The Juice on Futures Bets, or Why Most Sharps Avoid Futures

If you read our article on how sportsbooks generate odds, you will know that a bookmaker’s sole intention is to entice equal activity on either side of a wager, then pocket a profit on the juice (also known as’the vig’).

Futures odds can change immediately. They generally vary at least once a week due to variables like teams moving on hot streaks and sportsbooks balancing lines in response to incoming bets. Bookmakers seize these opportunities (given to them by the notorious volatility of futures odds) to bill enormous juice on their futures lines. It’s generally accepted that futures chances have massive variation baked into them, and sportsbooks use this to their advantage.

Furthermore, sportsbooks charge colossal juice futures to manage their risk. By way of instance, from the NHL, 31 teams compete for the Stanley Cup every year. In the middle of July, it is extremely hard for a bookmaker to successfully balance the activity they’re receiving on stocks stakes. There’s just too much doubt early in the season. As such, sportsbooks respond by charging juice that is colossal.

As we mentioned earlier, a Cinderella run by an underdog in any moment in the season can be sufficient to give some oddsmaker a panic attack. If the Vegas Golden Knights had won the Stanley Cup, it would have been an unmitigated catastrophe for sportsbooks. These sportsbooks were massively exposed since they’d have had to pay out the bettors who wagered on the Knights at the beginning of the season in a minimum of 100-1 odds, depending on the sportsbook.

How Much Juice Can a Sportsbook Charge?
If you’re confused about how sportsbooks charge juice on futures bets, it’s easy: all you need to do is add up the odds being offered on each player or team and convert them to suggested probability. You’ll understand that the number is well over the standard 105%-110% over conventional betting lines.

For example, we took a look at Bovada’s Stanley Cup Odds in the summer until the 2018 NHL season started, and discovered that the total implied likelihood was 130.14%. Two teams were listed at +750, meaning they had an implied probability of 11.76% to win the Stanley Cup. Of course, gauging a team’s probability of winning until the puck even drops on this season is wildly unrealistic.

Both teams were definite favorites, but in +750, sportsbooks make bettors pay a hefty premium if they want to put down money on the first season contenders. It’s very likely the Bovada was getting a lot of action on these two teams, so they shortened the chances significantly to try to balance the action.

It is commonly accepted that mortar and brick sportsbooks cost about 40-70% on futures bets, while online sportsbooks charge around 20-40 percent. There is no hard and fast rule, and the amount of juice sportsbooks fee will fluctuate as the season .

We found that using some astute and extensive online shopping, it’s possible to have around 7 percent juice complete. Remember, however, that to find this 7 percent juice, you would have to bet on every available option. Not only is this time consuming, but it is not likely to be rewarding.

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