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Futures Betting

Steven D. Thompson


Want to get a head start to the season? Why not place a futures bet on the next champion? With futures bets, you predict the outright winners of specific competitions. You can also bet on individual player accomplishments and make following your favourite NFL, NBA, MLB, and Champions League games twice as exciting.

Table of Contents

    Futures Betting Explained

    There's nothing complicated in futures betting. In fact, futures markets are probably the easiest to understand and bet on. In a nutshell, when you are betting futures, also known as outright bets, you pick a team or a player and back them to win a particular competition, league, tournament, trophy, or award. You can place futures bets before or during the season, but have to wait for the season to end to learn if you have won or not.

    And that's where the name futures bets comes from. It takes time for a season to finish and trophy winners to be announced. So, for longer leagues and tournaments, you will often have to wait for months before you discover whether you have won your futures bet. On the other hand, if you are betting on a shorter tournament like the FIFA World Cup or NCAA March Madness, you will know if you have won within a month or so.

    You can place both player and team futures. When you bet on teams, you usually predict how well they will do in a given competition. For example, you can back the Milwaukee Bucks to win the NBA Finals or Real Madrid to win the UEFA Champions League. In contrast, for players, you wager on individual achievements, such as top goal scorer, MVP winner, best goalkeeper, Heisman Trophy winner, and so on.

    Futures Betting Futures Betting

    Futures Betting Markets and Examples

    There are various types of futures markets, but in general, they can be divided into team and player futures bets. We will analyze both and will look at some of the most popular futures bets punters go for. Stay with Betpack to learn how to make the most of each outright bet you place.

    Team Futures Bets

    When you place team futures bets you predict which team will win a particular competition. However, there a lot of options, and you are not only restricted to the winners of leagues and tournaments. You can also bet on division and conference winners, as well as teams that will get relegated, reach the playoffs, qualify for continental competitions, and many other outright bets. These are some of the most popular futures bets.

    League Winners

    One of the most common outright bet types is betting on the winner of a particular league or national competition. That competition can be the English Premier League, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, MLS, Bundesliga, etc. Basically, you wager on which of all the teams participating in a given league will win it at the end of the season.

    Let's look at an easy example to explain this. Imagine it is August, and the English Premier League is about to start. You already have some ideas about how well teams will do and are pretty sure that Manchester City will win the title come May next year.

    So, you back City to win the EPL. Now, you wait and enjoy the EPL action, probably focusing most of your attention on Manchester City matches. If the Citizens win the title when the season finishes in May, you will win your futures bet. Pretty straightforward, right?

    Tournament Winners

    You can also place futures bets on elimination-type tournaments, such as the UEFA Champions League, the EuroLeague, the ICC's Men's Cricket World Cup, the NBA In-Season Tournament and many others. For instance, you can back Barcelona to win the Champions League or India to win the Cricket World Cup. You can do something similar when betting on post-season and playoff-type tournaments, such as the MLB World Series, the College Football Playoff, the NBA post season, and Stanley Cup Playoffs or bet on which team will win the Super Bowl.

    Conference and Division Winners

    The great thing about futures betting options is that you can wager on the conference and division winner of your choice. For instance, you can back the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL West Division. Similarly, if you are into betting on the NFL, you can predict that the Green Bay Packers will be the conference winner and be the top team in the NFC. You can also pick the Packers as the NFC North Division winners. If the competition you are betting on is divided into divisions and conferences, you can be sure that the best online bookmakers will give you the sports betting futures markets for those conferences and divisions.

    Player Futures Bets

    Let's now look at player futures bets. Let's say you think Patrick Mahomes will be chosen as the NFL MVP of the regular season. You can easily turn that prediction into an outright winner. All you need to do is back the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback to win the NFL MVP award before the season begins. If the talented quarterback does indeed win the prestigious National Football League MVP for the regular season, you will win your futures bet.

    Similarly, if you are more of an NCAA Football fan, you can bet on the winner of the Heisman Trophy, the equivalent of the NFL MVP award, or on the Most Valuable Player in the NBA. In addition to the MVP award, you can also bet on the top goal scorer, the best defensive player, the most reliable goalkeeper, and any other recognition officially recognized by the competition you are betting on.

    How to Place Futures Bets

    If you have never placed a futures bet, worry not. We tell you everything you need to do to place futures bets and break down all the steps you need to take. Whether you want to bet on the NBA MVP, an NFL season conference winner, or place any other futures bet, Betpack has you covered.

    • Estimated Time Needed: 10:00
    • Tools Needed: Account
    • Supplies Needed: Money, Time
    Sign Up with a Top Sportsbook Step 1

    Sign Up with a Top Sportsbook

    To start placing futures bets, you first need to join a bookmaker that has the best outright betting markets. You can find top online sportsbooks by analyzing our list of expert-vetted betting sites and joining the one with the best futures betting options.

    Deposit and Claim Bonus Step 2

    Deposit and Claim Bonus

    After you open a betting account, go to the Cashier section and choose your preferred deposit option. When funding your account, see if you can claim a welcome bonus too. Bonus funds can come in handy when placing futures bets.

    Explore Futures Betting Markets Step 3

    Explore Futures Betting Markets

    Now go to the sports betting section and select the leagues and tournaments you want to bet on. Analyze the current futures odds the bookmaker offers and see which ones offer good value. Click on the futures betting options that seem like good choices.

    Place Your Futures Bet Step 4

    Place Your Futures Bet

    After you have made your futures selection, open the bet slip which is usually in the right-hand corner of the desktop screen or at the bottom of mobile browsers. Lastly, enter your bet stake amount and submit your wager.

    Strategies and Tips for Futures Betting

    Whether you are betting on NFL futures or placing futures bets on the FIFA World Cup, you can improve your chances of winning when you do your research. Using sports betting strategies and reading tips from experts help too. As you can guess, the research part is for you to do. However, Betpack can help you with futures bet strategies and tips. Keep reading to learn more about popular futures betting approaches that have worked for other sports bettors.

    Tip 1: Find the Best Futures Betting Odds

    Tip 2: Look for Futures Odds Changes

    Tip 3: Analyze each Futures Bet in Detail

    Tip 4: Join Top-Quality Sports Betting Sites

    Tip 5: Avoid Parlay Futures Bets

    Most bookmakers offer the same futures betting options. Interestingly though, the same futures markets come with different odds at different sportsbooks. So, your goal is to find the online sportsbooks that have the best futures odds for the team or player you wish to bet on.

    Doing this alone is quite challenging, as there are thousands of sports betting sites out there. So, your best option is to go with the betting sites we have reviewed at Betpack. Each Betpack review has a section on the odds of the online sportsbook we analyze, meaning you will instantly know if the futures odds are worth your time and money.

    Betting odds frequently change. Sometimes those odds changes are betting offers the bookmaker offers. Other times, though, those odds changes indicate that something has tipped the balance of the futures market and some of the teams have seen their chances of winning increase or decrease.

    There can be many reasons for this, from injuries to key players that haven't been disclosed yet to problems in the dressing room. Whatever the cause for these fluctuations, you need to find it before placing your futures bet. If you don't, you risk backing a team or player that sportsbooks know won't mount a serious challenge, but you don't.

    As with any other bet, doing your homework matters when placing futures bets. Few seasoned bettors jump head first without analyzing the wagers they place. So should you. To make the most of each wager you place pick teams and players that know what it takes to win. For instance, if a team has won the Super Bowl in recent years, it already has some experience of what it should do to win again. Similarly, if you are backing a player to be the top goal scorer in the Spanish La Liga, see how many goals he scored the previous two or three seasons.

    It is not just performance history and championship wins you should analyze. You want to have the best options for all your futures too. The best way to create the perfect conditions for winning futures betting outcomes is to join reputable sports betting sites. These bookmakers offer enticing futures markets and betting odds. They also have a good selection of payment methods with flexible deposit and withdrawal limits, as well as top-notch customer support. Lastly, the highest-rated online sportsbooks, such as those we feature at Betpack, are quite generous and give you bonuses and promotional offers.

    As we already explained, when you place a futures bet, you have to wait for weeks even months to get your outcome. So, if you combine several outright wagers in futures parlays, you might win three or four outright selections, but lose the fifth one. That means you might end up spending months following teams and watching games for what might turn out to be a losing bet. A better idea might be to place four or five separate single outright bets. That way, even if one selection lets you down, you will win the other futures bets.


    As you can see, futures bets allow you to bet on both players and teams and add to the excitement of the sports you follow. Because future bets cover entire seasons, they are ideal for casual bettors who want to watch an entire season of matches without betting every gameweek. Future bets are also a good option for punters who wager regularly. Seasoned bettors combine them with pre-match and live bets and increase the excitement of their futures bets even further.

    If you want to make the most of your futures bets, do your research before placing a bet and consider using a proven futures betting strategy. Staying on top of futures odds changes always helps and so does reading relevant news, or keeping tabs on injury reports and suspension updates. At Betpack, we give you all the tools you need for educated futures bets. So, go through our futures betting tips, pick top sports betting sites and place your first bet on futures like a pro.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are futures in betting?

    Futures bets allow you to bet on future outright winners, such as which team will win the Super Bowl or which football player will win the Ballon d'Or. You can bet on futures markets before the season starts or after it has begun. However, you will only know whether you have won after the final game of the season has been played and the winners have been announced.

    How do futures pay out?

    When you place your futures bet, you see your potential payout. However, you will have to wait for the winner to be officially announced before you can collect your winnings. That usually happens once the season ends.

    Are futures bets profitable?

    They can be. Futures bets can be quite profitable if you are wagering on enticing futures betting odds. However, those competitive odds can mean little if you don't do your betting research. So, analyze all futures bets before placing your wager to increase your chances of winning.

    Can you cash out a futures bet?

    You can, sometimes. It all depends on whether the online sportsbook offers early cash out opportunities. If it does, you will have the chance to opt out of your original bet winnings and settle for a lower cashout amount.

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