The Dangers of Futures Betting

man using tablet to bet on sports

If you have a favorite sports team, you’ve likely imagined what it would be like if they won a championship or if your all-time favorite player became the Most Valuable Player. Perhaps you considered betting on the odds that these events will actually occur. These types of wagers would be considered futures bets. It can be tempting to engage in futures betting for the thrill it provides, but the risks of this type of gambling may just far outweigh the positives.

What Is a Futures Bet?

Future betting is just as it sounds: it’s placing a wager on the odds of an individual player or a team winning a particular title, such as Rookie of the Year or Conference Champion. Future wagers are associated with football, basket, soccer, golf, NASCAR, horse racing, and many other individual and team sports.

Sports bettors typically place bets just before the season starts. This enables bookmakers to achieve higher betting volumes in the offseason. As the season progresses, bookmakers will adjust the odds of winning according to injuries, trades, and more. The final results are settled by the end of the season.

The Truth Behind the Odds

It’s tempting to believe you are getting an accurate representation of how a particular team or player will perform over the season from the odds presented by bookmakers. However, futures odds are simply a tool for sportsbooks to spread the money being gambled across each team. This means you are not receiving highly scrutinized rankings on who has the best chance to win. Instead, you are seeing numbers that have been inflated to enable bookmakers to make a greater profit across the entire season.

The Risks Associated With Futures Bets

While futures betting can sound appealing because of the chance of winning big (even on a small wager), there are several risks associated with this type of gambling.

  • Huge House Advantage: Sportsbooks generate odds to attract equal action on all sides so that the bookmaker can gain a large profit.
  • Tied-Up Money: If you place a futures bet, your money will be inaccessible all season long. This means you could potentially be without money for rent, food, and activities for months.
  • Several Factors Influencing the Outcome: The chance of winning a futures bet is slim because of all the factors influencing the outcome. These factors could include player injuries, trades, and unexpected successes from other teams.

Need Help Overcoming Your Sports Betting Habits?

If you or a loved one are struggling with a sports gambling problem and want to learn how to stop sports betting, help is available. Gamblers Anonymous meetings are available online, providing an opportunity to learn from other disordered gamblers as they work towards recovery. We are available 24/7 to connect you with professional counselors with experience helping sports bettors find relief. Call or text our free, confidential helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, today to start your journey toward recovery.


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