It’s that time of year when smart bettors begin to look at NFL futures for the upcoming season. Sportsbooks offer a growing variety of season-long futures and prop bets on the NFL in an effort to make as much money as they can. Bettors can place wagers from now until the markets close. Are these good bets for football bettors?
– There are a number of NFL futures markets for bettors to take advantage of.
– Use multiple sportsbooks to find the best deal possible on NFL futures bets you like.
Opportunity Cost & NFL Futures Bets
Opportunity cost is one of the first things you learn in a basic economics class. Essentially, everything has a cost because you give something up to obtain it.
For example, a student is going to study for a final exam in economics. His friends are having a party at the same time. If he goes to the party, he gives up studying for the test. The opportunity cost is the time he would have spent studying.
If you have $20 in your pocket, you can place an NFL futures bet or you can go to the bar for a few cocktails. If you decide to place the bet, the opportunity cost is the drinks at the bar.
When thinking of NFL futures bets, keep in mind that once you place the wager, your money is locked in until the bet is graded. If you bet $100 on the Super Bowl champion in August, that $100 is locked up in that bet until after the big game.
The opportunity cost, in this case, is the sum of all the bets that you could have made during the season with that $100. It’s possible that you use some or all of that $100 to place NFL bets during the season.
With a few timely wins, that $100 could lead to some nice profits. That would not be entirely possible if you sink that $100 into a futures bet. That leads us to examine whether or not betting futures in the NFL is a worthwhile endeavor.
The crucial point is that just because there is a high opportunity cost, that doesn’t mean NFL futures bets are always a bad idea. It simply means that you, as a sports handicapper, must find value in the wager.
You must ensure that your anticipated return from the potential wager is greater than the opportunity cost. You have found value if you genuinely think that placing a futures bet will increase your chances of winning over spending your money in other ways. Value is the key to successful betting.
Let’s say you place a futures bet on a NFL favorite to win the Super Bowl. You wager $100 and your potential return is $1500. You believe that you could not make $1500 if you kept the initial $100. In that case, there is value in making that futures bet.
However, most of the time, the opportunity cost and risk are too great when placing bets on future outcomes. This makes football futures bets unprofitable.
Shop for the Best NFL Futures Odds
One way to ensure value in a futures bet is to shop around for the best odds. Futures odds, whether NFL or any sport, will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. There is much more variation in futures odds than in moneyline or point spread odds.
It’s common to find the Super Bowl favorite or NFL MVP with odds of +350 to +800 in the early months of the offseason. You might like a certain player for the MVP and he’s priced at +475 at one sportsbook. After some searching, you find the same player at another sportsbook listed at +750. That’s a $275 difference on a $100 bet.
Using multiple sportsbooks is a tactic used by sharp bettors. They always find the best prices before placing their bets. You should do the same.
Don’t Forget the Fun & Excitement
There is one more very good reason to place NFL futures bets. It’s fun!
Futures can be a great way to have fun while taking a chance on some gains and bragging rights. Futures bets are best made when you aren’t tying up a lot of cash and can afford to lose the money you are betting.
You will still have enough in your bankroll to bet the way you want to during the season. As a sort of bonus, you can place a futures bet on the Super Bowl winner, league MVP, or even on the Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year.
Don’t forget that you can get into the futures market after the season has begun. You can always place a futures bet after you have seen teams play for a few weeks. The bottom line is to find value in your choice and have fun with it!