Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is a popular betting option that has become a main feature at most top online sportsbooks. Live betting allows bettors to wager on games or matches live, in real time. The betting odds change as the game progresses and sports bettors lock in their wagers at the various lines that are offered.
Live betting has become a huge market for online sports betting and I expect it to continue to grow as the live betting technology continues to improve.
How Live Betting Works
Live betting allows bettors to wager on games while they are being played. At most online sportsbooks to wager on a live game you are taken to a live in-play betting screen for the particular game you want to bet on. There you will see the various lines available and the live betting screen will update every time the lines change. In order to place a wager you must act quickly because if the odds change before you click “place bet” the wager will not go through.
Every online sportsbook provides live betting in a slightly different way. Below I’ve used BetOnline.ag as an example of how Live Betting can look at a top online sportsbook.
Why Use Live Betting
Live betting is a great option if you are watching a game on the television or in person. Your idea of which team will win the game may change after a big play and with live betting you can place your wagers with this added information. Live betting can also help bettors cut down their losses or secure a profit if they hedge a bet that they made prior to the game.
One tip we can give you about live betting is that bettors tend to wager on the team that a big play has just gone in favour of. For this reason it can be profitable to wager against that team because the oddsmakers will be taking this trend into account when setting the lines.
It’s important to remember that television feeds can be slightly behind the live action, so if a line changes dramatically and you don’t understand why it could be because your television feed is behind.
Which Online Sportsbooks Offer Live Betting
Live betting is becoming very popular, which means the majority of the bigger, legitimate sportsbooks are now offering live betting. The thing that really will set the online sportsbooks apart is not whether or not they offer live betting, but how many games they offer live betting for and how dynamic their in-play betting lines are for those games.
Here is an example of what in-play betting looks like at our top rated betting site, BetOnline.ag:
This screenshot is from the first intermission of a Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs game. You can see the variety of in-play betting lines offered at BetOnline.
When Not To Place Live Bets
As a general rule you should not place live bets if you aren’t watching the game in real time. Placing bets simply from scoreboard watching is a recipe for losing money fast because you are placing wagers without a great deal of information. In a tennis match one player could begin looking sluggish late in a match, which could affect the odds. If you aren’t watching the match live you may think this player is performing well and is a few games away from a win, while in reality his chances of winning may be much lower than the scoreboard suggests.