What is a Futures Bet?

A futures bet is a type of wager placed on an event, like a pro sports championship, or another outcome that will be determined at a later date, often at the end of a sports season or after a specific tournament. Unlike bets on individual games, which are settled shortly after the event concludes, futures bets focus on overarching outcomes such as which team will win the championship, who will be awarded MVP, or the over/under on win totals for a season. Futures betting offers fans a long-term investment in their favorite sports or teams, adding an extra layer of excitement as they watch the season unfold and cheer for their favorites.

How Does a Futures Bet Work?

Futures bets are made based on odds set by sportsbooks, which predict the likelihood of various outcomes well in advance of the events. The odds can fluctuate over time based on new information, such as player injuries, trades, or changes in performance. Bettors lock in their odds at the time of placing the bet, meaning that the payout is determined by the odds at that specific moment, regardless of how the odds may later change. Winning a futures bet requires that you have a good understanding of trends within the team and the sport at large.

How to Place a Futures Bet

Placing a futures bet typically involves selecting the futures market you’re interested in from a sportsbook’s menu of options. Once you’ve found the market, you’ll see a list of potential outcomes and their associated odds. To place a bet, you simply select the outcome you believe will happen, decide on the amount of money you wish to wager, and confirm your bet. The process can be done either in-person at sportsbooks like the DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino or through online betting platforms.

Types of Futures Bets

Futures betting encompasses a wide range of sports and events, allowing bettors to engage with their favorite sports in a deep and strategic way. Here’s a look at some of the types of futures bets available in most sportsbooks:

Major League Baseball (MLB)

In MLB, futures bets might include wagering on which team will win the World Series, the American League (AL) or National League (NL) pennant, or the division titles. Bettors can also place futures bets on individual player achievements, such as the season’s MVP or Cy Young Award winner.

National Football League (NFL)

For the NFL, futures bets are commonly placed on outcomes like which team will win the Super Bowl, conference championships, or each of the eight division titles. Futures bets can also be made on individual player awards, such as the MVP, Rookie of the Year, or Defensive Player of the Year, as well as on team win totals for the regular season.

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Futures bets in the NBA often focus on the overall season outcomes, such as which team will clinch the NBA Championship, who will be victorious in each conference, and which players will earn top honors like the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Bettors can also wager on season win totals for each team, predicting whether they will exceed or fall short of preseason projections.

National Hockey League (NHL)

In the NHL, futures betting includes wagers on the Stanley Cup champion, the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences, and the recipients of individual awards like the Hart Memorial Trophy for the league’s MVP. Additionally, bettors can place futures bets on the total number of wins a team will secure during the regular season.

Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA)

Futures bets in professional golf often revolve around the winners of the major tournaments, such as The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship. Golf futures can also include bets on which golfers will finish the season with the best rankings or win specific awards.

College Football

College football futures betting is centered around the National Championship winner, winners of each conference, and the Heisman Trophy recipient, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. Futures can also involve team win totals, predicting how many games a team will win in a season.

College Basketball

For college basketball, futures bets are primarily placed on the NCAA Tournament’s winner, often referred to as “March Madness.” Bettors can also wager on conference winners, the total number of wins for specific teams, and which players might receive national awards like the Naismith College Player of the Year.

How to Read the Odds of A Futures Bet

Understanding the odds of a futures bet is crucial for making informed decisions. The odds are usually presented in a plus (+) and minus (-) format, indicating the potential payout for a winning bet. For example, +500 indicates that a bet of $100 would win $500, plus the return of the original $100 bet, if the outcome is successful. These odds suggest a lower probability event but with a higher reward. In contrast, -150 means that you would need to bet $150 to win $100, plus the return of the original $150 bet. These odds are typically associated with more likely outcomes.

The key to reading these odds is understanding the implied probability they represent and comparing that to your own analysis of the potential outcome. The better you become at interpreting these odds, the more effectively you can identify value bets in the futures market.

Payouts for Futures Bets

Payouts for futures bets are determined by the odds at the time the bet is placed. These odds reflect the perceived likelihood of an event occurring. High odds (e.g., +1000) indicate a less likely outcome but offer a larger payout for a winning bet, while low odds (e.g., +150) suggest a more probable outcome but with a smaller payout. It’s important to remember that futures bets are typically long-term investments, with payouts only being realized if the bet is successful and the event concludes. You’ll have to take some risk to make those big wins, but you’ll need to be cautious so you don’t end up losing it all.

Futures Betting Advantages

There are many advantages to futures betting. Due to the difficulty of predicting long-term outcomes, futures bets often offer higher payouts compared to short-term bets. In addition, skilled bettors who have been paying close attention can identify underrated teams or players that may have been overlooked by bookmakers, potentially leading to lucrative payouts.

Of course, not all benefits are monetary. Placing a futures bet can enhance the enjoyment of following a sport or league throughout the season, as you have a vested interest in the outcomes. You can add another layer to your fandom each season.

Futures Betting Disadvantages

As with any betting, there can be some disadvantages to futures betting. The inherent uncertainty in sports makes accurately predicting future outcomes challenging, especially with variables like injuries and trades. In addition, the odds can be quite volatile. Futures odds can fluctuate significantly over time, and an early bet on unfavorable odds may result in missed opportunities for better payouts.

Finally, because futures bets are long-term bets, they can tie up funds for a long period. You will need to have funds that can be invested for an entire season or more.

Strategy For Futures Betting

Adopting strategy can help you be more successful with any type of betting. In futures betting, it is critical that you do a lot of research and analysis before making any bets. Deep knowledge of the sport, including off-season moves, player conditions, and historical performance, can provide an edge.

Another popular strategy for futures betting is to shop for odds. Different sportsbooks offer varying odds on futures bets. Shopping around can ensure you get the best value for your wager.

Finally, as with any betting, bankroll management is a critical strategy for long-term success. Only allocate a small portion of your betting bankroll to futures to manage risk effectively. Decide on a budget, and stick to it. Do not chase losses.

Futures Bets Hedging

Hedging involves placing additional bets on different outcomes to guarantee a profit or minimize potential losses from your original futures bet. As the event approaches, if your futures bet does not appear likely to win, you can hedge by betting on opposing outcomes to lock in profits regardless of the final result. Hedging requires you to balance the amount you bet with the odds to try for an overall win, even if you suffer some losses.

Bet at the DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino

The DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino offers a sophisticated betting environment for those looking for a premier sportsbook experience. With a wide array of sports and futures betting options, from Major League Baseball to the National Basketball Association and beyond, DraftKings Sportsbook provides competitive odds and a user-friendly platform for both novice and experienced bettors. Whether you’re looking to make a futures bet on your favorite team or explore hedging strategies to secure your investment, DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino is the ideal destination for sports betting enthusiasts.