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Guide to NBA Futures Betting

by January 24, 2022
Trae Young

The legalization of sports betting in many states across the country has brought as many questions as answers. There are many betting options to choose from across countless sports, leagues, and athletes. The futures market spans almost every sport and allows long-term betting similar to the stock market.

Understanding the NBA futures market is critical to potential success.

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What Is an NBA Future?

When betting a future in sports betting, you are betting on a particular event to happen, you guessed it, in the future. The futures market typically opens as soon as a season ends and stays live until sometimes just weeks before the event takes place.

For example, the futures market for the following NBA season will open just days after the NBA Finals finish and go all the way until the next NBA Finals matchup is set. With odds changing throughout that time based on team performance, expectations, speculation, injuries, past success, and more, the key is timing the market based on the edge you think you have.

It’s also worth noting you aren’t restricted to betting on the NBA Finals future. You can also wager on player awards, conference winners, and division winners, among others.

The Strategy Behind NBA Futures

Your strategy can vary depending on when you bet on a future, but here’s a quick real-life example of a future bet I placed. Given a recent slide that has seen them fall to the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks fell to 80-1 to win the NBA championship on DraftKings. I had to grab it.

My thesis is multi-faceted, but here are my general thoughts. They are banged up with Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic out of the lineup, but expected back in no more than two weeks. If they can weather that storm above .500 (they’re 20-25 with three straight wins as of this writing), they can make a late run with essentially the same lineup that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Trae Young and John Collins, one of the NBA’s best young one-two punches, is starting to play their best basketball of the season. With that, my money is on them sneaking into a top-six seed in the East. If they accomplish that and win their first playoff series, 80-1 is long enough odds to begin hedging almost immediately.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Bet on Sports — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.

Johnny is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Johnny, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.