Football Betting Strategy: In-Play Betting
In-Play betting on Football has become hugely popular in recent years, with punters enjoying the chance to bet on live games as they are taking place. No longer needing to get a bet on pre-play, before the referee whistles for kick-off, the in-play betting explosion has provided the armchair punter an opportunity to wait and consider the opening tactical setups and initial game momentum before getting involved.
As a football match takes place over a 90-minute period, it’s a sport that lends itself incredibly well to in-play betting. The markets may suspend from time to time, which means you can’t bet immediately, but this is for rare moments in the game like a penalty kick, a possible VAR review or a red card scenario.
Sports like NFL, Basketball and Tennis, with several mini-breaks in match play, are also perfectly set up for in-play betting options, with slightly more time to consider wagers whilst the players are on a time-out or a natural break in action.
Football is fast-paced, watched all over the world and has multiple markets that all work for an in-play betting situation. There are thousands of competitions to bet on, with Champions League, World Cup, European Championship and Premier League betting always proving a hit with punters worldwide. Here we explain more so you know exactly what in-play betting entails and how to get involved.
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How Do I Bet In-Play On Football?
In-play betting works in the same way as betting using a pre-match football betting market. The only difference is that the odds are live and therefore being refreshed on a highly frequent basis, so you might find that the 3.50 that you want to back has suddenly changed to 3.00 or 4.00. Always be aware of the potential for prices to change!
If you are betting with one of the sportsbooks we recommend then the ‘In-Play’ section will be very prominent on the betting sites’ home page where it will show the football matches that have live markets available right now.
For popular leagues, like the English Premier League, Italy's Serie A and the Champions League, you can guarantee that live odds will be available. It is then a case of choosing the in-play betting market or bet that makes the most appeal.
As with pre-match football betting, you can still bet on the 1X2 market, which is ultimately deciding which team is going to win the game. Alternatively, the best in-play betting sites offer popular live markets such as Next Team to Score, Next Goalscorer and Half-Time Score.
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Why Should I Use In-Play Betting for Football?
Several bookmakers now report that in-play betting accounts for the overall majority of turnover when it comes to popular football matches, especially those that are shown live on TV, such as Sunday afternoon, or Monday night games.
The biggest attraction of football in-play betting is the capacity for assessment; you’re able to check odds with concrete knowledge on your side. In other words, since you can view how a team is playing and how the match is shaping up, you’re better informed when you place an in-play bet than you could be when making a bet before the game.
Top football betting sites such as the ones we list on this page can actually live stream games online direct to your device, providing up-to-date statistics and information to help you make a judgement on how much value the odds represent.
It can be a rollercoaster experience, but in-play betting also allows customers a chance to intelligently change their judgement, react to the momentum of the game and have more control over the decisions they make and when.
The chance of winning with several bets during the course of one 90-minute game of football is possible. As each in-play market is settled then another will appear to reflect the new circumstances of the game.
Next Goalscorer, for example, is a hugely popular market but in a 2-2 draw it will open, be settled and open again each time a goal is scored. This allows you to effectively take a chance at backing the player who scores next four times in one game. As the game draws closer to conclusion these markets can get very volatile. Five minutes to go is not a lot of time for there to be another goal, even if you are Harry Kane or Mo Salah, and the odds will reflect this.
Cash out will also be available from the best cash out bookmakers and that means you can back your judgement, or doubt it, and still close out for a profit if the odds are in your favour, without the market being settled.
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How Can I Make Winning Football In-Play Bets?
We always advise betting customers to place bets with only what they can afford. Enjoying a football match should only be enhanced with a bet on the game and not in any way become more important than the entertainment of watching high level sport.
If you strike several in-play bets on a football match, it’s unlikely that you’re going to win with all of those wagers. That is because football is a fast-paced and highly variable game where the bottom teams can beat the best teams, and that's why it is so loved around the world.
When it comes to determining the outcome at the full-time whistle just remember that if every match was played on paper no one would watch them, but out on the pitch it is just one mistake or one magic moment away from being impossible to predict.
An in-play betting strategy to consider is to watch the opening exchanges of a football match before making the decision to place a bet. If you bet immediately after kick-off, then you might as well snap up the pre-match odds, which traditionally offer slightly better value before the game goes in-play.
A watching brief of 15-20 minutes should be very worthwhile, making mental notes of what’s happening in the game. This might include which team are looking the most dominant, the players that are looking the most likely to score, and the overall strategy for both teams in terms of the whole match.
It is also sensible to watch the in-play markets and the changing odds to understand how the online betting traders react to different events on the pitch. You might be watching a game between two top Premier League teams, with the favourites available at 1.50 before kick-off. However, if the scoreline is goalless at half-time, you might expect that same team's odds to drift out to 1.83 or maybe 2.00, given only half the game remains and they have yet to score.
When the second half kicks off, the odds will continue to drift while the game remains level and we get closer to the final whistle. The skill is identifying when it’s the right time to play a certain market. Can you hold out until the last 10 minutes and bank on a late goal that will be decisive?
If your judgement is correct and the necessary ingredient of luck is on your side then it can pay off.
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When is the Best Time to Bet In-Play on Football?
There is no right or wrong time to place a live in-play bet. It is all about identifying value opportunities as they come along. The key element of winning against the house is identifying a price that you think is ultimately too big compared to how you regard the situation.
That said, half-time gives you a 15-minute window to reflect on what you have seen in the first 45 minutes. There is ample time then to make a considered decision based on the match action so far.
Big prices can be available during in-play betting on football. Some teams may go two goals down early in a game and would be a massive price to then win the match from there. These games can sometimes turn full circle so don’t let a big price put you off if that is what you think, but do be sure to know exactly what is happening in that game before getting involved.
The score is the first part but has the main striker or the goalkeeper been sent off? Has there been a bad injury? Did your fancied team miss a penalty? There is no substitute for watching the game if you are betting in-play, whatever you might think of a price on the screen in front of you.
Less is often more when it comes to the volume of in-play bets placed, so be selective, considering that there is a bookmaker margin factored into every football betting market, and these are higher with in-play betting markets, as you would expect given the pace and volatility involved in offering them.
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