Live Bets – An Interactive Sports Thriller

Written By: Mike Lovatt
Last Updated: June 4, 2024

Live bets – otherwise known as in-play betting – are quickly becoming the go-to option for sports gamblers. If you think putting on a punt in the Premier League is exciting, in-play bets take it to another high-octane level. 

The definition of live betting is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of putting on the bet before the game (after some in-depth research, of course!), you take a punt once the referee has already blown the whistle. But there’s a little more to it than that. 

Live Bets - An Interactive Sports Thriller -
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Why Punters Love In-Play Betting 

An increasing number of punters are putting bets on live sports, whether it’s a cheeky fiver on a near-impossible in-play accumulator or going knee-deep and taking advantage of statistical anomalies in the upcoming Pro Kabaddi League game week. 

The main reason is that it provides another level of excitement when watching the big game. Instead of relying on the pre-game bet, players can adapt based on ever-changing odds on a second-to-second basis. 

It’s a super fast-paced affair. The pre-game bet is the calm before the storm, so to speak. Because once the ball starts rolling, it’s like watching Wall Street in the 1980s. 

In-play gambling also lets players stay involved even after the game has started. Who hasn’t put a bet on something that just doesn’t look likely to hit after just a few minutes of watching the action? Live betting allows you to place a bet based on what you’re seeing on the pitch (or court, depending on the sport). 

Watch the Game, Take Advantage 

The best thing about in-play betting is that it gives the fan bonus points, with actually watching the game giving you an expert advantage over the mathematical models setting the odds. 

Let’s look at the recent NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Portland Trail Blazers. At one point, the Bucks were down by 26 points in the third quarter. There’s no way they’re coming back, right? You know where this is going. With its star duo out in full force to close out the game and make the comeback, Lillard and Antetokounmpo led the way by combining for 32 points against the Blazers’ total of 21. 

It’s not as surprising as that huge 26-point lead would have you think. The Blazers are not very good. The Bucks? They have a former MVP and one of the best guards to ever play basketball. And in the NBA, double-digit leads happen often. 

The live bet odds would have been very spicy indeed, giving you a fantastic return on a Bucks comeback. If you’d watched the game, however, you would have seen that at one point Giannis and Dame just looked ‘on’. That’s when you place the bet. 

The Don’ts of In-Play Bets

There are some pitfalls to in-play betting. The main thing is that it plays with our emotions. When we watch games, we’re doing it as fans first and foremost, not analytical robots looking for a good bet. If our team goes down a goal or touchdown, the temptation is to put a bet on a comeback. 

And sometimes the eye test just doesn’t work very well. Just look at the recent game between Liverpool and Arsenal, where Arteta’s men dominated the game, yet lost. Putting money on the Gunners after Kiwior’s own goal would have been, well, an own goal.   

When you play in-game, keep your cool. Don’t listen to your emotions, just gamble based on what’s actually happening during the match. You won’t always win, but you’ll tilt the odds in your favour. 

Will AI ‘Take Over’ Live Betting? 

It’s already undoubtedly true that betting companies take advantage of some serious computational power to drive odds for betting both pre-game and live. But there’s still plenty of wiggle room for the experienced punter to get some great odds, if you know where to look. 

But we’re going to leave you with a bit of a warning: AI may make things a wee bit more difficult. And that’s not just on the betting company side, as analytics make it increasingly obvious to ‘see’ how a game is really going, even without having to go through the so-called eye test (i.e. actually watching the game). 
Combined with AI models, will the odds become ever more accurate? It’s possible, but we think that eagle-eyed gamblers who know their chosen sport inside and out can still take advantage of mathematically advantageous odds. Of course, it’s neither here nor there in some ways. Betting in play is just more fun no matter how you slice it, win or lose.

Mike Lovatt

Mike has over 14 years of experience with online sports betting, having used countless online betting sites. Mike previously provided football betting tips on goals and corners in Facebook groups before starting his own betting website. A huge football fan, Mike has been writing betting guides and football betting advice for years.

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