Betting on the Olympics is often more about the outrights than the in-plays. Speculating on how many medals a country will win or which athlete will break a world record are common wagers you'll find online at our top bookmakers.
For example, when you head over to NetBet you'll find a comprehensive gold medal market with plenty of outright bets to choose from. This means you can bet on the US to win the most gold medals at 2/15 odds or take a chance on a country like Germany and enjoy a 40/1 return on your investment if you get it right.
However, while outright bets are the dominant force in the Olympic betting realm this summer, they're not the be-all and end-all. In fact, if you're looking for some hidden value this summer then you'll find a host of in-play options available.
As any seasoned sports bettor will know, in-play wagers can be extremely lucrative due to the fact that the odds are often made on the fly—which means you may find a better price than you would normally. Indeed, because odds makers are reacting to the changing dynamics of a game, they don't have as much time or information to set a line like they do before a game (where they have plenty of time and data).
To put it another way, in-play betting is a game of cat and mouse between you and the bookmaker. Because you're both watching the same game unfold at the same time, it almost becomes a race to see who can predict the next move first. Thanks to this exciting dynamic, skilled sports bettors can actually perform extremely well in the in-play arena.
So, if in-play betting holds so much promise then how do you get "in" on the action this summer? It’s a great question. As we've said, the Olympics are often about outrights, but thanks to the wealth of events taking place there are actually plenty of in-play betting opportunities to be found. To find these options we have to look towards the following events:
Essentially, any event where a team or individual has to compete for an extended period of time (i.e. not a single race, routine or performance) has the potential to offer in-play bets. Naturally, established in-play markets will often take precedence, which means football, tennis and golf will have the most odds this summer. However, if you take the time to survey our top bookies you'll find plenty of options between August 5 and August 21.
Now, just because in-play bets can be lucrative and the Olympics present another way for you to bet on the fly, it doesn't mean you should dive headfirst into the action. Live betting markets are volatile by their very nature, which means that the highs are often matched by lows.
What this means is that you should be prepared for the odds to be extremely tight as well as extremely generous. The real key to live betting is timing and while there's no magic formula for predicting the right time to bet, there are some things you can do to help your cause. Indeed, making a move at the right time can be the difference between getting a great price and getting a price that's fairly close to the true odds.
One of the biggest weapons you can utilise in the in-play market is inside knowledge. For example, let's say you know that Brazil often go on the attack after conceding a goal. Using this knowledge, you could assume that Brazil will either score two or more goals (as they will be in attack mode) or they will concede another goal (since they will be focusing too much on their attacks).
Piecing all this together, you can then place a live bet on either outcome as soon as Brazil concede a goal and, in theory, get better odds than you would if you waited for the game to play on. While this strategy isn't guaranteed to work every time, it will keep you one step ahead of the odds makers and when you stay ahead of the curve you often reap the benefit of better odds.
Although in-play betting might not be a major part of the 2016 Olympics, there will be ways you can enjoy some live action from Rio. Whether you're a football fan or a golf guru, you need to visit NetBet today because if you time it just right, there is a lot of value to be had this summer.