What is Live Betting? The Basics of a New Trend in Sports Betting

Live betting - also known as “in-game betting”, is a new trend in the States that has grown in popularity over the past few years. But can this new trend break a profit? 

Live betting - also known as “in-game betting”, is a new trend in the States that has grown in popularity over the past few years. It allows you to place sports wagers on real-time events that are currently happening as they unfold. 

Live betting can be done through several different channels, but the idea is the same. Operators will let bettors place wagers on games that are being played at that moment.

This growing trend lets users check live scores, track game statistics, and place bets on sports anytime and anywhere. This article will explain live betting, how it works, and some of the top online sportsbooks for doing it today.

What is Live Betting? 

Live betting is available for most major sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and soccer. It allows bettors to place bets on sports wagers before the staked event in question occurs. 

Live betting has exploded in popularity due to the rapid expansion of online sports betting. Since PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was repealed, operators have been looking to expand their offering to new users, and live betting has been a key element of this. 

Why Is Live Betting Growing in Popularity?

Sportsbooks that invest heavily in their service are more likely to offer compelling odds and attractive bonuses. Considering an estimated 47 million Americans would place a bet on an NFL game this season, it’s no surprise that the offering constantly evolves to provide the best value.

Bettors can now participate in live betting more easily than in the past. This is partly due to mobile apps allowing people to place their bets on sporting events while participating. These technological advancements mean you’re never more than a couple of clicks away from the action! 

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What Types of Live Bets are Avaliable? 

Live betting is available on a wide range of sports, meaning there are hundreds of possibilities for live betting. It’s worth getting familiar with the offering from each sportsbook to understand the full extent of options available. Here are some of the key types of live bets. 


Moneyline bets are quite basic as you just back a winner for the match, although bear in mind that the teams with negative odds are the favorites, and you’ll cash in more if you back an underdog (everyone loves an underdog...).

It’s important to remember that whilst the underdog will have better odds and lead to larger winnings. They’re placed as the underdog for a reason. It’s worth being up to date with the latest trends and stats so you can be confident going into your bets. 


Spread betting is a way to even up the odds, as the NFL has several franchises that dominate the sport and usually come up trumps against the minnows. 

So the favorite is listed with a projected winning margin, and if you stake on them and they win by more than this, you cash in your bet.


Betting on the total is wagering on the combined points, runs, goals, etc. This can be done by backing the over/under based on whether you think they’ll exceed or fall short of this figure. 

You’ll find value quickly when betting in-game if a favorite goes behind. Typically they’ll have the data to prove they can do it.

Play Props

Prop bets are on individual factors/players and the numbers they post in a match so that you can make predictions based on statistical evidence from previous games. 

For example, you could stake on a certain number of touchdowns, a quarterback’s passing yards, or bet on a certain running back to score.

How are Live Odds Calculated? 

Live odds are based on many factors that influence the probability of an event occurring. These factors include: 

  • Current performance of a given team 
  • Current scoreline 
  • In-game events 
  • External factors such as the weather

These odds will be calculated by a supercomputer which is fed endless amounts of data. If an NFL team scores consecutive touchdowns, lines will be impacted in various markets, looking at the scoreline, spread, and totals. 

Whilst this could reduce the payouts for certain bets, bettors are in a great position to move forward since you’ll have additional data on which to base your decisions - Remember, data is king when it comes to sports betting!

The Drawbacks of Live Betting

There are several drawbacks to placing bets on sporting events that should be considered: 

  • Live betting can put a dent in your bankroll. Bettors may place large bets on particular events without considering all the data
  • Live betting can be very volatile. In addition to the unpredictable nature of sporting events themselves, the market’s reaction to a bet’s outcome can be just as unpredictable. This can lead to misconceptions and a negative reaction. 
  • Live betting is not as popular among sports bettors as it should be. While many Americans are interested in placing bets on sporting events via live betting, relatively few actually do so 
  • Emotion can be a costly factor. Live betting allows fans to bet in the moment. There’s no shame in admitting that we can get carried away when watching our favorite team; this shouldn’t impact your betting decisions

Live Betting Strategies

Live betting can be extremely profitable, but bettors must know their chances of winning and the betting market’s current odds. This is no easy task, but with a few strategies, it is possible for any gambler to make sizeable live betting profits: 

  • Make sure to back events that have a high probability of occurring. Sportsbooks count on you getting caught up in the dream of a large payout 
  • Check which sportsbooks offer the best odds on any given event. You’ll be surprised at the differences between operators. With live markets, the odds can change quickly
  • Spreading the risk across multiple events and with smaller bets is a safe way to ensure you do not burn through your bankroll quickly 
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest figures and stats. To take this to the next level, watching the games yourself may mean you spot a factor that the sportsbooks may miss, such as player positioning or a change in tactics 
  • Stay disciplined. It’s easy to get carried away when placing large bets on sporting events. 

Where to Find Live Betting Markets

Live betting markets are typically provided by most US sportsbooks within the United States. These sportsbooks offer a variety of markets for bettors to choose from, including those on upcoming sporting events.

Click the links to be taken to the chosen sportsbook and to claim their current offer. 

Bottom Line

Live betting is a new trend in sports gambling that allows people to place bets on sporting events as they happen. 

Live betting typically takes place via online sportsbooks and mobile apps. Live betting can be a profitable endeavor, but it requires bettors to be both aware of their chances of winning and the betting market’s current odds. Any gambler can make sizable profits from live betting with our in-depth strategy. 

To compare the best odds among sportsbooks, head over to our odds comparison tool - The Index.