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Guide to Live Sports Betting

Jon Young for Bookies.com

Jon Young  | 10 mins

Guide to Live Sports Betting

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Live betting allows a sports bettor to place wagers as the game is in full swing. Follow the big NFL game and place bets on who will score the next touchdown. You can even track the latest statistics as they populate in real time.

Live sports betting is legal in US states where online sportsbooks are regulated. Enjoy in-game betting on your PC or mobile device and find the best odds with our list of top-rated sports betting sites.

What is Live Sports Betting?

Live betting has been available in the US pretty much since the first online sportsbook appeared. And with sports betting now legal in more states, there has never been a better time to take advantage.

Live wagering betting markets are active on games as they happen. The sports betting site changes the odds as the situation of the game changes, and it is usually done by algorithms. For instance, in NFL betting, if a team is getting closer to their opponent’s end zone, the online sportsbook will change the odds of a touchdown being scored.

With in-game betting, you can place a sports bet and win real money before the game has finished. You can even follow the action via live stream or on your television.

What are the Benefits of Live Betting?

In-game betting has revolutionized the way online sportsbooks work, making it among the most popular betting options. You can use your expertise to get an edge over the bookmaker. Plus, the live betting odds change in real time, giving you a chance to win money before the game has ended.

  • Find value in the market as the odds change
  • Win money in real time before the game ends
  • Make judgment calls by watching the game via stream
  • Earn unique bonuses like free live bets

The Drawbacks of Live Betting

Live betting is now available in many regulated US states. Make real-time wagers from your PC or phone as the game is happening. You can bet on an adjusted in-game point spread or moneyline, or on myriad prop bets.

But live sports betting has a few pitfalls. Not all sports are available, and not every game will have a live stream or game tracker offering stats and odds. Plus, some Android sportsbook apps won’t list every in-game market compared to the sportsbook’s desktop version.

Other issues:

  • Some live sports betting apps are not available in all states
  • Real-time odds can be stingy compared to outright odds

CHECK OUT: Our Complete Guide to the Best Sports Betting Apps

Which Sports & Events Allow Live Betting?

Live betting is allowed on a range of sports where real-time statistics are available. You’ll find a full list of events in the live schedule tab. Simply click on a game to bring up the full statistics and game tracker. Some games even provide live streams.

The top live betting sites provide in-game betting on major sports like:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • MMA

In some states, you won’t be able to gamble live on college sports taking place in your home state.

Reading Live Odds Online

Live sports betting is simple, even if you don’t have a lot of experience using sportsbooks. Here’s an example of how live betting works for a Grand Slam tennis match.

Serena Williams is taking on Simone Halep in the US Open. An online bookmaker has set up an in-game market offering dozens of possible bets.

The moneyline begins at -110 for Williams and +110 for Halep. However, Halep races into a one-set lead and the live betting odds change in real time to -110 for Halep and +110 for Williams.

In addition, you can place “fast market” bets on the next point winner or winner of the next game. And if you don’t have a live stream or TV broadcast available, you can follow the action on a match tracker.

Match trackers display the game in graphic form. You can track serves, double faults and points, or study in-game stats like 1st Serve Points Won %. These live stats give you the in-depth analysis needed to place your next bet.

It’s important to understand that live betting odds change in real time. So, what if you’ve placed a bet and the odds change?

When you select an outcome – for example, the next point winner – it will be added to your bet slip. If the odds change for any reason, the selection will flash in your bet slip. This is to let you know that the circumstances of the game have changed.

Some markets will be closed or suspended – for instance, if the point winner has been resolved. In some cases, there will be a delay in your bet being placed. This is to give the bookmaker a chance to resolve any lag, or latency, in their own live stream.

How are Live Odds Calculated?

Live betting odds change in real time to reflect the changing nature of the game. If a favorite is on top and leading by a big margin, the odds will lower to reflect the situation.

But how are odds calculated? Live betting sites use odds compilers, who are like traders, changing the prices depending on the score and real-time stats.

Many online sportsbooks use computer algorithms to do the hard work for them. If a soccer team has racked up 20 shots on goal, the prices will come down on markets like next team to score, team to win and next goal scorer.

Live Betting Strategies to Consider

Live sports betting is a great way for a sports bettor to place new wagers as a sporting event goes on. But you can improve your long-term profits by employing a little live betting strategy.

Place a pregame wager first: Live betting is great when used in conjunction with a pregame wager. A live wager can even act as insurance if you’ve made a smart pregame bet.

For example, perhaps you’ve backed the Steelers to win pregame and got odds-on. If the game is swinging toward the Browns during the game, you can trade off your pregame bet by backing Cleveland.

Get an accurate live stream: Live sports betting is all about having the most information possible. If you have a fast and accurate live stream of the game, you can make more informed judgments and place smarter bets. Get a fast stream and take advantage of a bookie with slow updates.

Open multiple live betting sportsbook accounts: Not every US sportsbook offers the same live betting odds. There may be big differences in each market, so try to open accounts with several legal sportsbooks. This way you can find value on a range of markets.

Make use of the statistics: The best online sportsbooks in the US use statistics services like BetRadar. You can read up on previous form and player head-to-heads. Get used to these sites as they often have a mountain of good information.

Claim a free live bet: Many US sportsbooks entice players with a free live bet. It might be as small as $5, but these free bets are a great way of trying out the system.

What Bets Can I Make During a Live Game?

Live betting is now available on a range of different sports. You can place dozens of in-game bets on NFL games or follow a Grand Slam tennis match and bet on the scorer of the next point.

Here are some of the more popular markets for major US sports:


You can place hundreds of bets on NFL and college football odds. Back the outright winner of the game or bet on total points. You can even back player props such as who will score the next touchdown.

  • Moneyline
  • Total points
  • Point spread
  • Player props


You can enjoy live betting on many NBA and college basketball games. Bet traditional markets like point spread and moneyline, or predict how many points will be scored that quarter or half.

  • Point spread
  • Total points
  • Moneyline
  • 1st Quarter/1st Half point spread
  • 1st Quarter/1st Half total points
  • Race to 10/15 points


At the biggest sportsbooks, you can get the best live odds on the weekend’s MLB betting markets. Bet on games throughout the season, or bet live during the World Series as it happens. Most in-game markets for baseball let you bet on total runs, pitches or strikeouts for each half-inning or inning. You can even bet in-game on prop bets like individual players’ run scores or strikeouts.

  • Total runs
  • Total hits
  • Total home runs
  • Total strikeouts
  • Total pitches
  • Winning margin


Hockey is a great sport for live betting. The action is fast and furious. Most sportsbooks offer full live betting on the NHL, but you can also find in-game markets on European games taking place that day.

  • Moneyline
  • Puck line
  • Total goals
  • Final score
  • Handicap
  • Period winner
  • Period goals


Tennis is one of the most popular markets for in-game, live betting. Bet on popular tennis betting markets like the Grand Slam or lesser-known ATP matches.

The beauty of in-play tennis betting is that you can back lots of fast markets. Place a bet in seconds on the next ace being served, or the next point winner.

  • Moneyline/match winner
  • Set winner
  • Next point winner
  • Exact set score


Soccer matches often offer a huge range of in-game betting. Find live soccer betting odds on MLS games, or follow the match tracker on the big Saturday showdown in the English Premier League. Back the winner of the match (1X2) or bet on how many corners.

  • Home/Away/Draw (1X2)
  • Total goals
  • Total corners
  • Last team to score
  • Yellow/red cards

Parlays and Systems: You can also combine multiple selections in a single parlay. A parlay is a combo bet where the odds of each outcome are multiplied together. You can also back your selections in different combinations, called Round Robins.

Always watch out for any odds changes and check the bet slip to see if one of your parlay legs has been resolved.

Using a Match Tracker: Most sportsbooks use a match tracker to display the game. The game will be presented via a graphic visualizer showing the time, score, areas of possession, major attacks, etc. This is a great alternative to use if you don’t have access to a live stream.

Live Schedule: Good online sportsbooks will have a full live game schedule in their lobby. This is a timetable of all upcoming matches and games with live betting available. You can even save selected games to your own personal timetable.

Is Live Betting Available on Mobile Devices?

You can also use your mobile phone to place in-game bets. You’ll need to download an app, either from the App Store (iOS) or direct from the sportsbook (Android).

Make sure you have the correct operating system and a version that works with the software. Some sportsbooks will let you watch live sports on your phone if you have made a deposit within the past day or so.

You’ll find games with a live stream in the lobby where a video icon is present. There’s no need to download any streams, either; just load the video content in your app or mobile browser.

With your mobile app you can make deposits, upload documents or place bets in person at a retail sportsbook. You can also tap the statistics icon and bring up live information like form, league tables and head-to-heads.

Where Can I Make Live Bets?

Live sports wagering is one of the most exciting betting options at legal US sportsbooks. A bettor can place bets in real time and follow the action on TV or online. You can close out a bet long before a game has finished, then use your profits to make another bet.

At Bookies.com, we have the very best online sportsbooks for live betting. Sign up today and claim free bets or a deposit match bonus. Then choose your favorite in-game sports and beat the bookmakers.

About the Author

Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with more than a decade of experience in the gambling sector, writing on everything from poker and slots to mobile gambling and banking.

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