Betting Futures at Online Sportsbooks
The long game in sports betting is futures. These type bets cover longer periods of time before they are actually graded. You can bet on the winner of next year’s Super Bowl before this season’s title game has even been played. This is the ultimate crystal ball bet that tests your long-term handicapping skills.
The best place to start your search for betting options for futures is a popular online sportsbook such as Vice. Some online books post all of its futures odds under one section. Others list futures odds under a heading for a particular sport. Either way, once you become familiar with how they are sorted, you can easily check for any line movements or new options added to the board.
Betting futures is like a game of cat and mouse. You can bet the favorite to win next season’s championship right out of the gate at the best odds. You can simply wait and see how the betting odds move over the coming months leading up to a particular event. That original favorite will most likely still be at the top of the list but at much lower odds.
Money coming in from the betting public has a direct impact on the movement of futures odds. If the overall perception of a team improves, the odds will drop. If the amount of money bet increases, the odds drop even more as a protective hedge for the online books.
For example, the Los Angeles Clippers opened at +1000 odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship. Deep into the playoffs, they are the favorites to win at +175.
After winning Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs were immediately opened as +750 favorites to repeat. Heading into Week 1, they were still the favorites at +600. This would have to be considered a value bet given the relatively small difference between the numbers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened as +5000 Super Bowl longshots on the same NFL futures board. Adding Tom Brady as their new quarterback dropped that number to +1000 heading into the opening round of games.
Betting futures on sports and sporting events could be compared to playing the stock market. The actual value of a team or stock is based on perception as opposed to reality.
Some teams/players are always going to be overvalued based on popularity. Tiger Woods still shows up near the top of the list when it comes to futures odds to win golf’s Majors. He did stun the field by winning the 2019 Masters but his best playing days are in the rear view mirror.
The Dallas Cowboys are normally in the mix for winning their division, conference and Super Bowl even though their last championship run was back in the mid 90’s.
The trick to betting any futures option is to find true value in the numbers. You have to take an objective approach to evaluating any team verse its particular futures odds to win that bet. The majority of futures bets place are highly subjective in nature. There is nothing wrong with putting money on your favorite team regardless of the odds as long as you are not using this month’s rent money.
Most futures bets would be considered low probability plays even if you are betting the favorite. That is why the amount wagered needs to be tempered. You are better off spreading that money around to several different bets as a hedge to cashing a winner.