Let us ask you a question – why do you like to bet on sports?
For a lot of people, we’d guess it’s because it adds another level of entertainment to the games they’re going to watch. It adds tension and suspense. It gives them another reason to care.
That got us to thinking…what if you could bet live and bet on outcomes based on what you’ve watched in the match so far? Wouldn’t that dial up the tension, suspense, and entertainment even more?
It sure would, and the cool thing is that live betting exists. You can place bets in real time, where the types of bets and odds change on a dime. It’s an option most sportsbooks offer in 2018.
But as always, some live betting sites are better than others. And why join a subpar live sportsbook when you can join the best?
So, with that in mind, you’ll find our picks for the best live betting sites in the table below. We’ve already vetted them and can assure you that they are safe and have competitive odds and the best in-play features.
|Rank||Betting Site||Deposit Bonus||Get Started||Read Review|
|50% Up To $1,000||Visit Site||Read Review|
|50% Up To $1,000||Visit Site||Read Review|
|50% Up To $250||Visit Site||Read Review|
|100% Up To $1,000||Visit Site||Read Review|
|100% Up To $1,000||Visit Site||Read Review|
Are you interested in live betting, but are unsure about what it is or how it works? No worries; here’s a quick primer…
Live sports betting is different from traditional (pre-game) sports betting in that all the markets and betting options revolve around what’s happening in the match right now. All your bets are made during the match. In fact, some bets will only be available during certain times of the match – such as before the first quarter, second quarter, half-time, and so on.
When in-play betting first got started, only the biggest sports were covered – basketball, football, baseball, etc. Nowadays, though, sportsbooks cover a far larger list of markets. For example, one of our top sportsbooks lets you bet on the following sports live:
As we were typing, the odds changed for the tennis match currently in play. You could see the scores in real time, the number of sets and matches played, and all the different bets below it.
Do you understand what that means? If you want to bet live, you have to be ready. Sometimes you even have to be fast. Otherwise, the bet/market, and any opportunity that may exist, may disappear just like that.
The types of bets you can make largely depend on the sports you’re betting. Most are prop bets revolving around outcomes that happen well before the game is over.
And so on.
Anyway, that’s live betting in a nutshell. It’s definitely a form of betting more suited to people who plan to watch the games they’re betting on. It’s not for people who want to place a bet and forget about the game until later when they check the results.
So now that we’ve covered the general idea behind live betting, let’s dive into what the best in-play betting sites have in common.
Before we get into what the best sites have in common, we want to say that we didn’t want to include the usual fluff about finding a sportsbook that is licensed, pays their customers, and so on.
This is all common sense. If you join a sportsbook that doesn’t have these core qualities, nothing else about them matters.
So the following qualities are what the best live betting sites share on top of the core qualities every sportsbook should share.
Back in the day, only the most popular sports were offered. Nowadays, you’ll find that sportsbooks cover more sports, but only the best will have the widest coverage.
Keep in mind that this fluctuates a lot.
Most sportsbooks only display the sports they currently have lines for – which coincides with what’s in season. For example, you’re not going to find MLB baseball listed on any sportsbook in January.
So, when researching sportsbooks, you’ll want to remember that the current selection isn’t a good indicator of the sports they cover. A much better way to figure this out is to read our reviews or reach out to the sportsbook’s support team.
The same thing as above. We want lots of unique bets. We want lots of betting options – which the best in-play sportsbooks will have (sports depending, of course).
The good news for both markets and betting options is that you can check out a sportsbook before you create your account. Most sportsbooks will let you scope out their live betting section so you can get an idea of how good it is.
This is an option usually available from international sportsbooks. They stream the matches in real time, which you can watch on their website. So if you can’t watch the game from home or on your mobile device, you can log in, watch the game there, and place your bets.
Don’t worry – the top sportsbooks stream matches legally.
The best sportsbooks will have a mobile app – or, more likely – a mobile website. That way you can stream matches from your device, place bets, check scores, and keep tabs on the action as it unfolds.
This is a “must have” option – one all the best live betting sites have. We wouldn’t leave home without it.
This is a unique betting feature only a few sportsbooks offer. The idea is this – you can opt out or “cash out” of a bet before it’s been settled.
Well, if you’re watching the game and think an outcome is going to be different than you first thought, you can cash out for less than the value of the stake to limit how much you’d lose if you otherwise followed through. It’s more or less a stop loss.
This is one of those cliché points, but it’s true – it’s nice when sportsbooks offer live-specific bonuses. We know of a few books that offer free bets or rebates on your first live bet just to encourage you to check it out. It’s a great way to test the waters risk-free.
There are lots of reasons why you should try in-play betting. For example:
If you plan to watch the game you want to bet on, we strongly encourage you to try betting live. Chances are you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.
That said, there are some challenges to betting live. Here are some of the bigger challenges we foresee people having:
Opportunities are going to be much harder to spot if you’re an inexperienced better. So between spotting +EV bets and spotting them before they disappear means new bettors will have their work cut out for them.
This is why we highly recommend focusing on one or two sports max when you’re new to sports betting. Becoming familiar with one or two sports will help you learn how to bet them profitably – you know what a +EV bet looks like. This will help immensely when you start betting live.
This might not happen to you, but speaking for ourselves, we can see how we might forget any game plan, stop loss, or budget we have in place during the match. Say your team (or bet) is losing – your emotions are running amok and you spot an opportunity (you think) to make up some of your losses. Before you know it, you’re even deeper in the hole – which could’ve been prevented had you stuck to your original plan.
Create a plan before the game starts and stick to it. If you think you might struggle with this, many sportsbooks have tools you can use to limit how much money you can bet per day. If not, you can always place all your bets during the first or second quarter (or whatever works for you) and then shut your computer/phone off.
SportsBettingSites.org shared an example where a sportsbook cheated a client out of €2,500. They said they waited until the match was over to say the customer “past posted,” which means the customer made a bet on an outcome that already happened.
An honest sportsbook will catch this and any other mistake or shenanigan right away. They’ll void the bet immediately, which we agree with the author of that post is the right move to make.
The bottom line is that a shady book can and will find any way to take advantage of you and not pay you for a legitimate bet.
The easiest way to avoid a shady sportsbook is to join one of the sportsbooks at the top of this page. Another option is to read our reviews and heed our recommendations.
Now, we’re not trying to be negative or cast live betting in a bad light. We just want to make sure our readers have the best time, and the only way we can achieve that goal is to ensure you have the right expectations before you start betting live.
You should try in-play betting. It adds another level of fun to an already entertaining and addicting hobby.
If you’re an experienced sports bettor, between the tools and additional betting options, you have so many more opportunities to make money.
And if you’re an inexperienced bettor, betting live will make sure that for every minute of the match, your butt is glued to your seat so you can watch the action unfold…so you can see if that bet you just made is a winner or not.
That sounds like a great time to us. If you’re anything like us, we recommend you pick a sportsbook from our list above, create an account and make a deposit, and make your first live bet today. You won’t regret it.