You may have heard of the term ‘live bets’ in the world of sports betting. Also known as in-play betting, it has become a popular method for punters to win wagers during matches. While it provides a myriad of opportunities to win, there’s also high risk involved.

As well as discussing the best live betting strategies, we’ll also take a look at the differences from other types of sports wagers. There are some expert tips for you to read through as well as some risks involved. Finally, we’ll reveal the pros and cons of live betting.

live betting strategies

What is live betting?

Live betting is a real-time wagering system that’s available while matches are still in progress. It consists of markets that open and close from the moment an event starts until it ends. The odds change for each respective market as the action unfolds.

In-play bets are highly volatile. The odds can shift in a matter of seconds, due to a sudden change in the game. You have many chances to win in several markets, but you expose yourself to the risk of changing odds.


The differences from other sports betting types

The two other sports betting systems are pre-match and ante-post wagers. Many punters view pre-match wagers as a medium-term investment. While you place all your bets on markets that close before a game starts, you’ll only see the results after the event finishes.

The timeframe of your investment depends on the game. When it comes to football, you’ll have to wait approximately 90 mins for the standard match to end (with a break at halftime). Tennis can take hours, while cricket tournaments can last a few days.

Ante-post betting is a long-term investment. Bookies sometimes provide markets for games months in advance, allowing gamblers to place future bets for the events. This type of betting requires a good knowledge of probabilities long in advance.

Based on the above, it’s evident that live betting is a short-term investment. Some markets close within seconds of opening. It all depends on the actions that take place and at what points in the game the bookies provide the markets.

In-play betting also provides different types of markets that are not available in pre-match or ante-post wagers. Examples of these markets include whether or not a tennis serve is won or returned, or which horse will be slow away at the start of the race. This option provides more interesting wagers than the standard match-win markets.


Best live betting strategies

Live betting tips

Study statistics before each event
One of the best live betting strategies that we recommend is conducting research on teams and historic matches. You may pick up on specific trends or patterns that might aid you in winning in-play bets. Moreover, pay attention to the statistics that are relevant to the markets on which you want to wager.

Some bookmakers freely provide this information on their site. While we advise taking advantage of it, you should also supplement this data with other sources. If you can match at least three sources of information, then you’re secure in the knowledge that it’s reliable.


Recognise the conditions that may have effects on events
Psychology plays a significant role in the players’ performances. They may have a winning streak in a season, but adverse conditions may affect an upcoming event. This factor is why recognising these conditions is one of the best live betting strategies for sportsbooks.

A prime example is in Formula 1. A racer may excel in dry weather and win several events in a row. However, he may struggle under wet conditions or tend to retire when it rains. You can use this knowledge of conditional patterns to your advantage with in-play bets.


Bet at the right time
Expert sports bettors know when it’s the right time to wager during in-play markets. It all boils down to watching the events that unfold, as well as the value of the odds. Patience is vital in certain circumstances, even with markets that can close within minutes.

You can score some high profits by betting at the right time. Odds change all of the time during live events. If a market is in favour of a team, then the odds will be low and vice versa. By paying close attention to the game, you might catch high odds just before the losing team strikes back and the market swings back to low.

Wagering at the right time also means knowing when not to place a bet. Sometimes the best live strategies include walking away from a market. If you’re doubtful about whether you’ll win the wager, or the conditions are too uncertain, then there’s nothing wrong with not betting at all.


The final countdown
The closing minutes of games or races are often the tensest times to bet. However, many punters claim that this is the best time to wager. Bookies open more bids, hoping gamblers will respond to the live calls for betting.

There are two ways that you can approach it. You can play it safe and wager on the team that’s winning at low odds. You won’t make much of a profit, but there’s a high chance that you’ll win. Alternately, you can play the high odds of the losing team winning with the risk of losing your funds.

Utilising this strategy requires paying close attention to the game events and knowing the team players well. If the losing team has a knack for turning the tables in the closing stages of the game, then you may well earn a decent profit from the winnings.


Over/under betting
Over/under odds lets you wager on whether a market will close over or under a certain number. The bookmaker will place a specific value on the board, allowing gamblers to bid on whether the final amount will be higher or lower.

Several in-play markets provide over/under odds. For instance, in football, you can wager on how many goals a team will score in a set time. Tennis is another sport that provides over/under markets per set in the match.


Coverage bets
Even the best live betting strategies are risky since the odds change so frequently. However, you can leverage pre-match bets with in-play wagers that could cover potential losses. This strategy is called bet coverage.

Using this method requires calculations of the odds towards potential losses and profits. If you see that you’re going to lose your pre-match wager, then bet on in-play markets that are guaranteed to win. By utilising any of the live betting strategies indicated above, you can cover any end-match losses with in-play wins.


Contradicting strategies
Of course, some gamblers use methods that contradict the best live betting strategies. The process relies on in-play lines and odds, and the effect of public opinion on the markets. As the title suggests, you’ll vote against the favoured view, hoping for huge profits on high odds.

It’s a risky move. This method isn’t one that you should use often. Instead, you’ll need to find the right opportunities to do so. Contradicting strategies include the following:

  • Going with the underdog;
  • Bidding against the match momentum;
  • Placing ‘under’ bets with games that have high scores;
  • Wagering on home teams that are losing;
  • Betting against popular teams winning.

Top expert tips

Watch live broadcasts

After reading our best live betting strategies, it should be evident that watching live broadcasts is fundamental to your success. While you can still find opportunities by merely viewing the markets, you’ll have a better advantage if you see the game unfold. Decisions made during the game can have a vital effect on in-play markets.

For this reason, we generally recommend finding a bookmaker that offers live streaming. It’s easier to watch the action and place your in-play bets on the same website. Even better is viewing broadcasts on your mobile device so that you can wager no matter where you are.


Take possible substitutions into consideration

Substitutions during a match play a more significant role than most punters anticipate. It can change the outcomes of a market, specifically if it relates to a player removed from the field. It’s essential to watch out for how the markets fluctuate when a substitution occurs.

It can also change the dynamics of the team. For instance, if one of the best strikers is substituted, then the team may start performing poorly. Conversely, if a team is performing badly and the coach calls in the star player, the score can swing the other way.

Adjust your strategy as the game changes

None of the best live betting strategies is guaranteed to win. All they can do is assist you in identifying the best opportunities at a profit. Therefore, it’s up to you to pay attention to any significant changes in the match and to adjust your strategy accordingly.

While one method will work in a given situation, it may not work under other circumstances. If you see that your strategy is no longer working during a match, then consider changing it. It may just be that you’ve misapplied the method and will continue to suffer losses.


Quality versus quantity

In-play betting can be entertaining. If you’re simply wagering to make the match more exciting, then your focus will be on quantity. The more bets you place, the more you’ll enjoy gambling while watching the game.

However, your primary focus will be on quality when it comes to wagering for profit. You may find a few valuable opportunities during a game that promise high gains. Betting on one or two lucrative markets could provide you with a better profit in the long run than several small wagers.

Therefore, decide what your primary goal of in-play sports betting is before you start betting on a game.


Look out for bookie promotions linked to live betting

Bookmakers sometimes offer promotions directly linked to live betting. You can win some free bets, or receive a bonus that will boost your in-play winnings. Either way, ensure that you keep an eye on your bookie’s promotional offers.


Evaluating the risks

Gambling generally carries some inherent risks. Foremost is the chance that you can lose your money on an unlucky wager. Furthermore, there’s always the danger of punters impulsively placing bets without considering the factors that affect a match’s in-play results.

Live betting contains higher risks than pre-match or ante-post wagers. With numerous markets opening and closing during a game, there are many chances to lose your bets. There’s also the danger that gamblers could become addicted to betting while chasing losses.

There’s a way for you to evaluate the risks of live betting before engaging in the act of gambling. By considering these factors, you can mitigate some of the risks and can secure a better chance at winning.

  • Compare different bookies’ odds;
  • Determine whether the game is high or low profile;
  • Research as much information as possible about the match and teams;
  • Assess the impact of injuries or retirements;
  • Determine the team’s motivation to win in the competition or league;
  • Establish the relationship and effect of one market on another (first goal vs final result).

Advantages and disadvantages

As a final analysis of the best live betting strategies, we’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages below. It serves as a guide towards understanding the elemental properties of in-play betting strategies. Please use the information wisely.

  • Pros:
  • Offers plenty of opportunities to win during a game
  • Increases the entertainment value of sports betting
  • Provides the opportunity to exploit a bookie’s inaccurate odds
  • Potentially covers losses from pre-match wagers
  • Provides an advantage over casual punters
  • Cons:
  • Results in losses if gamblers misapply the strategies.
  • Requires detailed knowledge of previous games, teams and players.
  • Calls for dedicated commitment to watching markets and game events.
  • May lead to addiction to in-play betting.

The Final Word

In this article, we’ve covered some of the best live betting strategies available online. While these methods can aid you in gaining some profits, there’s also the risk of losing if you get it wrong. If you’re simply playing for fun, then these strategies can add entertainment value to your gambling.

You may not always get the strategies right, but keep practicing until you perfect them. In the end, you must develop your favourite method until it suits your needs.