Why Live, In-Game Betting Is So Popular And How You Can Win At It
It can be hard to predict the outcome of a game or to hit the spread. Not every game can be as easy to call as the Cardinals and the newly neutered Rockies. However, sports fans can gauge how a game might turn when they have a chance to watch it. Further, if they know how a team tends to perform throughout the game, they can leverage the ever-changing odds to maximize winnings. In fact, the odds’ volatility is at the heart of live sports betting strategy.
How Live Betting Works
Oddsmakers set odds well in advance of games. They prepare for bettors to make bets before games start, and they give sportsbooks plenty of time to prepare themselves. Remember, sportsbook odds don’t just predict winners and losers. Sportsbook odds are also calibrated to ensure that sportsbooks don’t stretch themselves too thin. They know how much they have to pay in winnings no matter the outcome. They’re going to tweak the odds to draw bettors to one side of the line or the other to balance their liabilities.
Sportsbook may adjust odds before the game in response to real-world events. Rosters can change, hype can draw bettors to one side of the line. There are lots of little adjustments that need to be made leading up to a game.
But when the game starts, the odds change drastically. Think about the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers began as the underdogs and the Chiefs were the favorites. By halftime, the odds were completely reversed. The Buccaneers’ odds had even flipped to -500 from the mid +240s. So, if bettors placed bets on the Buccaneers before the game started, they would’ve had better rewards than someone who bet on the Buccaneers at halftime. That’s the key to live betting.
How To Use Live Betting’s Extreme Odds Changes
Live sports betting is as risky as any other type of sports betting. But since live betting results in extreme odds, bettors can leverage them in different ways. In the Super Bowl example, the underdog and favorites flipped at halftime. But any good football fan knows that the second half of the game can change completely.
In November 2019, the Broncos played the Vikings. The Broncos were listed as underdogs and the Vikings were listed as favorites. The first half of the game was great for Broncos fans. They were up 20-0 at halftime. At this point, the Broncos were favorites, and the Vikings were underdogs. The Vikings finally scored a touchdown in the third quarter, and the Broncos got another three points on the board. But in the final quarter, the Vikings scored 20 points. The final score was 27-23. The Vikings won.
If you’re a Vikings fan who bet on them to win while their odds were negative, you missed out on a lot of money. At halftime and likely during the third quarter, Vikings odds were positive and they were long. The rewards for a bettor who placed a bet on the Vikings after the game started were likely overwhelmingly higher than someone who bet on the Vikings late in the game or before the game began.
That’s what live betting can do for bettors. It can let them cash in on large odds changes and disproportionately long odds.
Why Live Sports Betting Is So Popular
Live betting is insanely profitable for sportsbooks. A J.P. Morgan team estimated that 75% of the U.K.’s internet sports betting revenue came from live betting. Bettors love it, and sportsbooks profit disproportionately from it. It’s interactive, and it keeps bettors involved with the game throughout the duration of the game. It’s not a one-and-done wager the week before the game starts. Bettors also have the chance to test their intuitions about how the game will go. At that point, the bragging rights are worth as much as any winnings bettors get out of live betting.
Live betting also makes it easy to dive in and start betting. If bettors aren’t predicting upsets, then they can see whether they can eke out some winnings on what appears to be a sure win. However, we’ve already seen how games can turn halfway through a match and even in its final stretch. During a live game, bettors are still betting on their predictions holding true.
Bettors also have to consider their
knowledge about the sport they’re betting on. I may see a clear winner in the back half of a table tennis game. But I don’t know enough about it to guess the chances of the loser making a winning comeback. Bettors need to keep that in mind when they open their sportsbooks to a list of Russian Table Tennis lines. (Remember when that was one of the only sports available?)
But any bettors who need to brush up on sports betting basics can check out our sports betting guides and Gambling 101 guides to make sure they’re equipped to take advantage of live betting’s drastic odds movements.