Football Betting: NFL Futures Bets (Current odds listed at bottom of page)
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
All bets are technically made on future events, but “futures bets” are wagers where you attempt to forecast events far in advance. Some bettors do not like these bets because it keeps their money tied up for too long or the value isn’t always very good. But there can often times be great rewards for those who feel like they have a good inkling and the action on these bets is long-lasting. Like if you bet on a team to win the Super Bowl, you have a hand in all those teams’ games for the whole season.
In NFL betting, betting on who will win the Super Bowl is the most popular of all futures wagers. It represents taking the ultimate stand. Before you even know how things will play out, you declare that a team will win the Super Bowl. And the wilder your claim, the bigger the possible payout. Odds on some of the lesser-fancied teams can range in the hundreds. Of course, your bets will be rewarded much less when picking teams that are well-known to be Super Bowl contenders. In other words, the possible profit on the Jacksonville Jaguars is far greater than picking the Patriots.
A Super Bowl futures wager can offer wide ranges of value. Every year, a team or two surprises. You could take a team at 25/1 that ends up being 8/1 as the season wears on. Then there are times where you’re getting only 6/1 on a team the gets worse and ends up at 25/1 by midseason. You just don’t really know when making that early Super Bowl bet. But even if you want to see how things play out a bit, you can bet on who will win the Super Bowl all season long.
But sometimes, that’s asking too much. You might feel that a team will be improved, but not to the point where they are serious Super Bowl contenders. There are also futures bets that don’t require you to take such a severe position. You can also bet on a team just winning their division--a far more doable proposition. You can also bet on teams winning their conference. It’s still asking a lot for teams to just make the Superbowl.
One of the more intriguing futures bets is picking how many games a team will win in the upcoming season. An over-under will be set and you merely need to predict if they will win more or less of those games. It will go something like this:
Atlanta Falcons--10.5 games
There are no point-spreads involved. You just pick the number of games you think the Atlanta Falcons will win. If you think it will be under 10.5 games (-130), you need to bet $130 to win $100. And if you think they will win over 10.5 games (+105), you will win $105 for very $100 you bet.
A lot of value can be found on some of the lesser-known teams. The established teams are naturally expected to do well. There is not good value on over-hyped teams. Taking the under on the Cowboys has been a profitable play in the past several years. Not that you want to blindly bet under on big-time teams and bet over on less nationally-followed teams, but looking at those areas is where you’re bound to find the best value. Going with the public perception will usually not yield very good value.
If you are inclined to make a slew of futures bets, it is especially important to research which books offer these bets in a comprehensive manner. Some books may only offer Super Bowl betting. Others, however, thoroughly cover this area of NFL betting to the point where you can bet on all the wagers we discussed. Some will even allow you to bet on who the NFL MVP will be. Or even the Rookie of the Year, rushing champion, and so on.
So do some diligent checking to make sure your book is offering you what you’re looking for in futures bets. And since these bets can take 5 months to play out, this is one area where you want to make sure you’re dealing with a long-standing book with a good reputation. You certainly do not want to make bets far in advance with a book that might not even make it to Super Bowl Sunday.