In-Play Betting — wagering after the start of a sporting event — can create opportunities for bettors to exploit inefficiencies in the market and realize sizable profits. To do so requires significant work and an ability to think and act quickly, but In-Play Betting nevertheless tends to provide better returns than pregame wagering. That’s because bettors can gain more of an edge since oddsmakers have far less time to post an In-Play line than a traditional line, which effectively serves to even the bookmaker-bettor playing field.
There are many ways to attack In-Play Betting, but below are some opportunities to look for:
• Getting a better number: If you are confident that your pre-match selection is on the money, you can get a better number if your team falls behind or the clock becomes a factor. This gives bettors a chance to double or triple down and increase their average price or number.
• Middling a number: To middle a number is to get down on opposite sides of a contrasting line, thereby giving bettors the opportunity to win twice if the final margin lands within a certain range. For example, say a bettor makes a pregame wager on the Chiefs +3.5 vs. the Ravens. If Kansas City were to go up 10-0, the In-Play line would likely flip to around Ravens +4.5. If the bettor were to then take Baltimore +4.5, he or she could cash both bets if the Ravens win by less than 4 or the Chiefs win by less than 5.
• Exploiting slow bookmakers: Some oddsmakers are simply too slow to move a number on account of in-game circumstances. These opportunities are rare, but bettors should be ready to take advantage of them when they present themselves.
• Leveraging against public teams: Oddsmakers are typically hesitant to move numbers against public teams when they go down early, because they know unsophisticated bettors will stick with them. Betting against public teams like the Patriots or Lakers in those scenarios can unlock great opportunities for In-Play bettors.
The primary reason In-Play Betting provides value is due to the time crunch oddsmakers face in rolling out updated lines during breaks in the action. Bettors are presented with a similar dilemma, though. In other words, if bettors hope to exploit any potential oversights or inefficiencies in In-Play markets, certain characteristics are critical. Among them:
• Preparation: In-Play bettors must go into a game ready. Know what you are looking for and be prepared to pull the trigger when an opportunity presents itself, as it won’t last long.
• Calmness: There is a lot going on once a game starts. There is the action on the field, a string of ever-changing odds and new information emerging. Being able to remain evenly keeled is paramount for In-Play bettors.
• Precision: Value comes and goes. Successful In-Play bettors know when it exists, which is to say the ability to move on from a missed price can be as valuable as snapping one up.
• Awareness: In-Play betting requires an ability to multitask — from monitoring the prices of multiple bookmakers, to understanding game flow, to weighing the impact of injuries, to determining how weather and other factors can affect a game. Maintaining awareness of all these factors is key.
Summed up, In-Play wagering is a great way for bettors to reduce the bookmaker edge and find new — if not fleeting — sources of profit.