Technology has transcended everything in this world and it has contributed majorly to the growth of the global betting industry.
The African betting market has thrived in the process as well and the rise in online sports betting has surpassed all expectations. Live betting is, in fact, the latest and greatest advancement in sports betting!
Live betting offers the ultimate experience to bettors through entertainment, betting flexibility, and several money-making opportunities. Live betting allows players to feel directly involved in the action with thousands of new betting options. For all those of you who are not aware of what live betting is and are interested in learning more, sit back and enjoy reading this as we take you through all aspects of live betting. By the end of this article, you should be ready to make some money by putting this knowledge into practice.
From the football ground to the basketball court to the tennis courts, and everything in between, sport changes in a matter of seconds. There is a reason as to why sports are the most nerve-wracking and exciting when it comes to entertainment.
Sport is like a religion to many and that is a key characteristic that makes people feel so strongly about their favourite teams or players. Live betting allows you to make game-changing decisions when betting, at the right moment.
What is Live Betting?
When betting was originally created, people were allowed to place bets only before the start of a game/match. As soon as the game commenced, bets were locked and frozen, and that was the end of it and your fate was sealed till the result as to whether you would win or not.
Betting has undergone a massive change with times and to create the best method possible for customer satisfaction, online sportsbooks created live in-play betting.
Live betting allows bettors to place bets during a game and not just before, in simple terms. The odds for this are dynamic and they keep fluctuating depending on how the game is progressing.
At times, wagers for in-game betting are offered between breaks (half-time for example in football or at the end of a quarter in basketball). Live betting allows you to bet on multiple scenarios at any point during the match.
The number of options available for live betting is subject to the online sportsbook you choose and the varying odds and regularity in the change in odds comes down to the technological developments of the sportsbook. Live betting makes everything much easier for the users and given the dynamic nature, allows bettors to lock up bets immediately when they like the odds during a game.
A number of online sportsbooks also offer in-play odds in different styles so whether you wish to view the odds as fractional, decimal or American style, you may be able to find that option available to change it up as per your convenience as well.
Types of Live Bets
Live bets vary greatly for each and every sport because of the rule differences and even the duration/intervals of the games so it is important to be mindful of this when betting on different sports. Here are some of the common types of live bets available.
Traditional bets are those same bets available before the game commences that are made available during the game too but the odds would be fluctuating depending on how the game is going at that point in time.
For example, if Manchester United is playing against Fulham, and Fulham takes the lead then the odds would take a big hit with United who would have been overwhelming favourites before the start of the game, now dropping in odds because they have to come from behind to win the game.
This instance of Manchester United trailing would not be reflected in the pre-game odds but would significantly change the odds during the game. Betting on United to win now would give you greater potential for returns than before the game since they have become lesser favourites to win. This is why live betting can prove to be an absolute gem for bettors.
A parlay, also known as an accumulator or combo bet or multi, is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers and is dependent on all of those wagers winning together. The benefit of the parlay is that there is a much higher payoff than placing each bet separately since the chance of hitting all of the bets is very slim. If any of the bets in the parlay lose, you lose your entire parlay amount. In the case of parlay ties, the parlay reverts to a lower number of teams with the odds reducing accordingly.
Live betting sometimes gives you the option of turning your bets into parlays if you wish to do so. Many sportsbooks will let you create personally customised parlays with in-play betting, which is a bettors dream.
Parlays are a “high risk, high return” strategy.
Almost every sportsbook that has live betting now has prop bets also available for the same. A prop bet is also referred to as a proposition bet or side bet. This basically means that it is a bet made on an event that does not directly affect the game’s final outcome.
An example of this is the number of fouls made by a player without getting red-carded in a match or a team getting an X number of throw-ins/corner kicks during a game.
These are really difficult to get right but if you do hit on prop bets then returns are multifold.
Benefits of Live Betting
Live Betting has a lot of perks to it. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of live sports betting.
Odds should perfectly reflect the proceedings of the game and that is the hope with live betting. The odds will fluctuate to mirror the game in the best possible way. Online sportsbooks invest a lot of time and money to set up systems and hire professional oddsmakers to create these odds.
Real-time odds are very challenging for sportsbooks but like there is a lot of money to be made for the sportsbooks, there is, even more, to be made for the bettors if they bet smart and bet correctly.
There are two ways that a sportsbook might set live in-play odds. The first is through hiring a team of the best oddsmakers or bettors to set the betting lines. These people would usually be the best in the business when it comes to oddsmaking so they will be correct more often than not. The second method is through the use of algorithms on computer systems that utilise data available and sets odds based on historic trends and current analysis to generate new odds and lines in real-time.
There is an issue with both systems, however. The first way has the problem of human error. There is bound to be a human error at some point in time while the computer system has its own drawbacks. The computer program can only analyse quantitative data. Qualitative data like team morale, injury to certain players, form, etc. cannot be incorporated or tracked by the algorithm.
The human error and technological drawbacks mean that you can jump on the opportunity when you find an incorrect/imperfect line having a disparity in odds.
What is an incorrect line?
An incorrect line is not a guaranteed win or anything of that sort. However, it is a payout that does not match up with the likelihood of the outcome of the game/match, realistically.
For example, Liverpool plays Southend United in the FA Cup and for some reason, Southend is the slight favourite. If we saw this line on a sports betting platform then we would jump on this chance and place all our money on Liverpool to win. This is a slightly exaggerated example but there can be cases where the oddsmakers do not know enough about a particular team/sport and that could be advantageous to bettors who are knowledgeable.
Let’s look at another example where technology backfires or fails to reflect certain odds at times –
Odds at the start of a game
Manchester City to keep a clean sheet +150
Manchester City to concede 1 goal or more -150
60 minutes done in the game, the odds shift to this
Manchester City to keep a clean sheet +50
Manchester City to concede 1 goal or more -300
At this point, clearly, with only 30 minutes to go in the game, the odds of City keeping a clean sheet has dropped as it is the most likely event to occur, which leads to City’s chances of conceding becoming slimmer, taking it to -300.
But there is a dramatic turn of events. John Stones, City’s centre-back, is limping and may have to come off because of an injury. The computer’s algorithm has not picked up on Stones potentially being substituted. This is when you can jump on the opportunity and place a bet on City to concede at an odds disparity as you watch the action live.
Do note, however, that this does still not guarantee you to win the bet. However, it just exposes you to better odds than you would get otherwise by being faster in reaction to an in-play scenario than the sportsbook is able to process.
Most bettors bet based on their hearts rather than their minds, which can lead to change in the betting lines
It is very rare for sportsbooks to put out incorrect lines. When they do, they tend to rectify them before bets are placed. It is important to note that lines can move based on the bets made by the public as well. Most people have a tendency of being driven emotionally when betting and not using their heads. If a lot of the betting public bets incorrectly one way, the line will move and the odds will improve on the other side of the bet.
Let’s use an example to best illustrate this.
You are watching a game between Chelsea and Arsenal. Here are the moneyline odds before the start of the game – Chelsea -110, Arsenal +105.
The sportsbook believes that both teams are equal with Chelsea just pipping ahead due to home advantage. The first-half saw Chelsea with the bulk of the possession and best chances, however, they could not find the back of the net. Arsenal caught the Blues out on the counter with Aubameyang scoring to give Arsenal the lead that many would say, they did not deserve.
The first half ends with the score: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal
This has led to the odds changing to – Chelsea +125, Arsenal -110
Most people who are not watching the game would assume that Arsenal has been the better team but truth be told, they were lucky to go into the break a goal up. Arsenal also has more fans so there would be a bias out there, influencing the betting.
The reality is very different, however. Chelsea was the better team but lacked the killer instinct in front of goal and maybe substitutions will change that.
Just before the start of the 2nd half, with all the money on Arsenal, the odds move to this – Chelsea +200, Arsenal -190. It would be a great opportunity to put your money on the new underdogs, Chelsea. The sportsbook always tries to have an almost equal number of bets on both sides to naturally hedge its position so the odds are structured in a way to entice people to place bets on not only the underdog but the favourite as well.
There is no guarantee, once again that you would win the bet and that Chelsea would go on and come back to win the game but it presents an opportunity to make money on better odds because of the simplistic nature of most bettors. Being able to do this repeatedly when betting is a key to being a long-term successful winning sports bettor.
Live in-play betting adds to the thrills (and spills) of sports. For those who have not had a chance to enjoy live betting, do give it a try as it is exhilarating. There are many, however, who prefer the traditional betting method of placing bets before the game to then enjoy the game instead of worrying or thinking about the money at stake. However, for those who have an unbiased opinion on a match, it does not get any better than in-play betting.
Do give live sports betting a try. You will not regret the experience.
Live Betting Strategy
There is no fixed strategy to follow when it comes to betting. There is no right or wrong way to participate in live in-game betting either. However, here are some tips and tricks that could help you build a strategy to be successful when involved with live in-play betting.
Start with a pre-game bet
Most experienced live bettors like to bet pre-game to have a base to start from. This is a good option because if you are an experienced bettor then you have, in all probability, done your research on the game at hand and are confident of your opening bet.
Many may opt-out of this as well thinking that betting on the odds on hand is not the best they can get. Pre-game bets, however, set a perfect foundation for then customising bets around it as it offers flexibility making it much easier to then play around with your original bet.
Bet responsibly and within your limits
It is easy to get carried away with live betting given that the odds fluctuate every second. Therefore, it is important for you, as a bettor, to keep a tab on the total amount wagered as bets and not exceed the amount you had originally kept aside to bet with.
Experienced bettors have now started maintaining records of their bets placed on a spreadsheet, in their notes or simply on their phone memos. The best thing about online sportsbooks is the fact that they maintain the record of all bets placed, making it easy to access at any point in time.
Watch the full game
You are the best judge of what you see. If you are betting on a live game then it is extremely important to try and watch the entire game to keep an eye out for betting opportunities to arise. You never know when you can find the opportune time during the game to place a bet and make some money.
There is nothing wrong in betting on multiple games but if you are involved in in-game betting then go for the pre-game bets for all barring one that you wish to watch and live bet on, as it does require the utmost attention to make the most of the odds becoming available at the right price.
We highly recommend only live betting on one game at a time as you will reap the benefits over the long-term by doing so.
Live betting is perfect when the pre-game odds are very close
Like the example used above for Chelsea vs Arsenal, when the odds are too close to call, it is probably the best option to see how the game progresses and place bets when you are happy with the odds you are getting.
Another thing that live betting does in these close games, removes the pre-match bias that you would have possibly had if you placed a bet. In live betting, you will most likely take action only after the occurrence of a certain event that drastically/significantly brings about a change to the odds.
If it is not in your favour then stay away. At least you have not ended up losing any money and giving yourself a chance to make much more than you would have by placing a pre-game bet, and still not be guaranteed to win.
Be a Bad Line Poacher
There are multiple online sports betting platforms. Some are more sophisticated in terms of technology than others and you can use that to your advantage.
Some websites or apps may correct odds at a slight latency to the live action that you watch and that could be beneficial for you. This is when having betting accounts with multiple online sportsbooks could be extremely useful.
Fish for the odds pre-game to understand which platform has a disparity in oddsmaking as compared to the others and try to target that platform for getting the odds you fancy and placing your bet when it hits those odds. Again, there is no guarantee of winning but you are getting a chance to be exactly where you would like to with relation to the best possible odds.
Choose a platform whose interface you are most comfortable with
This can be extremely crucial. You do not want to miss out on even a second to place your live bet as the odds keep fluctuating. You want to be able to lock in your wager at the price you see, right away and being accustomed to the interface of the online sports betting platform is of prime importance.
Once you select a sportsbook to use for your online bets, the best advice we can give is to take some time to get used to the interface before you start betting.
You do not want to make any mistakes when placing bets or miss out on a golden opportunity to place a value bet so do this and you should be all set.
Learn the basics of traditional betting first before deep-diving into live betting
Live betting is not as easy as it may sound. It requires lots of knowledge and experience to win so if you are new to sports betting, the first step would be to learn about traditional betting and all the terms/lingo used for betting.
Jumping into live betting right away without prior betting experience can be disheartening if you end up losing money and can make it a very unpleasant experience so learn the right way by getting accustomed to betting in general.
Learning the ins and outs of the basics is key before you start experimenting and learning to win big with live betting.