Futures Betting: Ultimate Guide to Betting on Futures for North Carolina Gamblers

Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

With North Carolina sportsbooks officially legalizing online betting in 2024, sports bettors can enjoy a wide variety of sports betting options that are expected to be available. 

For some, learning about different bet types and how to use them is a daunting task. Here are some tips on how to bet on some of your favorite sporting events with futures bets. 

What is Futures Betting in North Carolina?

Futures betting is a market that can be found at all North Carolina sports betting apps, sites and retail sportsbooks that allow you to wager on events that will resolve later—for example, wagering on who will win a league championship game or MVP award at the start of the year.

Here, we'll dive into more examples, including sport-specific ones, discuss how to read the odds, bet on them, and more.

Examples of a Futures Bet

As mentioned, the goal of a futures bet is to wager on something that may not have a result for months.

These include a league championship game (NCAA Tournament, World Series, World Cup, Super Bowl), MVP awards, team win totals, and other prop-like bets. For example, at the time of this writing, future bets are available for the next team NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will play for by the time the 2023-24 season starts.

These wagers present a lot of value since they tie your money up for an extended period, but if you have the budget to do so, these can be highly profitable. And better yet, some sportsbooks offer North Carolina sports betting promos on futures bets as well so you can boost your bankroll.

How to Read Futures Odds

Reading futures odds are similar to that of a moneyline bet. A list of teams or players for the specific wager will also come with odds.

Toward the beginning of the season, you'll see mostly "+" odds depending on the wager, but "-" odds are also available.

With "-" odds, this indicates that something is favored. If multiple "-" wagers exist, the odds with the highest number are favored beyond the others. For example, -200 is more favored than -150. To win $100 with these wagers, you'll need to bet the number associated with the odds. So, at -200, you must wager $200 to win $100.

With "+" odds, these are traditionally viewed as the underdog. Like "-" odds, the higher the number, the more of an underdog it is. With these, you'll win the amount of money associated with them on a $100 bet. Odds of +200 mean you'd win $200 with a $100 bet.

Using a real-world example, if you bet on the Panthers Super Bowl odds at +6500, you'd win $6500 on a successful $100 bet. 

Of course, we recommend looking at different sportsbooks like BetMGM North Carolina for the best odds possible on all major events.

How to Bet on Futures

Betting on futures bets is quite simple to do. When you visit the sports-specific betting page, you'll find a menu that will provide a link to the futures betting page. Some sportsbook operators like Caesars North Carolina will have separate pages for team and player futures. Once there, select which team or player you want to bet on, add it to your bet slip, confirm you wager, and wait until the wager settles.

Types of Future Bets

As mentioned, futures bets are typically divided between team and player. For example, at DraftKings North Carolina, you can find futures bets for win totals throughout the season, the Stanley Cup, NFL MVP, results of tennis tournaments, March Madness, the Super Bowl winner, and many more.

We always recommend checking the most current futures odds, as these can change regularly.

Championship or Tournament Winners

Betting on league championships is a standard futures bet to make. The online sportsbook you choose to bet at will likely have something available. 

The most notable sports championships and tournaments are the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, World Series, NCAA Tournament (March Madness), PGA Major Championships, and College Football National Championship. These are just a few of your numerous big-game future betting opportunities.

📲 MORE: FanDuel Sportsbook North Carolina

Division and Conference Winners

Looking toward the "big four" sports in the United States—the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL—you can also bet on who will win their division or conference. You can also bet on college sports, including UNC odds to win the ACC and more.

Let's look at some examples.

  • 🏈 NFL: Panthers to win NFC South
  • 🏀 NBA: Hornets to win Southeast Division
  • ⚾️ MLB: Orioles to win the AL
  • 🏒 NHL: Hurricanes to win the Metropolian Division
  • 🏆 College Sports: UNC or Duke odds to win the ACC

Player Awards

Looking toward player awards, these can be popular futures bets with excellent betting odds, depending on the sport you choose to bet on. These include MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and many others.

Some examples include the following:

How to Choose the Right Futures Bet

Choosing the right futures bet is essential because these will likely be events that won't have a final result for months, thus tying up your money. Below, we'll go over ways to choose the best futures bets for the NFL season, NBA Championship, a player to win MVP, and all others mentioned throughout.

Team and Player Performance

When you decide to bet on a team or player futures sports betting market, you'll undoubtedly want to choose a team or player that you expect to perform well. That said, sometimes players or teams have longer odds and could have a shot at winning.

Additionally, you can bet on college futures, including Drake Maye Draft odds and more.

Remember—you can always hedge your bets during the season to double down on the team you bet on or bet elsewhere to minimize your losses.

Strength of Schedule

The strength of the schedule is something that odds makers will certainly consider when deciding who the favorites and underdogs are. One popular futures market is regular season over/under win totals. While you don't know how well a team will do ultimately, you can look back at their success in the previous season, measure offseason transactions, and monitor injuries throughout the preseason and leading up to the season to gauge the chances of a team winning however many games.

For college basketball, a commonly used statistic is KenPom rankings, which can also provide some insight into the strength of the schedule.

Market Odds

Futures markets are always changing. Thus, we highly recommend exploring every legal sportsbook in the state to compare odds to one another. It takes just a few minutes of research to test the futures market against one another to potentially find betting odds value.

For example, if one sportsbook has a team with +200 odds to win the College Football National Championship, and you look at another site, and that same team is +220, you just earned $20 in value on a $100 bet for just a couple minutes of research on the same futures markets.

Top Strategies for Betting on Futures

Now that we've gone over the baseline of spotting the best futures odds and futures markets let's look at some strategies. Below, we have four strategies to deploy on these betting options.

Diversify Your Bets

While it may be tempting to bet on your favorite team to win their title game or go over their team wins, diversifying or hedging, your wagers give you the most upside for cashing in. This can be scattered before and during the season, but adapting to how the season is shaking out can help you find the right bet. We're not saying to base it off a single game or purely off of odds, but having the ability to diversify your future bets can result in a larger potential payout.

Look for Value Bets

While "value bets" can be subjective with future odds, it's important to set bias aside and do the necessary research. If a team performed poorly last year, that's not necessarily indicative of their outlook this season. We always start with the "worst" odds, and project whether or not they winning their division, conference, title game, or individual award is a likely outcome.

If so, evaluate them further and correlate your wager to how likely you think they'll succeed. Some "free bets," or bonus bets, may also allow you to use them on futures odds markets.

Stay Informed

It goes without saying, but keeping up with the sport you wager on is vital. The regular season for sports can be long and arduous. While we're not saying you need to watch every second of every game, paying attention to the standings, notable injuries, statistical performances, and other indicators of a team's success throughout the entire season is vital to winning future odds bets.

Bet Early

Using the NFL as an example, the season starts in September and ends in February with the Super Bowl. For many futures markets, you won't get a payout for eight-ish months. If you have the budget to wait this long for the season's final game, you can usually find a lot of value.

Managing Your Futures Betting Bankroll

Since futures bets wrap your money up for so long, it's important to learn how to manage it.

Set a Budget

In addition to your in-season budget, we recommend setting a futures odds betting budget. This will allow you to have a set amount to work with that you can wager before and during the season.

Use a Unit System

In sports betting, a "unit" refers to how much you'd typically bet on something. We recommend anywhere from 1% to 10%. So, if you have a budget of $1,000, we recommend a unit of no more than $100. This will allow you to manage your bets better and evaluate options as a "two unit" or "half of a unit" bet.

Track Your Bets

Most online sportsbooks have this integrated into them now, but using some sort of system to monitor your wagers is key. With futures, it can be difficult since it usually boils down to one game, but you can still track the bets you make during the season and before it settles.

This will allow you to know how much you've wagered on one team, how many wagers contradict one another, and provide insight into how you can improve.

Benefits of Futures Betting

Futures betting odds present the most value of any market. The main issue with them is how long they last. We'll look at more benefits below.

High Potential Returns

As mentioned, you'll never get Chiefs at +600 on any standard wager. The Chiefs are too good of a football team to ever have money line or point spread odds like this, so futures are the only way you'll get it. However, +600 in futures odds is bordering on not being all that valuable, which shows how much can be made here.

Long-term Engagement

It's human nature—when invested in something, we engage with it longer. With sports, if you bet on a game, you'll likely find yourself watching that game. With futures bets, if you bet on multiple teams in a championship, you'll probably monitor them throughout the season and enjoy doing it.


It can be easy to have tunnel vision on one team. Still, by diversifying, you'll learn more about other teams that can assist with in-season bets. Diversifying anything gives you the most upside for success. Futures bets are no exception, as teams can go from bad to better or bad to worse at any time.

Risks of Futures Betting

Like any wager, futures bets present risk. We'll cover some below, but any time you engage with sports betting, you're taking on some risk.

Long-term Commitment

With no risk, there's no reward, and part of that risk is tying up money for months at a time. If needed, some sportsbooks offer cash out, but the long-term commitment could be something many bettors aren't interested in.

Injuries and Unexpected Events

Injuries are an unfortunate part of sports, and one critical injury could be the downfall of your future odds bets. However, this can also happen in single-game bets, such as a star running back getting injured in the first quarter.

Limited Cash Out Options

Cash-out is readily available for single-game wagers, and while some online sportsbooks may offer it for futures bets, there's no guarantee when or for how long it'll be available. When you make these wagers, expect your money to be tied up for months.

Popular Sports for Futures Betting

While we've discussed numerous examples above and throughout, we'll focus on them more below, including the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

  • NFL Futures Bets Plenty of NFL future odds are available to wager on, including the Panthers playoff chances.
  • NBA Futures Bets With the 2023-24 NBA season nearing the end, you can still bet on markets like the Hornets playoff chances.
  • MLB Futures Bets The MLB season is one of the longest you'll find, with games starting in late March and going through November. Player futures are especially popular.
  • NHL Futures Bets The NHL futures betting market is an especially promising one for North Carolina bettors. The Hurricanes Stanley Cup playoff chances are among the best in the league.
  • NASCAR Futures Bets Home to NASCAR, North Carolina is the perfect place for future racing bets. The ROVAL 400 Charlotte race takes place in the state every year, so there will be plenty of futures bets to take advantage of.

Start Betting Futures in North Carolina

As you can now see, futures odds are some of the most lucrative in all sports betting. Of course, we can't do anything to guarantee wins, but we can confidently say that if you're OK with tying up your money for extended periods, there's simply no better value than sports betting futures markets.

So before you only wager on single games, start by dabbling with futures bets on two teams to begin diversifying. Before you know it, you'll have a lot of fun at the end of all popular sports seasons because of your future wagers.

As always, if you're dealing with a gambling problem, we strongly encourage you to seek crisis counseling. You can find information for referral services at your favorite online sportsbook or by visiting your state gaming commission website.

Futures Betting FAQs in North Carolina


Graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard has written for notable sports outlets such as Bleacher Report. Now with TopUSCasinos.com, Richard is able to combine his sports and gambling interests to spend time exploring online sportsbooks and casinos.

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