Match.Center – For your best bookmaker match!

Live Betting Strategies Explained: Tips You’ll Ever Need in Betting

Publication date: 26/05/2023

Live sports betting is betting on the site or app after the game has started. The reason why bettors like this type of sports betting is that they can follow the game and make more accurate predictions in real time, which gives them a better chance of beating the bookmaker. In fact, it's not easier than pre-match betting. On the contrary, a bettor has to be very experienced, patient, and able to quickly read and react to the constantly changing live betting odds. A serious approach and a smart strategy are a must.

Throughout this page, we will go over the basics of In Play betting, its pros and cons, as well as analyse some live betting strategies for popular sports: football, basketball, and tennis.

Pros and Cons of Live Betting


  • Event analysis. In live betting, you see the match with your own eyes, know the strength of the opponents and can note tactical moves or athletes' injuries. Such information is sometimes more valuable than just pre-match statistical analysis.
  • Odds change. The live odds change fast and drastically due to important events on the field. For instance, you can catch better odds on a clear favourite in the course of a match, if they failed to gain an advantage at the start of the game. Or Over/Under Goals bets in football: if the score is 0-0 after a few minutes of play, the live odds will be higher compared to the pre-match odds and the odds will go up until the score changes.
  • 24/7 availability. The vast majority of bookmakers allow you betting live around the clock (unless it's against the law, like in Australia). Market leaders offer regular live betting on dozens of sports. Almost any discipline is suitable for a variety of strategies, and you don't have to wait for a specific match. 
  • Take early payouts. If you have already made a pre-match bet, you can use the live betting option to hedge yourself, or even to make some profit. Example: you placed a risky bet on the victory of the outsider with high odds. If "your" team or athlete comes out ahead, you can make an early payout (Cash Out). The stipulated amount will be less than the potential winnings but you won't have to wait until the end of the match. Plus the favourites can still come back.


  • Odds size. The bookmaker's margin in live betting is higher than in the pre-match — 8-10%. This way, they compensate for the likelihood of an error in the live betting lines due to the need to change the live betting odds quickly.
  • The situation can change dramatically. With live betting, the bettor always has to make quick decisions, especially in fast-paced sports like tennis, badminton or table tennis. You don't have time to weigh up the risks, calculate your losses and potential gains and then focus on a new strategy when the situation changes. And rushing can lead to mistakes.
  • Psychological addiction to live betting. Emotionally unstable people, those who are too gambling and prone to tilt, are better off not trying to bet live (or even get addicted to sports betting). As a rule, when these people lose, they want to win back quickly, and this leads to unfortunate consequences.

Types of Live Bets

Bookmakers offer different options for live betting. Some offer more sports; others provide a wider range of betting markets. We will cover the main live betting options available on most sports betting sites below.


Live betting types


1X2, Double Chance, Over/Under Goals, Odd/Even, Handicap, Next Goal, Over/Under Corners, Over/Under Yellow Cards


Match Winner, Over/Under Points, Handicap by Points, Odd/Even, Race to 15/20 points, Winner of 1st quarter/1st half


1X2, Set Winner, Over/Under Games, Over/Under Tie-Breaks

Table Tennis

Match Winner, Handicap by Points, Over/Under Points, Handicap by Games, Correct Score in Games

Ice Hockey

1X2, Over/Under Goals, Odd/Even, Handicap by Goals, Correct Score, Next Goal


Match Winner, Over/Under Points, Over/Under Sets, Handicap by Sets, Correct Score

Basic In Live Betting Strategies

Betting on a Losing Favourite

Betting on a losing favorite is one of the simplest and most common live sports betting strategies. It involves picking a match where the clear favorite starts poorly against a weaker team. As an example, let’s consider the German Bundesliga game between Bayern Munich and Greuther Furth (20.02.2022). Before the kick-off, the betting sites set the odds at 1.07 for the home team to win, but it was the guests who opened the scoring in the first half. During the break, the new odds on Bayern’s victory increased significantly to $3.

This is a great moment to bet on the favorite. At half-time, the coach analyses the opponent's game, makes substitutions, and can change the momentum of the game. In our case, the Bavarians equalized in the 46th minute and then scored three more goals. The bettor's task is to determine whether the losing team can overturn the course of the game and score a hard-fought victory.

Live wagering on a losing favorite is suitable for many sports. It can be used in both team and individual disciplines.

Betting on Late Goals in Football

In football, one of the most popular live strategies is betting on a late goal after 80 minutes. For example, if the score is 1-0, you bet on "Over 1.5 Goals." It is important to pick the right match for this strategy. The main things to pay attention to are:

  • The opponents create many dangerous chances and do not shut down in their own half.
  • The goal difference is no more than two goals. In other situations the teams may decide to conserve their energy.
  • The coaches released fresh forwards and attacking midfielders as substitutes in the second half.
  • The number of goals does not exceed the total expected by the bookmakers in the pre-match.

This strategy is not recommended during draws in cup competitions. The cost of a mistake at the end of a match is too high, and the opponents may settle for a draw in regular time.

Live Bet Insurance

Live betting gives you the chance to back it up if you are unsure of the accuracy of your prediction. The bet seems to win, but the events on the playing field make you hesitant. An insurance policy can help you minimise potential losses or even make a profit.

For instance, you bet $100 on a first-half draw in a football match. The odds on such an event are about 2.50. If, five minutes before halftime, there’s a draw but the teams create numerous dangerous chances, you can back it up by betting on the "No Draw" option for $50. At that point, the live betting odds on this option will be around 5.00.

Excluding the stake amount, you will get the same winnings in both cases: $100 ($100 x 2.5 = $150 for a draw; $50 x 5 = $150 if one team still manages to get ahead before half-time). Either way, you'll win one or the other.

Live Betting Strategies in Sports: let's get into the details

Football Live Betting Strategy

Betting on Over/Under Corners

Experienced sports bettors have developed many different strategies for live betting in football. One of the most popular is In Play wagering on a late goal in a football game. Another frequently used live betting system is betting on corners. When choosing a game for this strategy, pay attention to the following factors:

  • The home team are the clear game favourites in the pre-match.
  • The home team really needs 3 points, but they are not leading at the end of the match.
  • The away team is defending hard and barely attacking.
  • The away team's coach replaced the forwards with defensive players: defenders and defensive midfielders.
  • The home team plays on the flanks and frequently crosses into the penalty area.

Got the right match? Then try to bet on three or more corners for the home team 20 to 25 minutes before the end of regular time. For example, if this team leads 5-1 in corners at the end of the game, you should bet on an individual total Over 7.5 Corners.

Live Betting on Yellow Cards

Another common live football betting strategy is to bet on the number of yellow cards. Here is the idea: a punter places a live bet that there will be at least three more yellow cards to be given in a match. For such a bet, select matches according to the following criteria:

  • A major rivalry in the match, or the game is important in terms of the tournament for both teams.
  • The score is either tied or one of the teams is leading by one goal.

  • In the second half, there were already a few fouls but the referee just gave verbal warnings.

  • The total expected in the pre-match has not been reached yet.

The bet is placed 15–20 minutes before the end of regular time. For example, if the opponents have picked up 4 yellow cards between them, you have to bet on a card total of over 6.5.

Live Football Betting on the Underdog

Bookmakers often overestimate the clear favorite in a match, which encourages punters to bet on the opponent. The status of an underdog in football can be attributed to many reasons — class of the opponent, poor statistics of head-to-head games, players' injuries, etc.

It is not necessary for teams at different levels to be placed tens of places apart in the standings. It is possible to find huge differences in betting odds even when teams that are close in he standings play their head-to-head game. Perhaps one club is on a bad streak while the other has picked up good momentum and is smashing rivals one by one.

When picking the most suitable matches to bet against favorites, it is also worth paying attention to the schedule, particularly in the top leagues where clubs participate in the Champions League play-offs. As the main European Cup is always more important than championships, coaches of Bayern, Manchester City, PSG, and other giants can rotate the line-up significantly for the domestic matches of low importance.

Moreover, you can place In Play bets on more than just outsiders' victories. In the In Play betting, you can find higher odds on a goal scored by the weaker team. Depending on the time of the match and the events on the field, the best odds might be as high as 2.00–3.00.

In order to use this strategy regularly, try to check out as many football tournaments as possible and pick out the clubs that consistently cause problems for the leaders.

You can read more about other popular football betting systems in a separate article on Match.Center.

Basketball Live Betting Strategy

Live wagering by quarters is a popular basketball betting strategy. You bet on the underdog to win in the first quarter of the NBA game, for example. In case of defeat, the amount of each next bet, according to the Martingale financial strategy, must be doubled until the first win.

The odds for the underdog's victory in each quarter will exceed 2.00, so the first win will compensate for losses. If the underdog loses all quarters in the selected NBA game, you must continue to bet according to the strategy in the next game. The first bet amount should not exceed 1-3% of the total bankroll.

So, with a total bankroll of $1000, the first In Play bet amount will be $10. Here is how the betting table for this strategy looks like:


Odds on the outsider to win in the 1st quarter


Bankroll size

















You can find more strategy options for basketball games on the separate Match.Center page.

Tennis Live Betting Strategy

For tennis betting fans, there is a live game strategy for break-back. In a match between equal players, the odds on this sporting event will exceed 2.00.

A break in a tennis match is a win in a game on someone else's serve. A break-back is a game won on the opponent's serve right after losing a game on your own serve.

Whenever one player wins a game on another player's serve, you have to bet immediately on the opponent to win the next game. When choosing matches, experts advise paying attention to women's tennis. You should also consider the following criteria:

  • Both tennis players have a weak serve.
  • The match takes place on a slow surface (clay).
  • There is no big gap in the score between the tennis players.

Read more about other tennis betting strategies in another article on Match.Center.

Live Betting Strategies for Other Sports

There are also plenty of live betting strategies for other sports. Many of them are based on the Martingale principle, but there are also more interesting options.

Live Betting Strategies for Ice Hockey

End-of-match betting is a unique feature of the NHL and other hockey leagues, where losing teams can replace their goalkeeper with a sixth player. There is a high probability that the score will change: either the puck will be headed towards an empty net or the numerical advantage will allow the game to go into overtime. In regular time, you have to wait for the odds to approach 2.00. This could be around 2-2.5 minutes until the end of the match and before the goalkeeper is replaced by a field player.

Another one of the best live betting strategy for ice hockey is to bet on period results. Similar to the basketball live betting strategy, the sports bettor chooses the same market and increases the bet amount in case of failure. In particular, experienced bettors recommend sports betting with the Martingale strategy on Over 1.5 Goals per period. If the first bet loses, bet on Over 1.5 Goals in the following live games until the first win.

The size of each following bet is calculated according to the formula: bet amount = (amount of potential winnings from the first bet + amount of bets lost) / (odds − 1).

If the bet on Over 1.5 Goals loses in all periods of the selected match, it is necessary to choose another match and continue to raise the live bet amount. According to Martingale strategy, the first bet amount should not exceed 1-1,5% of the total size of the bankroll. Otherwise, there is a high probability of wasting all the money, so bankroll management is important.

Live Betting on Volleyball

One option for a live volleyball betting strategy is to bet on Over/Under in a set. When choosing a bet, it is best to avoid weak tournaments where match-fixing and lower odds are possible. Other criteria for this live betting strategy include:

  • In the current game, each team has scored between 10 and 17 points.
  • The leader's advantage is at least two points.
  • Important note: situations where the underdog is leading are not suitable for this bet.

If you bet on Under 47.5 points in a set, the odds range from 1.30 to 1.60, depending on the level of the opponents and the game scenario.

If the winning team continues to score points and pull away from its opponents, don't do anything. If the opposing team goes ahead, you can bet on Over 45.5 points, the odds will be around 1.20-1.40. The bet amount should be 3.5 times of the first live bet size.

Next, there are three possible outcomes:

  • If the total score is more than 47 points, you get your bet amount back.
  • For a total of 46 or 47 points, both live bets win.
  • If the total is under 45.5, the loss is big, but the probability of this outcome is extremely low.

Handball Live Betting System

The live betting strategy for handball includes betting on the individual total of the losing team. The bettor must correctly indicate whether or not one of the teams will have more points than the given figure. A match where the losing team scores fewer points than the bookmaker expected before the game begins is suitable for such a bet. Important conditions:

  • The match must have already lasted between 5 and 20 minutes.
  • The losing team scores an average of just over one point for every 5 minutes.

  • The minimum number of points the losing team has scored in the last five matches. For example, 25, 30, 28, 27 and 31 points - aim for a total of Over 24.5.

  • There should be a live bet on a minimum total of the points scored by the losing team in the last five games. If the odds are 1.60 and above, you can bet with confidence. Before the game starts, the betting sites rarely set more than 1.20 for such a total, if at all.

In the early stages of a game, both favourites and underdogs might have to catch-up. If the stronger team loses, the desired individual total will most likely be scored with a margin. However, live wagering on the individual total of a losing underdog is not senseless either. Favourites may begin to conserve energy, give up the initiative, and allow their opponents to score as long as it does not threaten the match's outcome.

What Not to Do as a Beginner?

In conclusion, here are some universal tips suitable for In Play betting on different sports:

  • You should only bet live if you have a very good knowledge of the chosen sport. Knowing the specifics, the news about the current form of the athletes and the nuances of sports betting on particular tournaments will help you find the most suitable game and market.
  • In Play betting is always risky. In sporting events, the result can change seconds before the final whistle, and then a small, seemingly safe bet will turn to dust in the blink of an eye. If you’re going to take a risk, do it with huge odds.
  • Keep an eye on your bankroll and don't bet huge amounts (by your standards). Remember, experts advise not spending more than 5% of the total bankroll on a single bet. Then you'll have the chance to try a different live betting strategy over and over again.
  • Pick one strategy and stick to it. Betting according to a strategy does not guarantee profit, but it does teach you discipline and emotion control. Also, erratic betting often leads to quick losses. Remember that a strategy is tested over a distance, so don't expect miracles.


What is the most popular live betting strategy?

The most simple and straightforward live betting strategy is considered to be the Martingale. In this live betting strategy, you increase your bet amount when after the lost bet so the first winning bet will make up for your loss or even make a profit

Is live betting more profitable?

First and foremost, In Play betting is more risky and gives you more excitement. Due to the constantly changing odds, you can also win more than if you had bet on the same outcome before the match. In order to succeed with these In Play bets, you have to be prepared — study the opponents, follow and analyse the events on the field beforehand. In general, bettors who make their decisions based on current field conditions have a greater chance of winning than bookmakers who rely solely on statistics.