NBA Futures

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Betting on NBA Futures with Sidelines

NBA futures are one of the most entertaining and engaging ways to enjoy NBA betting. The sheer number of possible betting options as well as the potentially large payouts they offer combine to make NBA futures one of the more popular ways to wager on the NBA.

While there are a plethora of ways to get in on the action of NBA betting, NBA futures bets provide fans a unique opportunity to prospect on both a team and individual players throughout a given season, from training camp all the way to and through the postseason. This effectively makes NBA futures bets a dynamic form of wagering that keeps bettors on their toes. In order to stay one step ahead of the bookie on your NBA futures bets, be sure to regularly check out Sidelines for NBA best odds as well as news and updates on NBA expert picks and all things NBA betting.

What are NBA Futures?

NBA futures bets are wagers made on an event that will happen in the future. In the case of the NBA, future events can mean wagering on the NBA Finals champion or the league’s most valuable player (MVP) at the end of the regular season. Again, NBA futures bets can apply both to NBA teams as well as their players individually. Sportsbooks will assign these possible future outcomes odds, which are typically expressed in “American odds,” also known as moneyline odds. However, a lot can happen throughout the NBA season at both the team and individual player level. As a result, the sportsbooks that offer these types of wagers are constantly updating their odds, meaning lines can shift dramatically, and in real-time. So if you want to survive and thrive on futures, it’s best to keep your head in the game.

Speaking of which…

What affects NBA futures odds?

A professional sports season is a whirlwind affair that is chock full of unknown factors that can impact the course of both a team and individual player for the better or worse. Take injuries for example. If Lebron James were to be injured and miss an extended period of time, the futures odds of the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Finals would be adversely affected. According to the logic, so too would Lebron’s chances of being the league MVP at the end of the regular season. In addition to injuries, other factors such as changes in team personnel can have a dramatic impact on futures odds and potential NBA futures bets. For example, the trade deadline and free agency can either make or break a dynasty. Such was the case in 2016 when during free agency, Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. 

What do NBA futures odds mean?

NBA futures odds are the way the sportsbook tells would-be bettors what the payouts will be for bets made on some future NBA event. As such, any bettor who wants to get paid better know that reading future odds correctly is vital. So, what’s the trick to understanding future odds? Simple. Because futures bets can be made so far in advance, the odds can be much higher. However, don’t be intimidated by their size! Futures odds are still expressed in the moneyline odds format, so anyone in need of a refresher only has to click here, (remember, minus sign is the favorite, plus sign is the underdog).  Due to the size of futures odds (especially if they’re made before the start of the season), calculating payouts can be tricky...unless you’re using the Sidelines odds calculator. You’re welcome. 

What futures bets can be made on the NBA?

The most popular NBA futures bet is without a doubt wagering on the winner of the NBA Finals. Other popular bets usually center around the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences or the NBA Rookie of the Year. However, as mentioned, those interested in wagering on futures can bet on teams and individual players and there is no shortage of awards for both in the NBA. Given that they are experts in NBA betting, this is something almost all sportsbooks are well aware of. As such, many will offer NBA futures lines that can yield some serious dividends if you know where to look.

Examples of NBA futures bets include:

  • NBA Finals winner
  • NBA Conference winners
  • NBA Division winners
  • Over/under on season team win totals
  • NBA Rookie of the Year
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • Sixth Man of the Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Coach of the Year
  • Regular season statistical leaders in categories such as scoring, rebounds, assists, blocks, three pointers, and steals
  • All-Star Weekend provides its own potential futures bets for players such as the All-Star MVP and winners of the skills competition, three point contest, and slam dunk contest

Where can I bet on NBA futures?

The NBA might not be the most popular professional sports league in the United States, but it is certainly near the top. Add in the league’s international appeal, particularly in China, and a clear pattern of profitability presents itself. Alliterations aside, nearly every sportsbook will offer NBA futures bets on at least some of the possible options. However, before getting carried away with betting on futures or other NBA expert picks, the biggest concern for any bettor should be first and foremost the legal status of sports betting in their home state or country. For more information on the legality of sports betting, check out Sidelines’ regularly updated legal sports betting report.

Before you put your outlay down, remember that futures bets require diligence, luck, and foresight. Keeping track of a season and constantly following trends can help you find the places where the odds are in your favor. A little nugget of knowledge can pay big dividends if you’re comparing odds and looking for an edge. Just remember, NBA futures bets once they’re made are static, meaning your money is frozen. So be sure to know what your bankroll can and can’t handle.

What is the potential risk in NBA futures betting?

The biggest downside to NBA futures betting is the question of liquidity. Meaning, bettors can’t touch money that they wager on futures until the bet is resolved, at which point bettors can either collect their winnings or lament their losses. Perhaps the biggest con of NBA futures wagers however, is the fact that so much is out of the control of the bettor. Players get injured, traded, or suspended, teams lose close games, coaches come and go...the list is endless. The point is, bettors need to know their limits and understand the risks in futures bets!

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