How Live Betting Works

Written by mindmingles

The Sports Betting industry is exploding right now. With individual states allowed to legalize betting, the industry is getting bigger by the day. As of July 2022, 26 states allow sports betting online or in-person.

With sports betting becoming legal, Live Betting is becoming more and more popular.

What is live betting? It is precisely as it sounds. Live betting allows fans and bettors to bet on games as they are played live.

Explaining Live Betting

In a standard or traditional wager, you can only place bets before the games start, and once that game starts, sportsbooks take down the lines and will not accept any more bets.

With live betting, you can place bets on the line or total as the games are being played. The odds will change based on the game situation as the game goes on.

At a typical sportsbook, the pregame line or spread for an NFL game would look like this:

The Patriots would need to win by two points to cover the spread, while the Dolphins would need to win outright or only lose by one.

Now, after the game starts and within seven minutes of play, the Patriots have scored a touchdown. The Dolphins have yet to score; the live point spread may look like this:

At this point, the live line or spread might look like this:

At this moment, If you think that the Dolphins are going to come back from an early deficit and either win or make this a close game, then this would be a perfect opportunity to live bet the game and place a bet on Miami +9.

Now, you have a ticket for the Miami Dolphins +9 rather than only +1.5 if you have bet it pregame.

You can also live NFL games on the totals and the moneyline.

  • Easier to find an edge during live betting. Sportsbooks are not as sharp with lines/odds as pregame lines/odds.
  • Bettors can hedge their pregame bets.
  • Receive better odds by waiting until the game starts
  • Real-time information while betting. While watching a game, a bettor can see if a QB is playing poorly or if a home underdog is feeding off the home crowd.

The Cons of Live Betting 

  • Some live sports betting apps are unavailable in all states
  • Live betting can be overwhelming. Odds freeze or change/update extremely fast due to gameplay.
  • Hard to manage the bankroll. Live betting is fun and exciting; you could become distracted and place too many bets.

Sports That Allow Live Betting

The first thing you need to do is make sure your sportsbook offers live betting. Some of the most trusted online sportsbooks should offer live betting and any sports that offer available real-time statistics.

Some of the best online sportsbooks like BetOnline offer a range of sports, including

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Table Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Darts
  • Volleyball

How To Read Live Betting Odds

Using the example from above, let’s look at what the odds/lines would look like a pregame for the Dolphins and Patriots games.

Odds Pregame

After the game starts and the New England Patriots score a touchdown on their first possession and go up 7-0, the Live Betting odds are going to change to something like this:

After that first score, the Patriot’s odds changed even higher since now they have a 7-0 lead. Now, if you want to place a bet on those new odds, you have to be quick because the second the following kick-off is made, those odds will freeze or close until the next stoppage in the game.

  • If you decide to live bet a game, try to pick a game where you already have a pregame bet on that game. I like this strategy for two reasons. One, you can hedge your bet if your initial bets are not looking great. By hedging, you can win your money back or reduce the loss from the initial wager. If your initial or pregame bet looks to be the right bet, you can double down.
  • Have access to fast internet or live stream. If you lag behind a few seconds, it will be nearly impossible to live bet a game.
  • Have access to multiple sportsbooks. As you would shop for the best line or odds for your pregame bets, you need to do so with live betting.
  • Take advantage of bonuses and free bets.

Bets You Can Make In Live Games

There are hundreds of ways to live bet on a game. Below we break down how live bets are available in each sport.


When it comes to live betting the moneyline, total points, and the point spread, you can do it for each quarter or each half.

  • Moneyline
  • Total points
  • Point Spread
  • Player props
  • Touchdown scorer


When it comes to live betting the moneyline, total points, and the point spread, you can do it for each quarter or each half.

  • Point Spread
  • Total points
  • Moneyline
  • 1st Quarter/1st Half point spread
  • 1st Quarter/1st Half total points
  • Race to 10/15 points


Most live-betting markets for baseball let you bet on total runs, pitches, or strikeouts for each half-inning or full-inning.

  • Total runs
  • Total runs 1st five innings
  • Total hits
  • Total home runs
  • Total strikeouts
  • Total pitches
  • Winning margin
  • Game props


Tennis is one of the more popular sports to live bet.

  • Moneyline/match winner
  • Set winner
  • Next point winner
  • Exact set score


  • 3-way Regulation
  • Total goals
  • Last team to score
  • Game Winner – Moneylong

Live betting is changing the industry. It will allow you to capitalize on odds that you usually wouldn’t consider. Outside of betting, live betting offers more fun and excitement while watching sports and events.

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