Live Betting Guide: How to Make Live In-Game Sports Bets

Posted by Arthur Crowson . Last updated:

Some days and nights you just don’t have a good “feel” for how a matchup is going to go. Perhaps, the favorite lost a key player to injury or the underdog has covered the spread three games in a row and you’re not sure if that’ll continue. Rather than place a bet before the game, live betting allows sports bettors the opportunity to “feel out” the start of an event and place wagers during the action. This guide will explain how live betting lines work, provide real examples in a number of sports, share tips and strategies, and give the pros and cons of live betting lines.

Best Live Betting Online Sportsbooks

Here are the best online sportsbooks for US players that accept live wagers and were independently reviewed by Gamble Online’s team of experts.

What is Live Betting?

Unlike typical moneyline, point spread and point total wagers placed before a sporting event begins, live betting is any wager placed after the game begins, but before it ends. These in-game bets can also be moneyline, spreads, and over-unders, but odds are constantly updating depending what is occurring in real-time. The fast-paced betting action is attractive to experienced bettors who can find value on odds boards, while also paying attention to the flow and trends of the game.

If pre-game odds looked something like this:

Teams Point Spread
Raiders +7
Chiefs -7

And Las Vegas jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, live odds could look something like this:

Teams Live Point Spread
Raiders -2.5
Chiefs +2.5

Now, if the Chiefs engineered a long drive inside the red zone and/or scored a touchdown, the live odds would continuously update in real-time.

Live Betting Lines: Examples by Sport

Few things in life are as exhilarating as live wagering on an NFL contest. In addition to the options like moneyline, spread, and total oddsmakers often offer up live odds on what the next play will be, if the offense will turn the ball over on the next drive and what the end result of a drive will be: touchdown, punt, or turnover?

Some sportsbooks online also offer live in-game player odds where you can wager on if a running back will rush for X-number of yards or if the star quarterback will pass for Y-number of touchdowns.

Sometimes an ace starting pitcher has an off-night on the mound and that moneyline wager you had on his team to win is toast before the third inning. Live betting MLB baseball affords players an opportunity to adapt to the game’s current conditions. So, if you see an opportunity to hedge your bet and live odds on the board provide solid value, you can take a swing. You can also live bet run totals in-game, which can be attractive if you know one or both bullpens carry high earned run averages and want to take a shot at the OVER hitting late in the game.

The saying goes “every NBA team makes a run.” So, even when a squad falls behind by 20 points, you can’t really count them out and that’s where NBA betting and live sports odds intersect. You can find great value on the board live betting basketball games. In addition to betting point spreads, moneylines and point totals, some online sportsbooks will let you live bet player production such as which player will score more points with odds ebbing and flowing throughout the game.

Plus, don’t forget betting March Madness with full slates of games over that first weekend, there’s plenty of opportunities to ride the hot hands of a lower seed ready to upset a college basketball tournament favorite.

For argument sake, let’s say Jon Rahm is 8-to-1 odds favorite to win The Masters in January. You place a futures bet on him to win the tournament with a chance to win $800 for every $100 wagered. However, as the tournament draws near, you hear news that he’s dealing with a slight back injury, but will play in the tournament. This is where instant betting not only allows you to wager on a different golfer after the first round has teed off, but also bet live on each of Rahm’s rounds and head-to-head scores against other tournament favorites. For example, a live bet could look something like this:

2nd Round Leader Live Odds
Brooks Koepka -110
Jon Rahm +125

If Rahm catches fire, his live odds will improve and Koepka’s will shrink.

Super Bowl Live Betting

Live in-play bets on the Super Bowl work the same as they do for other NFL games. You can wager on the results of the current drive, who scores next, or whether a turnover happens. Of course, you can wager on who wins or game totals.

Live Betting Tips

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Study Up First

Live betting sports waits for nobody. The action is fast-paced. So, before taking a leap into the deep end of sports betting, it would be wise to study up on the sporting event before thinking you can outsmart oddsmakers on the fly. Do research on sportsbooks so you can start line shopping on typical in-game bets.

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Statistical Analysis

Over the past 5-10 years, advanced statistical analysis has become the norm among franchise front offices as well as experienced bettors seeking value on the oddsboard. Expected value, or +EV, hunts out where the edges are and can go a long way to growing your bankroll. Learn coaches’ tendencies. Study which players adjust during the game and have better results at the end of games.


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Avoid Tilting

The last thing you want to do while live betting is get too emotional and start chasing losses. For novice and experienced bettors alike, the best practice is to set a live betting budget before starting a session. You don’t want to blow a bankroll on just one live event. Hedge your bets if your pregame wagers aren’t succeeding.

Live Betting Pros & Cons

The allure of live betting sports is definitely one of its positives for those looking for instant gratification, but there are also some cons to be aware of before you place your first wager.

In-game betting has numerous nuances that you need to be aware of before you start betting real money online. Make sure you understand how odds change and what outcome you need to cash your wagers.

Pros of Live Betting

  • More betting options
  • Can be easier to find odds value
  • Instant gratification
  • Bet hedging opportunities
  • Opportunity to apply in-game statistical analysis

Cons of Live Betting

  • Not great for novice bettors
  • Risk of tilting
  • Too fast paced for some

Live Betting FAQs

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