What Is A Futures Bet?

Online sports betting is not yet active in Florida. This page will be updated with the latest promos, news and odds once Florida sportsbooks launch.

Futures odds are always popular at sportsbook windows. There can be a high reward potential for the risk, and that has been a draw for many bettors over the years. If you can put in the time with the research required to make good predictions, then futures odds can become part of your betting strategy in Florida.

Seeing into the future isn’t easy, though. There are no crystal balls. Sports, in particular, are historically notorious for being difficult to determine the outcome of in advance. That, as they say, is why they play the game.

But if you think you can predict who will win the next Super Bowl, or which team will cut down the nets at the NCAA Tournament, then maybe the futures betting market is for you.

Examples of futures bets for major sports

Every sport has a variety of futures bets that you’ll be able to try at Florida sportsbooks. From NFL odds to NASCAR bets and most sports in between, you’ll find futures wagers as part of the offerings. We’ve assembled a few examples of futures bets you might come across in some of the more popular sports in Florida and beyond.

NFL futures

The NFL is the most popular professional sport in the US, including among sports bettors. Because of its popularity, you’ll always find a nice array of legal NFL betting options. In the futures department, these can range from odds on the next winner of the Super Bowl to which teams will make the playoffs to odds on the next NFL MVP.

If you were to bet on the odds-on favorite to win the next Super Bowl, here’s part of a listing you might see at a sportsbook, for example:

The closer the positive odds number is to zero, the more likely it is for that team to win, according to oddsmakers. Can they be wrong? Of course. That’s one of the joys of wagering on futures, after all.

NBA futures

The basketball bets you can make on NBA futures are numerous, ranging from playoff-bound organizations to NBA Finals winners to which player will win the league MVP award. For that last one, you could see a listing like this:

  • LeBron James: +165
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: +225
  • Joel Embiid: +400
  • Nikola Jokic: +500
  • Steph Curry: +1500

NBA futures are far from limited to just betting on the NBA MVP or NBA playoffs betting, however. Therefore, make sure to check out what your preferred sportsbook has to offer. Learn more about specific rules for NBA betting at legal sportsbooks in our how to bet on NBA games guide.

MLB futures

Betting on the MLB MVP is an example of a popular baseball futures bet. However, some futures are not even focused on team accomplishments or individual awards, but rather on individual player stats.

In Major League Baseball betting, for example, a potential futures bet could be which player will end the season with the most hits. You might find yourself looking over a list that looks something like this:

  • Trea Turner: +1000
  • Whit Merrifield: +1200
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: +1400
  • Freddy Freeman: +1400
  • Adam Frazier: +2000

Other sports futures

Like we mentioned above, many sports will have futures bets available. Sometimes it is the favorites who end up coming away with the wins, as predicted, but other times it is one of the long shots. That’s one of the reasons you make bets, right? Some other sports you will definitely find futures odds for include the following, among others:

Best FL sportsbooks for placing futures bets

In Florida, the best place to make your futures wagers — or any sports bets, for that matter — is with reputable, legal and regulated online sportsbooks.

You may need to do some research to find the sportsbook that works best for you (or sportsbooks, for that matter). If you’re unsure of your options, you’ll find reviews on the top Florida sportsbooks on this site. Here are some of the leading potential options:

  • BetMGM Sportsbook: The name MGM has been synonymous with gambling and casinos for quite a while. This means it brings a lot of experience, good financial standing and easy-to-navigate options.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook: After having built a huge following in daily fantasy sports, DraftKings Sportsbook brought its customer-centric reputation to legal sports betting, offering an easy-to-use app and website.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook: Just like the days when it competed with DraftKings in DFS, FanDuel is also going toe-to-toe with its old rival in sports betting. The good news is that FanDuel Sportsbook brings a high-quality product that has proven extremely popular with online and mobile bettors.
  • Caesars Sportsbook: Another long-time competitor in the world of gambling, Caesars has been a steady name in the industry for decades. That has translated to a robust offering in its sportsbook, which has great functionality and nice aesthetics.

There will be quite a few other options available, as well. Keep in mind that you should only use a legal and regulated sportsbook that has been licensed within the state. Illegal offshore sportsbooks don’t fall under Florida or US law, which leaves you no protection against fraud and other situations.

Why do futures betting odds change?

Lines can shift for any bet, and futures bets are at the top of that list when it comes to how much they can end up moving from start to finish.

Let’s say a sportsbook lists the Miami Hurricanes as +1200 to win the NCAA football title next season. This comes out shortly after the previous national championship game has concluded.

Now let’s say that a top recruit out of high school has decided to flip his verbal agreement from Clemson over to Miami to play for the Canes. Because the player is expected to have an impact from the start, oddsmakers will factor in that news, which may push the odds to +1000 because they see it as a boost for the Hurricanes’ chances.

News and preseason information, offseason workouts, scrimmages and more all play into how the lines for futures odds move. Additionally, those numbers will continue to evolve once the regular season arrives and the picture becomes clearer as we see what happens in games that count.

The more information the oddsmakers have, the more razor-sharp their odds are going to become over the course of the season.

Remember that your bet is locked in at the odds you wagered on in the first place, so no shifts in the lines will change that. If you bet on the Miami at +1200 and the odds shift all the way to +650 by the end of the regular season, your wager at +1200 remains valid.

Making your first futures bet

Placing a futures bet is just like making any other bet at a sportsbook. You find the odds you like, you choose an amount to bet and add it to your bet slip before submitting it.

In order to start that process, you need to have an account with a legal online sportsbook. The steps are simple: Head to the sportsbook site of your choice, follow the steps to sign up and provide the personal information it requires in order to open an account. Then download the app, make your first deposit and you’ll be ready to start wagering.

Once you’ve done all of that, you can find futures odds in a couple of ways. Many sportsbooks will show you sport-specific bets on the page dedicated to that sport. Others have the option to look at the current futures all together instead of having to hunt each down through a sport page.

When you find the bet you’d like to make, just click on it and you’ll be able to add in the amount of your wager. This will add the bet to your bet slip, which you can review at any time, and it will become official once you submit that slip.

Let’s say you bet on the Miami Heat to win the NBA Finals at +2100 odds with a really early gut-feeling wager. You bet $100 on them and, as luck would have it, they go all the way and win. Your payout would be $2,200, which is your $100 wager plus the $2,100 in winnings.

For negative odds, such as -110 or similar, a wager of that amount would win $100 if correct. So a $165 bet at odds of -165 would pay out $265 — the original stake plus the $100 in profit.

Futures betting strategy & tips

Before you start betting on futures, here are some key pieces of advice to consider:

  • Bet more than one team: Don’t be afraid to offset some potential liabilities and hedge your bets by making more than just a single wager on a futures market. Let’s say you’re wagering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win their division, but you aren’t quite sure they are going to be able to get the best of the New Orleans Saints. By wagering on both teams, you reduce your chances of being wrong. Of course, that doesn’t mean you still can’t lose — there are four teams in the division, after all. But by hedging your bet, you reduce some of the risk vs. potential payout.
  • Don’t chase the popular choice: Media outlets begin speculating on what the future holds as soon as the previous season comes to a close. During those offseason weeks, there are always teams that rise to the top of the conversation, and fans, media outlets and more can become increasingly convinced that the season will play out in a certain way. There are two reasons to avoid chasing that particular situation: First, the odds are always going to have less of a payout because of the popularity of that team, its expected chances and the bets already being placed on it; second, there are rarely, if ever, any guarantees in sports.
  • You’re a bettor, not a fan: Placing money on your favorite team just because you’re a fan is not a good idea. Sure, we are almost all sports fans in this hobby, but our loyalty is not what should be making decisions when it comes to potential wagers. If you just can’t stand to pick against your team, then avoid making those bets completely. That being said, placing a small wager on your favorite team isn’t going to hurt, but make sure you make smart financial decisions when it comes to larger wagers that are built into your betting strategy.

Drawbacks to futures betting

Like any bet, futures come with a lot of risk along with the potential financial rewards. In fact, out of all your betting options, with the potential exception of props (especially exotic props) and parlays, futures wagers can be among the most difficult to pin down, especially when the lines first come out.

Because the odds can shift so much, betting early often offers the best possible returns. That, of course, means that you lock in your money when there is still a lot of information that you don’t yet know about the upcoming season and the teams. The more news and data that become available, the clearer the futures picture starts to be.

If you wait too long, then your risk vs. reward is much smaller, which isn’t the worst thing, but it also means less money in potential winnings.

Futures are notoriously hard to handicap and research for, especially in the preseason and before. That’s what happens when you don’t have a crystal ball handy when you’re trying to take a peek at things to come.

Just remember that futures are engaging and fun, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your betting strategy if you’re looking to get serious in the hobby. Yes, those odds are often attractive, but keep in mind that a lot of things can happen between now and the event, which could be good news or bad news for you, depending on your wager.