Sports betting is no longer a sit-and-wait activity. Through the introduction of live betting, online sportsbooks have changed the very nature of how sports bettors wager.
Colorado online sportsbooks are now home to a vast array of in-game wagers. So, here is a handy guide to explain how live betting works.
The first thing to clear up is exactly what live betting is. Simply put, live betting, or in-game wagering, is betting on a game that is in progress.
You can bet on the outcome of the game using lines that are updated after every play or you can bet on something that could happen next in the event, like which team will score next.
Why is live betting so popular?
Live betting has revolutionized sports betting because it greatly expands the number and variety of wagers players can make.
Instead, online sportsbook technology allows for highly granular wagers to be available throughout the course of a match. Bets on events as minute as individual play outcomes are possible.
As a result, it is not uncommon for a single match to offer more than a hundred different opportunities for action. Multiply this expansion times the number of games on a given day, and sports betting is no longer the largely passive event it once was.
Both sportsbooks and sports bettors have reasons to appreciate the greater numbers of betting opportunities. For bookmakers, profit increases with each bet, so more wagering is usually better.
However, bettors can use the increased opportunities either as an augmentation or a hedge of their pregame positions. Bettors who are seeing that their predictions are coming true can increase their stakes. Bettors whose pregame bets are going awry can bet the opposite direction and soften the blow.
So live betting is so popular because it’s one of the few win-win propositions in gambling.
Types of live bets
Live betting tends to be wagers on single events. It would be unusual to see a live bet on, say, a player scoring a certain number of points AND his team ultimately winning.
However, as fluid as they are, live bets usually come in one of three categories.
Continued pregame wagers
The first category is the most obvious. The sportsbook will simply keep the point spreads, money lines, and totals bets active into the game.
The lines on these bets are much more dynamic than before. Sportsbooks will have more information each second on which to base their estimates.
The effect that will have on the lines is hard to predict. However, be aware that sportsbook computers use complex algorithms to spit out their live lines, so be smart about taking these wagers.
The second type of live bet common to online sportsbooks pertains to the achievement of milestones during the game. As a game progresses, both players and teams will naturally achieve certain arbitrary marks or statistics.
Those marks or statistics could be unique to the game at hand, season-long goals, or even career goals. The question of the bet will usually be whether the player or team will achieve the goal in question.
For instance, an NBA player might score 10 points in the first quarter of a game. So, a potential bet might be whether he will score at least 20 (or 30) points by the end of the game.
Sportsbooks might also ask a milestone question as it relates to the game itself. For instance, bettors could have the opportunity to wager upon which player in a soccer match will score the first goal.
The determination about whether to accept this type of bet is likely more of an educated guess. A study of player, team and coaching tendencies might give an idea, but it’s likely a less reliable bet to take.
Partial game results
The last, and probably the most numerous, type of live bet is the partial game result. Sportsbooks will offer odds on what the outcome of various periods of play will be.
They can do so in a couple of different ways. For one, they can posit whether one team will have a certain margin of victory over the team at the end of a certain period.
Alternatively, they can ask the question about which team will “win” a period of play. Winning could either mean having the lead or simply scoring more points in the given period.
Sportsbooks can also narrow down bet options to focus on the outcome of single plays. A football bettor might see a wager about whether the next play will be a pass or a run, for instance, or whether it will achieve a first down.
Tips for live betting
Live betting is a fun and exciting way to bet on sports. If you’ve never done it before, you’re in for quite the thrill. Here are a few tips to make things go more smoothly for you.
Use fast and reliable internet
Live betting is fast, fast, fast. You need to be able to act quickly and decisively if you see appetizing wagers.
So, before you begin, make sure that your internet provider is both speedy and trustworthy. If not, connection and speed issues could cause you to miss out on value.
Don’t try to bet the world
With so many options for betting, it’s tempting to try to hit everything. However, attempting to do so is foolhardy, because there’s no way that you’ll have a firm enough grasp on every detail to make so many smart decisions.
Instead, decide what types of bets you’re going to watch. Limit yourself to a manageable group of possibilities. In other words, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Look for ways to hedge
One of the great things about live betting is that opportunities present themselves quickly. A live bet may appear that can allow you to guarantee yourself a profit, regardless of the outcome.
You bet $75 on the money line for Team A at -150. So, a win would give you $37.50 in profit.
The game begins, and Team A jumps out to an enormous lead. Team A seems almost certain to win. In fact, the money line on Team B escalates to +500.
Well, if you now bet $25 on Team B, then there’s no way for you to lose. If Team A wins (as expected), you’ll receive your $75 plus the $37.50, but will lose the $25. So you’ll still come out as a $12.50 winner.
If Team B happens to win, you’ll lose your $75, but receive a whopping $150 for your bet on Team B ($25 + $125 profit). So you’ll have profited $50 here.
While hedging negates some of your winning potential, it is possible to use it (and live betting) to nuke the risk if one of your bets is going well. Gambling without risk is not gambling at all — it’s just free money.
Watch your bankroll
Last, but not least, you need to be careful about how quickly live betting can go. It is possible to over-commit your bankroll quite easily if you get carried away with all the different wagering options.
Keep a close eye on the cashier if you’re betting on a live event. Make sure to stay within your means, or live betting could leave you dead on arrival.