A futures bet is a wager on an outcome that could happen in the future.  In general more than one game or event has to go your way to win a futures bet.

For example, if you place a futures bet on the Chicago Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup they have plenty of games to win between the time you place the bet and hoisting the Cup.  You can usually place a futures bet like a team to win the Stanley Cup at any time throughout the season.  A bet on the Stanley Cup would be likely be considered a futures bet until the Stanley Cup is won.  Even if the team is in the finals you would likely find the series winner bet under a ‘futures’ tab.

Popular Futures Bets

Betting on teams or players to win Championships or Tournaments are the most popular forms of futures bets.  Some very popular futures wagers would include betting on the Super Bowl winner, the NBA Champion, Stanley Cup champ or The Masters winner.  That being said major titles are not the only types of bets that would fall into the ‘futures’ category.  As mentioned before betting on a team to win a playoff series would fall under ‘futures’, while betting on a team to finish with the most points in their division at the end of the season would also qualify as a futures bet.

As you can tell by now a lot of bets will fit into the ‘futures bet’ mold, but the most popular will always be the Championship futures wagers.

Here is an example of the NBA Championship futures odds for 2021 from Bovada.lv.

Are Futures Bets Profitable?

Futures bets can be profitable if you can find good odds online, but in general there is a higher juice associated with futures wagers, which makes it more difficult to profit from them.  Add in the fact that your bet is locked up for a longer period of time and you should start to realize that placing futures bets should only be done when you feel the odds are too good to pass up.

A common theory on futures bets is that it is better to wager the same amount on the team or player throughout the course of the playoffs or tournament.  For example, if you bet $100 on Djokovic to win each round the US Open you will end up with more money if he wins the tournament than if you placed the futures wager on Djokovic before the tournament.  Of course this will not always pan out because it depends on how the tournament goes and which players Djokovic faces in each round, but it is something to think about.

That being said the main reason for placing futures bets is because they are a lot of fun.  You can follow a team or player throughout an entire season or tournament with just one bet on the line.

Hedging Futures Bets

Hedging is common practice among bettor who like to place futures wagers.  Hedging can lock in profits if the team or player you choose starts out the tournament successfully.  For example, if you bet on Denis Shapovalov to win the tournament at +2500 and he makes it to the semi-finals those odds would be much shorter.  At this point you can hedge your bet by wagering on the other players to win the tournament and lock in a profit.