Soccer’s popularity means that it is the most widely bet sport in the world, but soccer futures aren’t as popular. The sport’s two biggest competitions (World Cup and European Championships) only take place once every four years, and only a handful of teams have a realistic chance of winning the title in each major domestic league. Still, there are plenty of soccer futures to bet throughout the year if you are so inclined.
Domestic League Winner Futures
The most prevalent types of soccer futures revolve around which team will win each of the major domestic leagues. Typically, only a few teams are competitive in each league as there is a massive disparity between the haves and have-nots.
In England, there is a presumptive Big Six. Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and the two Manchester clubs are the big favorites every year, and usually some combination of these six teams makes it into European competition. Every other major European league is much less competitive though.
Spain has been ruled by Barcelona and Real Madrid, and there have been times when Atletico Madrid is competitive too. Italy has been dominated by Juventus and the two Milan clubs, while Bayern Munich stands alone in Germany.
There is more fluidity in the fortunes of teams in North America. The MLS has a lot of parity with different franchises rising and falling for a short period, and Liga MX has seen several teams take down either the Apertura or Clausura over the last decade.
International Club Competition Futures
There is a lot of wagering on Champions League futures. This is the premier club competition in the world, and so there are a lot of interested parties when it comes to which teams will be competitive in this tournament.
Real Madrid has long been the best team in this competition, but Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Milan have all had a lot of success too. This is a tournament where underappreciated clubs from other countries can prove their talent too as seen with Ajax, Benfica, and Porto over the years.
You will find wagering available on Europa League futures too. This type of futures betting is not as prevalent, as it is a lower-tier tournament, but it can have more of a reach since it tends to produce some interesting winners outside the norm. Sevilla has dominated this tournament with six titles since 2006, but we have seen teams like Marseille, Rangers, and CSKA Moscow have outsized success here.
The FIFA Club World Cup currently doesn’t have a big market for futures, but that will change as the format is updated. There will now be 24 teams involved in this event, and it will be held every four years like the regular World Cup. This will take place in odd-numbered years so that it doesn’t interfere with regional tournaments or the World Cup.
It can be schadenfreude to bet on relegation futures, but these can be some interesting wagers to make too. While none of the top teams are in danger of being relegated, we have seen dramatic falls from grace from others at times.
Typically, the teams that were promoted the previous season are the most likely to be relegated in the subsequent season. That has been the standard for decades leading to proverbial yo-yo clubs that constantly bounce between their domestic country’s top two leagues.
Along those lines, you will find point total betting and finishing position betting prior to the start of a season. Sportsbooks will put out odds on where a team will finish in the table and how many points they will land on.
There are also individual player futures available to bet on too. The most prevalent player futures revolve around the Ballon d’Or winner, but you will also find a lot of betting available for each league’s top goal scorer. This is known as the Golden Boot, and the person that scores the most goals in league play earns this award.
You may also find milestone betting on certain premier players. There might be an over/under for the number of goals players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Robert Lewandowski will tally in a single season.