Betting Strategies: What are Futures Bets?
Betting Strategies: What are Futures Bets?

We now live in a world where online sports betting options are nearly infinite. Let’s face it, nowadays, you can bet on anything and everything. 

Bettors can wager on a wide variety of sports matches, but they can also bet on overall competition outcomes. This is known as “Futures Betting”, which is essentially betting on the outcome of a competition rather than a single match. 

“Futures Bets” are what we’re here to talk about, so let’s get stuck in and see what they’re all about. 

What exactly is Futures Betting?

Let’s first look at exactly what futures betting is. As touched on above, futures bets involve betting on the outcome of a competition or tournament that will conclude at some point in the future. This is instead of the more common type of sports betting that involves wagering on a game or match that is happening in the present. 

On the one hand, you can bet on a sporting fixture, say a football or cricket match, that is about to start or has already started. For example, placing a bet on Manchester City to beat Manchester United in the Premier League. On the other hand, an example of a futures bet would not be betting on the winner of a Premier League game, but the winner of the Premier League itself. At the start of the season, or maybe 5-10 games in, you could place a bet on Liverpool to win the Premier League. In doing so, you’d be placing a bet over the longer term on something that may or may not happen based on a collection of results over a period of time. 

If you’re betting in the United Kingdom, then it’s worth noting that futures bets are often referred to as outright bets, as they involve betting on the final or outright outcome of a competition or tournament. 

Examples of Futures Bets

What are some realistic examples of futures bets? Well, there are quite a few. One example, as shown above, would be to bet on the winner of a season-long football competition, such as the Premier League or the Champions League. 

Here are some other examples of futures bets, displayed as they would be on a sportsbook's platform:

  • San Francisco 49ers to Win Super Bowl LVIII 
  • Kentucky to Win the NCAAB Championship 2023/24 
  • USA to Win the Men’s 4x100m Relay at the 2024 Olympics 
  • LA Dodgers to Win the 2024 World Series

Of course, futures bets are not just limited to bets on teams winning an overall event, oh no. You can also place futures bets such as a team to be relegated from a particular league at the end of a season, or a team to finish in a certain position, such as the play-offs in Major League Soccer. Other examples would be something like the BOS Bruins to Win the NHL Atlantic Division 2023/24, or Connecticut to Make the Final Four in the NCAAB Championship 2023/24. 

What’s more, futures bets are certainly not limited to teams or even team sports. In other words, you can bet on individual players to achieve something by the end of a particular competition in a team sport, while you can also bet on players to achieve something in individual sports. Here are some examples of such futures bets: 

  • Scottie Scheffler to Win the 2024 US Open
  • Coco Gauff to Win the 2024 Australian Open 
  • Erling Haaland to be the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Top Scorer 
  • Femke Bol to Win the 400m Hurdles Gold Medal at the 2024 Olympics
  • DeMeco Ryans to be Coach of the Year NFL 2023/24
  • Luka Doncic to be NBA Regular Season MVP 2023/24

On Which Sports Can Futures Betting Be Used? 

Fortunately, the list here is rather long. Realistically, there is a wide variety of futures bets, across a vast array of sports and sporting events, that can be placed. If you can think of a sporting competition, then it’s almost guaranteed that there will be some futures betting options. 

Here is a list of sports that commonly allow for futures betting: 

Placing Futures Bets

Placing futures bets should be a relatively straightforward practice. Simply start by visiting your bookmaker of choice, locate the sport that you would like to bet on by using the customary sports menu, which is typically located on the left-hand side of an online bookmaker's homepage, before selecting the sport you wish to bet on. 

Once you’ve located the primary page for your chosen sport, simply find the competition that you’re looking to bet on and you should see the futures markets listed. It’s worth noting that in many cases, futures markets will be under the heading of “Outrights” or “Outright Betting”.  Better still, perform the same process but do so by visiting an odds comparison site to ensure that you take advantage of the best available odds. 

Is Futures Betting Worth It?

Now here's the burning question. Is futures betting worth it? Well, it really does depend. Some bettors never bet on futures, others place several futures bets. It comes down to personal preference. 

If you like the idea of a bet that has potential longevity and develops over time, then futures bets are probably right up your street. Our team of experts has placed several futures bets over the years, and we must say, when one comes off, it’s a great feeling, though it goes the other way too. There’s nothing quite as agonizing in a betting sense than placing a wager on a team to win a tournament, watching that team thrive throughout, only to see them fall at the final hurdle, but that’s all part of the fun. 

Futures bets can also be far more lucrative than bets placed on a single match or game. For example, you’re going to get much bigger odds on a footballer to be the top scorer in a competition than you are if you bet on the player to simply score in a single match. Similarly, let’s say you really fancy a tennis player to thrive at the US Open, why not bet on them to win the competition outright via a futures bet, this way you’ll get far bigger odds than if you just bet on them to win each match. 

In summary, futures betting is a great way to spice up the course of a season or a competition, while you could even argue that you get more for your money with a futures bet as the bet develops over a much longer period than many regular sports bets that are placed on single games or matches.