Live Betting the NFL

Live betting the NFL can be lucrative for bettors.

Key Points

– In-game wagering is the hottest trend in sports betting right now.

– There are a number of live betting strategies NFL live bettors can employ.

Live Betting the NFL

Live betting is the hottest trend in sports betting right now. Bettors can place wagers on games already in play. This provides bettors with some unique opportunities not available with the traditional pre-game bets that are placed before games begin.

Placing bets live adds a whole new level of excitement to betting. Bettors can predict how a game will unfold and can place bets on a wide variety of potential outcomes. Live betting is particularly popular with NFL games. 

There are numerous potential live betting opportunities. Some of them include:

  • The result of a play
  • The result of a drive
  • The first team to score
  • Number of yards gained on the next play
  • And many, many more!

Because of all the possibilities and the potential for some big wins, live betting continues to grow as the biggest trend in sports betting. Bettors can always find live scores and betting odds too.

Why Choose Live Betting the NFL

Sportsbooks are in the business of making money. For decades, they have been taking moneyline, point spread, and totals bets. Sportsbooks have become very efficient at establishing lines and odds in each of these categories.

Live betting is relatively newer and, as a result, sportsbooks haven’t quite become as efficient as they are in those other categories. That is why live bettors can take advantage of some inefficiencies in the in-game market.

It happens quite often in the NFL. Let’s say a pregame 4.5-point favorite goes up 28-0 at the half. The result is that the live betting line jumps all the way to -7.5 on the favorite. 

The savvy bettor has been watching the game – he may have even placed a couple live wagers along the way – and realizes that the underdog has actually been inside the favorite’s red zone three times. They just didn’t score. 

That same savvy bettor then bets on the underdog at +7.5 figuring they have got to put the ball in the end zone at some point. Maybe the favorite still holds on and wins but only by five points. The live bettor is a winner. 

That is one of the advantages of live betting. Bettors get live information and can use it to make decisions. Live betting is also for bettors that miss a pregame bet for some reason. Even though the pregame wager is gone, bettors can still find action via live bets.


Strategies to Win In-Game Bets

First and foremost, it is called “live betting” for a reason. Watch the games that you are betting live on. If you are watching, you have no business attempting in-game bets. 

Watching a game and how it plays out is one of the great advantages of making wagers as a game is played. You pick up on momentum shifts, body language, and other subtle clues that can be used to make betting decisions.

One easy strategy to follow is the pregame favorite that is trailing early in the game. Again, because sportsbooks aren’t fully efficient in the live bets market yet, there will typically be some overreaction when a favorite falls behind early. 

Let’s say you have a 3-point favorite that goes down 14-0 at half. The 3-point favorite might flip all the way to a 6.5-point underdog. Remember, the 3-point favorite was favored for a reason. Smart live bettors might find it a great opportunity to jump on the new 6.5-point underdog. This is a strategy worth considering when betting a game in play.

One of the easiest live strategies is to have access to multiple sportsbooks to find the best live lines and odds. If you shop for full game lines and odds, you know it makes sense to do it for live point spreads, moneylines, and totals. If you can find an underdog at +130, finding the same bet at +150 pays out another $20 on a $100 bet.

In-Game Betting Don’ts

We know there are certain advantages to betting on games while they are being played out. There are a few strategies bettors can use to win more of these bets. There are also a few things that the live bettor just shouldn’t do.

One of those is to not overextend oneself. Put simply, bettors should bet live on too many games at one time. There is a number where the live bettor just will not be as efficient. For some, maybe they can handle three or four live games at a time.

Others may only be able to handle a single game at a time. That’s okay. Trying to keep up with all of the action in one game is hard enough. Adding more games makes it even harder. Do not bet on too many NFL games at once.

Another absolute must is to not use live bets to make up for bad pregame wagers. Too many times, bettors place a live bet to make up for a pregame bet that went south. Bettors may even double up on these bets thinking they can break even. Bad move. 

Place live wagers when you spot an instance where there is value and an opportunity to make money. Otherwise, don’t live bet. This is one of the best betting tips you’ll ever get whether betting football or any sport.


What you can use live bets for is hedging a bet. A live situation may offer the perfect opportunity to come out on top no matter what happens. There have been plenty of good NFL examples of the perfect hedge. One of the most recent was in 2018.

The Chiefs were a 3-point favorite over New England in the AFC title game that year. The Patriots would take a 14-0 lead into halftime. The live line on the game shifted the whole way to the Chiefs +6.5.

Smart bettors jumped on this new line predicting, correctly, that the Chiefs would come back. While they did ultimately lose, Kansas City did cover losing by six points in overtime. Pregame bettors on the Chiefs were saved by this live bet.

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