Live Betting Guide - How Does Live Sports Betting Work?

Action begins after the pre-game lines close when sportsbooks offer live betting. The ability to bet on sports betting sites while watching the game is one of the more exciting - and potentially profitable - methods of wagering on your favorites teams and leagues. This guide provides an in-depth look at live betting, including strategy and details for most live bet types.

What Is Live Betting?

Available in most major sports betting markets, live betting offers the opportunity to place bets on individual games already in progress. Also referred to as “in-play” or “in-running” betting, most sportsbooks provide a platform for live bets, including many types of standard and expanded lines.

Live betting platforms update odds on a frequent basis, creating short-term line movement which responds to the evolving conditions of the game. Similar to bets placed before the match starts, live betting odds also change depending on the amount of money that people invest in a specific outcome.

Why Choose Live Sports Betting?

  • Improve profit for betting on sports lines.
  • Reduce risk for betting on certain scenarios.
  • Bet on a trend developing during a game.
  • Respond to in-game momentum swings.
  • Hedge on a bet during the game.
  • Bet on games when you accidentally miss the pre-game deadline.

How To Place A Live Bet

  1. Log into your sportsbook account.
  2. Select the game in progress you want to bet on.
  3. Select the live bet you want to place.
  4. Confirm wager amount and odds payout on bet slip.
  5. Submit the live bet to the sportsbook.
  6. Sportsbook compares your bet slip according to live odds.
  7. Sportsbook confirms your live bet into play, provides betting ticket.

Live Sports Betting Strategy

Patience Leads To Profit

Since live betting numbers constantly change throughout the game, patient sports bettors have the option of waiting for improved live odds on a wager they were planning to make before the game.

For example, if the Toronto Maple Leafs are -125 moneyline favorites to defeat the Montreal Canadiens, the moneyline odds for the Maple Leafs will fall if the Canadiens score the first goal of the game. Teams which score the first goal in hockey tend to win more often, lowering the probability of Toronto winning.


patient sports bettors have the option of waiting for improved live odds on a wager they were planning to make before the game

In this scenario, the moneyline odds for the Maple Leafs might dip from -125 to +110 during live betting. Instead of winning $80 on a $100 bet at -125, the live bet will pay $110 for a $100 bet at +110 odds – a 37.5% increase in profit. 

The amount of risk for betting on Toronto increases, but so does the payout. If you were confident enough to bet on the Maple Leafs before the game and believe that they’ll pull off the win despite adversity, waiting for the moneyline odds to drop during live betting can increase profit.

Reduce The Risk Of Betting

Live betting also provides the opportunity to reduce the risk when wagering.

Using spread betting as an example, if the Toronto Raptors are 11-point favorites to defeat the New York Knicks, you may decide that the spread is a bit too risky because of the large winning margin required to win the wager.

After the game begins, it may become apparent that the Raptors will mop the floor with the Knicks during a large swing in momentum. Placing a bet on Toronto beating the spread in this scenario will invoke less risk because you’re verifying the Raptors performance as the game unfolds.

Hedging With Live Bets

A rare but profitable scenario, hedging bets involves placing multiple wagers on a single outcome to guarantee a profit. 

For example, if you bet on the Toronto Blue Jays defeating the Baltimore Orioles at +110 before the game, and you find a live bet that offers a +120 line for betting on an Orioles win, you’ll receive a guaranteed profit for putting money down on both sides.

Betting $100 on the Jays at +110 would result in a $210 payout, while a $100 bet for Baltimore at +120 would create $220. Hedging in this situation guarantees a $10 or $20 victory without risk if you bet $100 on both teams.

NHL Live Betting - Steve Stamkos

Live Sports Betting Types

Live Moneyline Bets

Betting on the straight up winner of a match is one of the standard wagering types offered for live sports betting. Victory odds for both teams fluctuate throughout the game, responding to changes in score, time remaining, injuries and other factors.

Live Betting Spreads

An array of live betting spreads tend to be available for each matchup, including the initial margin of victory predicted and alternative lines against the spread. For live spread wagers, both the odds and the range of point spreads change as the match proceeds. If the match is in the process of becoming a blowout, the live spread will grow. If the game turns out to be unexpectedly close, the live spread will shrink.

Live Over/Under Bets

Standard pregame and live betting wagers include over/under bets on points, runs or goal totals. Similar to spreads, which feature standard and alternative lines, live over/under wagers will include a variety of totals to bet on, with odds changing throughout the match. The more points scored during a match, the larger the over/under grows, and vice versa.

Live Prop Bets

Prop bets also tend to be made available for live wagering once the match starts. Team prop bets and individual props may be included in a list of live props.

Regulation Win-Lose-Draw

Slightly different than moneylines, which involve the outright winner at the end of a game, regulation win-lose-draw bets focus on the end result before overtime begins. This type of live wager applies to most sports or athletic competitions that include ties or extra time as a potential outcome.

Now that you understand the world of live betting, check out the games which are happening now and wager online on your favourite sportsbook.

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