Live betting has long been popular in European sports betting markets, and it is quickly becoming a favorite wagering method among US bettors in legal markets. On this page, we’ll outline what you need to know about live betting.
Live Betting Guide
Guide To Live Betting
What Is Live Betting?
Live betting is a blanket term for wagering on a game or match that is already in progress. It’s a fast and furious betting type because it requires quick reaction times from sportsbooks and bettors. Many sports betting enthusiasts enjoy it because it keeps their interest in a match or game very high as it is being played.
At its basest level, that’s live betting: betting on an event that is currently taking place.
Why Is There So Much Value In Live Betting?
In any sport, things can change at the drop of a hat. One team could come back from what looked like a losing game and suddenly be in contention for the win. A player could tank in the first two quarters, only to turn on the backburners and go on a legendary scoring run in the second half.
In some sports, a single play can change the tide of the game. Take football for example, where a touchdown and the extra point that follows can yield 7 points, sometimes marking a massive momentum shift.
Live betting brings all of these possibilities (and more) to life, providing excellent value if you know where to look. Sportsbooks change odds in a matter of seconds as games progress, giving bettors ample opportunity to cash in.
What Are The Types Of Live Bets?
This tends to vary by sport, but for the most part, you’ll see similar options available from one league to the next.
For example, most team sports (hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball, and football especially) have standard pre-game markets including moneyline, point spreads, and totals wagers. Those lines are often available as live bets as well, though they shift in response to the events of the game in question.
In sports with different structures, the live bets available are quite different. Golf, for example, has its own popular live bet types because it’s a single=player sport. You might see a bet on Bubba Watson to par the next hole, for example. Or you could get even more granular and bet on the result of his next shot if the sportsbook allows those types of bets.
In tennis, you might see live bets available on who will win the current set or even the next rally.
Bottom line: live betting options vary by sport, but they present lots of interesting and unique options for viewers who want to up their investment in a game or match.
What Are The Benefits Of Live Betting?
There are many! Here are just a few of the myriad benefits you can get from betting live.
You don’t have to worry about sneaking your bets in the last minute before a game with live betting. If you didn’t manage to nab a point spread line before the match started, you can still bet in it while the game is in its early stages. Those bets are still available later, but the odds will be massively influenced by each team’s performance.
Perhaps you placed an early over/under bet before the game started, but the opponent pulled into an early lead and fired up its defense to prevent some scoring potential. With live betting, you’re not locked into the loss because you can hedge by betting the other side if you think things aren’t going to go your way.
Sportsbooks have to work FAST to set lines live. Often, they’ll lock the lines on a certain game for short stretches of time, then release new lines and odds. Because they’re acting quickly, you might find advantageous lines. It’s impossible for a sportsbook to update odds every second, so if you’re an avid viewer, you may see trends or possibilities the oddsmakers couldn’t keep up with. If they misprice a market, pounce on it and use that to your advantage.
Live Betting Tips
Below, find a few tips and tricks to help maximize your win potential when betting live.
Find A Reliable Sportsbook
Speed is key when you’re live betting. Find and choose a sportsbook that respects that. Most of the big names are great at constantly updating their lines. Some of our top recommended sportsbooks for live betting are PointsBet, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Each one has a team of oddsmakers ready to update lines at a moment’s notice.
Look at a game’s lines before it starts and be ready to track how those lines move during the actual game. If you have ideas in mind, this helps when the game is being played so you aren’t fumbling through a sportsbook app frantically searching for the line you want.
Hedge When Necessary
As mentioned above, hedging is a viable strategy. If a pre-game bet isn’t looking like it will shake out, consider using live bets to hedge and recuperate some of your losses. Use the game’s momentum to your profitable advantage.
Use Your Knowledge
If you’re not familiar with the sport, bet with caution. Live betting is best suited to sports you know and love, because it’s easier to judge the flow of the game and respond accordingly. OR, if you’re with friends who know the sport well, ask their advice and use expert picks to help inform your decisions.
How Are Live Betting Odds Calculated?
Sportsbooks have a full trading team dedicated to setting odds, and that includes live betting odds. These teams are populated by traders, who look at previous lines, player performance, scoring, and various other factors in a given game to compile odds.
Odds change often during games; this is to be expected. A basketball team that goes on a scoring run will have an impact on the odds, just as a turnover in a football game can drastically change the game’s outcome. Sportsbook trading teams take these factors and many more into account as they’re calculating odds.
The advantage for bettors, then, is the occasional mispriced advantageous line. Keep an eye out for those and pounce when you see a good one.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Live Betting?
Of course, every type of betting has its setbacks. Live betting is no exception.
Things change fast, and that can sometimes mean a tough break for you as a bettor. You might sequel in a wager at a line you really like, only to see the line get more profitable minutes later. That’s the nature of the beast, though, and you have to be prepared for such moments.
It’s also easy to make unreasonable bets and chase losses. Remember if you’re losing to stay measured in your approach and avoid making longshot bets to recover your losses.
Finally, it’s not advisable to bet on live matches you aren’t actually watching. With so many factors in play, it’s hard to get a good read on a particular match if you don’t have your own eyes on it. One solution for this if you want to watch multiple games at once? Head to your local retail sportsbook, which will show numerous games simultaneously.