Betting on football involves picking a game, assessing both teams and predicting how it’s going to turn out. Punters rely on their ability to determine what’s likely to happen in the future, but this is never easy given how unpredictable football can be. Games can turn out completely different from what one might expect. Even the experts often get it wrong!
One option to explore if you want to make more accurate predictions is live football betting. This Sambafoot guide is designed to improve your knowledge and help you to earn more profits.
What is Live Football Betting?
Historically, the only time you could bet on a football game was before it started. Once the action was underway, that was the end of betting for that match. Then, sportsbooks realised they could make betting more exciting by introducing live betting. This new system allowed punters to place additional bets during the game.
Also known as ‘in-play betting’ or ‘in-running betting,’ live betting is placing a bet on a football match after it has started. It eliminates the need to revisit the stats and puts punters at the heart of the action, thereby giving them the ability to change their live football bet or place a new one during the event.
Sometimes, the wagers are offered after periods or quarters, but punters can also place them after every single play or drive in some matches. In a nutshell, you can place bets at any point during the game.
The number and frequency of betting types depend on the sportsbook’s technological capabilities. Some have few or no options for football live betting, as they have yet to incorporate the technology needed to keep up with the action.
Types of Live Bets
With so many games televised these days, it’s an exciting time to be a football fan. There’s barely a week that goes by without top action to enjoy, from the English Premier League to the elite Champions League. This section offers a quick breakdown of the main types of live football bets currently available.
This is the most popular betting type. It’s comprised of specific game events (e.g. the next team to score and halftime/full-time betting).
Another way to place live bets in soccer is to wager on players themselves (e.g. the next goalscorer or the next player to be sent off). Unlike in-game events, player-specific markets are typically only offered during major televised matches.
Punters can wager on a particular team-related outcome (e.g. which team will get the most corners, throw-ins, etc.).
Tips for Live Football Bets
Live football betting can be profitable, but it is also challenging to win consistently. It might also take you some time to see results.
To help you get started, here are a few important tips for live football betting.
Watch the Matches
The #1 tip to take full advantage of live football betting is to watch the football matches you wager on. This does not mean you should only bet in-running if you’re watching the match—there will be times when you spot good opportunities that don’t require you to do so. Even so, we highly recommend that most of your live-action betting be on games you’re watching. The extra information you gather here can help you make better betting decisions.
Analyse Games in Advance
Watching games allows you to make better betting decisions, but that’s not always enough. You should also study games before live betting. Analyse all the relevant factors just like you do before placing pre-match wagers to know the teams and players involved. The more you know about the circumstances surrounding a game, the better your chances will be of interpreting the game once it starts.
Formulate likely outcomes before the game starts, and then adjust your predictions during the match. Studying a game will put you in a strong position to make better decisions.
Assess Individual Performances
You can tell a lot about the outcome of a match by paying close attention to the individual players and assessing their performance. It’s obvious that everyone will pay attention to the key players but you must also keep in mind that every player can influence the outcome.
Educating yourself on as many players as possible will help you spot the underperforming ones, which will help you predict their performance. If they are poor at defence, then the opposition may score more points. If they have poor offensive skills, then they may end up scoring less.
Of course, their performance may not turn out as you expect, but that’s what you’ve got to try to gauge during the match. You can also apply this principle to any players who you think are performing above their usual standard and how this might affect the game.
An essential part of live football betting is being patient with your predictions. Some teams and players take time before finding their way, while others start strong then fade. Avoid judgment in the early stages of the game. A player who makes a mistake at the start may not perform terribly for the rest of the game. In the same vein, just because a team is sharp in the early plays does not mean they will be able to follow through.
Know the Coaches
A mistake that many football bettors make is considering everything but the coaches. The focus is usually on the players. While this is understandable, punters can make even better predictions by thinking about the coaches and their impact on the game.
Before making a prediction, ask yourself these questions:
- How will a coach behave if the team takes a big lead early in a match?
- How is a coach likely to run offence if they take a slight lead in the last quarter of the game?
- Will the coach run offence after a poor first half and look for vital points?
Answers to questions like these could help you decide which bets to make and when.
Watch for Injuries
Another vital aspect to consider is injuries. Punters must assess just how big of an impact they will be, especially if a key player gets injured. Can they be replaced with an alternative?
Strategies for Live Football Betting
While the tips we shared above will help you get ahead in football in-play, the following three strategies are a good starting point if you’re looking to win big with live betting.
Back Losing Home Teams
This strategy works best when the home team is strong and therefore has a higher chance of winning a home match. Top football teams are less likely to lose at home, but most punters will still ignore this fact and bet against the team that’s likely to lose. As a result, the odds on the unfavoured team can increase to a point when it’s worth backing them.
Betting the Under on High-Scoring Teams
Going for fewer goals in a high-scoring game is an effective way to win. However, you need to be cautious about the timing as this can be hard to judge. Only consider this strategy when you are confident that you’ve picked the right moment.
The idea behind this strategy is that the public will bet the ‘over’ in the game, which will push the odds to a point in which there’s considerable value in backing the ‘under.’ Still, avoid placing the bet too early, as the line needs to move high enough toward the necessary value. Even so, the opportunity might pass if you wait a little too long and others take the value first, thereby causing the line to come back down.
Betting Against Popular Winning Teams
Most recreational bettors are likely to back the favourite team once they’ve established an early lead, which can result in some big point spreads. This opens up opportunities to bet against the public. Like the previous strategy, timing is crucial to find the value.
The favourite team might decide to back off a little once they think they’ve won the game. Additionally, this strategy doesn’t rely on other bettors’ actions. If a team has established the lead, then the bookmakers will typically overcompensate on the spread, regardless of where the money is going. The favoured team could slow down, which is the right time to back the opponent on the spread.
Pros and Cons of Live Betting
Betting on live football comes with its positives and negatives. Before embarking on this potentially profitable strategy, it’s important that you weigh your options.
You can watch the action for a couple of minutes before deciding when to place the right bet.
It’s easier to find value in an in-play bet. For instance, a favourite with odds of 1.4 could be found at 1.80 at halftime. But in theory, it has the same probability of winning the tie.
Covering Pre-Match Bets
The cash-out offered during live betting is another weapon to use to play it safe. If you’ve placed a risky live football bet on the underdog, and it takes the lead, then you can close the bet early and earn massive profits.
The most important advantage is the rivalry between online bookmakers. The algorithms used to adjust the odds tend to differ from one bookie to another. Take advantage by comparing various companies and choosing the highest odds available to win big.
Often, live football betting feels like being chased. It’s hard to calculate the profits and losses or even focus on a new strategy, and if you panic, then you might end up making the wrong decisions.
Same Match Persistence
A common mistake among bettors is loading the same match with too many bets, especially when they lose one. Avoid letting your ego guide you and focus on other matches—or even skip betting altogether.
Live football betting is an exciting way to make profits and have fun, all thanks to the incredible technological advancements in betting. Keep in mind that you must apply utmost discretion when using some of the strategies we shared in this guide. Avoid blindly backing teams and using emotions to choose your bets. The purpose of these strategies is to help you identify good-value wagers.
Live Football Betting FAQs
How does live football betting work?
Also referred to as in-play betting, live football betting entails betting on a game that has already started. The odds keep changing (sometimes within seconds) depending on how the game plays out.
Where can I watch football livestreaming for free?
Most bookies offer free football livestreaming if you have a customer account. Other sites will require you to place a live football bet on the event you want to stream before you are allowed to watch it.
Can you bet while watching a football livestreaming event?
Betting in-running while watching an event is easy. All punters need to do is pick the correct market and lay down their stake before the price changes.
Which bookmakers offer live betting in the UK?
Some of our top recommendations are Paddy Power, Bwin, BetVictor, Betfred, MansionBet, William Hill and Marathonbet.