Friday, June 14, 2024

How to Bet Live on Football

Stefan Budur in Soccer Betting Strategies 10 Aug 2021


It all started in 2002 when Betfair made the first online sports betting platform for its customers.

It had an instant success that revolutionized the sports betting industry.

Soon, other big companies followed this trend, and with the advancement of technology, online betting became today the most popular and easiest way to place a bet on your favorite sport or game.

What is Live Football Betting

In-play or live football betting simply means wagering on sports during the relevant event, as opposed to before it starts. It’s one of the ways in which the advancement of online sports betting has managed to innovate the gambling scene.

Picture it this way – you’re watching your favorite game and placing the bets as the action unfolds. It’s undoubtedly an exciting way to bet on soccer, but there are strategic considerations to keep in mind.

In this in-play football betting guide, we’ll go through the basics of betting on soccer live.

How Live Betting Works

As mentioned previously, in-play betting is all about placing wagers after the game has already started.

This used to be impossible – typical wagers were locked in as soon as the match started. However, online sportsbooks make placing bets much easier and quicker. If you know what you’re doing, you can put up a stake in just a few clicks.

Most top online bookmakers have a dedicated live betting section.

Just navigate there, and you’ll see a list of sporting events currently taking place.

Click on the one you’re interested in, and you’ll see a list of available markets and a live feed of the match. Some betting sites even offer a live broadcast of the match itself.

Select the bet you want to make, confirm the bet, and you’re good to go!

That’s not all there is to know about how in-play betting works, though. Remember that many aspects of this type of bet are fundamentally different. Most notably, the odds change all the time based on what’s happening in the match.

For example, say you’re considering betting on the underdog in a 1X2 bet.

The pre-match 1X2 betting odds should be fairly long – longer than backing the favorites, at least. Well, let’s say the underdogs manage to take the lead during the first half. They’re suddenly much more likely to beat the odds and win the match, and the bookies’ price will change accordingly.

It will likely be much shorter than the supposed favorites since the balance of power has shifted considerably.

What are the most popular sports for live betting

Today, almost every sport has games that are added to the in-play section, including e-sports.

Seeing so many games live from different sports can be overwhelming but you only need to focus on the events you are familiar with, for which you can find a lot of information that will make your pre-match analysis very solid. 

Never bet on sports you don’t have knowledge of!

Bookmakers’ offer for live betting events will depend on which part of the world are you living in. Let’s go through some of the most popular sports depending on the region.

  • In Europe, South America, and Africa the main in-play events will be soccer, tennis, rugby, handball, and volleyball.
  • In North America, there is football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and ice hockey are the traditional sports.
  • Bookies from Asia offer you a variety of games consisting mainly of soccer, basketball, table tennis, badminton, and cricket.

What are the most popular in-play football bets?

Live football betting is continuing to evolve year after year with bookies increasing their live betting markets.

If you take a popular match, you will have at least 50 markets you can bet on varying from the most common ones (full-time result, cards, corners) to specials (next goal-scorer, the method of next goal being scored, next player to be booked, who will take a penalty etc.).

Let’s break down 6 of the most used live football bets and how to take advantage of in-play betting.

  • Half-Time result: this is a very good market to bet on the favorite team that can increase your profits if you identify the opportunity. The timing of placing your bet will be essential since the odds increase as the clock ticks. Waiting for too long time to pass in order to get higher odds can many times lead to a missed opportunity when the team scores.
  • Next team to score is a very popular market that is being used by many bettors who are watching the game live. To increase your chance of winning don’t rely only on how the live event unfolds (eyes can sometimes be deceiving), but choose pre-match a team you predict will score many goals in the game.
  • Next goal-scorer is extremely difficult to predict, hence the very high odds bookies will offer you. There are too many variables in play to predict the next goals-scorer and I would only bet on top strikers that are in form, who are also penalty takers.
  • Total cards in the game are a very popular market that takes out the pressure of full-time score results. The appointed referee, weather conditions, type of match and sometimes even the crowd are key factors to consider when using this market. A wet pitch, a referee that is known to diminish game pressure by booking players, a derby game and even a fanatic crowd are a recipe for a match with many bookings.
  • Total corners in the game are a very difficult market to predict than most bettors think. To have odds in your favour choose a match where a team is very attacking dominant, with very good wingers, against a team that sits back and defends. In this type of match, you can expect a lot of crosses that increase the chances of corners.
  • Time of the next goal is a versatile in-play betting market. It refers to the time frame on which you predict the next goal will be scored. The time frames are in most cases set by 10 minutes. To increase your chances of predicting the time frame of the next goals scored ask yourself the following questions: Are both teams playing open attacking football? How many goals were already scored? How many minutes have passed since the last goal was scored? If both teams are playing open, have value upfront the pitch, the score is 0-0 and it’s the 60th minute of the game, that will be a good scenario with odds in your favor to bet on a goal being scored before the minute 80.

What are the differences between live football betting and pre-match betting

There are many differences between live football betting and pre-match betting, let’s cover the most important ones:

  • Odds: in the pre-match betting the odds are set before the game starts and never change. In live football betting, the odds are changing constantly depending on the time of play, events that happen on the pitch (player’s injuries, red cards, weather conditions), events that are happening in the stands (fans fighting and riots that can lead to the match being stopped for a time or suspended).
  • Betting markets: you have more markets on live betting. During the entire game, you can place a wager on the next event (next corner, next card, next goal, etc.).
  • Betting strategy: in-play betting gives you the opportunity to cover many or all outcomes of one event in case your pick is not going in your favor. This can significantly limit your losses and, sometimes you can even break even at the end of the game. For example: We have 5 corners at half time and you decide to bet in that moment over 10 corners at full time. In the 85thminute, there are just 9 corners and you need 2 more to win the bet. Betting under 11 corners in the game will cover all the outcomes possible and all you need to do is to calculate your stake based on your initial bet.
  • Variables: pre-match betting offers no control over some events that can happen during the game. If the team you backed to win gets a red card or if their top goal scorer is injured your chance of winning the pre-match bet you placed the drops significantly. On the other hand, these events give you a big edge to lay your money on the team that went from underdogs to favorites.

How to find live Football Betting Value

This sort of betting on the go means that finding betting value can be considerably more difficult.

After all, you’ll have to make split-second decisions and won’t have time to do the proper research. On the flip side, the odds in in-play betting are usually set automatically. This can leave more room to beat the bookies with live bets and get good value.

To illustrate, let’s continue our earlier example.

It’s half-time, the underdogs are in the lead, and the price for the favorites winning just shot up considerably. This can be a good time to bet on the favorites being able to take the game in the end. This way, you’ll get a much better price than if you were to place the wager before the game started. Of course, the increase in risk is also considerable.

However, you’re still backing the technically stronger team. You need to be able to judge the situation in the game quickly and effectively to make this kind of in-play betting strategy work.

This brings us to another point – you can’t rely on live betting predictions online. As we said, seconds can be crucial for in-play bets, and live feeds of football betting tips are not exactly common.

There are some exceptions, though – you may be planning to bet on soccer live at a particular moment. For example, you know that a team generally does better in the second half than the first. You could, then, wait for half-time to place the bet and get a much bigger payout.

Couldn’t you do the same with a simple HT/FT bet, you may be asking? Yes, but if the first half doesn’t go your way, in-play betting allows you to rethink your strategy. Essentially, being able to change your bet on the fly offers versatility.

Live Betting Strategy Tips

To increase your chances of winning at live betting the most important factor is the pre-match analysis of the game. Before the game starts you need to know exactly and specifically what type of market you will bet on and which team you will back. A good way to do that is to find as much information about the teams before the match starts. You need to have a good strategy in order to be successful.

Another crucial point is to synchronize your pick with the perfect timing of placing your bet and not being emotional while the match is being played. If you manage successfully these aspects of live betting you have a good chance to turn the odds in your favor and beat the bookie.

You can find more live betting tips in this very informative article.

To illustrate successfully our in-play betting tips I decided to give 2 examples that will give you an idea on how to use live betting to your advantage.

I will break down 2 in-play bets I placed and won with my unique insights that will help you understand how to win more in-play bets.

The 1st bet is a single from the Lazio–Lecce game played at the end of the last season. 

My pre-match analysis verdict was: Lazio to win or draw.

As you can see from the above screenshot from one of my bookmarker’s accounts, I placed a bet on the final result – Draw at odds 6, stake 200, winning 1200, profit 1000. It is very rare that you can find such high-value betting on Lazio playing home against a weaker side. Live betting can potentially give you tremendous value if you know how to find it.

Below I broke down the entire process of this in-play bet with my pre-match analysis done before the game started.

I placed the bet in the stoppage time being convinced that Lazio will not lose this game. They dominated the game and increased their pressure after being 2-1 down.

I want to reiterate that I placed my bet based on my pre-match analysis and not based on the in-play game and chances Lazio were creating.

There are many similar games that unfold exactly the same but the better, home team, although putting a lot of pressure on their visitors, fails to score and loses the game.

Another important aspect of the above screenshot is the pre-match odds.

Lazio had 3.85 to draw and I benefited from the live betting at odds 6. This is how you find and use in-play live betting.

The 2nd bet is a double from the Spanish top flight and Portugal 1st league. Rayo Vallecano hosted Osasuna while Vittoria Guimaraes traveled at Famalicao.

My pre-match analysis indicated a win for Rayo and Guimaraes to score at least 1 goal. Accumulating both picks resulted in a very decent odds of 4.08, with 250 stake I got a 1020 win with 770 profits.

Chance was on my side for this double since I placed the bet at minute 34 of the match between Rayo and Osasuna, just before the home team scored as you can see below.

The same as in the Lazio – Lecce match, I benefited from the value in-play betting offers which are increased odds compared to pre-match betting (see below).

Rayo Vallecano’s victory was priced at 2.10 pre-match, I placed my bet at a better price of 2.40.

When I placed the bet on Guimaraes to score, the game had just started for 5 minutes, while at Rayo Vallecano it was already the 35th minute of the match.

Although the games did not start at the same time, I managed to have a chance, placing the bet at the perfect time.

It doesn’t always happen like that, many times you can miss the opportunity.

When it happens, I advise you to search for other games that are being played later so you have sufficient time to make your pre-match analysis.

Rushing in to find the next game if you missed an opportunity can and will in most cases cost you money.

It was an intense game at Famalicao with a lot of cards but Guimaraes managed to score eventually in the 64’th minute of the game.

Keep Your Cool

The fast pace and excitement of live betting can be a breeding ground for poor, hastily made decisions.

It’s one of the reasons bookies love live betting so much. Don’t make this classic mistake. If you don’t feel like you’re able to make an educated decision, don’t wager.

Not Beginner-Friendly

As a closing note, we really don’t recommend live football betting for beginners.

While this approach to sports wagers can be great if you know what you’re doing, you really have to know what you’re doing.

Refer to our earlier tips – the lack of time to consider your actions and the fact that you’re all on your own can be bad news for rookies.


Stefan Budur

Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.



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