NFL Betting: How to Make In-Game Bets

Date IconLast Updated: Sep 28th, 2022
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NFL Betting: How to Make In-Game Bets
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The ability to engage in NFL betting while the game is being played has become another entertaining opportunity that undoubtedly makes the game even more exciting.

However, to make sure it is a smart decision, two tasks must be completed before the game begins. A bettor must have a well-defined plan before the game begins and that the betting amounts are fractions of what the normal bet size is for a full-game wager.

Betting on NFL Using 'Pre-Flop' Strategy

The most common strategy I utilize is what I have coined the “Pre-Flop” strategy, which places 50% of the full-game bet on the team you like before the start of the game. Then, looking to add two 25% amounts at lower prices while the game is being played.

Often, neither 25% amount gets wagered because the team we bet on will get off to a fast start and the betting lines did move in our favor. That’s fine, though, as it implies that our team will cover the 50% pre-flop wager.

Let’s look at a plan of attack in this week’s Wild Card matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals, set to kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The current line has the Bengals favored by five points with a total of 49 points.

I am on the Raiders plus the five points and wagered 50% of my total bet amount for this game. I wager 3,4, and 5% of my bankroll on games in all sports. The No. 1 factor for success in sports betting is discipline to stick to these amounts every day and not fall prey to the temptation "to just go for it".

Once the game begins, I will look, even hope, that the Bengals score first and that score is a touchdown. Under that scenario, the LIVE IN-GAME betting line will shift to make the Raiders approximately an 8.5-point underdog.

The plan is to get 25% of the total game amount on the Raiders, and you will have at least five minutes to get it placed while the network goes to its advertisements.

The betting line might get to 8.5 points before a Bengals score if they are in the red zone and even more so if they are inside the 10-yard line.

So, under this scenario, I would place 25% of the total game amount immediately and the advantage is that the Raiders' defense still has a chance to hold the Bengals to a field goal. If that happens, the line will shrink lower to approximately seven points.

Another opportunity lies in third-down situations with the opponent deep in the red zone with a high probability of getting a touchdown.

The live in-game line will have the touchdown score baked into the price and is essentially an opportunity to get that the Raiders defense will force a field goal attempt.

The second piece of 25% will be wagered at +10.5 points on the Raiders at any point during the first half. There is no opportunity for this strategy in the second half and has a diminishing return on investment (ROI).

Like a stock option in the financial markets that has time decay characteristics to it, the second-half live in-game opportunities have a short shelf life and a greatly reduced ROI. Throughout this process, I maintain that my pre-flop 50% wager is the correct bet and that the Raiders will mount a comeback and cover the spread.

In utilizing the in-game betting opportunities, I have distributed my risk over three different prices. The Raiders may lose by seven points, in which the two in-game bets offset the losing pre-flop bet and the vig on the pre-flop bet is the resulting loss.

NFL Playoff Favorites that Trail at the End of the Third Quarter

We have all been on this sinking ship. We confidently bet a home favorite in the NFL playoffs just knowing they would dismantle the inferior opponent. We have suffered through three complete quarters of football and our favorite is losing by seven points entering the fourth quarter. But, all is not lost.

Another phrase I use is the ‘Pizza Money Bet’, a small bet equal to the cost of a pizza at your local Pizzeria. Prices are different depending on where you live, but for me, a Pizza Money Bet is not more than $20. So, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of this strategy.

During the 2021-22 regular season, there were three games in which a home favorite of 3.5 to 7.5 points trailed by seven points entering the fourth quarter. These home favorites went 2-1 straight-up (SU), 1-2 against the spread (ATS), and the over was 3-0.

Over the last five NFL seasons, these underperforming home favorites of 3.5 to 7.5 points that trailed by seven points entering the fourth quarter were 5-9 SU, 1-13 ATS, and the OVER 11-3 for the full game.

Keep in mind, the ATS and Over/Under records are with the lines that were available pre-flop and would be much different depending on the flow of the game. The live in-game bet on the home favorite entering the fourth quarter could range from a 3-point underdog to pick-em.

On average, the moneyline will range from +100 to potentially high as +200 if the opponent has the ball and appears to be on a scoring drive to conclude the third quarter.

There are millions of scenarios that can unfold during any NFL playoff game. Specifically, here is the strategy for the fourth-quarter comeback. Home favorites of 3.5 or more points that trailed by no more than seven points entering the fourth quarter produced 13 comeback wins and 16 losses.

In games that our home favorite was priced between 3.5 and 8.5 points and trailed by no more than seven points entering the fourth quarter produced 13 comebacks and 14 losses.

So, averaging a +170-moneyline wager on the 27 previous games, with a 13-14 SU record, has produced a $162 profit for the $20 Pizza Money Bet and highly profitable 30% ROI.