coyotes to win the Stanley Cup at +3000 odds and put $100 on it, you’d win $3,100 (your initial $100 investment plus $3,000). Due to the potential paydays, investing small amounts of money across longshot bets that you could see playing out is always a fun way to have a vested interest in a particular season. Betting on division or conference winners with less potential outcomes is less risky than a championship winner, but can also result in winning large sums of money with impressive ROIs. 

Player Accolades

Some examples of player accolade futures include: LeBron James to win the MVP, Patrick Mahomes to win Offensive Player of the Year, Mike Trout to lead the MLB in home runs and Sidney Crosby to finish the season as the NHL’s goal leader.

Like team accolade futures, if you hit on these types of future bets, a large payday will likely hit your bankroll. Take this for example: if you bet on Yu Darvish to win the NL Cy Young award at +4500 odds and you put $100 on it, you’d cash in with $4,600 (your $100 investment plus $4,500). Taking a low-risk shot on longshots who you think have upside for a breakout season is a strategy that can come into play, and, like always, staying on top of research, recent news and utilizing projections and data are all important factors to consider. Here at BetQL, we are more focused on offering day-to-day betting data and analytics, but it’s important to check out the landscape and stay on top of futures before and during the start of new seasons. 

In addition to best bets from our algorithm, BetQL equips bettors with public data, sharp data, powerful betting trends and daily model results. Whether you’re subscribed to a one-sport (Premium), two-sport (Pro) or all-sport (VIP/Sharp) package, you’ll instantly arm yourself with the industry’s best suite of tools. 

About BetQL

Want to learn more about BetQL? Check out the resources below: 

  • Best Bets: Find out how our model’s star ratings can help you make the most informed spread, moneyline and O/U bets.
  • Public Data: Find out why it’s always important to know what bets are popular.
  • Sharp Data: Find out why knowing who pro bettors are backing is important.
  • Web Tutorial: Find out how to use our platform on a web browser.
  • Mobile App Tutorial: Find out how to use our mobile app.

Find out more about BetQL and feel free to contact our Help Center if you have any questions.