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MLB Betting: Futures Wagers (Current Odds at Bottom of Page)

By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

As the name suggests, MLB futures are wagers placed on baseball that lie ahead in the future. Not just by a day or weeks, but sometimes many months ahead. Many people take a stand in the beginning of the baseball season in April on events that won’t be wrapped up until November. Betting on futures can really give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Futures is an area of baseball wagering that is growing. Not long ago, the only baseball futures bet you could make is which team was going to win the World Series. Now, you can also bet on which teams will just win the league pennant or which team will simply win the division. Depending on the book, you could find even more options, like what player will win the batting crown or the MVP award.

Most wagers we play are over in a matter of just a few hours. Futures wagers allow you to have a stake on a team that lasts for the entire season. You can make a futures wager on a team to win the league pennant and then have a vested interest in that team’s form and progress for a whole season. Say what you will about baseball futures, but when you can get that much mileage off a single wager--that counts for a lot.

It’s worth noting that you should always play with a reputable book, regardless of what kind of bets you regularly play. But with the futures, our sense of who the good books truly are should be heightened. Not getting paid for a win stings, but it’s doubly painful on a futures bet you’ve been sweating for months. So before laying a futures bet, verify that the book will still be operating by the time the bet is decided.

THE MOST (AND BEST ODDS) MLB FUTURES CAN BE FOUND AT 5 DIMES SPORTSBOOK

Futures bets sometimes get zinged for their lack of value, but it depends how you look at it. Baseball is one of those sports where you can profit off of original insight. During our journey as baseball fans, we have all been able to hone in on a team that we thought was going to a lot better than what the public consensus was saying. Futures betting allows us to capitalize on pieces of original insight and analysis.

It’s just that some futures bets are asking for a lot. When betting on a team to win the World Series, a team is going to have to be more than just “improved.” They have to win the whole thing. Even if you tone down your optimism and bet a team to simply win the pennant or their division, that could still be a lofty proposition.

There are some tricks of the trade. Sometimes, a team will make some key offseason acquisitions and you suspect they will be in position to win the division, pennant, or even the World Series. Those teams, however, don’t always start the season very well, as coaches and players are adjusting to the new personnel and team chemistry. If you bet on these teams before the season starts, you’re not going to get that great of a price. But if that team starts slowly as is often the case, you can get a fatter price by just waiting until early-May to make the same bet.

Another interesting tactic when playing baseball futures is to make multiple bets on which team will win the pennant or World Series. When betting on which teams will simply win the division, you want to just go with one team. In a bet to win the whole thing, however, you have some room to work with and can still profit even when taking multiple teams.

A lot of teams have some of the qualities you look for in a potential champion--good pitching, no gaping holes in the lineup, and a savvy manager who knows how to extract the most out of his club. The top favorites to win the World Series likely have a lot of those attributes in place, but there are some teams under-the-radar that also possess those qualities. If picking several teams to win the World Series, mix in some dark-horses. Don’t just pick straight chalk or it’s going to be hard to turn a buck.

With the growth of MLB futures, we now see bets available on things like which player will lead the league in home runs, who will be Rookie of the Year, or who will be the Cy Young Award winner. These bets can be quite entertaining and give you a low-priced stake in the season that lasts for months. So we see that futures bets fulfill a bettor’s need for action and entertainment. If we play it right, we can do more than simply be entertained by futures wagers and actually use them to boost our bottom-line.

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