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Live NFL Betting: The “How To” Guide

While most NFL bettors will get their bets in prior to a game starting, online sportsbooks now offer the option to jump in on the action while the game is being played.

Live betting is when you place a wager on a game after it has already started and the type of bets (moneylines, spreads, totals, props, etc.) that would be available depends on how much time has elapsed in the game and the sportsbook you wager with.


Most sportsbooks offer an “In-Play” option which would show the bettor how much time is remaining in the game and what the current score is. Bettors would select that game and see what lines/props are available to wager on with varying odds.

For example, at the beginning of each drive, live bettors can bet on drive results such as how long the upcoming drive will be or whether it will end with a field goal, touchdown or turnover. As the drive is progressing, bettors are also offered the option to bet on what the next play will be (for example, a run, a completed pass, an incomplete pass or an interception).

Odds on the game also change as the game progresses. A team that opens as a 7-point favorite might fall to -4.0 or -3.0 after falling into a 7-0 deficit early. Bettors with a good eye for teams that seem primed for a comeback or sense an upset could be in the making can take advantage of their instincts with live wagering and pad their bankroll.


The sky is the limit when it comes to strategy for live betting on National Football League games. Bettors can use their knowledge of football and logic to determine what play an offensive coordinator is likely to draw up on his next play, and then profit from that knowledge if they turn out to be correct.

Similarly, bettors can also use their knowledge of how specific coaches and teams handle exact situations. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton loves to go for it on fourth down. His aggressive play-calling and Drew Brees’ effectiveness at quarterback could provide betting value for those who know these tendencies in a live betting situation.

The key to being a successful live bettor is bankroll management. Set aside an amount for each game that makes sense within your bankroll and break that amount down into betting units. Good bankroll management will help you to avoid disaster when some bizarre trick play or bad bounce goes against you on Sunday.