Betting the spread and total week in and week out is the primary method of sports betting, but another long-term option is in betting futures. Future bets are a good way to possibly boost your bankroll at the end of the year without laying as much of a risk.
For example, my last future bet was a nice gain. At the beginning of the NBA season, I bet 0.3 units on the Bucks to win the NBA Championship at +550 odds. The 0.3 unit turned into 1.65 units, a nice little return on investment. They won’t all hit, but finding the value on the number allows you to take smaller risks for possible bigger rewards.
College football has plenty of future bet options to consider. Here are some of my favorite future bets for the college football season. Remember, play responsibly. This is supposed to be fun. Don’t bet money you don’t have.
Utah Utes to win the PAC-12 South (+230)
The PAC-12 South is an interesting division with four teams expected to contend. In a four-team race you want to find a balance between odds and talent. Right now DraftKings Sportsbook has USC as the favorite at +180. Utah comes in second at +230, then Arizona State at +240, and UCLA as an outside player at +600. To me, the value is there for Utah as I think they’re the best team in the group and have far fewer question marks than the others.
Arizona State comes in with similar odds, but they have a black cloud of recruiting allegations hanging over them. Eventually, that hammer is going to come down and who knows the impact it will cause. USC, the favorite, went 7-1 last year but they were incredibly lucky, winning three games by just 10 points combined. A coach like Clay Helton won’t get that lucky twice. UCLA has some value, but I think they are much less talented than the Utes.
Lastly, Utah has a favorable schedule getting both Arizona State and UCLA at home. They do travel to USC, but that will come after their bye week. They do draw Oregon from the North, but they will host the Ducks in Salt Lake City. With far fewer questions and a more favorable schedule, I think the Utes are a very strong play to win the South and maybe the conference at +500.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to win Conference USA (+800)
College football is in an incredibly fascinating time right now with the new transfer rules that have been put into place. How teams take advantage of these rules will be fun to watch. One team that really took things to a new level is Western Kentucky by taking on almost an entire offense from another school.
This offseason the Hilltoppers went out and grabbed offensive coordinator Zach Kittley from Houston Baptist. Kittley is a pass-happy coordinator that worked under the likes of Kliff Kinsbury. In addition to that, they also brought in Houston Baptist quarterback Bailey Zappe and his top three receivers from there as well. Essentially, Western Kentucky went out and transplanted a Houston Baptist offense that puts up monster numbers, averaging 504 yards per game over the last two seasons.
Obviously, there is no guarantee that this idea goes off without a hitch, but if this offense works the way it did at Houston Baptist the rest of C-USA may not have a solution for it. Outside of the MAC, C-USA is the weakest conference in college football. The conference hosts a ton of poor pass defenses which could allow Western Kentucky to throw all over them.
They’ll have to come up with some stops on the other side, something Houston Baptist couldn’t do, but if they are able to manage that I think a +800 play on them is very intriguing. This bet is a little harder to find, but if you can I think it’s a great number.
Georgia Bulldogs to win the National Championship (+600)
Ahh yes, no futures write-up would be complete without a National Championship bet. In years past there hasn’t been a ton of value on an outside team, but I think this year there is. Alabama is the favorite at +250, but they are replacing so much from a season ago. I know the Tide reload, but similar to LSU in 2020 it seems like a lot to try and replace.
After that is Clemson at +380. The Tigers may have the best defense in the country, but replacing Trevor Lawrence is not all that easy either. Then you have Ohio State at +550, but they are also replacing a ton from last year's team headlined by QB Justin Fields.
To me, the value lies in the next couple teams with Georgia at +600 and Oklahoma at +750. I played a small amount on both of these teams, but Georgia is where I went a little heavier. The Bulldogs come into the season loaded once again, and I think JT Daniels puts them in that title consideration spot. He fits perfectly in the offense, and Georgia thrived when he finally took over last year, going 4-0 in the games he played in.
Additionally, the schedule is very favorable with a down SEC East, and the West draws of Arkansas and Auburn. If the Bulldogs can knock off Clemson in week one, they’ll be in the driver seat for a playoff spot from the jump. If not, the rest of the schedule is manageable to get them to the title game with just one loss. If you’re looking for value, I think this is the pick.
Future Bet Quick Hitters
Nevada (+400) to win the Mountain West: Carson Strong returns along with almost the entire offense and defense. I think Boise State is a bit down this year, and the Wolfpack host defending MWC champ San Jose State this year so I like the value here.
Kent State (+1200) to win the MAC: The MAC East might be the worst division in college football this season.
Ohio lost their Head Coach, Buffalo lost nearly their entire staff after spring ball along with a ton of transfers, Miami (OH) lost a ton on the offensive line, and the rest of the division is Bowling Green and Akron, two of the worst teams in the nation. Kent State can get to the title game, and then all they have to do is pull the upset against a team from the West. +1200 is way better odds than anything you’d get for a money line bet in the MAC Title game so I like the number here a lot.
TCU Horned Frogs to reach the Big 12 Title Game (+550): I am very high on TCU as you may have seen in the win totals post. I think they are right up there in terms of talent, yet the odds are only the fifth-best in the conference according to DraftKings.
Appalachian State to win the Sun Belt (+400): Louisiana and Coastal are the favorites at +110 and +160 respectively. However, they are not that much better than App State and the Mountaineers host Coastal at home after their bye week. The value here is way too good to not take a flyer.