Everyone wants to be a college basketball fortune teller — the fans, media, and of course, sports bettors. After all, one of the most popular forms of college hoop odds is futures. These are long-term bets on distant outcomes such as which team will win a particular championship or what player will earn a year-end honor.
Given the popularity of NCAA futures betting, bettors stand to benefit from knowing the ins and out of this wager type. Over the course of this guide, we're dishing out all the must-know details about college basketball futures — where to get them, how to bet them, and even some gambling advice.
But first, let's give you an example of how exactly NCAA futures odds look and work like. The chart below is a future line on which school will win the 2021 NCAA Tournament, current as of January 18, 2021:
|Odds To Win NCAA Tournament Title|
The above lines give you insight into how much you'd win for every $100 wagered. Say you're picking Gonzaga to cut down the nets in March. Well, you'd earn a $900 profit from MyBookie and BetOnline, whereas Bovada would pay you $1100 if the Bulldogs indeed win it all.
Best Sportsbooks For NCAAB Futures
If you're reading this, there's a high chance you want in on some NCAA futures action. But where at? Well, there are hundreds of online sportsbooks, most of which carry some form of NCAAB odds.
However, if you want a place to get the best NCAA betting action, you should consider these next three betting site options. We've done our homework and it's hard to outdo these sportsbooks in that regard:
Bovada's NCAAB Futures
You might as well refer to Bovada as the "granddaddy of them all." That's because Bovada checks all the boxes that most bettors look for in a sportsbook — massive bet selection, trust factor, and ease of use.
For starters, the wagering catalog is very deep at Bovada. Of course, college basketball is a prominent part of that. In terms of NCAA futures, you'll find them available year-round at this bookie. Check.
Beyond the gambling selection, Bovada just flat out works the way it's supposed to. A clean interface makes wagering as easy as can be. It's a big reason why thousands of bettors flock to Bovada every day, making it one of the most-used online sportsbooks in North America. Checkmate.
SportsBetting.ag's NCAA Basketball Future Lines
Next on our list is SportsBetting.ag. With a name like that, there's no doubt you'll find NCAA futures here. Even more, futures prices at the bookie are very respectable compared to competitors.
But here's where SportsBetting.ag truly separates itself from others — a bettor-friendly sign-up bonus. First-time players can earn as much as $1000 in free play from the betting site. Whatever said player deposits from the get-go will be matched at 50 percent by SportsBetting.ag (so you'll need to fund $2000 to earn the max $1000 bonus).
For bettors interested in making NCAA future bets, a free-of-cost $1000 can really go a long way. Spread it around on multiple futures bets or "load the boat" on a single one, whatever a bettor decides, they'll have the luxury of knowing those wagers are on the house per se thanks to the lucrative bonus.
College Basketball Futures at GTBets
And then there's GTBets. This sportsbook is also stockpiled with all the most-bet-on NCAA futures such as the eventual March Madness winner.
However, GTBets ends up on this list because of its GameTimeRewards program. Essentially, this loyalty program mimics a "comp" service that's found in many physical casinos. The premise is simple: the more you play at GTBets, the more it pays you back.
Points are earned from every bet made on GTBets, whether it's on college hoops or any other sport. In turn, these points can be flipped for cash back or other perks like sweepstake entries or merchandise. GTBets and its rewards program is ideal for bettors that are in it for the long haul.
Welp, that's are top-three sportsbook recommendations for NCAA futures betting. For a complete list of bookies that just missed our cut, reference the table below. You'll also find additional resources such as in-depth site reviews and sign-up bonus information. You're in good hands at any one of these bookmakers!
Types Of NCAA Futures Odds
Many future lines will first become available in the preseason. As the season wages on, the odds will shift to reflect current happenings — wins, losses, injuries, etc. That's why you should expect extreme volatility with the posted lines.
What time period you decide to jump on futures bet, whether mid-season or before NCAA Tournament, for example, is up to you. Heck, timing is half the battle when it comes to profiting at futures. Some bettors can sniff a future contender in the preseason, while others need a sample size of games to do the same.
Moreover, futures bets come in bunches with regards to NCAA basketball. A large reason for that is there are over 350 D1 programs in the nation spread across 32 conferences. That creates futures opportunities left and right. Here's a sample size of the most-common futures you'll find for betting:
NCAA Conference Championship Futures
Remember those 32 basketball conferences we just mentioned? Well, you'll be able to lay a futures bet on which school will take the crown in every single one of those.
But here's the thing: there are two conference championship titles in NCAAB — regular season and postseason. The former is given to the conference team with the best record by the end of the regular season. However, the other title is won by surviving last in the conference tournament played immediately after the season.
Futures bets exist for both conference winners. Before plopping down any money, make sure you know what exact champion — regular or postseason — you're predicting.
March Madness Futures
Without a doubt, the most popular futures bet is centered on the March Madness tournament. It's the biggest betting event in the whole sport period, little less when it comes to futures wagers.
Within the NCAA Tournament, bettors can wager on just about every outcome — if a certain team will make it to the Big Dance, advance to the Final Four round, and of course, win the national title.
Not surprisingly, the odds will become more lopsided the later the tournament outcome is. While picking one of 68 teams to reach March Madness is very doable, choosing the exact championship winner is a bigger longshot. Always balance the risk and reward when placing futures bets.
NCAA Individual Player & Coach Futures
Outside of team-specific bets, plenty of NCAA futures concern themselves with individual players. Namely, a player's statistical output and end-of-the-year award recipient chances.
First, let's focus on stat-based futures. Examples you'll come across include which player will lead the nation in scoring, assists, rebounds, or any other statistical category you can think of.
Whereas award futures are centered around highly-coveted honors like All-American selection or Naismith Player of the Year. These pieces of hardware are usually given out toward the NCAA Tournament final.
NCAA Futures Betting Advice
Lastly, let's talk about how to actually win your futures bets. This is an article in itself, however, we did want to share a few pointers that have served us well through the years.
Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Let's not sugarcoat it, futures bets are difficult. Picking the exact winner in a field that can include dozens, if not hundreds, of betting options is a low-probability play. But here's the thing: the less bets you make, the less probable it becomes you hit on a future correctly.
Many bettors have an inclination to back one team and one team only when making futures bets. Don't let this be you. You absolutely need to "hedge" your pick and spread the wealth around to multiple options when gambling on futures.
More than anything, wagering on multiple different outcomes minimizes your risk. Sure, your preseason pick to win the March Madness tournament might be the number-one ranked team at midseason. But what happens to your bet if that team's best player suddenly breaks his leg and misses the remainder of the year? Well, that bet — and the money you wagered on it — is likely toast. Always, and we mean always, safeguard your investments.
Manage Your Bankroll
Bankroll management is critical to any bettor's long-term success, but it's especially imperative to those that dabble with futures betting. That's because the nature of futures means your money could be tied up for months at a time.
You see, futures bets don't settle until the outcome is 100-percent finalized. While you're March Madness futures pick might be the favorite heading into the tournament, until they actually cut down the nets, you won't get see a dime. And it's not like you can ask bookies for your money back either.
Therefore, don't funnel all your funds into futures off the bat, thus robbing you the chance to make regular bets on spreads, moneylines, and other daily wagers of that nature. Always be conscious of your bankroll and what percentage of it you're dedicating to a single wager.