When it comes to Ballislife, we’re all about the future of the sport of basketball. Whether that’s looking at the remainder of the NBA season or the college ranks for the stars of tomorrow, we’re always looking ahead.
We can now do that in sports betting too with NBA futures. Here, we’ll explore everything about this betting market so continue reading to learn more.
The NBA is a long and arduous season starting mid-October and ending in early April with the NBA Finals. Throughout the year, you can bet on individual games and their various associated betting markets. However, one betting market available before the season begins until the last day is NBA futures bets.
Compared to the more daily bet types, futures bets aren’t as frequently wagered on because they do require some patience because the wager isn’t resolved for, at times, months on end. So, if you’re curious about what futures bets are, how they work, viewing some real examples, and learning strategies, continue reading below.
The futures betting market is based on events or results that will happen, well, in the future. These are typically associated with individual player awards, championships, division winners, conference winners, tournament winners, and to some extent, draft results.
You’ll find this betting market from well before the season starts and last throughout the season. The odds shift and change as the season unfolds.
As mentioned, these may not be the most attractive bets to make, especially for new bettors, but there’s plenty of monetary upside with these wagers if you can be patient, understand the long-term commitment, and are prepared to tie your money up for an extended period.
NBA futures betting works like any other wager in that there’s a bet to be made, odds associated with your selection, and waiting for the result. The difference with futures betting is the time it could take for these events to settle, but it all depends on when you make the wager.
For example, you could bet on the NBA Finals champion in October and get +1100 odds, or wait until March to bet on the same team. Their odds could be -250, depending on how they do throughout the season. As you can see, the value is getting in on the NBA betting futures market early to maximize your winnings while knowing that your $100 wager, or whatever your budget is, will be tied up for several months.
When it comes to reading NBA futures odds, it’s along the same lines as a moneyline wager. It’s simple in that there’s a team or player you can bet on and betting odds. If you’re betting on the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Finals at +320 and bet $100 on this, you’ll win $320 if they win the Finals. The best way to think about odds with a “+” in front of them is the amount of money you’ll win if you bet $100 on it.
The NBA futures betting markets begin before the season starts in October and ends when the NBA Finals conclude. Throughout the season, more futures betting markets will be added. It may start out with just the Finals, but as the season goes on, you’ll find conference winners, and individual awards.
Let’s look at some examples below.
This is the most well-known futures betting market—betting on who you think will win the championship and that final NBA futures game. This betting market is what’s most associated with any sports futures betting.
In addition to picking who will win the Finals, you can also bet on what combination of teams will participate. This is probably a more difficult wager to make since you need to accurately predict two teams that will appear in the series.
In the NBA, there are two conferences—the East and West. With this betting market, you can pick who will win this conference. This is determined by whoever wins the “tournament” that involves 10 teams on each side. The team must win three best-of-seven series to get through the conference tournament.
The seeding is determined by the first six seeds based on the win-loss record, and then the No. 7 seed will play the No. 8 seed and the No. 9 seed will play the No. 10 seed to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seed in the conference tournament, respectively.
In the NBA, there are six divisions, with three in each conference.
This bet is more straightforward in that there are five teams per division you can bet on to win the division, which is based on their win/loss record.
Instead of listing each award, we’ll lump them together here.
With these awards, there will be a pool of players with NBA futures odds, and like the other futures bets, you’ll pick which player you think will win. Each award has its own criteria for how to win it, so be sure to monitor this throughout the season.
There are three great strategies employable when you are placing futures bets. Use these tips to enhance your bet-making prowess.
Regarding futures betting, we cannot recommend hedging enough. Hedging is a term used in betting in which you’ll wager against your previous bet in an attempt to limit losses, break even, or still manage to turn a profit. With futures betting, turning a profit is more than possible due to the odds you receive. As the season goes on, the possibility diminishes, but if you bet on a team at +1500 at the beginning of the year and then wager on a team that you feel more confident in at +250, there’s a lot of wiggle room for calculating what you “need” to wager to offset your previous wager. Let’s use the +1500 and +250 odds as examples. On the +1500 odds, you wager $50. Later that year, you want to wager on a team with +250 odds. Well, if you wager $228.57 on the +250 odds, you’ll have a total bet amount of $278.57, but if either team you bet on wins, you’ll have a hedge profit of $521.43.
We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but we cannot emphasize it enough—be patient. Throughout the season, some sportsbooks will allow you to cash out on your wager, meaning you can bail on it early for a reduced profit or at a smaller loss. If you hedge correctly, you can counteract this. That said, there are times when cashing out might be best—it’s all incredibly subjective.
Since futures betting can stretch for months at a time, it can be easy to forget how much you’ve actually wagered. At the outset of the season, make a plan to only wager $500 on futures, for example. Most NBA online sportsbooks will track your bets and allow you to see how much you’ve wagered. Never wager more than you can afford.
NBA futures betting may just be another betting market in the sport. Still, it’s one that allows for more monetary upside on an individual bet basis than really anything else.
What we set out to demonstrate here on top of what futures betting is, is the sheer amount of possible profit.
This can also be an opportunity to bet on your favorite team at the beginning of the season and perhaps encourage you to root for them more—again, this is all entertainment, so wager with whatever you’re comfortable with and what you can afford.
Additionally, we hope you’ll take the few strategies we mentioned above and implement them into your betting.
Bookmark this page and reference it each time you consider engaging in futures betting on the NBA.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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