Beyond introducing qualities like unprecedented access and convenience to fans of wagering, online sportsbooks’ most significant contribution to the gaming industry may be the ability to partake in live in-game betting. No other market out there is gaining popularity at anywhere near the rate that this exciting, immersive, and entertaining way to put action on your favorite sporting events.
Today, many of the top online sportsbooks allow players to stream the broadcast for a game or race live while interacting with a dashboard of different betting lines. If you so choose, you can bet on the outcome of the very next play.
Other handicappers prefer a more patient approach, studying the ebbs and flows of the contest, and watching the odds continuously adjust in response to the action – waiting for the perfect time to execute their wager at its maximum value. No matter how you choose to play, handicappers have never before had access to such specific betting markets.
With a reputable bookmaker, no less!
All of that being said – don’t take live betting lightly. If you get too caught up in the action and start wagering on random plays, without any kind of plan or strategy, and before you know it, your entire bankroll will disappear! Plus, the thrill — or “high” — that you receive experiencing such a brilliantly interactive form of gaming can result in problem gambling behaviors in some people, if you’re not careful.
That’s what we’re here to avoid. I want to share a handful of common pitfalls to watch out for when enjoying an online in-game betting experience. Not only do we want you to stay safe and in control when you wager; we want you to win!
What is Live / In-Game Betting?
Live (or in-game / in-play) betting is a way to wager on a sporting event or race as they’re in progress. With regular markets, the odds are pulled from the board as soon as the contest begins. Millions of bettors have suffered the frustration of being just a few seconds too late to submit a bet, only to see their prediction come true a couple of hours later.
When you visit an online sportsbook, you’ll find that live betting has its own dedicated section of the website. On those pages, you’ll find a wide selection of streams from racecourses around the world as well as ongoing – and upcoming — sporting events. You click on the activity you’re interested in and are taken to the in-game betting terminal.
Many live betting sites will stream the contest on one part of the screen, while a menu of markets or lines occupies the rest. While the race or competition progresses, the odds keep moving and updated in response to the action. At the same time, new lines are being added to the board, dealing with specific scenarios and possibilities.
All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show and click on the odds you want to play. Some bets will be resolved just moments later, while others won’t be settled until the event is over. The money that you earn – or that you use to fund your wagers in the first place — is tied directly to your account bankroll on the sportsbook’s website.
Don’t Make Too Many Bets at Once
It’s easy to lose track of what exactly is going on when participating in live betting if you’re too aggressive. The entire experience is so much fun, and it can be tempting to keep placing more and more bets without waiting for the others to resolve. If you have too much going on to even keep up with what all you’ve wagered on, how can you possibly execute an efficient picks strategy?
If you don’t wait for your previous wagers to be settled before putting more cash on the line, it can be challenging to know how much to stake or how much of your account money you have left for the game.
Responsible handicappers should enter the in-game betting experience with a set amount of their bankroll to stake on the action; staying within those limits is impossible if you’re placing multiple wagers without knowing the results of the prior picks.
You’re much better served waiting for each bet or two to finish, then making your next decisions based on those results. Have your predictions for the contest been relatively accurate thus far, or not? If some of your early full-game wagers are looking promising, are you in a position to hedge, just to be safe? You won’t know if you go nuts in the first quarter and run out of funds.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Action
Another common pitfall to be cautious of when engaging in live betting is letting yourself get too caught up in the action rather than having a plan coming into the contest. You should begin researching and handicapping the event prior to game time, just as you would for standard pre-game wagers. You might even want to have several plans, based on how things are playing out.
One way to approach live betting is to prepare a cheat sheet with your detailed strategies and the majority of the specific markets on which you’re wanting to bet. Included in this information should be the odds you’re hoping for particular wagers to reach, so that you may play them precisely at the price-point you’ve determined they’ll provide value.
Don’t get me wrong; being able to stay flexible and change course based on how a contest is advancing is one of the main benefits of in-game betting. But, if you don’t have an initial plan with some alternate options, you’re likely to start chasing the action, which can be crippling to your bankroll. That’s why your cheat sheet needs to include “what ifs” and how you want to react if your earliest picks are sending you down the wrong path.
Don’t Get Cute Late in the Game
A terrible mistake that destroys many live bettors’ profits is the habit of letting early successes drive highly impulsive late-game decisions that they wouldn’t otherwise make, except that they’re “feeling it.” There’s nothing wrong with making an extra pick or two with a small portion of your winnings when you’re up late in the game, but it’s easy to throw them all away if you’re not paying attention.
You might even want to pre-plan what you’ll make available for additional wagers if you’ve met specific earnings requirements early in the competition.
I have a friend who’s notorious for letting every 2-3 bet winning streak convince him that he’s broken the sports betting code. It’s stunning how quickly past humiliations are entirely erased from his memory whenever he becomes a “genius” again – as rare as that may be.
Let’s say this character gets $500 ahead in the early-morning Sunday NFL games. By that very afternoon, he’ll stake $300 of his earnings on Sunday Night Football, usually on the Patriots – his favorite team, but sometimes on a slight underdog. If this team loses, which probably happens 65% of the time, he’ll throw another $250-or-so on Monday night, in an effort to recoup his winnings.
Now, sure; sometimes that works out. But more often than not, it doesn’t. And these behaviors aren’t unique to one moronic figure in my personal life; it’s a mindset that frequently plagues bettors, costing them their best opportunities to beat the house. That includes live betting participants, just on a more rapid scale. You can go through the entire emotional rollercoaster of being way up, then losing more than what you initially wagered, in the course of a single contest.
Don’t Overrate “Momentum”
Similar to how you don’t want to fall for your recent betting successes, you also don’t want to be too impressed by momentum during the game. One of the reasons I talk about having a plan ahead of time is so you can assign specific values – in the odds or in-game statistics — that must be reached before you alter your approach.
Otherwise, it can be easy to overreact to some brief runs or either side starting out hot, that’s not necessarily indicative of how the totality of the contest will go. If you take the time to handicap the game beforehand, trust your process. Don’t get scared and bail; only move to Plans B or C when those metrics you set before the start of the contest – when you weren’t emotional – are hit.
Even better, you can use your faith in your pre-game handicapping to increase the value of your picks through live betting. Rather than panicking and overreacting to a hot start or some brief overachieving by the team, you’re fading, look for those moments to time your wagers when the odds are longest. It can be a scary proposition, but the risk can be somewhat controlled through research.
First of all, planning to profit from momentum is more straightforward in high-scoring sports like basketball and football. Some young-but-talented teams can hang with more talented opponents for a quarter-or-so, but won’t have the experience and polish to stay consistently at a high-level for the entire game. That’s something you can plan for ahead of time; so, you may want to time your bet for the mid-second quarter (or later), before you expect your original pick to start taking control.
The Wrap Up
If you’re looking for the most innovative and interactive way to bet on sports today, in-game betting is at the cutting edge of the industry. But like Spiderman’s Uncle Ben says, “with great power comes great responsibility.” For as many potential options and strategies live wagering websites bring to the table, they can evaporate your bankroll in a blink if you’re not careful.
The online sportsbooks you’ll find on this site make using their in-game betting services incredibly fun, with massive ranges of unique lines and markets popping on and off the board throughout the festivities. It’s not hard to understand how some bettors get caught up chasing the action, wagering on the outcome of every other individual play. They lose sight of their initial predictions for the contest and end up staking drastically more than anticipated.
This can be compounded by placing too many bets at once, without waiting on the bulk of them to be resolved. If you fall for this pitfall, you’re essentially wagering blind, making decisions on picks before you even know how you’re doing. A couple terrible breaks later, and you’re down by more than you planned to bet for the entire game.
All around this website, you’ll find betting strategies and systems for an exceedingly wide selection of leagues and sporting events. A relatively large portion of these articles will pertain to live betting individually, while even more deal with the outcome of contests in general, which you can still use for your in-game wagering plans. I advise you to record all of your thoughts on the competition on a cheat sheet ahead of time – the more specific you make your handicapping strategy, the better.
This includes coming up with in-depth plans regarding when to alter your predictions and approach to wagering the game from that point forward. However, planning for when to make these changes is where it gets tricky. You don’t want to overreact to short-term momentum shifts, nor do you want to get overly excited about some early luck.
The basic idea is that you make the vast majority of your decisions when you’re the most level-headed when engaging in live betting. Once the game is underway and you’re watching the various lines move and different bets decided, that dopamine boost from all the excitement can make it difficult to stay composed and rational.
Don’t be one of those out-of-control goofballs that spend the entire fourth-quarter throwing away all of their hard work from the prior three.
You made your decisions before game time when your mind was clear and you were the most objective; trust those choices – including any built-in alternative plans. Just because you’ve been on fire thus far, doesn’t mean that your picks are suddenly infallible now. You haven’t found the magic touch’ you still need to pay attention and stay within your limits.
As is always the case with online sports betting, the handicappers with the best preparations and most self-control take home the profits. The fast-paced gaming action that in-game wagering provides presents smart bettors with a wealth of individual opportunities to exercise their craft. Unfortunately, they provide an equal number of chances for undisciplined participants to blow their bankroll. By avoiding the four common pitfalls featured in this post, I hope your live betting experience will be closer to the former, than the latter.