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, one can wager on a finite amount of things. Bettors that like unlimited options can look more into live betting.
Live betting is always done more easily online or from an app. The bets are right at your fingertips, and you do not have to worry about waiting on long lines at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. By the time you get to the cashier window, the odds you are looking to wager on may be long gone. Given 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.
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?
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. If one team scores on its first possession, 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 is 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the live over/under will likely 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 wager on whether 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 this type of bet is how different the scoring structure is in each sport. Neither baseball nor hockey games (if you include extra innings or overtime) can end in a tie. Therefore, betting on an even score 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 that outcome’s higher probability.
Will the game go to overtime? (Yes/No)
Another live outcome bet is if a game will go to overtime or extra innings. This kind of bet has the possibility of huge payouts since it is an unlikely event.
For example, in the 54 Super Bowls 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 the game going into 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 would have won 10 times their original wager if the “yes” bet cashed.
How Can I Make a Live Outcome Bet?
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 10-second hold on a bet before it processes. If you try to make a live wager and the odds change before your bet gets processed, your bet will read as “timed out.” You would have to re-wager according to the updated odds.
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 the game’s final minutes, while others may not offer any live lines after halftime.