America’s Pastime is increasingly combining with another national hobby of the US, sports betting. Despite not being as big as the NFL or the NBA in terms of gambling, MLB betting is still a popular way to enjoy the game. While there are a variety of ways to put some skin in the game, one of the more trending ways is through MLB futures bets.

When it comes to MLB futures bets, value is the name of the game. Identifying the spots where the odds are in your favor allows you to even the playing field against the house and secure yourself a nice edge. Buying low on a team or player at the right time can earn you a hefty payday down the road if things turn around. Best of all, given that many MLB futures bets have high odds, it doesn’t take much to turn a little scratch into serious cash, which makes for a low-risk, high reward situation. Additionally, unlike sports such as football, which has fewer games throughout the course of a regular season, baseball has 162 games in a season. Meaning, whereas losing a player to injury in football or going on a five game losing streak can devastate the futures stock of a team, MLB teams and players are not as open to the same risk as other pro athletes. Combined with the variety of MLB futures bets available and baseball is slowly proving to be more profitable to the sports betting industry than in the past.

MLB futures bets are wagers made on either a baseball team or an individual baseball player to win an event that will take place at a later date. Despite being such a general description of a popular form of MLB betting, it can still be both daunting and confusing to understand. What is important to know is that baseball futures allow bettors to pick winners well before they are crowned. These winners can either be based on the performances of entire teams or individual players. MLB futures lines for both teams and players are regularly updated in both the offseason and the regular season, giving bettors the chance to make a bet that remains active for an extended period of time.

While bettors can make good money on run line bets, moneyline bets, prop bets and more, futures bets allow bettors the chance to potentially break the bank with very low risk. Due to the nature of MLB futures bets, fans can effectively “scout” both teams and players that they believe will make a splash. Additionally, futures can also provide bettors with a chance to gauge odds for other teams. For example, knowing that Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole was moving to the Yankees gives sharp bettors a better idea of how other teams in the AL East will fare, thus allowing them to make a more accurate prediction of win totals for example.

The most common question each baseball season usually focuses on the winner of the Fall Classic. However, it may surprise many to learn that there are far more MLB futures bets available than just predicting the winner of the World Series or the National League and American League pennant winners. For example, MLB divisional winners are becoming increasingly popular options as well as betting on team win totals for the season. However, while team futures are the trendy option due to fan engagement with their favorites, player futures are beginning to follow the lead of the NFL and NBA in terms of rising status on the futures market. Examples of player futures include:
– Cy Young Award winner
– National League MVP
– American League MVP
– Regular season statistical leaders in categories such as home runs, strike outs, hits, runs, and more
– NL Rookie of the Year
– AL Rookie of the Year

As is the case with any bet, before putting any money down, it is highly recommended that you shop and compare odds. This is vital for finding value and it can pay off big time (literally). In addition to MLB odds comparison, you may want to consider what is known as hedging your bet. Meaning, if you still have an underdog in the playoffs, you may want to wager on another team in order to increase your chances of a payout. This may reduce your potential payout, but it also reduces your risk! The high odds that accompany MLB futures bets allows you bet on multiple teams and still win big for less.

The importance of staying in the loop when it comes to MLB futures bets cannot be overstated. Knowing which moves teams are making will help you stay a cut above recreational gamblers by giving you a more nuanced view of a team’s stock. Sportsbooks tend to get heavy action on favorites as opposed to underdogs. This creates a situation in which a sportsbook will do what they can to drive action to the underdog and there is where you’ll find the elusive value that can ultimately boost your bankroll.

MLB futures odds refer to the chances of a future event occurring and associated payout offered by the sportsbook. Reading futures odds may seem complicated at first due to their volume, but this is just because futures bets are sometimes made so far ahead. Once bettors realize this, then understanding futures odds becomes much easier. Sidelines presents futures odds in the form of moneyline odds, where the favorites and underdogs are denoted by the positive and negative signs, respectively. For more information on futures odds and payouts, check out our explanation of moneyline odds and our odds calculator.

As with any bet made on sports, there are cons to MLB futures betting. First and foremost, MLB futures wagers effectively freeze the funds of bettors until the outcome of the bet is known. Meaning, once the bet has been made, players can’t access those funds. Additionally, and no less important, making picks on future events in baseball is no easy task. Any sports fan knows trades, injuries, or any number of other surprises can happen in a season, so bettor beware!