Live betting (also known as in-game betting) is becoming a popular option among sports bettors. Many bettors enjoy the quicker pace and ability to wager on unique aspects of the game as they develop.
With the right info, live betting isn’t any more difficult than laying a more traditional wager before the game begins.
Allow us to walk you through the what, how, and where of live sports gambling (including some tips and tricks to help build your bankroll).
What Is Live Betting?
If you understand how to bet on the moneyline, the spread, and the total, you’ll have no problem understanding how live betting works.
When betting on live odds, you’ll still be wagering on moneylines, spreads, and over/unders. Even though you can bet on different aspects of the game once it’s underway, there are many more similarities between live betting and regular than there are differences.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
The image below shows an example of an NFL betting menu before a game starts.
This shows an example of a live betting menu for an NFL game that’s in progress.
The small “90 >” next to the Washington/Dallas game and the “22 >” next to the Chicago/Detroit game indicate how many different wagers are available for those specific games. When you click on the numbers, you’ll be taken to a new page (the sub-menu) which displays every possible bet you can make on that game.
Below shows the top part of a sub-menu for a Houston vs. Memphis college football game midway through the second quarter.
The major differences between live betting and traditional betting take center stage in these sub-menus.
Below you can see an example sub-menu for Washington vs. Dallas NFL game. You can clearly see the spread, moneyline, and total for the first half and each individual quarter. These are very common props to see when betting on an NFL game before kickoff.
With in-game betting, first-half and quarter lines are often still available (depending on the stage of the game), but so are additional props like the outcome of the next play, next drive, and so on.
Here, the first part of the live betting sub-menu for Chicago vs. Detroit illustrates a couple of the props that are unique to in-game betting. For instance, whether the Bears’ next drive will result in a touchdown or field goal.
Live Betting Advantages
In addition to the obvious benefit of adding another level of entertainment to watching the game, live bets can provide value for discerning bettors who know what to look for. Take advantage of the following realities to make the most of your live, in-game betting experience.
This is rather obvious, but you can gain an informational advantage after watching part of a game. Once you have a sense of which players are “on” that night or which team has momentum, you should be better equipped to predict the outcome of the game, current drive, or simply the next play.
Instant gratification also makes in-game wagers an enticing option. Obviously, you’ll know the result a lot sooner if you’re betting on the outcome of the next drive versus placing money on a Sunday NFL game mid-week.
If you’re comfortable with a fair amount of risk and are equipped to make quick handicapping decisions, you can go from identifying a valuable prop to profiting substantially in just a number of seconds.
In-games bets are typically graded and paid out incredibly quickly. The fastest sites will deposit your winnings into your account within minutes. After all, they want you back in on the action ASAP!
Live Betting Disadvantages
Live betting offers a level of excitement and engagement that’s hard to replicate with traditional wagers, but there’s a trade-off for everything. Make sure you consider both the upsides and downsides before deciding to place a live wager.
Disappearing Lines and Changing Odds
While the fast-paced nature of live betting adds an appealing element of excitement to the game, it’s difficult to anticipate what lines will be available at a certain time.
The image below shows something live bettors see all the time: a couple of props that are currently closed.
As you can see, all the “live props” in this example are currently closed. You’ll see propositions alternate back and forth between available and unavailable throughout the game, sometimes multiple times a minute.
Oddsmakers are always adjusting and refining their odds. Expect them to take down props until the book is confident that they have the upper hand.
Ultimately, you need to be vigilant to make the most of live betting.
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a bet you tried to make pan out. Don’t let the ensuing frustration factor cloud your judgment when you miss out on a favorable line.
Missing certain opportunities is inevitable while live betting, even if you’re alert and have the fastest connection possible.
Fewer Games to Bet on with Live Betting
It takes a lot of manpower to create and adjust betting lines on the fly. As such, the live betting menu on most sites is smaller than the regular betting menu.
Most sites offer a live betting options for major sports leagues including NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL games. You won’t have to search far and wide to find in-game betting for soccer, tennis, and golf.
Live Betting Limits
Live betting tends to have lower limits than regular betting, but unless you’re a high roller who wants to put down thousands of dollars throughout the course of a single game, these limits are very unlikely to impact you.
Live Betting on Mobile
In our experience, every site with a mobile betting platform (i.e. any site where you can bet from your smartphone or tablet) lets you use the mobile version of their site to bet on live events.
In-game menus and the type of bets available vary from site to site, but each of our top ten online betting sites offers live betting from mobile devices.
Start In-Game Betting with Confidence Today!
With so many options available, there’s a game happening right now with live wagering available.
Check out the rest of our betting 101 section if you need to brush up on the fundamentals of sports betting before jumping in. You’ll find everything from betting against the spread to how bookmakers set their odds explained in simple terms, with actionable info that helps you become a more strategic bettor.