What are Future Bets?

Future Betting Guide

Feel like you’ve got a strong intuition? Put it to the test by betting on futures like the pros do it. Learn the best approach to futures betting through our helpful guide on What are Future Bets?.

Whether you’re a professional gambler or a complete amateur just starting out, sports betting offers a wide variety of bets and wagers to spend your money on. Betting involves an eye for spotting an opportunity others have missed, and it’s of immense importance to future bets.

If you’ve been in and around the betting world, or even take a passing interest in sports, chances are you’ve heard of future bets. If your curiosity has finally gotten the better of you, here’s a guide to futures betting that explains the various aspects of this type of wager.

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What Are Future Bets?

The concept behind most betting is rather straightforward. You place money on the likelihood of an outcome being achieved. The complication is normally added on the sportsbook or bookie’s end when mathematics is involved.

All outcomes have odds or a probabilities of being achieved. When it comes to future bets, you and the bookie are both predicting the likelihood of something happening based on futures odds or futures lines.

The odds determine the payout if you predict the outcome correctly. Naturally, there will be favorites and long-shots just as there are in any sport. Your payout and odds will be based on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the contestants.

Futures Betting Explained

Futures betting is a type of wager wherein you predict the eventual winner of a league or tournament. This is an extremely popular type of wager in league style team sports like the NFL, NBA, or English Premier League. This is why these types of bets are often referred to as bets to win.

Let’s take the example of the EPL. There are 20 teams competing for the title of league champion. Futures betting involves picking out a winner from the pool of the 20 teams. You can even bet on player of the season, top scorer, top assist-maker and most clean sheets.

The general concept is, any bets that will play out over a longer-term can be considered future bets.

Futures Betting Mechanism

Sportsbooks normally release odds and lines for future bets at the start of each season. You can place your bets right then, or you can wait for the situation to develop since most sportsbooks will accept future bets over the course of the season.

The catch is that the odds and lines will keep shifting as the season progresses. This is because underdogs may suddenly become favorites, an in-form player may fire an inconsistent team to the top, or injuries to key players may cause a top team to collapse.

A season is long and unpredictable, almost anything can happen. This is why futures odds are always changing. However, once you’ve placed your bet, the futures lines are locked for you. Your payout will be determined by the futures odds that you placed your wager on.

Advantage and Disadvantages of Futures Betting

While futures betting is a popular type of wager, you shouldn’t just dive right in. It is important to have both sides of the story so you can make an informed decision. Your money shouldn’t go to waste after all.

To facilitate you, we’ve elaborated on the pros and cons of this type of wager below:


Here are the advantages of future bets:

Anytime Betting: Unlike other forms of betting, you can place futures bets at any point in the season. The odds and lines will be adjusted accordingly but the fact remains, you can bet on your team whenever you want. This allows you to act flexibly in light of new information during a season such as the loss of an important player for the favorites etc.

Window Shopping: All sportsbooks have their own odds for this wager. As a result, you can take advantage of your options and shop around for the best deal. If you find a great deal somewhere, take it! We have a list of the best sportsbooks, reviewed by our team of experts to help you make this choice.

Bonus Payout: Unlike other types of wagers, futures bets can offer you money greater than your original betting amount. This may not be a lot of cash, but who are we to turn down free money? As such, this is a huge positive in our books.


There are also certain disadvantages to future bets, such as:

Opportunity Cost: Since the winner of futures bets won’t be determined until the end of the season, your money is going to be unavailable for use for a long period of time. This presents a predicament. It’s possible that you could bet on matches everyday and earn a far greater sum sooner than you would when you bet on futures.

Long Odds: Out of 20 teams, only one can be the winner. The nominal odds are 20-1, or 5% before factoring in other determinants. Such long odds put the sportsbook at a big advantage, so your success is unlikely.

Too Many Variables: Futures odds are based on a wide range of variables. As such, you can never quite reliably predict the outcome.

Futures Betting Strategy

The best way to bet on futures is to pay attention to data. While this is great advice generally as well when dealing with sports betting, it is very important when it comes to future bets. This is because over the length of a season, most performances, both individual and team will regress to the mean.

This means that if a player is over-performing according to underlying data, they are unlikely to sustain it throughout the season. The same goes for a team. Underlying metrics can shed a lot of light on the likelihood of outcomes at the end of the season.

You should use any publicly available data to make your bet.

Final Word

While futures betting is a great way to make money through online sports betting. You should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages, and have a solid strategy to approach your wager. We have compiled guides on the various other types of betting for you as well in case you feel like futures betting isn’t for you.

Future Bets FAQs

Future bets in sports betting involve predicting the outcome of an event or championship that will be decided in the future. You wager on the likelihood of a specific outcome happening based on odds set by the sportsbook. These bets can range from predicting the winner of a league or tournament to individual player performance.

Futures betting is commonly associated with league-style team sports like the NFL, NBA, or English Premier League. You can bet on outcomes such as the league champion, player of the season, top scorer, top assist-maker, and more. Essentially, any bet that plays out over a longer-term can be considered a future bet.

Sportsbooks typically release odds and lines for future bets at the start of the season. These odds can shift as the season progresses due to changes in team performance, injuries, and other factors. The best time to place a future bet depends on your strategy—some bettors prefer to lock in early odds, while others wait for more information to develop.

Advantages of future bets include flexibility in betting timing, the opportunity to shop around for the best odds, and the potential for bonus payouts. However, disadvantages include the long-term commitment of your money, long odds that favor sportsbooks, and the unpredictability of outcomes. Bettors should carefully weigh these factors before making future bets.

The key strategy for future bets is to pay attention to data and underlying metrics. Over the course of a season, performances tend to regress to the mean. Analyzing data can help you make more informed predictions. It’s also essential to have a solid understanding of the sport and keep track of developments throughout the season.