Gambling Today: Is there still value for Sports Bettors in Futures Wagering?

Sports bettors love to chase the high odds of a long-term futures bet. But with more sportsbooks adjusting their lines with sports reopening, are they still worth the purchase?
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For many of us the words, “save your money for a rainy day” have been ingrained in our heads from birth. With all the uncertain times still likely ahead, the concept of saving has remained perhaps even more important than in the past.

Sports betting, while still fun and immensely entertaining, is still about finding the value. As the world begins to reopen, live sporting events are making their way back to the mainstream. For sports bettors, there is the pertinent question of whether ‘future wagers’ are still a wise investment.

With sportsbooks around Vegas beginning to turn their mobile platforms back on, bettors are being forced to comprehend the harsh reality of ‘refunds’ on NCAA basketball, and various NBA and NHL future markets. Instead, bettors will now be forced to place wagers on new markets at sharper, adjusted prices by the oddsmakers after witnessing how the leagues are structuring their return to action for the regular season and postseason. The question now becomes: is future wagering still a wise endeavor at significantly lower odds than what was originally wagered months ago?

In addition, all bettors need to take into consideration that should a ‘second wave’ of the virus hit the sports world, there is the risk your money could be tied up for a longer period of time if the leagues are forced to once again suspend play.

With everything considered, sports bettors should come to the conclusion that future wagering should be used as a fun endeavor rather than a form of making of significant monetary investments. With the break from action and extended playoff formats (take the NHL for instance), the sports world may witness more upsets than ever before. Teams will encounter so many new variables ranging from playing with no fans to being quarantined in specific cities to simply being out of shape due to extended time off. Bettors will also need to factor many teams, who would not have qualified for the playoffs in a normal season, will now be afforded the luxury of playing with “house money.”

In this approach of “more is less”, it would better serve the gambling community to approach future markets the same as they would parlays. Target teams who may have the best paths for upsets in the early rounds and wager small amounts on the longshots as opposed to investing heavily on the shorter priced favorites sitting atop the betting boards. 

It is imperative that bettors always shop around for the best price. The team here at SI Gambling has already broken down the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Play-In Round from a betting perspective and in that preview we find significantly better odds at the Westgate Superbook Las Vegas as opposed to those being offered by DraftKings Sportsbook. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, who get Jake Guentzel back to pair with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, offer tremendous value at odds of 16/1. In addition, teams like the Vancouver Canucks (50/1) and the New York Rangers (80/1) jump off the page as longshots who could easily make it beyond the opening round and give bettors a chance at a dream payout. 

Odds courtesy of Westgate

Odds courtesy of Westgate

Similar to the uncertainty we face fighting the coronavirus, the same unpredictability applies to the return of the top teams in each respective sport. Unfortunately, oddsmakers have the edge over the bettors once again thanks to the ‘resetting’ of all future market pricing according to adjusted league formats. 

Therefore, the best approach is to simply have fun with these updated odds, as opposed to ignoring them or investing heavily.