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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

What are Future Bets?

Think you know which team will win the Super Bowl, who will hit the most home runs, or who will win the Heisman Trophy? You can can put your money where your mouth is by placing future bets.

Future bets are exactly as the name implies: bets on future results. Sure, every bet that is placed is involving something in the future. However, future bets are usually associated with season long or plays that will not happen for months into the future.

In the example below, the bettor is able to bet which team they feel will win the Super Bowl. If the bettor placed a $100 on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl and they did, the bettor would win $400. If they bet the Dallas Cowboys and the Cowboys ended up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, the bettor would win $1800 on a $100 future bet.

It is also possible to place a future bet on a player's performance. In the example below, a bettor could place a $100 bet on Patrick Mahomes to win the NFL MVP award with a potential payout of $400 or they could bet $100 on Lamar Jackson with a potential payout of $2,200.


Future betting allows a bettor to take advantage of perceived value on season long plays. Many sharp bettors will not necessarily bet the team or player they feel will win the award, but the ones that have the most value. The Patriots are certainly the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but at only 4-1 odds, they do not hold much value. Perhaps, the Philadelphia Eagles at 11-1 odds hold more value even if most agree that the Patriots have a greater chance of winning the Super Bowl.

Many bettors like future bets because it is a season long play and offers increased engagement for a longer period of time. The longer odds also offer greater payouts. Bettors, particularly novice ones, like to wager a little bit of money to make a lot.


In the examples above, all of the odds listed are YES. Will the Patriots win the Super Bowl? YES is +400. There is no option to bet the Patriots will not win the Super Bowl. This seemingly insignificant fact has major consequence on a bettor's return on investment. When there isn't a NO listed, it is extremely difficult to determine how much vig is on the play. Sportsbook take advantage of bettors by adding extra juice to these plays, which almost always ensures they will win on all future bets.

Another reason not to bet futures is the fact the sportsbooks hold on to the money for a long period of time. If you were to bet who will win the Super Bowl when they post, the sportsbook would hold on to your money for almost ten months before having to pay anyone out. Sportsbooks can pay out other bettors or gain interest on the money. Conversely, the bettor has less money to make other bets.


Most sharps avoid the future market because of the reasons explained above. However, there is an angle that remains profitable year after year: win totals. In the example below, there is a win total posted for each team. The bettor can place a bet that the team will win more or less games than the posted win total. In these examples, it can be deduced how much vig is attached to each play, 24 and 27 cents respectively.

As a general rule of practice, a bettor should only place future bets if they can bet either side or if there is incredible value. Bettors should avoid all plays where there is an indeterminable amount of vigorish.



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