Your Guide To Live Football Betting

When it comes to sports betting, it’s hard to beat the excitement and range of markets provided by football.

Live Football betting


It’s not called the global game for nothing after all and a range of established leagues such as the EPL, La Liga and Seria A throw up fascinating gambling opportunities throughout the sporting year.

At the elite level of the sport, high profile cup competitions such as the Champions League, European Championships and the World Cup add an extra layer of class to the proceedings.

One of the most interesting ways of grabbing a slice of all this action is betting on matches in real time via live football betting.

In this article we’ll look at how live football betting works, consider the pros and cons of this type of wagering and run through the different types of bets that are typically on offer.

By the end of it, you’ll be in a great position to explore further on your own and start adding live football betting to the range of sports gambling options at your disposal.

How Live Football Betting Works

As recently as ten years ago, the ability to bet on any sort of in-game action was strictly limited if it was even offered at all. The last number of years have seen an explosion in the amount of offers available thanks to the rise of the internet and emergence of specialist firms such as the Austrian outfit Runningball who provide live data to firms on big matches.

There’s plenty in it for both punters and the bookies. In addition to the attractive odds often on offer, football fans enjoy the extra excitement the option brings to matches big and small. For bookies, it’s a perfect way of exponentially increasing the amount of markets they can offer. Everyone’s a winner.

You’ll also hear live football betting referred to as in-play or in-game betting on various sites. Whatever the name, the basic premise is simple – punters are able to bet live during the course of a particular match, pitting their wits against the bookies in real time.

Bookmakers provide a range of real time markets and update the odds available every thirty to sixty seconds. It’s a constantly shifting environment tracked to the ebb and flow of the game and a fascinating betting opportunity.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the pros and cons of this type of betting.

Live football betting - how it works

Image by Tilo Gallasch

Advantages Of Live Football Betting

There are number of advantages that live football betting brings to the table. Here are three of the most relevant ones from a punter’s perspective:

  • Informed betting: Football is an inherently complex and chaotic game. Regardless of how strong a favourite a club is pre-match, you never really know which version of the team is going to show up on the day. Is it the flat-track bully ready to put five past the opposition? Or the big game chokers who’ll fold at the first hint of pressure? With in-game betting you know what you’re dealing with in real time and can react quickly to events that are impossible to predict such as injuries.
  • Better prices: Live football betting is a great way of getting attractive odds on big name teams. The longer a game stays 0-0 for example, the more the odds of the strong favourite in a tie start to drift. Strike when the time is right and you could be locking in real value.
  • More markets: The range of opportunity for following your gut is enormous and if there’s a particular aspect of the game at hand that you’ve got a strong feeling about, or a pattern you’ve spotted, in-play betting gives you a chance to make a quick killing.

Disadvantages Of Live Football Betting

Live football betting isn’t always the perfect solution of course. On some occasions you’ll naturally want to stick with the tried and true. Here are the two main strikes against:

  • Encourages lack of betting discipline: The option to react on a minute-by-minute basis while watching a game is a tempting one but it can have an impact on your overall judgement and discipline. It’s every easy to end up chasing losses when the next bet is only seconds away. Live football betting requires a steady hand to stay in control.
  • Time requirements: With a standard bet you can simply set it or forget it and you’re free to do your research in advance and at a time of your choosing. Live football betting requires your time and attention while the event is taking place which may not always be a good fit.

Live football betting markets

Live Football Betting Markets

Football is a great fit for in-game action. The amount of events that can take place over the course of 90 minutes means even the most boring 0-0 draw can provide a huge amount of value in terms of betting opportunity.

Let’s run through the most popular types of in-play bets you’ll typically find online.

  • Next team to score: Got the sense that a goal is very much on the cards as you’re watching a match? Is one side starting to turn the screw? Then now is the time to back your hunch with a punt on the next team to score.
  • Next player to score: Spotted that your favourite midfield player is putting in an unusually positive and proactive shift? Or convinced the star striker is poised to put away the next chance that comes along? Then back the next player to score.
  • Next team to concede a corner: If you can clearly see that one team is camped in the opposition’s half with little prospect of traffic going the other way, a flutter on the next team to concede a corner is an obvious option to go for.
  • Match betting: In-play match betting allows you to throw the formbook out the window and place your bets in the specific context of the competitive encounter unfolding.
  • Match corners and bookings: Match corners and bookings are just two of the interesting side-bets that live football betting adds a little extra edge to.
  • Bookings: If you can see that a particular defender is starting to get hot under the collar, it could be time to back a booking.

Live football betting - following the action

Following The Action With Live Football Betting

Effective live football betting requires some way of following the action. There are a few standard solutions to this.

Sports channels subscriptions: Football is a multi-billion dollar business these days and a big part of that is funded by huge broadcasters such as Sky Sports () and ESPN who have entire channels devoted to offering twenty-four coverage of football action worldwide.

Betting sites live streams: Thanks to a series of partnerships, you can often follow the football action directly on the betting site of your choice. Check if your provider offers this when signing up.

Other live streams: The whole area of copyright when it comes to live streaming is a legally grey one but there are a number of providers offering live matches for free on the internet if you know where to look.

Live Football Betting Versus Traditional Betting

Most fans of football betting will employ a mix of betting strategies involving live football betting and traditional pre-match football betting. Savvier gamblers will naturally lean towards the in-game variety though for one main reason: the odds are more evenly stacked in their favour.

With pre-match betting, you’re essentially pitting your wits against those of the bookmakers but the bookies have expert teams of odds compilers and reams of data at their disposal. They’re unlikely to make too many mistakes.

The live environment on the other hand is a much cleaner test of skill when it comes to prediction. You are also dealing with perfect knowledge of factors such as team selection and form on the day which are impossible to predict in advance. 

Live Betting In Other Sports

Football is of course not the only sport where in-game markets are available. The extra excitement that live betting brings is also available in all of the following games:

  • Live tennis bettingTennis: Swings in form over the course of a game and two set comebacks make tennis a perfect candidate for this type of betting. Live tennis betting is available on all ATP Tour events and across the four annual Majors and Davis Cup matches.
  • LiveNFL: If you’re convinced the Patriots are going to pull of another of their patented last-minute drives then there could be money to be made. In-play betting is available in the majority of bookmakers for all league games and the full set of playoff matches all the way up to the Superbowl.
  • LiveGolf: Match play tournaments such as the Ryder Cup make a great fit for in-game betting. It's a wonderful opportunity to turn each hole into a mini-match with a backable outcome and there have been a number of epic duels over the years.

If live football betting is a brand new area for you, we hope that the article above has successfully explained some of the concepts involved and got you curious to discover more. It’s a fascinating form of betting and a great way of adding some spice to even the dullest of fixtures.

We wish you all the best in the next round of matches!

Check Out Offers From The Best Live Football Betting Sites Online