Live Betting Pros & Cons

By Loot, Professional Sports Bettor,

Live betting is getting more and more popular. Before getting involved, it’s good to know some of the pitfalls. If you were visiting a city, you’d like to know which neighborhoods are good and which ones to avoid. With live betting, recognizing its positives and negatives can maybe give you a better idea of what to look out for.

At root, live betting, also known as in-running, in-game, and in-progress betting, is when you bet on a game as it is taking place. The game starts off at certain odds. Based on what happens during the course of a game, the odds change. It gives you a chance to enhance your position or perhaps to take a different one. You will be betting odds generated by a computer based on thousands of past results. Let’s look at some of the good and bad parts of live betting.

Pros of Live Betting

Powers of Feel and Intuition: Being that live betting forces the book to rely on a computer, there are going to be some things that are out-of-whack. Or at the very least, you will be able to use your feel and intuition to sense some things in a game as it’s taking place that a computer is simply unable to catch. The computer depends on past results. Well, there can be a lot of things within a game that supersede that. Maybe there are subtle shifts in momentum that you can sense. Or that a player is about to explode and take over the game. It can be a lot of different things and no computer program can really account for those types of game-changing factors.

When Numbers Don’t Work: Most games do not exist on a continuum. A boxer can be losing a fight and have his opponent right where he wants him. A football team can be behind, but their smash-mouth style is wearing out the opponent and it’s going to be a feeding frenzy late in the game. In other words, the bettors can sometimes buck mathematics and patterns with an astute observation. Sometimes, a sharp observation succeeds where mathematics, patterns, and algorithms fail.

Chance to Turn a Loser into a Winner: Sometimes we make a bet and the game starts, leaving us wondering where we could have gone so wrong. Live betting offers us a chance to amend loose ends and maybe correct a mistake. Obviously if the team we bet looks like it’s not going to win or cover the spread, we’re not going to get great value on the other side. At the same time, live betting gives us a chance to change positions. It just might not be that cheap.

Entertainment Value: When betting on a game as it’s being played, it’s hard to not almost feel like you’re part of the game. For a lot of people, betting on a game and then letting it play out provides enough of a head rush. But live betting really puts it into another stratosphere of excitement.

Cons of Live Betting

Frenzy: When betting on games as they’re taking place, you may begin to feel like a gambler who is being something less than calculating. That could lead to an out-of-control feeling, which is obviously hazardous for a sports bettor. If firing bets constantly, it can become a situation where you’re betting without your head.

No Reflection: For some bettors, it helps to be able to sit back, look over numbers, ponder some more, and then fire a bet if the conditions look favorable and advantageous. With live betting, you see the odds and must immediately decide whether to bet or not. It can put a lot of pressure on the bettor and not all of us can thrive in those conditions.

Not Sticking to Your Guns: A lot of bettors end up lamenting changing their position on a game because it got off to a bad start. There is something to be said for taking a position, sticking to your guns, and letting it play out to its natural conclusion. Let things get better before panicking. And to change positions is often times very expensive.

Addiction: Sports betting can be addictive enough on its own–and that’s just when betting games beforehand and then watching them to see how it goes. There’s a different aspect to live betting, a certain level of frenzy and speed that can become quite addictive. If done calmly and selectively, it has a place in a bettor’s repertoire. But for some of us who have trouble staying composed with regular sports betting, this might almost be too much of a good thing.

Difficulty in Maintaining a Plan: When betting conventionally, it’s somewhat easy to maintain a plan, especially as it pertains to what we bet on and how much we bet. WIth live betting, we don’t really know what we will be betting or what direction the day will take us. You can come up with some general guidelines perhaps or even a limit, but it’s just a more wide-open landscape and when that’s the case, it’s more difficult to formulate a concrete plan.

On a side note, the best live betting I’ve found online is at BetOnline Sportsbook.