Sports Betting Tips – How to Bet on Futures
You may or may not have already learned that future betgratis are wagers placed far in advance of a sporting event after reading our Overview of Sports Gambling Bet Types. The basics are all there, so the purpose of this article is to explain why futures offer such strong value and give tips on improving your chances to win when betting futures.
The main advantage of futures is that you can get appealing odds by betting when oddsmakers first release them or well before an event is decided. For example, placing a future wager on the Kentucky Derby a month ahead of time can get you a much better price on a horse than betting much closer to the race when the real contenders are revealed for all to see. Future odds are not set and can be adjusted by sportsbooks periodically, but the odds at the time of your wager are the odds you are locked into.
A futures bet example with major team sports would be NFL futures, where you often can get much higher odds on a team by betting before the season starts. An NFL future bet on a team to win the Super Bowl might be 20/1 in the preseason, but by midseason, those odds might decrease to 10/1 if the team turns out to be a legitimate championship contender.
It’s important to note that sportsbooks can change futures at any time, and they are available to be bet all the way until the event gets underway. Future bets are also not restricted to the championship game, as you can bet on who will win a conference or division too.
Future bets in NFL and college football, NBA and college basketball and MLB baseball are team-oriented in that you bet on the team’s performance while proposition bets on non-team future events that involve individuals like boxing, tennis, golf and NASCAR are also available. Keep in mind that with futures you are always betting that the event will happen, on whether the team will accomplish something such as a championship and not against their chances of doing so. For example, if Duke is 5/1 to win the NCAA Basketball Championship, you can bet $100 on Duke and will win $500 if they win it all – but with standard future betting you cannot bet against Duke winning it all.
Tips to Win
The key to betting futures is realizing their true value and using the right Tips to Win. The most important consideration is determining what changes a team has made to enhance their chances of vying for a championship like the Super Bowl or World Series. Draft choices, coaching changes, free-agent signings, trades and returning starters all impact a team’s ability to compete, so each aspect should be considered when making your future bet.
The draft is a much bigger factor in NBA basketball and NFL football since a rookie can approach superstar status much earlier (i.e. LeBron James) than other sports like MLB baseball where it can take years for players to develop. Of course the way the drafts are structured, the weaker teams almost always select players higher than the stronger teams. However, elite teams like the San Antonio Spurs and New England Patriots are well-known for making the most of their picks despite poor draft positioning.
Nothing has changed the landscape of sports over the past 20 years more than free agency. Superstars like Shaquille O’Neal can simply walk away at the end of their contracts, forcing their teams to decide the likelihood of their re-signing and potentially trading them before their contracts are up to get something in return.
O’Neal is a perfect example to examine since he left the Orlando Magic as a free agent to join the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, leaving the Magic with nothing in return. Eight years later, he forced the Lakers to trade him to the Miami Heat so the Lakers could get something in return while he was still under contract since he made it known he would not re-sign with them.
O’Neal’s status changed the balance of power between the Eastern and Western Conference in both situations, with the Heat becoming serious title contenders in his first year with the team. A smart NBA futures bettor would have put money on the Heat to win the NBA title or Eastern Conference right after the trade was made.
In NBA basketball and MLB baseball, the midseason trade deadline could also be very critical to a team’s improvement. The New York Yankees tried very hard to yank ace pitcher Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2004 deadline and probably would have won the World Series if they had done so. Instead, they were forced to wait until the offseason to make the trade for Johnson and didn’t have enough pitching to get past the Boston Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series.
In college football and basketball, there is the added dimension of a team’s returning starters. Graduation or early defection of players to the pros play a critical role in the team’s makeup for the next season and should be examined. However, while losing a Heisman Trophy winner like quarterback Carson Palmer in 2003 seemed to be a blow to USC’s chances of winning a national title, it also allowed another Heisman Trophy winner to shine in Matt Leinart, so not all losses hurt an NCAA program.
Timing is everything with player movement. Sometimes these moves pay off, sometimes they don’t, but they often seem to give teams a fighting chance in bettor’s minds and make future bets more interesting.