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Live betting (also known as in-game betting) is becoming a popular option among sports bettors.  Many bettors enjoy the quicker pace and ability to wager on unique aspects of the game as they develop.

With the right info, live betting isn’t any more difficult than laying a more traditional wager before the game begins.

Allow us to put on our Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn wig and walk you through the what, how, and where of live sports gambling (including some tips and tricks to help build your bankroll).

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What is Live Betting?

If you understand how to bet on the moneyline, the spread, and the total, you’ll have no problem understanding how live betting works.

When betting on live odds, you’ll still be wagering on moneylines, spreads, and over/unders. Even though you can bet on different aspects of the game once it’s underway, there are many more similarities between live betting and regular than there are differences.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Figure 1 shows the NFL betting menu on Bovada before a game starts. Figure 2 shows the live betting menu for a game that’s in progress.

 

regular live betting nfl menu washington redskins dallas cowboys atlanta falcons new orleans saints bovada
Figure 1: Regular NFL betting menu.

 

live nfl betting menu bovada
Fig. 2: Live NFL betting menu.

 

The small “90 >” next to the Washington/Dallas game and the “22 >” next to the Chicago/Detroit game indicate how many different wagers are available for those specific games. When you click on the numbers, you’ll be taken to a new page (the sub-menu) which displays every possible bet you can make on that game.

Figure 3 below shows the top part of the sub-menu for a Houston vs. Memphis college football game midway through the second quarter.

 

college football live betting submenu bovada
Figure 3: College football live betting sub-menu.

 

The major differences between live betting and traditional betting take center stage in these sub-menus.

Figure 4 shows the sub-menu for Washington vs. Dallas. You can clearly see the spread, moneyline, and total for the first half and each individual quarter. These are very common props to see when betting on an NFL game before kickoff.

 

regular nfl betting sub menu bovada
Figure 4: Regular NFL betting sub-menu.

 

With in-game betting, first-half and quarter lines are often still available (depending on the stage of the game), but so are additional props like the outcome of the next play, next drive, and so on.

 

Figure 5: Live NFL betting sub-menu.

 

Here, the first part of the live betting sub-menu for Chicago vs. Detroit illustrates a couple of the props that are unique to in-game betting. For instance, whether the Bears’ next drive will result in a touchdown or field goal.

Live Betting Advantages

In addition to the obvious benefit of adding another level of entertainment to watching the game, live bets can provide value for discerning bettors who know what to look for. Take advantage of the following realities to make the most of your live, in-game betting experience.

Extra Information

This is rather obvious, but you can gain an informational advantage after watching part of a game. Once you have a sense of which players are “on” that night or which team has momentum, you should be better equipped to predict the outcome of the game, current drive, or simply the next play.

Instantaneous Results

Instant gratification also makes in-game wagers an enticing option. Obviously, you’ll know the result a lot sooner if you’re betting on the outcome of the next drive versus placing money on a Sunday NFL game mid-week.

If you’re comfortable with a fair amount of risk and are equipped to make quick handicapping decisions, you can go from identifying a valuable prop to profiting substantially in just a number of seconds.

In-games bets are typically graded and paid out incredibly quickly. The fastest sites will deposit your winnings into your account within minutes. After all, they want you back in on the action ASAP!

Live Betting Disadvantages

However, there are a few inconvenient and less enticing aspects of live betting.

More Juice for Live Bets

The main disadvantage of live betting is that there’s usually more juice (or “vig”) on the lines. That means you’ll have to bet more to win the same amount.

Most online sportsbooks will charge an additional 10% in ‘juice’ on live betting lines.

The amount of extra juice can vary from site to site, but the standard is around 10%.

Disappearing Lines and Changing Odds

While the fast-paced nature of live betting is adds an appealing element of excitement to the game, it’s difficult to anticipate what lines will be available at a certain time.

Figure 6 below shows something live bettors see all the time: a couple props that are currently closed.

 

live nfl betting sub menu with closed props bovada
Figure 6: Live NFL betting submenu with closed props.

As you can see, all the “live props” in this example are currently closed. You’ll see propositions alternate back and forth between available and unavailable throughout the game, sometimes multiple times a minute.

Oddsmakers are always adjusting and refining their odds. Expect them to take down props until the book is confident that they have the upper hand.

Ultimately, you need to be vigilant to make the most of live betting.

Frustration Factor

There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a bet you tried to make pan out. Don’t let the ensuing frustration factor cloud your judgment when you miss out on a favorable line.

Missing certain opportunities is inevitable while live betting, even if you’re alert and have the fastest connection possible.

Fewer Games to Bet on with Live Betting

It takes a lot of manpower to create and adjust betting lines on the fly. As such, the live betting menu on most sites is smaller than the regular betting menu.

Most sites offer a live betting options for major sports leagues including NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL games. You won’t have to search far and wide to find in-game betting for soccer, tennis, and golf.

Live Betting Limits

Live betting tends to have lower limits than regular betting, but unless you’re a high roller who wants to put down thousands of dollars throughout the course of a single game, these limits are very unlikely to impact you.

Which Sites Offer Live Betting?

Almost every online sportsbook offers live betting odds these days. From Bovada to BetOnline and MyBookie (and every half-decent site in between), you’ll have no problem quick navigating to the live betting section once making your first deposit.

Live Betting on Mobile

In our experience, every site with a mobile betting platform (i.e. any site where you can bet from your smartphone or tablet) lets you use the mobile version of their site to bet on live events.

In-game menus and the type of bets available vary from site to site, but each of our top ten online betting sites offers live betting from mobile devices.

Start In-Game Betting with Confidence Today!

With so many options available, there’s a game happening right now with live wagering available.

Check out the rest of our betting 101 section if you need to brush up on the fundamentals of sports betting before jumping in. You’ll find everything from betting against the spread to how bookmakers set their odds explained in simply terms, with actionable info that helps you become a more strategic bettor.