Futures betting is picking the outcome of a future event, such as betting the NBA, NFL, or MLB champion before the season begins, mid season, or during the postseason. But before you place a bet on the futures at all, consider using a Futures Calculator. By doing so, you’ll receive the complete implied probability of the future market. You’ll also identify the sportsbook’s house edge, which is usually very high when all outcomes are entered.
To use the Futures Calculator make sure you enter all values in the futures market, not just the ones you intend to bet. After calculating you will see the House Edge on the future market and can decide if that edge compared to your odds are going to be worth the long term investment of betting futures.
What Is A Futures Bet?
A futures bet is guessing a result that’s decided in the future. However, futures are specifically title events, not simply a game that’s days or weeks away. Examples of popular futures bets that take place in the US include:
- Winner of the NBA Finals
- Super Bowl Champions
- World Series Champions
- NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Champions
Futures odds are calculated based on the likelihood of a team or individual winning the title. As such, futures odds are constantly in flux, swinging wildly because of changing team members, injuries and trades, and a host of other factors.
Futures are normally presented at American sportsbooks with American odds (rather than decimal or fractional odds). The positive (+) number shows how much you’ll win with a $100 bet. The negative (-) shows how much you need to bet to win $100.
For example, the favorites to win the World Series at the start of the 2020 MLB season were the New York Yankees. If they were listed at +250, a $100 bet would pay out $250.
However, as the season progressed, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the favorite. By the time the postseason commenced, the futures odds on the Yankees winning it all increased to +1000 or longer while a bet on the Dodgers would be -250.
The goal of futures betting goes beyond making a correct guess. It’s identifying picks that make the potential reward worth the risk. That’s where the Futures Calculator comes into play.
What Is A Futures Calculator?
The Futures Calculator allows you to enter complete futures odds for multiple outcomes like NBA, NFL, and MLB future lines that contain every team. The idea is to give you the complete implied probability of the future market, not just the implied probability on a two-team event.
However, implied probability is the same in this context as any other: the odds of a payout without the sportsbook’s vig taken into account.
Generally, the futures calculator will indicate a very high sportsbook edge when all the outcomes are entered. The goal is to decide if that edge compared to your odds is going to be worth the long-term investment of betting futures.
What really sets the Futures Calculator apart from the other odds calculators is that you enter all values in the specific futures market, not just the lines you intend to bet. This will identify the complete implied probability, which is only determinable when you have every line added.
How To Use A Futures Calculator To Place A Sports Bet
As mentioned, you use a Futures Calculator by entering all values of the specific futures market. If you’re using it for odds before the start of the season, you’d be adding in the futures odds for every team. You then calculate the results to identify the implied probability for each pick as well as the total house edge.
Three Crucial Tips On Calculating Futures Bets
It is important to note that -110 odds in a spread bet are very different from -110 odds in futures betting. Though the payout is the same, -110 odds in any more than two-way betting means that the implied probability is below 50%. That means that the sportsbook has an even bigger edge over you, and you need to take that into account.
Another important factor to take into account is the investing principle of “opportunity cost.” In futures betting, your money will be tied up for an entire season. That means your sports betting budget will be limited until the futures come to fruition.
Of course, there’s a good chance that the team (or teams) chosen will be eliminated long before the title is decided. However, there’s also a good chance that the pick goes all the way to the championship game, tying up your investment all the while.
Would You Make More In Interest?
You should calculate the loss on interest you might have earned on that futures betting investment just sitting in a bank account. Though likely no more than 1%, that is another factor adjusting futures in the sportbook’s favor.
To make the decision to place a futures bet, you need to be sure that the payoff is exponentially more than the risk-reward of placing that same bet on a game that day or week.
Calculating Payouts From Positive Futures Odds
Positive odds (the number with the + symbol) is the payout potential for a $100 bet. For example, +200 would pay out $200 on a $100 bet, returning $300 to the bettor.
Calculating Payouts From Negative Futures Odds
Negative odds (the number with the – symbol) represents the dollar amount you need to bet to win $100. For example, -200 would pay out $100 on a $200 bet, again returning $300 to the bettor.
Looking for other calculators to use when sports betting? Check out:
What Is Line Movement?
Line movement is how the sportsbook’s odds shift depending on a variety of factors. If a key player gets injured, the futures odds will shift dramatically. If tons of bettors place a futures bet on a specific team, the sportsbook may change the odds in their favor. And the potential examples go on from there.
Not just with futures, line movement can help you determine the best possible moment to make a selection on a sports bet. But using the Futures Calculator on a regular basis can help you determine line movement, identifying better moments to bet as well as undervalued teams relative to the market.
Legal Online Sports Betting In The US
One of the most exciting prospects of legal online sports betting in the US is the ability to join several different sportsbooks from home. This gives bettors an easy way to compare the market and place the bets with the best odds.
Before, sports bettors were relegated to local bookies, illegal sites, or traveling to states where sports betting is legal. Now, there are more than a dozen states with legal online sports betting, and more are sure to join the party in the coming years.
Some of the states who recently legalized and launched online sports betting include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
However, when it comes to utilizing the Futures Calculator and finding the best potential payout, you’ll want to join as many as possible. A more obscure sportsbook could have a jaw-dropping line that’s double the more mainstream options.
Combining Online Sports Betting With The Futures Calculator
Betting futures according to best practice is time-consuming. Thankfully, you need to be patient to place a futures bet in the first place, so taking things a step further shouldn’t be too much of a jump.
You don’t need to join an online sportsbook to see their odds. So hold off on joining until you’re ready to place a wager, as some introductory promotional offers expire after the first 24 hours or seven days of opening an account.
The first step is using the Futures Calculator for each online sportsbook available in the state. Record the results, then compare and contrast the sports betting sites and apps against each other before placing a bet.
The benefit of recording the results is the ability to track line movement. If you use the calculator every week (or whenever there’s trade movement or games played), you can both identify the best sportsbook to place the bet as well as the right time to place the bet.
FAQs – Using a Futures Calculator
Yes, it is legal to use a Futures Calculator. A Futures Calculator is not a form of cheating. You could use a Futures Calculator while physically present inside a sportsbook, and we recommend that you do so. Unless you can do all that math in your head, a Futures Calculator is a simple and effective way to determine implied probability and the house edge.
Serious sports bettors should use a Futures Calculator before placing a wager on a futures pick. This will help you determine the complete implied probability as well as the overall house edge. You can also use a Futures Calculator to track line movement as well as compare various sportsbooks to see where you should place your bet.
The easiest way to convert American odds to Fractional odds is by using an odds converter. There are many odds converters online, including here at Odds Coach.
Another way is to convert the odds manually. American odds in fractional form is 100/-number or +number/100. For example, -110 American odds would be 100/110, or 0.91/1.
Thanks to the internet, you can convert American odds to Decimal odds in seconds using the odds converter at Odds Coach. You can also convert the odds by hand. Simply divide the 100 by the negative number or divide the positive number by 100, then add 1. For example, +225 in American odds would be (225/100) + 1, or 3.25.
The fastest way to convert betting odds to implied probability is by utilizing the odds converter at Odds Coach. You can also do so by hand using the following equation: negative odds / (negative odds + 100) * 100.
For example, the equation for -110 would be 110/(110+100) * 100 = 52.38%.
DraftKings Sportsbook. With the best quality app, excellent welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions, hyper-competitive, and robust market depth, the DraftKings Sportsbook reigns supreme as the best online sportsbook in the US. However, we highly recommend comparing every online sportsbook legal in your state before placing a bet to find the best available odds.