The Melbourne Cup in 2018 promises to be one of the most open affairs in years, with a number of good Australian and International contenders vying for their place in racing history.
Heading into the race, punters will face two main options when betting:
Do you go early on futures betting, or do you wait for the tote?
In this betting guide, we’ll look at what futures betting is, it’s advantages, disadvantages and how to use these markets to maximise your returns on the Melbourne Cup.
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Advantages of placing a Melbourne Cup futures bet
The saying goes “early bird catches the worm” and that’s the punters theory when betting on futures.
Getting in early has always been a positive in all aspects of betting because that’s when the best value is offered.
Why are the odds better? Due to the race being days, weeks or months away, the odds haven’t been affected by recent form, nor can the price be affected by the pool of money.
Some helpful futures market info and thoughts:
- Most Melbourne Cup favourite’s pay in the range of $5-$8 by the time of race day, but you can get almost double that for most of the well-favoured runners in the months leading up to the race, with the markets constantly changing.
- Futures odds also give punters the opportunity to secure big overs on a runner that isn’t well liked in the market. Punters might have an inkling, inside knowledge or just plain luck and their runner at massive odds could get into the field with a chance of winning.
- Runners yet to be accepted to run in the 24-horse field in the Melbourne Cup will often have to show strong form and win qualification races in the lead up. Before they achieve this feat, they are often in the hundreds of dollars in the odds market. Getting in early on a futures market can literally make you hundreds and thousands of dollars.
- If your desired runner isn’t listed at any of our recommended bookmakers, simply make contact with them and they will get a quote for your runner.
Best bookmakers for Melbourne Cup futures odds
2018 Melbourne Cup futures odds
Note: Keep an eye on this page for updated odds and odds comparison from the biggest bookmakers.
Less than two months out from the race, Avilius, Cross Counter, Kings Will Dream, Magic Circle and Withhold are equal +1400 favourites to win the 2018 Melbourne Cup at BetEasy.com.au.
Those odds are a perfect example of the value futures punters will receive, given the favourite before the running of the Cup usually jumps at between $5-$10.
Most online bookmakers provide fixed odds for more than 100 possible horses that could squeeze into the 24-runner field.
The disadvantages of futures betting
We have highlighted the reasons why futures betting can be rewarding, but punters must be aware of the pitfalls and risks that also apply:
When you place a futures bet, your money is tied up in that market for a long period of time, therefore, don’t expect a quick payout when placing a futures bet. Betting into a futures market can be good for a big payout off a small investment, which appeals to the smaller bankrolls, but the larger players tend to want a quicker payout.
- Odds can change, sometimes in your favour, but sometimes not. If you back a horse at $31 and it starts the race at $51, then you’re flat out of luck. It’s tough to predict what a horse will pay on the day of the race, so be wary of the factors that adjusts a horse’s starting price.
- It seems obvious, but you can’t play multiples or exotic futures bets. All futures bets are either for the win or at an each way basis. Due to an unknown pool size, you can’t take bets such as quinella or trifecta in the futures market.
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