How To Bet: An Expert Guide To In Play Football Betting

Our latest SBC Sports magazine is out now (Issue 64) and to showcase the benefits of a Smart Betting Club membership we are giving you a sneak peak at an extract from this month’s essential In Play special. It features strategies, practical advice and analysis on every part of sports betting’s biggest growth area – betting live and in running.

But that’s not all you’ll find in SBC Sports 64. The magazine also includes the second part of our interview with Malcolm Boyle a former Corals odds compiler and author of Win At Fixed Odds Football Betting. You’ll see an expert’s take on the new NFL season and a comprehensive review and interview with a major tipster offering in-play football betting – the former Malmo and Sweden U21 international Goran Trpevski.

With all this and all the usual tipster results, ratings and much more besides there’s never been a better time to join up. Join the Smart Betting Club today.


But firstly though, just to get in the mood, here are some of the edited highlights from our In Play feature. Next week on the blog we will also share excerpts from an exclusive interview extract from our chat with former international footballer turned tipster – Goran Trpevski.

An Introduction To In Play Betting

Take a look at the likes of Betfair or Bet 365’s websites and you’ll find endless in play markets offered across a wide array of sports, such as football, rugby, golf and the like. Basically, you can bet in play on virtually any sports where there are televised pictures to accompany the fluctuating betting odds. In Play betting is the term given to bets placed while an event is live and on-going.

In play betting offers a distinct advantage to gamblers who are both watching the event and are connected to the internet with a high speed broadband link, as they can often take advantage of a pivotal moment occurring within a game. It is for this reason that both the online exchanges and bookmakers insist on a time delay between the bet being struck and accepted in their markets. Typically there is an eight second countdown to you placing a bet and it being accepted by the layer.

Bookmakers will temporarily suspend a market if there is an occurrence that is likely to cause a substantial change in the odds. In football, that could include if a team are awarded a penalty, a goal or a red card. The market will then re-form with new prices after the incident, leading to the market suspension, has been resolved.

One clear advantage of in-play betting is that if you miss a pre-match price you were desperate to back, or can’t get your full stake placed, your patience will often be rewarded in play. If luck runs with you and if you can afford to wait say 20-30 minutes before you bet on the side you fancy the odds will drift to a more palatable price (as long as the game remains 0-0, of course). This kind of strategy (cross your fingers and hope to exploit a drift) is also a decent alternative to taking a poor value handicap or Asian handicap bet where the start offered or the price does not represent value.

At kick-off prices are generally efficient, but as the game progresses the odds can take a bit of an adhoc cast especially where games are poised and bookies’ traders are reluctant to take a strong line that flies in the face of the pre-match prices.


One area that needn’t vary live or pre-match is your staking. In either discipline you will still need to adhere to efficient bank management. If you’ve bet 2% of your bank on the 1×2 market before kick-off and then get carried away adding another 3% during the game, you’re almost always risking way too much – probably twice as much as you should have done on the same market (1/20th of your total bank).

What  you should do more sensibly is either to diversify into other markets pertaining to the same match or take a view/watch another game entirely. If you’ve bet on the 1X2 or Asian Handicaps market, look to the Overs goals or the various Corners markets as an alternative source of value. Step lightly when live and you will limit your exposure to mad fluctuations within your betting bank. In this case, where you are betting off the cuff it is far better to have too little on than too much – regardless of how confident you feel about your chosen outcome.

During the Game

Once the game kicks off the pursuit of value is much the same as in any non-live scenario – you have to compare your own prices with those on offer and then only bet where your win chance is bigger than the available odds appear to imply. On a practical level, the only significant are of difference is that everything must be evaluated ‘in the moment’ as the odds whizz and turn all around you.

The available markets are merely in play versions of the things you most likely bet on normally – with one distinction: Asian Handicaps.

When betting on Asian Handicaps live, the bet is settled as if the game was level at the time you placed your bet and the handicap restarts whenever a goal is scored. So when you see an Asian Handicap quote offering the home team with a -0.5 AH for 2.50 when they’re 5-1 up then give yourself a pause. What’s gone before is irrelevant, you will still need the home team to score at least once more in order to win.

A Top Tip

Quickly get a sense of the game’s tempo. Is it a needly, cagy affair played at a preseason pace? Is the passing scrappy and chances few and far between. Then you must take a view on the Under 2.5 goals quotes quickly – firstly because the odds are gradually deteriorating as the 90 minute mark draws closer and secondly, because others will no doubt be coming to the same conclusion too. Just hopefully, not as quickly as you are.

With an open game, packed with chances, the odds on Over 2.5 goals take their cues from the clock just the same but this time you are playing a game of chicken as you look to place your bet on overs at the optimum price, just seconds before a goal goes in.  Accept the fact now that you will be kicking yourself if your perspective turns out to be right but the goal goes in, just as your fingers are poised to place the bet. Get used to it and walk on. It’s simply an occupational hazard.

Read More In Our Latest Sports Betting Magazine

This is just a sample of what you can expect to read about in-play betting from our latest Sports Magazine. To read more on all the strategies for in-play betting plus an interview with a in play specialist – take up a Smart Betting Club membership today.

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