About Futures Bets
As the name implies, a Futures Bet is any bet made on an event whose outcome will only be determined in the future. These future outcomes are assigned odds by sportsbooks, which are typically expressed in American odds, also referred to as moneyline odds.
Generally speaking, many futures are centered on a particular team winning a championship in their respective sport. Examples of NFL futures, NBA futures, MLB futures, and others include wagering on a specific team to win the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, or Stanley Cup. Futures even extend to college sports, where bettors can wager on teams winning the NCAA Football Championship Game or NCAAB March Madness. However, futures aren’t just related to league championships, they can also include wagers on teams winning conference championships such as the AFC/NFC in NFL or the AL/NL in MLB.
In addition to teams, futures can also pertain to individual players. For example, a popular NFL futures bet entails betting on a player to win Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors. Similarly, a popular NBA futures bet is wagering on who will win the NBA defensive player of the year award. Both of these are good examples of futures bets as these awards are determined over the course of the season.
Due to futures odds being set so far in advance of an event, payouts tend to be quite high. However, as a season progresses, many things can happen that affect the chances of a certain team (or player) winning. Examples include injuries, trades, changes in coaching personnel, and more.
As a result of the unforeseen changes that are part of the natural progression of a pro sports season, odds for NFL futures, NBA futures, MLB futures, and others are adjusted accordingly. If a favorite team performs poorly in the beginning of a season, their odds may drop. Similarly, if an underdog team performs well throughout their season, their odds may rise.
But how can odds be accurately predicted for an event whose outcome will only be known in the future? Well, the answer is they can’t. Odds for NFL futures, NBA futures, MLB futures, and others are assigned by sportsbooks based on two factors. The first is minimizing risk for the sportsbooks. Odds are set by bookies in such a way as to make sure that each side of a bet has equal money on it, thus ensuring the sportsbook profits via the vigorish it collects. Second, initial lines for futures (before they are adjusted throughout the season) are released before the season begins and are based on the public and media perception of the team or player in question.
This is important to keep in mind, especially when one considers that futures can be placed throughout a season. While many are typically placed before the start of a season, they can essentially be placed anytime before the outcome of the bet in question. As such, anyone looking for the best NFL futures odds, NBA futures odds, MLB futures odds, or others are encouraged to check Sidelines to compare odds and follow news and trends for the teams and players they’re interested in.