Tipico Sportsbook Tips: Futures
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What are Futures?
If you want to bet on an event with an outcome that will not be known for some time, you are going to be looking at a futures market. A futures market can encompass almost anything. At Tipico, you can bet into a futures market on the eventual champion of any major sports league. You can also do the same with the eventual winner of any major piece of hardware, from Rookie of the Year to Most Valuable Player. Even betting the winner of an upcoming golf, college basketball, or tennis tournament is considered a futures bet. The big thing to remember is that a futures market is basically any betting market that lasts longer than a single game. If you are betting on the World Cup champion before the first game is played, that would take place in a futures market. If you are betting on the champion when it is down to two remaining teams the day of the final game, you are probably not betting into a futures market.
What's the outcome?
Futures markets do not need a set number of possible outcomes, but it does tend to be a larger number than two. Every outcome is also not going to be priced at the same level. The odds offered on any outcome are directly related to the probability of that outcome occurring. The team/player most likely to be victorious tends to pay out much smaller odds than a team/player that the market gives a very slim chance to win. These markets will have a mixture of short priced favorites, big number longshots and every other level.
Every odds number offered can be converted into an implied probability of winning. If you want to know how to do that, check out this video from FTNBets. The total implied probability in any futures market is going to add up to at least 100%. If it added up to less, then Tipico would be losing money by offering that future. In fact, when you add up the probabilities of winning based on the odds offered, you will get a number that is well above 100%. Sportsbooks are in the business of making money, so it makes sense that they would build a small profit cushion into their markets. The difference between the sum of those probabilities and 100% is called the hold. The lower the hold on a certain market, the easier it is to profit from.
How does the futures market work?
The key to playing a futures market is to understand where the sweet spot is. The hardest teams for Tipico to price are the very best teams at the low end of the odds spectrum and the very worst teams at the high end. If they price a big favorite too high, they will get hammered by sharp bettors. Therefore, you almost always see the biggest favorites at odds way shorter than they should be. On the high end, books do not want to offer too good a payout on some of the longshots, otherwise they open themselves up to potentially crippling liability. The long end of the spectrum with big underdogs rarely pays off, but we do get an occasional Leicester City making an improbable run in the Premier League, which could have crippled some books that hung lazy soft numbers on them as big longshots a few years back.
Teams at the long end of the curve have very little chance to win. Teams at the short end have a big chance to win, but you will likely be underpaid for taking that risk. Therefore, the sweet spot in futures markets tend to be in the second tier behind the big favorites. This is the part of the market where the entries have a better than 1% chance to win but aren’t such huge favorites that the books limit the payouts to unnaturally low levels to avoid taking on too much risk. If you are looking to beat Tipico in any futures market, the best value for your wagering dollars tends to be in the second tier of favorites.