What Is In-Game Betting?
Live betting (aka in-game betting) allows bettors to wager on games that are in progress at their preferred sportsbook. The odds of live betting markets are constantly updated based on what is happening during the course of a sporting event. Compared to the relatively static betting odds that are available with pre-game betting, live wagering offers a lot more flexibility to bettors.
That flexibility leads to the most important difference between live betting and pre-game betting, that being value in the betting markets. With in-game betting, bettors are able to find point spreads, totals, and other odds that are not available before the start of each game. Those newly available numbers in the live betting markets can lead to enhanced profitability when compared to what was available before a matchup started.
In this “How To Bet In-Game At Sportsbooks” guide, bettors will develop an understanding of how live betting works from an odds perspective and how to go about placing a live bet. Bettors will also get a feel for which sports are regularly available for live betting at some of the most popular online sportsbooks in the industry.
How Does In-Game Betting Work?
Live betting odds consist of a series of numbers for each betting market on the board at a sportsbook. Those numbers each represent what the payout would be for that bet, based on the number itself and whether the number begins with a plus sign or a minus sign. Plus priced odds represent the amount that a bettor would win if they put $100 on that option, while odds with a minus sign represent the amount a bettor would need to risk to win $100.
For example, a live betting market may feature one basketball team to win on the moneyline at -300 and their opponent to win that game at +200. In that scenario, the favorite at -300 would require a $300 bet for a bettor to win $100 in profit. Conversely, the underdog at +200 would pay out $200 in profit if a bettor risked $100.
Live betting odds change throughout the course of a game, with those changes being made based on what has happened in the game so far and what is expected to happen going forward. For example, a team may come into a basketball game as a -300 favorite, but they would become an even heavier favorite if they started out on a 10-0 at the beginning of the game. As a result, bettors who pay close attention to the flow of the games they are betting on can find value spots in the live betting markets.
Injuries can also have a huge impact on where live betting odds go over the course of a game. If a team’s star player gets hurt, their chances of winning a game decrease, and that decrease in win probability is reflected in the live odds. While it can be difficult to handicap these ebbs and flows based on a number of factors, that is the key to successful live wagering.
How To Place In-Game Bets
Placing live wagers is very easy, and is similar to placing a pre-game bet at a bettor’s preferred sportsbook. To do so, bettors can go to the live betting section of their bookmaker of choice and select the sport that they want to wager on. From there, they can select the game they want to bet on, the betting market they wish to place a live bet on, and the amount they want to risk on that live bet.
It is worth noting that live bets have to be placed more quickly than pre-game bets, as live betting odds are constantly changing and shifting based on what is happening in each game. Bettors who wait too long to get their live bets in could see the odds shift away from the number they want to bet on. Conversely, waiting could result in more favorable numbers showing up, depending on what happens during the game.
In many cases, the best time to place a live bet is during a timeout or another point where play is stopped for an extended period of time. This helps to ensure that the live betting odds are not going to move significantly based on the events that take place during the game. Instead, bettors are wagering during a relatively calm period in the game and know everything that has happened to cause the odds to be what they are.
Sports Available For Live Betting
As live betting becomes more popular, the number of sports where live betting is available continues to increase. Here is a look at the most popular sports for live betting, as live betting odds are the most widely available for these sports compared to some of the more niche sports on the market.
Why Is In-Game Betting Good For Sports Bettors?
The number one reason that live betting is good for sports bettors is the fact that bettors can get better prices than are available before the start of a sporting event in many cases. At the end of the day, pre-game point spreads and totals tend to be pretty close to the final results of many sporting events. While fast or slow starts can impact those outcomes, bettors who use the live betting markets can get favorable numbers relative to those pre-game markets and use them to profit.
Speaking of profit, live betting can also guarantee that a bettor turns a profit in some cases. In games where the lead is exchanged back and forth by both teams or players, it is possible to get both sides at a plus price. Doing so can guarantee a profit no matter who wins that particular matchup, depending on how much a bettor wagers on each side and what pricing they get on either competitor.
Bettors can also use live betting to place wagers after seeing how each side matches up with each other early in a game. If two unfamiliar opponents are going at it, it can be beneficial to let a few minutes of action play out to determine where the advantages and disadvantages are on each side. The live betting markets can then be used to place bets after those questions are answered, with the potential for more favorable pricing as well.