What are Future Bets?

Some may argue that future bets are an exercise in futurology. That isn’t entirely wrong, especially when it comes sports betting futures. Picking the champion months in advance is actually quite fun, whether you are doing it for an actual bet or not. Correctly picking an underdog to win the title before it happens is a nice achievement -and it gets even better when there is a nice payout involved.


But future bets aren’t restricted to wagering on the champion. There are many other types of future bets which are not necessarily related to which team will come out on top. In fact, you can do the opposite and wager on teams that won’t even make it to the playoffs.


If you want to know what future bets are and how to win with future betting, join us in this guide.


Future Bets Basics


What is a future bet? As its name suggests, a future bet means wagering on an event that still hasn’t happened and will only take place further down the line. The most common example in sports betting futures would be betting on the champion.


As you’ve already guessed, future bets are very difficult to win. After all, you are picking one team or player to win from a field of 30-plus competitors. Tennis grand slams, for example, have 64 players in singles. And while only a select few can be considered true contenders, upsets do happen: in Wimbledon 2001, the legendary Goran Ivanišević played as a wild card and went on to famously win his first and only Slam.


Another popular underdog story popular in sports betting is Leicester City’s run to the 2015-16 Premier League Title. The Foxes were listed at 5,000-1 (+499,900) odds at the start of the season, having narrowly avoided relegation in the last rounds of the previous year.


In what is widely regarded as the biggest upset in modern sports history, Leicester put on a fairly dominant performance, lifting the trophy with two games to spare. One punter won £75,000 after cashing out of a £5 bet.


Future bets aren’t restricted to wagering on the champion. It is undeniably the most popular bet in futures betting, but it doesn’t mean there are no other options available. Some interesting alternatives include betting on individual awards, future props and draft picks.


The time at which you place the bet is also extremely important. Wagering on the champion during the preseason offers tempting odds, which also means that all bets -even on the favorites- are very long shots. Betting during the season, on the other hand, makes things a bit more predictable, although the odds usually offer smaller payouts.


Future Bets Tips

If you feel like testing how good your prediction skills are, follow these helpful tips on future betting to make the most of them:


  • Compare the odds offered by different sportsbooks on the same bet. Bookmakers usually agree on the odds, but future bets can be an exception, particularly during the offseason and preseason. Since there are some differences on how operators perceive each team, you will often find a wider variation between the odds.


  • Consider wagering on more than one team. Since future bets offer very long odds, you can place wagers on multiple teams and still come out with a sizable profit. You are essentially sacrificing the higher return from betting on a single team in return for a safer bet covering multiple possibilities. Of course, you need to know how much you are betting, the potential payout, and how much you can win out in the end.


  • Be realistic. Yes, betting on the underdog at +20,000 is extremely tempting, but it’s a losing bet 99 times out of 100. There are going to be surprises every now and then, but these are either middle-of-the-pack teams that improve over the course of the season, or strong teams which were underrated by bookmakers earlier.


Future Bets Examples


  • Naturally, the most common form in sports betting futures is wagering on the champion. These include betting on the Super Bowl champion, the NBA Finals champion, the World Series champion, and the Stanley Cup champion. Other popular options are betting on the college football champion, the college basketball champion, the tennis Grand Slam champions, golf major champions, the FIFA World Cup champion, among many other sports.


  • Futures betting is also available for individual awards. Some examples: the NFL MVP, the NBA MVP, the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, the Rookie of the Year, the top scoring player, the passing yards leader, the Heisman Trophy winner.


  • There are also many other future bets, which can also be good alternatives. You can pick which teams will make the playoffs and which teams won’t, which player will be the first overall pick in the draft, a team’s wins, or points total at the end of the regular season, and that’s to list a few of the other future bets available.


Pros vs Cons of Futures Betting


  • Future bets offer very good payouts. Since you are wagering on very long odds, bookmakers will also pay accordingly. Winning a single future bet should provide you with a good enough payout to make up for previous losses.


  • It’s fair to say that future bets are among the most entertaining betting markets. Few things are better in sports betting than correctly predicting the champion before the season even starts.



  • Betting is all about risk vs. reward. Future betting offers high payouts, which in turn means that it also comes with a very high risk. The sports season is long, and multiple factors can come into play: injuries, players underperforming, underdogs, and so on. Even if you bet on more than one team, there is still a chance of losing on all wagers.


  • Unless you are willing to cash out and take a smaller return, the money you place on future bets will remain unavailable until the end of the season. Manage your bankroll accordingly.


Future bets are among the best options in sports betting for punters willing to take risks in order to win big. We are talking about very long odds and bets that are extremely difficult to win. That being said, if you hit on a few of your picks, that should be enough to get a decent payout. Bettors can also hedge their bets, wagering on more than one team and trading some of the potential profit for additional guarantees. Future betting can be profitable as long as you know how to make the best of it.

What Are Future Bets? – FAQs

1. What are future bets?

In sports betting, a future bet means wagering on an event that will happen further down the line: which team will win the championship, who will be the MVP, and so on.

2. What happens to future bets?

Future bets aren’t any different from other forms of sports betting. You will get paid as long as you win. However, since you are wagering on an event happening in the future, remember that the money placed on a future bet won’t be available until the end of the season.

3. Can you cash out future bets?

It all depends on the sportsbook. Some bookmakers offer the option for the user to cash out on a future bet, while other operators do not have that alternative.

4. Are future bets profitable?

Yes, future bets can be very profitable. They usually offer the biggest payouts in sports betting by a significant margin. However, this also means that futures are among the riskiest bets available.

5. Can you parlay futures?

Yes, you can parlay future bets just like any other bet. You can even parlay future bets with other bets as well. The restrictions are the same: sportsbooks that don’t allow same-game parlays won’t allow you to combine them with future bets either.


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