The answer is actually right there in the name: It’s wagering on NFL-specific outcomes that won’t be decided until well into the future. We’re talking beyond Thanksgiving, and in many cases, not until the calendar flips to 2025.
NFL futures are particularly ideal for casual sports bettors who don’t have the time, interest or bankroll to partake in week-to-week wagering.
Another advantage of NFL futures betting: When getting involved in markets such as the Super Bowl, season win totals and individual awards, bettors can wager a little for the opportunity to win a lot, especially if you use bonus bets from a sportsbook’s welcome offer.
For example, if you think the Minnesota Vikings are a contender—one that’s capable of winning the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history—you can make a preseason bet at potentially longer odds than once the season begins to unfold.
Why do sportsbooks offer these kinds of “long” odds? Because predicting season-long winners is hard.
When Can You Make an NFL Futures Bet?
Most bettors place NFL futures wagers before the start of the regular season, but that’s certainly not required. In fact, most futures markets remain open at NFL betting sites throughout the entire season, with sportsbooks constantly adjusting odds based on player and/or team performances, significant injuries, trades and betting liability.
An example of the latter: If a sportsbook takes a lopsided amount of money on a particular team or player, it will reduce the odds to make betting on the team or player less enticing. Conversely, if a sportsbook receives minimal action on a team or player, it will raise the odds in hopes of attracting bets.
Sometimes these odds shifts happen weekly, sometimes daily and sometimes every few hours. The goal when making NFL futures bets is to strike when the plus-odds are at their peak to maximize value. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
How Much Do You Have to Wager on NFL Futures?
As with all sports bets, you can risk as little as $1 on an NFL futures wager. Obviously, the more you bet, the more you stand to win. And the higher the odds, the larger the potential payout.
If you bet $10 on Mahomes, you would win $65. If you put $10 on Jackson to win, however, you’d earn $120.