Live Football Betting Strategies
Betting on football involves making predictions. We pick a game, assess the two teams and try our best to predict how it’s going to turn out. There’s a lot more to football betting than just that of course, but that’s the general idea. We ultimately have to rely on our ability to determine what’s going to happen in the future. Or, more accurately, what’s LIKELY to happen in the future.
Unfortunately, doing this consistently is NOT easy, simply because football is not a predictable sport. Expect the unexpected, because games often turn out completely different than one might expect. This is a big part of what makes football so exciting to watch, but it sure doesn’t help us when it comes to betting on the sport.
Even the most knowledgeable football experts in the world can’t correctly call what’s going to happen in every single game of football. So what chance is there for the rest of us? It doesn’t matter how much research we do, or how many stats we analyze, we’re still going to get it wrong some of the time.
Does this mean you should give up on football betting entirely? Of course not! You can just bet for fun if you want, and not worry too much about whether you win or lose. Lots of people bet this way, and really enjoy themselves. But there’s another option too. By putting in the necessary time and effort, learning as much about football as you possibly can, and exploring every avenue that can help you make accurate predictions, you can honestly have a real shot at making some money.
If you go with the second option, there’s one particular avenue you should definitely explore further: live football betting. This is one of the very best ways to bet on football in our opinion, not least because it can greatly improve your chances of making accurate predictions on a regular basis. There are other advantages to live football betting too, which we discuss below.
There are also some helpful tips betting on football in-play in this article, and some effective strategies that we recommend trying. Please note that if you’re not familiar with this form of betting at all, please refer to our article on in-play sports betting for more information on how it all works.
The Advantages of Live Football Betting
We briefly touched on one of the main advantages of live football betting in the introduction to this article, when we explained that it can improve your chances of making accurate predictions. This is obviously a good thing, but HOW exactly does betting during a game make it any easier to predict outcomes? After all, there’s still plenty of opportunities for the unexpected to happen. The answer is simple.
There’s a lot to consider when betting on football. All kinds of information needs to be taken into account when making decisions about what to bet on and when. And your success, or otherwise, will ultimately come down to your ability to analyze and interpret the information that’s available to you. If you can do this well, then you are well on your way to making a profit. Your chances of this happening are even greater when useful information is at your disposal.
Useful information is exactly what you get with live betting. Arguably the most useful information of all, in fact. You get to see exactly what’s happening on the field before making your decisions, and that’s invaluable. When combined with your existing knowledge about the relevant teams and players, and the sport itself, it simply makes things easier. You can make far more informed judgments about what’s likely to happen in a game when you’ve already seen some of the action. Yes, there will still be unexpected outcomes. But, overall, you should be able make more accurate predictions with the additional information you have to work with.
This is reason enough to bet in-play in our opinion. There are even more advantages to consider too though. These are as follows.
- It’s a lot of fun
- Wide range of betting options
- Softer odds and lines (sometimes)
Watching football is almost always fun. Betting on football can be a lot of fun too. Put the two together and boom: an explosion of entertainment. Honestly, there’s very little we enjoy more than watching a game and throwing some money down on various different outcomes. It just makes a game SO much more exciting.
We take our betting very seriously, and fun is rarely our priority. When it comes to live betting, though, we make an exception. We’ll regularly pick a game to watch together and bet just for fun, and we really enjoy these games. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. It’s just about the entertainment. This is why we believe live betting is a great option for everyone: recreational bettors and serious bettors alike. There’s money to be made AND there’s fun to be had. What more could we ask for?
Well, the wide range of betting options helps too. There are tons of different live wagers we can place on a game of football, and this is another notable advantage. With more opportunities to bet, there are also more opportunities for making money. We have to find the right opportunities of course, and that’s the hard part. These right opportunities DO exist, however.
The final advantage to mention here doesn’t always apply. Quite often, though, the odds and lines will be softer than usual when live betting. The reason for this is simply the time that’s available. The guys setting the live odds and lines have to react to everything they’re seeing on the field. They have to make quick decisions, and don’t always have time to consider everything that they’d like to.
Now, the lines aren’t soft enough that beating them becomes easy. They can be soft enough to give you a better chance of finding value though. When you take this into account along with the all the other advantages, it’s really not hard to see just why we believe live football betting is such a great way to bet.
So if you haven’t tried it yet, we suggest you give it a go. Just be sure to follow the advice that follows in the rest of article.
Ten Top Tips for Live Football Betting
There’s no doubt at all that live football betting can be profitable. Don’t expect it to be easy though. It’s easier than traditional betting in many respects, but it’s still challenging to win money with any consistency. You’re going to have to work at it, and it might take some time until you start seeing the desired results. The following tips will help though, that’s for sure.
- Watch the games
- Study games in advance
- Assess individual performances
- Don’t judge too early
- Know the coaches
- Pay attention to adjustments
- Look out for injuries
- Go for quality over quantity
- Remember to bet for value
- Factor in public opinion
Watch the games
There’s a good reason why this is our first tip. In our opinion, it’s the single most important thing you need to do if you’re going to take full advantage of live football betting.
Please note that we’re not saying that you should ONLY bet in-play if you’re watching the game. There will be occasions when you can spot good opportunities for getting some money down even if you’re not. We strongly suggest making sure that the majority of your live action betting be on games that you’re actually watching though.
We’ve already mentioned this, so we won’t go in depth again. Just remember that the information you can get from watching a game is VERY valuable. It’s the one thing that can really help you gain an edge over the bookmakers. If you watch the games closely enough, you’ll be in a very strong position to make good betting decisions.
Study games in advance
As valuable as the information you get from watching games is, it’s of limited use by itself. You should still be studying games in advance when live betting, and analyzing all the relevant factors that you normally would if placing wagers beforehand. The more you know about the teams and players involved, and the circumstances surrounding a game, the better your chances of interpreting what’s happening on the field once the action starts.
Try to make some initial predictions about how you think a game is likely to play out before a game starts. Then you can adjust those predictions based on what you see subsequently.
Assess individual perfomances
You can tell a lot about how a game is likely to play out by paying close attention to the individual players and trying to assess their performances. Obviously the key players should get the most attention, but each and every player can influence the outcome of the game. You should try to form an opinion on as many as players as you can.
If you spot any players who are performing below their usual standard, think about the kind of impact this could have on the overall team performance. If they’re vital to the offense, a poor performance for the whole game could mean their team will struggle to score as many points as expected. If they’re vital to the defense, a poor performance could mean their opposition is going to score more points than expected. Their performance may not have much impact at all of course, but that’s what you’ve got to try to gauge.
A similar principle applies if you spot any players that are performing ABOVE their usual standard. You should also think about how that might affect your initial expectations for a game.
Don’t judge too early
You shouldn’t jump to conclusions too early on in a game. Some teams and players start slowly before finding their way. Some teams and players start quickly and then fade. So you can’t necessarily read too much into what happens in the very early stages of a game. Just because a player makes a bad mistake, it doesn’t mean he’s going to put in a terrible performance for the rest of the game. And just because a team makes all the right early plays, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be faultless throughout the whole game.
Know the coaches
Coaches don’t get anywhere near enough attention from football bettors. The focus is usually on the players. While this is understandable, it really is important to think about the coaches and the impact they have on games. This applies to pre-game betting too, but it’s especially relevant when betting in-play. Think how useful it will be if you can answer the following questions accurately.
- How will a coach run his offense if he takes a big lead early on in the game?
- How will a coach run his offense if he has a small lead going into the last quarter?
- How will a coach approach the game after a poor first half and falling several points behind?
- What are a coach’s tendencies on fourth downs?
The answers to these questions could help you to make key decisions about which bets to make and when. We have provided just a few examples for you below. There’s a lot more you can learn about coaches and their tendencies too. So try to learn as much of it as possible. It will prove to be a lot more useful than you might think.
Pay attention to adjustments
This is closely related to the previous tip, as most adjustments a team makes during the course of a game are going to be down to the coach. The previous tip was about trying to anticipate a coach’s actions though, whereas this tip is more about analyzing a coach’s actions after he’s taken them.
You should really try to look out for any adjustments a coach makes to his team, and then think about how they’re going to affect the rest of the game. If a team has been performing badly early on, with few plays coming off, you’re naturally going to be tempted to bet against them. If you notice some subtle adjustments before you get your money down, though, you might change your opinion. Especially if the relevant coach is one that you know is capable of turning bad performances around.
The question here, then, is whether you bet in anticipation of what effect the adjustments might have, or whether you wait to see for sure. This is one of the key considerations of live betting on football games. Should you take a risk and trust your judgement, or wait until you have more confirmation? There isn’t a right or wrong approach here, but it’s something you need to think about when defining your strategies.
Look out for injuries
This is one of our more obvious tips. It’s clear that a player getting injured during a game is going to have some impact on how the rest of the game plays out. What you need to do is assess just how big that impact is going to be. Is he a vital player that’s going to be missed in a big way? Or is he a player that can be easily replaced with an alternative?
This is where your pre-game studying will pay off. If you’ve done thorough research, then you should have some idea of how important each player is to his or her team. You’ll then know whether an injury is something to consider for your next bet, or whether it’s largely irrelevant.
Go for quality over quantity
Two of the advantages of live betting that we mentioned earlier were the variety of betting options available and the enjoyment you can get out of it. These two things combined can actually be a little dangerous. It can be very tempting to start placing lots of different wagers on a game, just because the options are there and it makes watching the game more exciting. This is fine when betting on a game primarily for entertainment, but it’s not the right approach when trying to make money.
There will be occasions when several good opportunities for a bet arise during the course of a game. Placing quite a few different wagers may be the best approach in this type of situation. Generally speaking, however, selectivity is the key here. Placing one or two solid wagers on each game is far more likely to be profitable in the long run than placing a dozen or more. Remember that there always has to be a good reason to put your money down. This fundamental rule doesn’t change when betting in-play.
Remember to bet for value
On the subject of fundamental rules, this is another one that would be beneficial to remember. You should only ever place a wager if you’re confident that it offers value. It’s not enough to just bet on what you think is going to happen: you have to consider the odds too. If the odds for any given wager aren’t high enough when compared to your estimated likelihood of it winning, then you shouldn’t be placing it.
Factor in public opinion
When we were discussing the advantages of live betting earlier, we mentioned how the odds and lines are often a little softer than normal. This is due to the odds makers not really having enough time to consider every possible factor when adjusting the odds and lines during the course of a game. What we didn’t mention is that they compensate for this in some way by factoring in the weight of money more heavily than usual.
This means that they’ll increases the changes to their odds and lines based on who is betting on what. So if a lot of people are betting on a favorite to cover a spread, there’s a good chance that spread could move by a couple of points. If a lot of people are betting on the over, then the totals line is likely to move somewhat significantly.
This is relevant because it means it’s advisable to consider public opinion and where the recreational bettors are putting their money. It’s these recreational bettors that are going to be shaping the lines to some extent, so it’s useful to understand which way they’re betting. The value will very often lie in going against them. This is especially true for games involving popular teams and games that are broadcast on the national TV networks.
Recommended Strategies For Live Football Betting
Follow all the advice offered above and you’ll immediately be well ahead of most people who bet on football in-play. These were just some general tips though, provided to help you take the right overall approach to live betting. There wasn’t any specific advice about what to do and when. This is because we don’t ever like to tell you exactly what to do. We prefer to provide the kind of advice that will enable you to get the basics right and then develop your own strategies from there.
We do also share some specific strategies when appropriate though. In this case, we’re going to share with you the four strategies that we really like to use when live betting. These are as follows.
- Betting against momentum
- Backing losing home teams
- Betting the under in high scoring games
- Betting against winning popular teams
These strategies are all based loosely on the way that live odds and lines are set, and the effect that the betting public have on those lines. They’re essentially all contrary strategies, where we look to go against public opinion. Each one is really just about trying to find value on the other side to what the majority is betting on in a specific scenario.
Please note that none of these strategies will work every single time and in every single situation. We’re not suggesting that you should always bet against momentum, or always back losing home teams. These are just broad strategies that we tend to consider in the appropriate circumstances. We still have to give careful thought about whether it’s right to apply them or not. You’ll need to do the same too.
We’ve explained each of our recommended strategies below. We haven’t gone into too much detail, because we’ve already told you the core principle behind them.
Betting against momentum
The idea here is simply to bet against the team that appears to have the momentum in a game. Most live bettors will do the opposite, so we can often find value this way.
For example, imagine a six-point underdog starts a game really well and has a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter. They’re not going to be six point underdogs anymore. The bookmakers will have adjusted the spread based on their performance in the first quarter, and they’ll probably be getting a couple of points less at this stage.
The effects of momentum get hugely overvalued by the average recreational bettor. So, in this situation, a lot of bettors will completely forget the fact that this team was probably a six-point underdog for good reasons. They just see that they’re the team with the momentum, and bet accordingly. There’s therefore likely to be a lot of money coming in for the underdog here, which could force the bookmakers to move the line even further. We could see them cut to just +1 or +2.
This creates a potentially good opportunity for backing the favorite. They’d have been giving away six points at the start of the game, and will now be giving a lot less: and all on the basis of one quarter and their opposition having a little momentum. There’s still three quarters of the game left, and plenty of time for them to turn things around. All other things being equal, backing them seems profitable at this point.
Of course, we might think otherwise if we believe that the underdogs are likely to maintain their first quarter performance for the rest of the game. Or if we think that the favorites look like their having an off day, and we have no confidence that they will actually turn it around. This is exactly why it’s important to assess each situation on its own merits
Backing losing home teams
We especially like this strategy when the home team is generally strong. Good football teams don’t typically lose many home games. But the general betting public won’t necessarily consider that. They’ll see that a team is losing and bet against them regardless. This can increase the odds on the losing team to win, to a point where there’s some clear value in backing them.
So we often find ourselves backing losing home teams in hopes that they’ll turn things around and get the win. Unless it’s really looking like they’re getting beaten of course. We don’t back home teams blindly in this kind of situation. We have to have some level of confidence that they have what it takes to actually win the game.
Note that we’re talking solely about getting the win here, not covering the spread. This strategy requires the use of moneyline wagers, where we simply bet on which team will win. The number of points they win by is irrelevant.
Betting the under in high scoring games
Betting the under in a high scoring game can be a very effective way to fade the public. It’s important to get the timings right though, and this can be hard to judge. So, as effective as this strategy can be, it’s one that should be used quite sparingly. You should only implement it when you’re confident that you’ve picked the right moment to get your money down.
The theory behind this strategy is that the public will keep on betting the over in a game where lots of points are being scored. This will keep pushing the totals line up, and there will come a point when it’s so high that there’s value in backing the under. The timings are important because if we bet too early, the line might not have moved high enough to create the necessary value. And if we wait too long, the opportunity might pass us by. Others might get it on the value before us, and the line might start to come back down.
Betting against winning popular teams
It’s almost certain that the recreational bettors will be continuously backing a popular team to win once they’ve established a lead. This can result in some big point spreads in such games. And, similarly to the previous strategy, they can get so big that there’s a good case for betting the other side to the public. If we get the timing right, that’s where we’ll find the value. The popular team is not necessarily going to keep on increasing their lead throughout the whole game. They might decide to back off a little once they think they’ve won the game. Teams don’t always try to win by as many points as they possibly can.
This strategy doesn’t actually rely on what the public is doing. If a team takes a big early lead, the bookmakers will often overcompensate on the spread of their own volition: regardless of where the money is going. The same principle as above still applies in this situation. If we think it’s likely that a team could ease off or slow down, then it might be right to back their opponents on the spread.
To finish off, please allow us to remind you that you HAVE to apply some discretion when using these strategies. Backing teams blindly just because a situation meets some specific criteria is NOT the way to make money from live football betting. The purpose of these strategies is to help identify possible situations to make a good value wager. Those situations must still be thoroughly assessed before making a decision about whether or not to place a bet.