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How to Make a Live Outcome Bet at a Sportsbook

by April 4, 2020

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including Common Sports Betting Terms — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.

When making a pre-game wager on a sporting event, there are a finite amount of things one can wager on. For those bettors that like unlimited options, live betting is something to look more into. With how frequently sportsbooks change their live odds, the possibilities are endless with how many wagers one can place on a single game.

If you are new to the concept of live betting, take a look at this article from earlier in our series.

While the prior article focused on live team bets, this article will focus more on live outcome bets. They may sound like one and the same, but they are actually quite different.

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What is a Live Outcome Bet?

A live outcome bet is a variation of live betting that deals only with the final outcome of the game. While live team bets often involve spreads or winning margins, outcome bets ignore margin of victory and only deal with the final score.

What are Examples of Live Outcome Bets?

Over/Under

Perhaps the most popular live outcome bet is that of an over/under. Even the most novice bettors are usually familiar with over/unders, as they are typically on a sportsbook’s main screen. An over/under (also known as a “total”) is a bet on whether the two teams will combine for more than the predicted total (the “over”) or less than the predicted total (the “under”).

With live betting, these totals can change rather quickly. For example, let’s say the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have a pre-game over/under of 44. There may be a situation where one team scores rather quickly on its first possession. In that case, oddsmakers may adjust the live total to 48 or 49 as they consider that quick score a sign of things to come. Conversely, if the score was 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the live over/under is likely to be in the neighborhood of 35-38 points considering the two teams are only on pace to score 28.

Even/Odd Final Score

Whereas betting on an over/under requires an understanding of the two teams and their style of play, betting on an even or odd final score seemingly has more luck involved. With this option, a bettor would be wagering if the final scores of the two teams add to an odd or even sum, regardless of how many total points are scored.

One thing to understand about a bet of this type is how different the scoring structure is in each sport. Neither baseball or hockey games (if you include extra innings or overtime) can end in a tie. Therefore, betting on an even score in baseball of hockey means you do not think a team will win by one run or goal, as those scores always add to an odd number. Thus, the odds on an odd final score will always be steeper given the higher probability that outcome will happen.

Will the game go to overtime? (Yes/No)

Another live outcome bet is wagering on if a game will go to overtime or extra innings. This kind of bet has the possibility for huge payouts since it is unlikely that a game would go to overtime.

For example, in the 54 Super Bowls that have been played, just one has gone to overtime. Yet, sportsbooks offered this prop in advance of Super Bowl LIV between the Chiefs and 49ers. The odds for “yes” the game would go to overtime were +1000, while “no” had odds of -2500. Thus, bettors would have had to wager $2500 just to profit $100 on a “no” bet. However, bettors who would have cashed a “yes” bet would have won ten times their original wager.

How Can I Make a Live Outcome Bet?

Making live outcome bets remotely from a mobile device or computer is always easier, as the bets are at your fingertips. In-person, one may have to wait on a long line of people before getting to the cashier. By that time, the odds you are looking to wager on may be long gone.

On a sportsbook’s app, look for the “live betting” icon. From there, you can go to the league or sport you wish to wager on. You know you are on the right page if you see spreads and totals constantly changing.

When placing a live bet on an app, be aware that these bets are not always instantaneous. Sportsbooks protect themselves and allow for a chance to update their odds accordingly by placing a ten-second hold on a bet before it gets processed. If you try to make a live wager and the odds change before your bet gets processed, your bet will read as “timed out,” and you would have to re-wager according to the updated odds.

At a sportsbook in-person, make sure the cashier knows that you’re looking to place a live bet. Otherwise, they may look at you with confusion as they realize the game has already started. Have the cashier read the live odds to you, as you may not have access to the most current odds. It is always easier to place a live bet during a stoppage in a game.

With any bet, but more particularly for live betting, timing is everything. Just as easily as one can find value in a live line, the value can also disappear just as quickly. In addition, take note of when your sportsbook stops offering live lines. Every sportsbook is different. Some keep changing their live odds until there are a couple of minutes left in a game, while others may not offer any live lines after halftime.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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