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Live Betting: The Action Doesn't Stop When the Game Starts

Mike Noblin
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Last Updated: July 2nd, 2024

Sports betting and the technologies that power continue to advance at the speed of light in the digital era. One of the major innovations over the past few years has been live in-game betting.

For decades sports betting was as simple as betting on one side of the game. Today you can bet live, in-game, on just about everything.

This includes things like spread bets and total bets, but even includes next team to score, next player to score, yards gained this quarter, and much more.

Let's take a closer look at what exactly live betting is, how it works, and some tips for being more successful once you start placing in-game bets.

How Does Live Betting Work?

Live betting works exactly the same as betting before the start of a game works. Only the lines and juice are updating in real time as the game plays out. This gives bettors the opportunity to find value as a game unfolds.

The example above, taken from DraftKings, should give you an idea of just how over the top live betting already is. The games listed here are from the Nigerian professional soccer league. Despite being such an obscure league, you can bet on everything from spreads and totals, to next team to score, to even which team will have the next throw in.

For primetime American sports, the variety of in game betting options gets even more advanced. While it may seem overwhelming at first, betting in-game offers bettors some unique opportunities.

Live Betting Guide

Betting In-Game Spreads

One of our favorite ways to use live betting is to get better odds and increased juice by betting spreads once the game starts.

For example, let's say you wanted to bet the Chiefs against the spread in Super Bowl LV. Well, understanding that throughout the season the Chiefs have been slow starters, while the Bucs tend to score on their first drive, you could wait for the opening drive, and if the Bucs score, get the Chiefs at +3 rather than simply betting them at -3 prior to kickoff.

Live betting also enables you to hedge bets as games play out to minimize your risk.

For example, let's say you wagered $100 on the Chiefs -3 prior to kickoff. At halftime, the Chiefs are up 10 points, and the book has adjusted the line to the Chiefs -13. You can now bet the Bucs +13, and ensure that if the Bucs do in fact come back, you can minimize your losses. In this case, if the Chiefs end up winning by 3-12 points you cash both tickets.

Betting in Warp Speed

One of the more interesting ways to live bet on sports is on a play-by-play basis. Think you have a good understanding of your team's playcalling? Bet on things like will the next play be a run or a pass, how many yards will your team gain on the next play, or even which player will score the next touchdown.

Live betting can be a lot of fun and bring a new level of excitement to the game. Because of it's volatile nature, limits tend to be low on these bets, but given how frequently you can place them, that is likely a good thing for your bankroll.

mobile live betting

Where You Bet Matters

Not all live betting products are created equal, and which sportsbook you choose to bet in-game on will have a massive impact on just how much you enjoy the experience. You want to take your in-game action to a sportsbook with an optimized user experience and a wide variety of fast-loading lines.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing what book you bet live with is the quality of lines and juice. Unlike betting on games prior to their start, you are unlikely to have time to shop odds prior to placing a bet in game.

Choose a book that offers consistently low juice to maximize your winnings when betting in game. Our current sportsbook rankings and reviews are a great place to start your research.

What are the benefits of live betting?

Believe it or not, live betting makes you a better all around bettor. It helps you in analyzing the current situation before making any move. However, it is not the only benefit of placing a live bet. Here are few other compelling reasons, have a look:

  • Live betting gives you multiple options for placing bets.
  • It gives you the opportunity to take maximum advantage of your skills and intuition for both the sport and betting in general.
  • SportsBooks give you access to additional wagers, beyond just the spread, moneyline, and total when betting live.
  • It not only opens the doors for increased winnings but also helps you to improve your pre-game betting skills as well.

Tips for Live Betting

Live-betting has a lot to offer bettors who know how to navigate their sportsbook, make the right moves, and stick to a proven strategy. We have some very helpful tips for sports bettors just getting into live betting, have a look:

  • Before you start placing bets, make sure to set a budget for it. It will help you in limiting the amount you spend and in making wisely calculated decisions.
  • Keep an eye on each and every move of the teams. Make your decisions accordingly.
  • Do a good amount of research on both the teams before placing the bet.
  • Don’t get biased towards the team you like. Judge the situations precisely and then make your move.
  • When live betting the NFL, consider shooting for a middle, especially around the key numbers of 3 and 7. For example, playing the Chiefs -2.5 and coming back with the Chargers +7.5 may be a +EV wager on both ends!
  • Make sure to only Live Bet during commercial breaks! Since some streaming services tend to lag, waiting for a commercial break will enable you to get the fairest lines when betting live!

Live Betting FAQs

Whether you've been betting sports for several decades or you're just starting out in this crazy industry, you're bound to have questions about live betting. We've created the following frequently asked questions and answers to help give you the info you need.

What are some of the advantages of live betting?

Live betting is a great way to either add to your original position or hedge out of a wager that you no longer like. For example, let's say you bet the Bengals -3 and they're leading the Rams by 7. Let's also say that star QB Joe Burrow took a big sack and just limped off the field. This is the perfect time to bet the Rams if you no longer feel good about the Bengals chances of covering the -3.

What's one secret to live betting?

A little-known secret to success for wagering in-game is to only do so during commercial breaks. This is because the sportsbooks have access to a better live feed than regular customers. They are seeing the action unfold a few seconds ahead of us regular folks. That means the only time the playing field is level for betting live is during timeouts, commercial breaks, injury timeouts, etc.

What is a middle in sports betting?

When trying to hit a middle, the bettor wagers on both sides of a game at different prices. Using our Bengals -3 example from above, let's say you bet a unit pregame on Cincy -3. If the Bengals get out to a 10-0 lead, you may be able to bet the Rams +8.5. If Cincy wins the game by 4,5,6,7, or 8 points, you cash both tickets. Live betting is a great way to shoot for a middle!

What makes a sportsbook a good option for live betting?

When it comes to betting live, speed is king! You must have access to lots of sportsbooks and their apps have to have the ability to process live wagers quickly. The last thing you need is an app that lags or constantly times out on you!

What sportsbooks are the best for live betting?

Two of the big boys of the industry, FanDuel and DraftKings, are great places to place in-game wagers. These are two gigantic companies that paid top dollar when designing their sportsbook apps. They both accept live bets seamlessly! Looking for the best alternative? PointsBet offers a unique approach to live betting with lightning fast odds and player-friendly payouts.

Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He played college baseball and has been betting on sports for more than 20 years. He has a degree in Sports Psychology and covers the NFL, CFB, NBA, and MLB for EatWatchBet.