Live Betting

What is live betting?

Live betting is placing bets on a game which is currently in progress. "Live betting" should not be confused with "live odds". The term "live odds" usually refers to "up-to-the-minute odds" on games which will not be happening until later.

Advantages of Live Betting

  • Access to more bets. You can bet on specific intra-game bets such as which team will score the next goal in hockey, or which team will be the quickest to score 40 points in a basketball game. You can bet on which team will win a specific quarter or period - as well as totals for specific periods and quarters.

  • The ability to analyze the texture of the game. It is said that every single game has a unique fingerprint. This is known as the "texture" of the game. Some of the biggest variables in whether or not a team will win (or improve during the game) will be based on intangibles - such as how hard the team is playing. These non-quantifiable nuances do not show up in the odds, and hence, present a possible edge for an intelligent bettor.

    In short, these 2 benefits are huge. You get better quantity of bets, and better quality.

Disadvantages of Live Betting

  • More emotional control needed. It is very easy to get caught up emotionally in the game you are watching and lose your ability to process things intelligently.

  • Quicker decisions needed. With live-betting, there is little time available for analysis. With live-betting, statistics-driven betting is not a skill that is rewarded. On the other hand, instinct and experience-based betting is rewarded.

  • You need a good internet connection. You don't want your internet to stall right when you are entering a bet because the bet may not be available 30 seconds later.

  • You need to be watching the game. With live betting, you can't enter the bet hours before and walk away.

Live Betting Tips

  • Make sure you get the bet in on time. In my experience, it takes about 6-7 seconds for the web site to process and enter your bet after you hit the "place bet" button. Also, you should note how often the odds get updated. This is something you will get used to after only a single session of live betting. If you are betting on a basketball game, the odds will sometimes change after almost every basket. This means the odds will change possibly every 30 seconds. If it takes 7 seconds to process the bet, you need to make sure you place your bet a few seconds before you actually need to. In hockey, on the other hand, the odds for most of the bets will only change every few minutes, as time winds down. In hockey, the 7-second delay will not affect you as much.

  • Check to see if you are watching the game on a delay. If you are watching a peer-2-peer sports streaming service, you should notice that there is about a 2-minute delay in the broadcast of the game. This can completely distort the bets you are watching. In one instance, I was watching a Bruins game that was tied 1-1 and was looking to place a bet. When I looked on the site I was betting on (Bovada), I saw that the score was showing that the Bruins were losing 3-1. In the screenshot below you can see the other team (Tampa Bay) scored 2 goals in 15 seconds. Any bets that I had placed would have been completely different than I thought they were.


    If you watch the game on live TV, this won't be a problem.

  • Decide if you want to "accept odds changes". Turning this option on means that when you place a bet and the odds change during the processing of the bet (about 7 seconds), your bet won't get denied. Instead, your bet will be accepted at the newer odds. This can be either an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the situation. The advantage is that your bet will be accepted, and you won't have to worry about the bet "getting away from you" if the odds keep changing against your preferences. The downside is that your bet may be accepted at newer odds which you are not fond of.

    My advice is to be aware of what kind of changes your odds are susceptible to. In hockey, for example, I recommend turning this option off because the odds can change dramatically with a single goal. For example, the odds for a team to win (especially late in the game) could drop from 3-to-1 to 2-to-1 if the other team scores. In basketball, on the other hand, you will see that the odds for a particular team to win will drop from, say 1.85 down to only 1.80 because of a basket by the other team.

  • Be careful about placing live bets on games you haven't been watching. Earlier, I mentioned about how you can profit by analyzing the texture of a game and take advantage of opportunities that aren't represented in the odds that are being quoted. In order to accurately assess the texture of the game, you need to constantly watch the game. Just knowing the score isn't enough. In a NBA game, if the better team is down by 10 at halftime, it makes a difference whether they are down because of bad shooting or low energy. Low energy may not be fixed in the 2nd half - but bad shooting will almost always correct itself. I have made the mistake of placing bets based on situations which I thought were attractive after turning on the game halfway into it, only to see that there were subjective factors that I hadn't noticed because I wasn't watching.

Choosing A Sportsbook for Live Betting

It's important to choose one of the leading sportsbooks when doing live betting, such as Bovada. A sportsbook that offers live betting will need to offer a variety of bets on different games where the odds are being updating literally every minute. Only the biggest and best sportsbooks will offer a good variety of live bets.


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HPG ADMIN on April 5, 2015