Live Betting Do's and Don'ts: How To Make In-Game Profits - Prediction Machine

Live Betting Do’s and Don’ts: How To Make In-Game Profits

Do's and don'ts of live betting

Do's And Don'ts Of Live Betting

Betting in the live market can either be extremely profitable or downright dangerous. Because there is less time to think rationally and make decisions, bettors can fall into a variety of traps in-game.

Circa Sports Director of Operations Jeffrey Benson said recently on Twitter, he’s seeing his live betting handle growing year over year. As this market grows, it’s important to keep several things in mind as you approach this market. If you’re new to in-game betting, take it slow and bet small until you get the hang of it, and always keep the do’s and don’ts below in mind.

These rules pertain to any sport you’re live betting. If you’re interested in reading some baseball-specific in-game advice, click here


1.) Prepare for various scenarios – One of the advantages a casino has over a player betting live is the fast-paced nature of these bets decreases the amount of time a bettor can research and analyze.

To mitigate this disadvantage, analyze in advance and use data to create various betting pathways throughout the game. Examples of pathways might be: 

  • “Because my data says the Chargers struggle in the 4th quarter, I’ll be looking to fade them if they have a late lead.”
  • “The Rays’ high leverage bullpen arms are overworked lately, so if they’re leading this thing in a close game late, I will bet the over.”
  • “I like the over in this game, but I’m not betting it pre-flop because both teams are slow starters so I think I can get a better number live.”
  • “The Eagles have cluster injuries in their secondary, if they lose another defensive back, I’m going to bet the other team’s live moneyline.”
  • “The forecast calls for a 50% chance of rain and Jared Goff is terrible in the rain, so if the clouds open up, I’m fading the Rams.”

The key is to create scenarios you have conviction on in advance (since there’s less time to think/analyze later), but also don’t become married to them. In the little time you do have to make a decision, ask yourself if anything you’ve seen in the game so far has changed your pre-game conviction.

2.) Understand what you’re up against – When you’re betting a game pre-flop, you’re playing against humans who have set a line based on their research. These humans have discussion behind closed doors before deciding on their number. 

On a college football Saturday when dozens of games are happening simultaneously, we can assume sportsbooks are relying heavily on algorithms which can’t account for some things humans can (such as revenge factors and crowd momentum). Then there are things an algorithm theoretically could account for, but doesn’t because it’d require humans to be monitoring the game closely. For instance, let’s say the UNC Football team has a really bad backup LT and the starting LT gets hurt in the first quarter. Yes, an algorithm could quantify the impact of that injury, but it’d require a human sportsbook employee to be watching that game very closely, and that likely isn’t happening during an obscure game on a busy college football Saturday.

Knowing your opponent (the sportsbook’s live-betting algorithm) lacks human critical thinking elements, helps you find ways to exploit it. Note, however, that for high-profile games like the Super Bowl, this approach is less effective because of the attention it’s getting.

3.) Shop around – This is harder to do live betting, but it can be done during commercial breaks and intermissions. Live betting numbers can vary drastically from book to book so if you have multiple books (you should) then use them to your advantage and shop around as time allows.


1.) (Don’t) Ignore the juice – Simply put, there’s almost always more tax in the live betting market than before a game starts, so make sure you’re accounting for the increased juice before you place your bet. Make sure there is still value in your bet, despite the extra juice, before you pull the trigger.

2.) (Don’t) Live bet if you’re not a profitable bettor – If you win 30% of your bets and are down 300 units over the course of the year, what makes you think you’re going to have a better success rate in a market where your decisions are rushed, more emotions are involved and there’s more juice?

“You wouldn’t buy a teen driver a Ferrari after they just wrecked a dozen cars earlier in the year, would you?”

3.) (Don’t) Bet using emotion – Bettors always want to use data, logic and rational thinking instead of emotions, but that’s easier to do before a game starts. Because things are happening so quickly in-game, it’s easier to get caught up in your emotions and do something stupid. For instance, a live bettor who took the Cowboys -200 pre-flop vs. the Giants can easily become frustrated watching Dallas struggle down 14-0 and live hedge with the Giants -650 live and make their situation even worse if Dallas mounts a comeback.

4.) (Don’t) Bet when it’s not a commercial break or timeout – Different TV broadcasts have various delays, so unless you’re actually at a stadium watching a game live, assume the oddsmakers are seeing updates quicker than you are.