The Philadelphia Phillies opened the 2021 season with the fourth-best odds to win their first NL East title since 2011. At +850 in baseball futures betting, Bryce Harper and the Phillies sat behind the Atlanta Braves (+125), New York Mets (+175), and Washington Nationals (+500), and ahead of the Miami Marlins (+1600).
Maybe you placed a $10 futures bet on the Phillies to win the East at +850, a bet that would return $95. Or maybe you passed on divisional odds and placed wagers on the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, or another team in World Series odds.
Two and a half months and 64 games later, as they rode a four-game winning streak and had seven wins in their last nine games, the Phillies sat in second place in the NL East standings. While it was unlikely the Phillies would win the division at their current pace – no team has won a division title with a .500 record in MLB history – they were just four games back of the Mets and playing their best baseball since opening the season 5-1.
Is this an opportunity to place an MLB futures bet on the NL East? Or is there another midseason futures opportunity elsewhere in baseball to bet on World Series odds, MVP odds, or pennant odds?
What is an MLB Futures Bet?
An MLB futures bet is a bet on the future outcome of an event or series of events in the future, as the name implies. In the case of National League East odds, it’s simple: You’re betting on MLB odds for the division champion.
Over the first 64 games of the 2021 season, the Phillies’ NL East odds worsened. They passed the Nationals – who plummeted from +500 to +2800 – and sat behind only the Mets (-300) and Braves (+325) but were buried at +1100. Sixteen other teams had better odds in their respective divisions than the Phillies despite a mere 4-game deficit behind the Mets.
At this point, you could bet on any team to win the East. A $10 bet on the Phillies would now return $120 instead of $95 from a preseason futures bet. Or a $10 bet on the Mets would now return $13.33 instead of $27.50 from a preseason futures bet.
How to Place an MLB Futures Bet
Once you find favorable odds – whether it’s divisional odds, a win total, pennant odds, or something else – you simply add a wager to your betting slip. The bet remains active in your account until the division is clinched, the over hits on a win total, or the AL pennant is won.
If, for example, you like the Phillies’ value at +1100 but also can’t deny the Mets’ strong chances of winning their first East title since 2015, you could place two futures bets:
- $10: Mets to win the NL East (-300)
- Potential payout: $13.33
- $10: Phillies to win the NL East (+1100)
- Potential payout: $27.50
- $10: Padres to win the World Series (+700)
- Potential payout: $80
- $10: deGrom to win the NL Cy Young (-225)
- Potential payout: $14.44
At BetMGM, you have many options for futures in baseball betting and other sports. An MLB futures bet is no different than an NFL futures bet, NBA futures bet, or futures bet for any other sport or event. You simply place a wager on the outcome and watch with anticipation as your ticket cashes.