In-Play Picks

Why is In-Play Betting so Popular and What are the Advantages

One of the fastest-growing forms of sports betting is in-play betting. This type of wagering is specific to online sports gambling, allowing bettors to wager on sporting events after they have already started. There are a number of benefits to in-play betting that have made it as popular as it is, with these reasons being chief among them.

Using In-Game Perception

One of the main reasons people bet on sports is to have a rooting interest in a sporting event they plan to watch. While watching sports, fans can pick up on what is happening in a game. Whether they are seeing a problem with a football team’s offensive line or a basketball star not looking quite right on the court, in-play betting rewards bettors can pick up on these nuances during games.

Bettors who are able to pick up on subtle advantages on one side or another can often bet on in-play markets that have yet to take that discovery into account. If they get there early enough, and their perception is accurate, they can get favorable odds compared to what is available during the rest of the game.

Perception can also be used to buy out of a pre-game bet using in-game betting. If a bettor backs a team and isn’t impressed with their performance, they can use the in-play market to bet against them during the game. They may lose the juice or vig on the bet that loses, but this is a strategy that is used to mitigate losses by bettors on many occasions.

Finding Added Value

The goal of any sports bettor should be to find value in the markets that maximize their chances to win. In addition to rewarding perceptive sports viewers, in-play betting can offer added value compared to pre-game betting markets.

Let’s say, for example, that a team is a five-point underdog in an NBA game. They give up an 8-0 run in the first three minutes of the game, and the live betting line makes then an eight-point underdog. Given how common it is for NBA teams to recover from an eight-point deficit, it could be worth backing that underdog at their in-play price to get a better number than was available before the game.

Opportunities to Middle

In-play betting also offers bettors a chance to take part in what is known as middling. Middling is the act of placing two bets in the same market during a sporting event at different times. Those two bets are placed at lines so that one wager has to win, and there is a window in the spread and total for both to win if the final margin of victory or point total falls in the middle of the two.

Without in-play betting, the only opportunity to look for chances to middle would be when second-half lines came out during games. But with in-play betting, bets can be placed with the intention to middle at virtually any point in a sporting event. This makes things much more convenient for bettors who have a feel for when to use this strategy to their advantage.

How to Make an In-Play Bet at Popular Sportsbooks

In-play betting is one of the fastest-growing forms of sports gambling. And with popular legal sportsbooks offering live betting, it pays to know how to get a live bet in so as not to miss favorable live betting odds. 

This guide on how to place an in-play bet at sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet, William Hill, and BetRivers can help you get your live wagers in as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Step 1: Find a Place to Live Bet

Without a place to place in-play wagers, in-play wagering would be very difficult. Thus, the first thing a bettor must do is find a sportsbook where they can place live wagers. Any of the above sportsbooks offer live betting, with each of those sites offering most of the same action. 

Which of those sportsbooks are available to bettors can vary based on what state they are in. Bettors should familiarize themselves with which of the above books they can use and choose one.

Step 2: Find a Live Event to Bet on

Once a bettor has chosen their preferred sportsbook, it is time to find a live bet to place. To do this, bettors must go to the Live Betting or In-Play section of their sports betting site. They can find a list of all of the sporting events that are currently in progress and available for in-play wagering.

To make things easier on bettors, most sites have tabs where they can filter the events that are available for live betting by sport. That way, if they only want to bet in-play on basketball games, they can look at only basketball games without having to scroll through events in other sports. 

Step 3: Select a Bet to Place

Once a bettor chooses the event they want to wager on, they can look through the available betting markets for that event. What betting markets are listed depends on what sport is being played and how mainstream an event is being wagered on in that sport. The more high-profile a game, the more live betting markets are available in many cases.

When placing an in-play bet, bettors should stick with something they have knowledge of. While there are a large amount of in-play markets for most sporting events, betting on a niche market like corner kicks or whether the point total in an NBA game will be odd or even is not a move that leads to long-term profitability.

Step 4: Finalize Your Bet

Once a bettor has selected what they want to wager on, the final step is to enter the amount they want to risk and finalize their bet. Bettors are able to see on their screen the amount that they stand to win when they enter their risk amount. If those amounts are satisfactory to them, they can hit the Place Bet button to finalize their selection. Bettors might be asked to re-confirm their wager if the odds changed while they were entering their bet amount. But this process is quick and painless when betting in-play.

In Play Betting Risks

There is no doubt that in-play betting has become one of the most widely used forms of sports gambling. But that doesn’t mean that in-play betting is without its flaws. 

There are a few negatives to this type of wagering that bettors should keep in mind before they get too aggressive with their in-play action.

Chasing is Tempting

The biggest flaw to be found with in-play betting is that it can allow bettors to chase their pre-game bets. If a bettor wagers on a pre-game market and that bet looks dead in the water early in the game, bettors can place in-play wagers in an effort to offset what appears to be a loss on their original bet. 

This, of course, can open up the floodgates for additional losses if a bettor is not careful.

These additional losses can come in the form of “doubling down,” or the act of repeating the original bet at longer odds in-play. The second way this can backfire is through getting middled, where a bettor takes the opposite side at much shorter odds, with a comeback causing one or both of those bets to lose.

The best way to avoid either of these situations is not to chase what looks like a losing bet. In-play betting can be a positive experience when done well, but using it as nothing more than a second chance is dangerous behavior. As any serious sports bettor can tell you, it is much better for your bankroll to lose one wager than it is to lose two of them.

Pressure to Place a Bet

The other big negative to in-play betting is that bettors may be compelled to take worse odds just to get their bet finalized. Live betting odds can change from second to second in some sports, depending on what is happening in the game being wagered on. This means that bettors have to get a wager in quickly or risk the odds moving in a way that is not favorable to them.

Sometimes, a bettor will accept updated odds that are not favorable to them just because they have decided that they want to place a specific in-play wager. This is not the best way to wager in-play. Instead, bettors should either wait for an opportunity for them to get the odds that they wanted originally, or they should just avoid placing the bet altogether.

Accepting worse odds can drastically impact profitability, which should be the goal of any sports bettor.

Final Thoughts

It should be noted that in-play betting has a lot of positive aspects to it as well. Bettors who do it well can get better odds than they would in the pre-game markets if they are patient and able to track the odds throughout a game. 

But the major mistakes that some bettors make when in-play betting are the kind of mistakes that can turn a winning bettor into a losing bettor, and they are mistakes worth learning about to avoid replicating them in the future.

Which Sportsbooks Offer Live In-Play Betting?

Live betting used to be something that only a few online sportsbooks offered players. Today, more and more sportsbooks offer live and in-play wagering on sporting events ranging from high-profile to obscure. Here, we will discuss which online sportsbooks offer live betting and how to start betting on sporting events while they are in progress.

All Major Sportsbooks

The fact of the matter is that all major online sports betting brands offer live wagering in some form or another. This used to be reserved for just the most sophisticated betting sites, but online sports gambling has evolved to the point that a sportsbook would struggle to survive without it. Here is a list of just some of the online sportsbooks that offer live betting:

  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • William Hill

Sports betting education has become sophisticated enough to where bettors know that they can often get better lines by betting in-play. Without that as an option, bettors would simply skip over those sportsbooks and go to those that offered live wagering instead. This is something all sportsbooks have had to adapt to or risk falling behind in their respective markets.

How to Find Live Betting

Finding the live betting section of an online sportsbook is typically easy to do. In fact, many sportsbooks allow bettors to see what events are available for live wagering right from their home screen. But to access the complete live betting section of an online sportsbook, bettors simply need to select the Live or In-Play tab from the menu at their preferred sports betting site.

This is often located in one of two places. Bettors can usually find the live betting tab among a list of shortcuts at the top of their screen. Alternatively, bettors can find this option among the list of sports that are listed in a menu on the side of the screen.

Making sure that live bets are easy to find should be something bettors do before they sign up for any sportsbook. The user experience is a crucial part of sports betting, and a key part of that experience is bettors being able to find what they need to access. If a bettor is often involved in live betting, being able to access the live betting section of a site quickly is vital.

How to Bet In-Play

Once a bettor has found the live betting section of their chosen sportsbook, they can place their in-play bets. This essentially works the same way that it does in pre-game betting. Bettors choose the bet that they want to make, select the amount they want to put on that wager, and finalize their bet.

The most important thing for bettors to remember about live betting is that the odds are updated constantly to reflect what has already happened in each game and what is expected to happen going forward. Bettors have to act quickly and decisively with that information in mind. But bettors must also avoid rushing themselves, which can lead to decisions that are not made with complete clarity.

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