Live betting means placing wagers on an event while it’s being played, while all the action is actually happening. This kind of bet combines the excitement of betting with following your favorite sport, which makes it twice as exciting - and also potentially many times more profitable.
Why? Because of how insanely fast the odds can change during a live event. Every goal a team scores makes the odds change drastically. It’s an intense dynamic that can be pretty similar to what stock traders do, where the value of a result is constantly changing and generating opportunities to make profit.
And it’s precisely because of these two factors - the adrenaline rush of feeling involved in the variation of your chances of winning, along with the change in odds - that makes live betting so risky and interesting.
Risk and gains are two sides of a coin. That’s why if you want to start placing live bets, you need information, emotional control, and understanding of the sport so you can anticipate how odds can change.
What factors influence live odds?
As a match unfolds, the odds for each result can vary a lot depending on a countless number of factors. Also, all factors increase or decrease depending on the relative advantage of each side (if one side is too far ahead, odds are bound to change little if at all).
These are the main factors:
- Score-related factors are the more obvious: i.e. every goal a team scores in soccer, a three-points score in basketball, or an ace closing a game in tennis - they can all bump odds considerably
- Cliffhanger events like a penalty in soccer or a set point in tennis are usually close seconds when the scores are tight
- Player/team-related factors like injuries, form, yellow/red cards can play a huge role
- Time left in the match, if applicable, is definitely a potentiator for odds - as time runs out, depending on the advantage of each side, odds variance can increase
- More indirect factors will also inevitably force odds up and down, like weather, wind, even the position of the sun in an open event can interfere
We must also keep in mind the effect of market pressure, or, in other words, which outcome bettors perceive to be the most possible. If a team is dominating the match, has many goal opportunities and is clearly leading the game, bettors will think that team is the most likely to win so they will place more and more bets on it, heavily skewing odds.
Why betting live is a good idea
Live betting has many advantages when compared to traditional bets. Just to name a few:
- Watching events: If you’re a true fan of the teams you bet on, then live betting is the icing on top of the cake. Some bookies, like Cloudbet, offer live streaming for players so they get to follow the action as it happens
- Bet trading: You can play with odds variations and the development of the event to make bets that cover every possible outcome, so that you come out with profit no matter what happens
- Covering pre-match bets: whether the match is going in your favour or not, live betting means you don’t have to wait until the end of the match or game to make profits or get confirmation of the loss of a bet
But there are two more seriously meaningful reasons why placing live bets is a good idea:
When we are placing bets live, we have very valuable information and we have it right in the moment, in real-time. What is going on in the game? Too many corner kicks? Excessive faults? Is a team is clearly leading? Did it just start to rain?
Personally, I like to divide this information into two groups:
This includes all game-related actions that might indicate an advantage or an edge to one side. In soccer, for example, you can think ball possession, shots on goal, corner kicks, etc.
All the things that happen outside of the game’s scope, but may have an influence, for example - rain, wind, and audience support can all nudge a side’s opportunities at any time.
All this information, that we don’t have before the match, is crucial when you’re trying to predict what could happen as it happens. Out of all of the above, the only thing we can sometimes predict before the match is the weather conditions, and even so it could change at a moment’s notice.
You can try to predict game-related actions like possession or shots on goal before the match, but you’ll find that it’s very hard to accurately get it right. There might be times when there’s a clear difference between the playing sides, but that’s not always the case.
Let’s pause for a second and try to think like a stock broker. You open a buying position in which you expect the price of an asset to rise, so you can sell at a higher price and make money. But what if the trend changes? If the price starts going down then it eventually becomes hard for you to reach your original target, so you just close the position and find another trend to recoup your losses. This would be the logical reaction when the market is not favourable.
Conversely, assuming everything goes as you expected and you don’t close the position, you can just keep riding and it and making more profits.
Let’s apply the same logic to betting on a soccer match, and let’s say you place a regular bet, and are not following the live match. If the tides turn against your bet, you have no chance to react and all you can do is take the losses. You can’t try and place a hedge bet after the match is over, but you could do that if you were betting live.
Now say you bet on over 2.5 goals, and the match is going the way you want, with many players hitting the back of the net before the 30 minute mark. Why not bet on over 3.5 goals too?
Our over 2.5 bet is in profit now, and trend to this match is that there will most probably be more goals - so always try to think two goals ahead.
The reaction time you get when live betting is pretty important when making money. But keep in mind that none of this can be done without a stone-cold resolve. Actively closing bets at a loss is probably the hardest thing to learn and accept. But once you learn how to do it, you’ll start profiting.
The Snack Strategy for soccer
Now that you understand what live betting is and what to look out for, let’s talk about a strategy I particularly enjoy using when I bet on soccer. We’ll take advantage of what high-scoring specific teams and soccer leagues can offer us when it comes to over goals markets, so that we can create profit at half-time.
First of all you must keep in mind that this strategy must be used on leagues that usually provide lots of goals, and where it’s pretty rare to see matches ending in 0-0. You must dig into sports statistics sites and collect as much information as you can.
Once you’ve found the right leagues, you must consider the schedule. Many leagues have matches taking place all at the same time: minor leagues in UK, Australia, some Nordic leagues, amongst others.
Now let’s assume you pick a midweek match in an English league, where matches usually start around 7:45pm local time. In this case, what you need to do is to check the live sports section of you favourite bookie when these matches are at half-time, at around 8:30pm.
You’ll be looking for matches that have got to half-time with a tie, preferably a 0-0 tie. Make a quick selection and do not fear, add as many 0-0 ties as you can find in that league. Remember: it’s half-time so you have to be quick at analysing a few matches.
What you have to do next is to find all the information possible on those selected matches, 0-0 ties. Alternatively, if you can’t find any 0-0’s, go for 1-1 ties. We are looking for matches with a clear tendency to satisfy the over market, so we have to keep an eye on certain details:
- Starting odds of over 2.5: the lower the odds, the higher the chance of the match to get over +2.5 goals. We can use this as a reference of what bookies think, but it is important to remember that this is all theory and the game doesn’t always play out that way.
- Stakes: a match between two mid-ranking teams not playing for a title is not the same as a match between a team that’s aspiring for promotion and another that’s pressed from a series of defeats. The more at stake, the better the match is to pick.
- Weather: check out the weather conditions in the cities in which your matches are being played. This is very important because the weather affects the amount of possible goals in certain fields, especially in minor league stadiums. We’ll be looking for little to no rain, snow, or anything that might slow down the game. Heat is also important in southern leagues, as is wind.
- Lineup: Most teams tend to post their line up on Twitter or Instagram about an hour or so before kick off. It’s important to be aware of these accounts beforehand, so that you can confirm that the best players have been chosen and there are no unpleasant surprises.
If you can do this fast enough, then you should place the following bets:
Combine ideally two matches in which you bet Over 1 goal. In other words, you want every match you selected to score at least one more goal.
If the match was a 1-1 tie, we would look for an Over 3 bet. This would give us odds that will move between 1.80 and 2.50, depending on each match, but it’s pretty juicy anyway right?
However, I suggest that you do not try to combine more than two matches. The possible outcomes should be:
- A win if there are two goals or more in each match during the second half.
- A loss if there are no goals in any of the matches
- Null if there is only one goal in each match.
And remember, be as quick as possible!
The 4 things you need to start betting live
Finally, here are four more things you should keep in mind before live betting:
- Use good bookies: this is a basic principle for any bettor. You must always seek the best odds. Luckily you don’t need to waste time looking, as you can find some of the best odds right here at Cloudbet.
- Plan your bets: Betting live does not mean improvising while the event unfolds. Try to imagine different scenarios and which bets you would place in each case so you are prepared, and remember, you have to be quick.
- Control your emotions: You have to be clear that is better to bet with your head than to bet with your heart. You need to be cold hearted and mentally strong, you can’t let adrenaline take over when winning or losing a bet.
- Follow the events live: Well this is basic. If you are betting live is because you should be watching the event. Doing this while analysing your matches is what makes it so much fun. This is what allows us to get direct information for you to tweak your bets.
Remember that information is the line that separates a good bet from a bad one. Bet on sports you know and you’ll become experienced much faster. This dynamic is different from what most of us are used to, but you’ll get the hang of it as you start, and soon you’ll never again place a bet without it being live.
Now that you know all that there is to know, check out Cloudbet’s selection of live sports and start betting in real time today.