Live betting was introduced by online betting sites several years ago now. Initially, many people thought it was a just a gimmick. They figured it might be interesting for a while, but that the novelty would soon wear off. To say these people were wrong would be an understatement. Live betting was a huge success right from the outset, and has continued to grow in popularity ever since.
In fact, it has gone on to become the default way to bet for many sports gamblers. This is partially because it’s tough to beat in terms of sheer excitement. It also has the potential to be very profitable with the right approach. That’s obviously appealing too.
Also known as in-play betting, this form of wagering is available on many sports. Some examples include football, tennis, basketball and cricket. It’s especially popular for betting on soccer, and it’s live soccer is the focus of this article.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with live betting, we start by explaining exactly what it is and how it works. We then look at the main advantages of betting on soccer in this way. Then we address the strategy involved. We end with our top live soccer betting strategy plans, and provide some additional tips too.
What is Live Soccer Betting?
The basic concept of live soccer betting is very simple. In many ways it’s the same as betting in the traditional way. You choose a selection, put your money down and then get paid out at the appropriate odds if you win. However, traditional betting involves placing wagers prior to games kicking off. Live soccer betting is a little different.
Live soccer betting is placing wagers on soccer games AFTER they have started.
That’s the fundamental difference between the two forms of betting. With one you place wagers in advance of a game. With the other you place wagers while a game is actually being played. This creates a ton of additional betting opportunities.
Most online bookmakers offer live soccer betting markets for the vast majority of professional games: even games in obscure leagues and competitions. There tends to be a greater range of wagering options for the more popular leagues though. For example, here’s a screenshot of the markets available online for a Premier League game.
As you can see, there are a plethora of different kinds of bets to choose from. Pretty much all of the main types of soccer wager are covered here.
Each of the headings on the bottom half of the screen can be expanded to show the available selections. So you could expand “Next Player to Score Goal” for example, and see the following.
You’ll see that, just like a normal betting screen, there are odds displayed next to each of the available selections. What’s different here is that these odds are constantly adjusted by the betting sites, according to what’s happening on the field of play. They’ll have at least one person watching the game and making these adjustments based on their assessment of what’s likely to happen next.
Please note that live betting markets sometimes get suspended throughout the duration of the game. This typically happens following a major incident such as a goal or a send off. Incidents such as these will affect virtually all of the markets, so they’re basically shut down for a few seconds to allow time to make all the necessary adjustments.
That’s essentially everything that you need to know to start betting in-play on soccer games. It’s all pretty straightforward really.
Advantages of Live Soccer Betting
Not sure if live soccer betting is for you? That’s understandable. If you’re used to betting in a certain way, the idea of trying something new can be a little daunting. We urge you to give it a go though. You might not like it, but we’re fairly confident that you will. We see some clear benefits for choosing to wager in this way.
There are four primary advantages that are particularly worth mentioning. These are as follows.
Additional chances to bet
Wider selection of betting options
More information to work with
Greater chance of finding value
Let’s explore these advantages in detail.
Additional chances to bet
The first advantage is a blatantly obvious one. Being able to wager on games while they’re being played clearly creates new opportunities for having a bet. This is a good thing as you want as many opportunities to choose from as possible. The more betting opportunities that exist, the easier it becomes to identify good opportunities.
We should point out that this is NOT an excuse to go wild and start placing a ton of wagers for the sake of it. It’s still important to be selective. We expand on this point later in this article, in the section on strategy tips.
Wider selection of betting options
As well as creating additional opportunities to bet, live soccer betting also offers a much wider range of betting options. There are certain wagers that are simply not possible when betting before a game starts, but that work just fine when betting in-play. Here are some examples.
Next team to score
Next player to score
Time of next goal
A lot of the extra wagers that can be placed in-play are a bit “gimmicky,” and primarily targeted at those who bet for fun. If your goal is to make money, these should probably be avoided. Don’t get us wrong though; they can definitely be profitable with the right approach. Take the next team to score wager, for example. If you’re paying close attention to game, it’s not unreasonable to think that you can make a measured judgement about which of the teams is likely to score next.
So these extra betting options are well worth exploring. Some of them will take a little getting used to, but none of them are especially complicated.
More information to work with
More information is always a good thing when betting on soccer: or any sport for that manner. The more information you have at your disposal, the easier it is to make informed judgements. And when you’re betting in-play, you have a ton of extra information available to you.
You get to see how the players are performing individually, and how they’re performing collectively as a team. You get some insight into how they’re approaching the games, and what sort of style they’re implementing. All of this is very useful when it comes to making betting decisions, and it’s all readily accessible too. You can listen to games on the radio, watch them on the TV or even read live updates on the internet.
Greater chance of finding value
The fourth advantage we’re mentioning here is basically a combination of the three advantages already discussed. Each one of them contributes to the fact that live soccer betting offers a greater chance of finding value than the traditional method of betting before games start. Seeing as though finding value should be the ultimate goal for any bettor, this is clearly the most significant advantage of all.
Now, this doesn’t mean live soccer betting is only for the serious bettor. It’s a great option for the recreational bettor too. We’ve already mentioned how exciting it is, and this is enough reason alone to give it a go. But there are even more reasons for live soccer betting if your goal is to make money.
Of course, you also need to know what you’re doing. That’s exactly why the rest of this page is dedicated to providing strategy tips and advice that should help you approach live soccer betting in the right way.
Our Top Live Soccer Betting Strategy
We’ve tried several different strategies over the many years that we’ve been betting on soccer in-play. Some of these have proved to be successful. Others have not quite worked out for one reason or another. And some have been nothing short of disastrous. We’ve learned a lot from all our experimenting, and there has been one strategy in particular that regularly works out really well for us.
Backing favorites that go behind to an early goal.
The basic idea behind this strategy is simple. We look for games where there’s a clear favorite to win, and then wait and see what happens in the early stages of the game. If the underdog happens to take a lead, we give serious consideration to betting on the favorite to overcome that setback and go on to win the game.
The main reason we like this strategy is that we’ve found that bookmakers have a tendency to overcompensate when adjusting the odds in these scenarios. A single goal deficit is not that difficult to overturn, and the top teams are often very good at coming from behind to win games. Despite this, it’s not at all uncommon for bookmakers to significantly lengthen the odds on a favorite if they fall behind. This can mean there’s a lot of value in then placing a wager on the favorite to win.
Can such a simple strategy really be effective?
Yes, if used correctly.
The simplest strategies are actually often the best ones. You don’t need to devise some super complicated system to beat the bookmakers. You just need something that helps you to identify where value generally lies in the betting markets, so you can full take advantage of that value when the time is right.
In our experience, a favorite going behind to an early goal is a scenario that regularly creates value. Finding these scenarios is the easy part, as they happen quite frequently. The next step is the more difficult one. Knowing when to bet, and when not to, is the real challenge. Because although this is a simple strategy, it’s not as simple as betting on the favorite EVERY TIME they go a goal behind. You need to be more selective than that, and use your judgement to decide when it’s appropriate.
We’ve offered some advice for this below.
When to use this strategy
There are no definitive rules about when to use this strategy. As we already stated, you have to use your own judgement. The main goal is to try to make an accurate assessment about how likely the favorite is to overturn the goal deficit. This means taking a number of factors into consideration. It obviously helps if you’re familiar with both the teams playing, as you can better gauge how the game is going to play out.
Once you’ve made your assessment, the next step is to study the odds and determine if there’s any genuine value in backing the favorite after they’ve fallen behind. There is one rule you should try to stick to here.
Only bet when the odds are higher than you think they should be.
This is the key to making this strategy work. You basically have to decide whether or not your bookmaker has adjusted the odds correctly. If you think the odds have moved more significantly than they should have, that’s when you look to get your money down.
This strategy typically works best when the favorite is playing at home, or at least that’s what we have found so far. Conceding a goal can often encourage the home fans to really get behind their team, and this in turn can inspire the players. It also helps when the favorite is in a good run of form, and not suffering from any lack of confidence.
When not to use this strategy
There are no definitive rules about when NOT to use this strategy either. There are some general guidelines that we recommend following though.
We’ve already touched on the first one, as it relates to the movement in the odds. Remember that the bookmakers won’t always lengthen the odds on a favorite by enough to make this strategy worthwhile. It’s very likely that they’ll still be confident in the relevant team winning even after conceding a goal. When this is the case, they may not make much of an adjustment at all. And when the odds don’t move much, this strategy isn’t particularly effective.
The other two main guidelines relate to specific circumstances where it’s probably best to avoid this strategy. This can be found below.
If the favorite is in a run of bad form and/or the underdog is in good form.
If the favorite appears to be playing very poorly and/or the underdog appears to be playing especially well.
This strategy is unlikely to be appropriate if the favorite is going through a patch of bad form. Although top teams are often made favorites even when their form isn’t particularly good, there’s a less likely chance of them recovering from going behind when they’re not performing well consistently. Equally, if the underdog is in good form then there’s a strong chance that they will hold on to their lead. They’re less likely to let the favorite back into their game if their confidence is high and they’re playing well.
It’s also important to recognize that there will be times when even the best teams underperform on the field. There will also be times when the weaker teams over perform. You need to watch out for these times, for obvious reasons. If the favorite is simply not playing very well, or the underdog is playing especially well, then this strategy is very risky.
A final point to mention is motivation. If the favorite doesn’t have much to play for, you have to question how likely they are to dig in and hit back after going a goal behind. By the same token, if there’s a lot riding on the game for the underdog, then they’re going to fight as hard as they can to hold on to their lead.
We’re very confident that you can effectively use this strategy just by following all of the above advice. We’ve had enough success with it to know that it works for sure. You just need to be selective about when you use it. One more important tip is to avoid making a bet when you have doubts as to whether it’s the right thing to do. It’s always better to miss out on an opportunity that might prove to be profitable than it is to waste money on an opportunity that proves to be costly.
More Strategy Tips for Live Soccer Betting
Regardless of whether you choose to use the above strategy or not, there are also some other strategic considerations to bear in mind when betting on soccer in-play. So we’ve put together a small collection of simple tips that we strongly recommend to anyone interested in learning more. We’ve listed them below, and then explained each one in a little more detail. Please note that none of these tips will instantly bring you success on their own. They can certainly improve your overall chances of winning though.
Watch the games
Use previous data
Factor in motivation
Watch the games
We mentioned earlier that one of the main advantages of live soccer betting is the fact that you have more information to work with. This is only really the case if you actually watch the games though. Certain information is available even if you don’t, but the real benefit is in watching the action and then making judgements based on what you see.
Watching a game on TV enables you to make more informed judgments about how it’s likely to play out.
Always remember that the people setting the live odds for a soccer game will be paying close attention to what’s happening on the field. If you’re not doing the same, then you’re instantly handing them the advantage. You need to try to notice things that they might not, and make better assessments about what’s likely to happen next. This is possible, but you HAVE to really focus your attention.
Use previous data
Remember the live soccer betting strategy that we outlined earlier? Why do you think we first tried implementing that? It wasn’t just a random idea, it was the result of extensive research and analysis. While studying previous data, we noticed quite a few occasions where favorites came back from going a goal behind. We then did a little more digging, and found that this was especially common after the favorite conceded early on. From there we developed a theory, and then put it to the test.
This is precisely what YOU should be doing too. Soccer data is widely available, and studying it can be so beneficial. Specifically, you want to look for any trends or patterns that might be worth exploring further. These can be general trends, or trends that apply to specific teams.
For example, you might discover that Manchester United typically score a lot of goals in the second half of their games when they’re already leading at half time. Or that West Bromwich Albion tend to lose quite heavily if they’re playing away from home and concede early in the game. Or that Bundesliga teams generally concede very few goals in Champion League games after taking the lead.
You can easily use this kind of information to your advantage. By analyzing it properly, it can help you find suitable betting opportunities when wagering in-play. If you have some idea of how a team is likely to perform in a particular situation, you’ll also have a good idea of where to put your money when that situation arises.
Okay, okay, this is probably obvious, but we’ve decided to mention it anyway. Too many bettors rely on “their best guess.” They feel like they HAVE to place lots of bets during a soccer game, to take full advantage of all the opportunities. So rather than actually give some thought to the wagers they place, they basically just pick things at random. This is a big mistake, and one we really don’t want you to make.
Live soccer betting can be costly if you bet for the wrong reasons.
This makes complete sense. If you’re just randomly deciding what to bet on, you’re not going to have any edge over the bookmakers at all. You might get lucky from time to time, or even quite frequently, but you’re almost guaranteed to lose money overall.
So remember that you don’t ever HAVE to bet. If you’re watching a soccer game with the intention of live betting, but no suitable opportunity arises, then it’s fine to not place any wagers at all. An important rule of sports betting in general is to only ever bet for the right reasons. This is especially relevant when live betting because of all the additional wagering options. It can be very tempting to bet on loads of different things during a game, but this is simply not the right approach.
Live betting on soccer can be a great way to hedge existing wagers. If you’re not familiar with the term hedging in the context of betting, this is something you should look to learn about. We have an article dedicated to the subject of hedging, and we strongly recommend reading it.
We won’t go in to too much detail here, because everything you need to know is covered in the above article, but the basic idea of hedging is that it can be used to manage your exposure to risk. Let’s use a couple of quick examples to illustrate how this can work when live betting.
First, imagine that you’ve bet on a team to win a soccer game. You then decide to watch that game, and after 20 minutes you realize that the team you’ve picked really aren’t playing well. At that point, it might be sensible to hedge by placing another wager on the opposing team and/or the draw. This is obviously going to cost some additional stake money, but it can be the right thing to do if you’re initial opinion has changed significantly. There’s nothing wrong with taking a small loss in order to prevent yourself from making a much bigger one.
For the second example, imagine that you’ve bet on an underdog to win an upcoming game. For whatever reason, you’ve decided that they have a good chance of causing an upset. And, sure enough, they take a two goal lead in the first half. At this point, you could use hedging to make a guaranteed profit. The odds on the draw and the opposing team would have lengthened somewhat, so a small wager on each of those could ensure that you stand to come out ahead regardless of what the final outcome is. You’ll have sacrificed some potential profit, but it’s absolutely fine to play it safe sometimes.
Factor in motivation
We touched on motivation earlier, when discussing our top live soccer betting strategy. It’s relevant to live soccer betting in general too. The performance of any team is always likely to be affected by motivation to some degree, so it’s definitely something to bear in mind. Try to think about what’s riding on a game for each team, and what kind of impact that may have on what’s going to happen next.
For example, let’s say two teams are drawing after half an hour’s play. The home team is playing a little better, and passing the ball about nicely, so you consider backing them to go on to win. Then you realize that their opposition absolutely HAVE to win this game if they’re going to avoid relegation. On the other hand, the home team has very little riding on this game.
Would this change your opinion about what’s likely to happen? It certainly should. There’s obviously no guarantee that motivation alone will be enough for the away team to win the match, but it’s something that needs to be factored into the decision making process for sure.
Our final tip here is straightforward to say the least, and it doesn’t really need much in the way of explanation. Basically, we’re just advising you to try out new systems and strategies. You should always be looking to formulate new ideas and come up with potential ways for making money. The best route to success for any form of sports betting is to develop your own strategies. And, with the number of options and opportunities available in live soccer betting, some degree of experimentation is absolutely vital.
So if you have a theory, don’t be afraid to put it into practice and see how things go. It’s the only way you’ll know for sure if it has any merit or not. If doesn’t work, move on to the next idea. And if it does work, fine-tune it until you maximize its potential. Then move on to the next idea anyway. You can NEVER have too many ideas.
We highly recommend trying live soccer betting. Watching games and placing wagers based on what you see has the potential to be very profitable. Especially if you’re very knowledgeable about the sport. It’s our firm belief that this is actually one of the easiest ways to gain an edge over the bookmakers. It’s still a challenge of course, as the bookmakers know their stuff too. However, it’s undoubtedly possible to regularly identify good value opportunities.
Last but not least, live soccer betting is fun! Watching a game of soccer and placing a few small stakes wagers in-play can greatly enhance the entertainment at very little cost. It might not even cost anything if you win!
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