Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

How Does Live Betting Work: A Guide to In-Play Betting

Live sports betting

Live betting lets you bet while the game is unfolding. Especially popular with NFL bettors, in-play wagering gives you the chance to take advantage of live odds while you’re watching everything from the Super Bowl to a regular season Sunday afternoon football game. Sportsbooks release new point spreads, moneylines, props, and totals before each period, quarter, half, inning etc. If there’s a scheduled break during play (other than commercial breaks), you’ll see live odds.

How to Read Live Odds

At your sportsbook of choice you’d see a spread laid out like this before kickoff:

  • Chiefs -1.5
  • 49ers +1.5

Before the game, the Chiefs would need to win by two points to cover the spread while the 49ers would need to lose by one to cover. However, after five minutes of play, the Chiefs have scored a touchdown and the 49ers have done absolutely nothing

At this point, the live point spread might look like this:

  • Chiefs -9
  • 49ers +9

Online bookmakers see that a team is leading and will alter the spread to reflect that. When the fave gets down early in the first quarter, the line will shrink in favor of the underdog. Sometimes a favorite could even turn into a dog in live betting situations depending on the opening line.

Other live odds opportunities are totals that are adjusted within the game depending on the amount of scoring. If there is little to no scoring in the first and second quarter, a total that closed at 43 before the game might be offered later at 31 since a lower score is now projected.

One of the more profitable live betting spots is the moneyline. If a team goes down big, you might be able to get them at good odds to complete a comeback. A good example of this strategy working was at Super Bowl 51 when the Patriots went down 28-3 against the Falcons only to come back and win the game in overtime. New England was being offered at better than +1000 (10/1) on the live moneyline at sportsbooks just after Atlanta went up 28-3 and many opportunistic bettors cashed in big.

Super Bowl Live Betting

The SB is not only a great game to watch, it’s a live betting extravaganza. In-play betting on the Super Bowl is like being a kid in a candy store without parental supervision. You want extra jujubes? Go for it. You want to fill an entire jar with chocolate covered marshmallows? You got it. You want to bet live on whether or not the Saints are going to go marching into the end zone? Do it.

The NFL’s biggest game gives you more live betting odds than you can shake a stick at – or more aptly, shake a pom-pom at since it’s pro football and there are cheerleaders on the sidelines. Pro football excels in live betting with props galore. You can bet on things like the first team to score in the third quarter and whether player X will rush for a certain number of yards.


Live Betting Tips
  • Unlike regular betting odds that remain somewhat the same (minus line movements), in-play odds go fast. If you see action you like, take it before it disappears. There is a limited window for live odds and you have to jump on lines quickly because they don’t last long.
  • If your pre-game bets aren’t hitting, live wagering gives you the chance to middle or hedge your bets. This is essentially a way to recoup your losses and break even.
  • If you can predict a player’s momentum, especially in baseball, you can see success with live betting. On the diamond, timing is everything (even though the game takes ages to progress). While sportsbooks have the help of computer algorithms working for them when they set live lines, they don’t take the human element into consideration. By watching the action closely and seeing which players are getting hot and which ones are cooling down, you can gain an edge and possibly beat the book.
  • Super Bowl live lines can help you hedge your bets. If one of the wagers you made prior to the game is a bust, you can recoup your losses by taking live odds. 

Live betting allows you to capitalize on odds that you normally wouldn’t consider. If you’re looking for a way to have even more fun while watching sports, consider wagering on live odds. Who knows, you could find yourself on the winning end of some very smart bets.