What is a Futures Bet?
A futures bet is a wager on an event or award happening in the future. Rather than a straight bet like a point spread, total or moneyline wager placed for a single game, futures odds are attached to a season-long event like the champion of a league, the NFL MVP of a season or a division winner. There are also examples of futures that bettors can place on something not happening, such as the under for a season win total.
Examples of a Futures Bet You Can Make in Arizona
- Winner of the NFL's Super Bowl
- Winner of NCAA's March Madness
- Winner of the PGA's Masters Tournament
- Winner of the NFL's NFC North Division
- Winner of the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year
- Winner of the MLB's AL Cy Young
- Leading rusher during the NFL's regular season
How to Read Futures Odds
Arizona futures bets are simple to read and similar to single-game moneyline bets. Most futures odds have plus odds attached to them such as +300, +650 or +1000. In those examples, a $100 bet would yield $300, $650 or $1000 in profit. In some instances, futures will have a minus sign attached to them such as -200 or -400. In those instances, bettors would need to wager $200 or $400 to win $100.
Arizona Futures Bets Can Be Lucrative
Below is an example of futures bets, their odds and what you would win if you were right.
|Futures Bet||Odds||Bet||Potential Profit|
|To Win the 2022 Super Bowl||+1500||$100||$1500|
|To Win NFL MVP||+900||$100||$900|
|To Win March Madness||+255||$100||$255|
When Do I Get Paid for a Futures Bet?
Futures bets in Arizona are settled at the end of a regular-season or postseason, depending on the bet. For individual awards, bets are settled when the winners are announced by the league. Division winners are settled at the end of the regular season, conference or league winners are settled after a sports' semifinals and championship bets are settled following the championship game. Statistical futures bets are typically just for the regular season, but players will want to read the fine print before they place bets.
Most Popular Futures Bets to Make in Arizona
Futures bets are typically limited to the most popular sports betting markets. Here are the most popular markets that bettors will want to analyze and research when it comes to futures odds.
NFL Futures Market
The most popular betting market features plenty of futures bets. Division winners, MVP, player of the year winners on both offense and defense, rookies of the year and, of course, betting on the Super Bowl champion are the most popular futures bets. All of the Arizona sportsbook apps and online platforms will feature a host of these futures bets.
NBA Futures Market
No league is more player-driven than the NBA. It's why futures markets on individual awards such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and Rookie of the Year are so popular for bettors. NBA futures bets also include the NBA champion as well as division and conference winners and Coach of the Year. As you bet on basketball in Arizona, why not also place a couple of these futures bets?
MLB Futures Market
There aren't as many futures odds in the MLB as there in other leagues, but World Series champion, as well as Cy Young and MVP winners in both the National and American League, are popular. Other MLB bets include division and league champions as well as individual futures bets like ERA and home run champions.
NHL Futures Market
The Stanley Cup playoffs are annually one of the best postseason betting markets each year. Along with betting on who hoists the Stanley Cup, bettors can place wagers on the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and the Vezina Trophy. Along with standard NHL bets, individual NHL futures betting markets continue to gain momentum in the NHL.
College Football Futures Market
The College Football Playoff champion, the Heisman Trophy winner and conference champions are far and away the most common futures bets that college football fans can wager on. Given the sheer number of teams and conferences, futures betting is incredibly popular among college football bettors.
College Basketball Futures Market
There's nothing in North American sports quite like March Madness. The winner of the NCAA Tournament is the most popular future, while others throughout the season include conference winners, Thanksgiving weekend tournament winners and Player of the Year. But if we're being honest, the real action happens in March. In any case, bets on college basketball in Arizona, along with an assortment of futures bets can be made throughout the season.
Other Futures Markets
Other futures markets that bettors will find at sites include major golf and tennis tournaments and unique events like the Olympics Games.
Pros and Cons of Making a Futures Bet in Arizona
Still unsure of whether futures bets in Arizona are for you? We'll go over the pros and cons of making them to help you figure out what's right for you.
Higher payouts: Almost all futures have plus-money odds attached to them, meaning there are significant payouts in store for bettors. Winning futures is certainly more lucrative than a straight bet such as on a point spread or a total.
Shopping: Whereas a point spread on a single game may only change by a half-point at different operators, and the odds on those spreads may have a slight difference of -110 to -115, futures can have significantly different Arizona betting odds, sometimes as large as +200 or +300. It means bettors are almost always going to get a great value on whatever futures betting market in Arizona they're interested in - so long as they shop around.
Money tied up: Because these bets are settled at the end of a season or postseason, bettors will have their wagers tied up as a pending bet for quite some time. If bettors are more interested in quick returns, futures bets probably aren't the way to go.
Difficult to win: Consider a point spread or a total in a single game. It either happens or it doesn't. There are two options and two outcomes. With a futures bet, there are dozens of potential outcomes outside of the one that a bettor chooses. There are 30 NBA teams, 32 NFL teams and dozens of potential MVP winners each season. Those options reduce the longer into a season it gets, but odds also shorten as that happens.
Where Can I Make a Futures Bet in Arizona?
Bettors have ample opportunities to place bets on future odds in Arizona. Different operators have different future odds, so it's imperative that players sign up at multiple Arizona sportsbooks to shop for the best futures odds. It could be the difference between getting the Suns to win the NBA Finals at +500 or +650. That may not seem like much, but it certainly adds up over time. More so than straight bets, odds vary significantly among operators. Maximize the future bet you're taking by finding the odds with the most potential winnings.
Our Top Site for Arizona Futures Betting: BetMGM Arizona
There are plenty of operators that will offer competitive futures odds. But our favorite is BetMGM Arizona. They feature futures odds prominently on league pages better than any other sportsbook we've reviewed, the futures odds themselves are highly competitive, and odds can be parlayed.
It doesn't hurt that BetMGM has an official partnership with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, so we especially like what they provide from a gridiron perspective. Bettors will find what they like about each sportsbook's futures market, but we recommend checking out this operator before looking anywhere else.
Futures Betting Strategy
Do your homework
This one seems obvious, but it's important that bettors research futures odds before placing futures bets in Arizona. Because most futures are season-long plays, there's a number of factors that go into consideration. Division and conference opponents, schedule, injury concerns and historical trends are all important.
Shop for the best odds
The difference in futures odds between operators varies significantly, so we recommend players have accounts at multiple Arizona sports betting sites to find the best odds for the futures bets they want to make. Because futures bets change throughout the season, it's also important to frequently check odds at each sportsbook.
There are ebbs and flows to any team's season. The same goes for individual players, who are prone to a few slumps over the course of an entire schedule. It's why bettors should consider jumping on a favorite when they go through lulls. More often than not, favorites win. Pick and choose your spots when a player or team you like is going through some struggles. It likely won't last long and you'll have better futures odds because of it.
It can be enticing to look at long futures odds and dream of massive payouts. A team that's +10000 to win the NBA Finals would yield $10,000 profit on a $100 bet, but the chances of it happening are incredibly small. Upsets happen in single games, but over the course of a season the cream rises to the top and the best teams are playing at the season's end. That's not to say the favorite is always going to win, but don't expect major longshots to come out of nowhere and win a championship or an MVP award.
Place a Futures Bet at an Arizona Bookmaker Online Now
Futures bets are a great change of pace for players in Arizona. Instead of placing a bet on a game that is over in 60 minutes, nine innings, three periods or four quarters, futures bets give players a season-long wager to follow. Because future odds are constantly changing during the course of a season, placing futures bets can happen at any time.
Bettors will often find the most value on futures odds before the season begins, but the most common futures bets such as MVP and title winner will have value throughout the entire year. It takes a good amount of analysis and research, but futures bets can prove beneficial to bettors if they do the work and time their wagers correctly.
Arizona Futures Betting FAQ
Bettors who place futures bets will enjoy larger potential payouts and can follow their wagers throughout an entire season. There are plenty of reasons to make a futures bet, though it requires much more research and analysis than a straight bet.
Futures bets have longer odds than most straight bets because they're more difficult to predict, so bettors can earn significant payouts if they're right about the team or player they've wagered on.
Bettors may not cancel a bet that has been processed at a sportsbook, but some sportsbooks allow early cash-out options. This feature allows bettors to take a portion of the potential winnings before the bet is settled.
Some sportsbooks will allow bettors to parlay multiple futures bets, though it's not offered everywhere in Arizona. Bettors will be able to see if their futures bets can be parlayed on their bet slip.
Mark Strotman writes about the NBA and sports betting for BetArizona.com. He is a veteran sports journalist who covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports.