Live betting or “in play” betting can often be loaded with value spots for savvy sports investors and is a valuable string to the profitable gambler’s bow. Unfortunately for players in Australia, USA and many other locations – live internet betting in restricted. In Australia for example, access to Betfair (the primary betting exchange) is limited to pre-game action online, with an in-play phone betting facility being offered and not restricted by law – which is nonsensical. Obviously from the player’s perspective, this only serves to complicate the player’s chances to wager at the optimal time, and is of no benefit to him/her. Whilst in the USA, any form of access to online wagering is prohibited – with the exception of Las Vegas, Nevada at the time of writing- forcing players to wager offline through unregulated, illegal local bookmakers.
But, back to Betfair – a fantastic online betting outlet. This English company offers a betting exchange platform, which is the perfect paradigm for live betting. Thousands of markets are offered daily, most of which are available for live betting. In the exchange format, the market allows both “Backing” (betting to win), and “Laying” (betting to lose)- whereby a player can act like the bookmaker and therefore profit by taking the “Back” side of another players wager, assuming the risk of payout should this option win.
Many professional players are able to earn a fantastic living through their Betfair “trading” exploits. Because the Betfair market is a live and therefore fluctuating one, participants are able to trade the price movements much like a financial trader would buy/sell commodities and or stocks. In the case of Betfair trading, traders “back” selections at higher prices, and then “lay” the opposite side of the wager at a lower price. This yields a no-lose situation called “greening out” where the player will profit from either outcome of the event, making his/her profit from the price difference of the two transactions, much like the financial trader would. Just be sure to stop for something to eat and drink, as trading market after market, or many overlapping markets can lead to you getting lost in the task!
Betfair does charge a commission for the service, which is not onerous, but still needs to be factored into your trading.
Pinnacle Sports also offer live betting – in a more traditional sense. As a bookmaker, and not a betting exchange, pinnacle will deal players a traditional bet type, only live, with a new and updated line and/or price that corresponds to the current state of play. This “bookmaker” type of live bet is offered only during breaks in play, such as between innings.
For example, say you are betting the Yankees vs Red Sox game total over 9.5, with a starting price of 1.952. After 2 innings, there is no score for either team. With fewer innings remaining, if a pinnacle client still wishes to take the same bet, a better price will be offered for this same outcome, say 2.95. Players will also be offered reduced totals in the same live betting menu, for example game total over 7.5 may be the new total after 2 innings with no score, which better reflects the live state of play. A drawback of this offering is that Pinnacle will offer the market with an increased commission built into the price as a cost of dealing the market live. Players looking to bet into this market will probably have a strong opinion about the outcome, and view a ineffective start to the selected bet as an opportunity to add to a position at a better price.
Regardless of the provider chosen, and whether your goal from live betting is to trade the market or to take better prices in play, the usual fundamentals of sports investment apply – careful planning, discipline and strong strategy. If you are prone to periods of excessive gambling and get very emotionally involved in your wagering, live betting will only hasten your losses.
Be disciplined and stick to your strategy… and good luck!