Live Betting vs Pre-Match Bets

Live Betting vs Pre-Match Bets

2018 Jun 4

Is it better to bet live or before the match? Find out, with examples, mathematical arguments, and calculations the answer to this question! There are two main types of sports betting: pre-match and live betting. In the first case we are talking about bets placed before the start of a game, and in the second case, we have bets placed in real time. But what is the best way to bet? What are the risks and benefits of each option? How are live betting odds calculated and set in both cases?

Live betting is a quick way of getting rich or bankrupt

When betting live we have the chance to place a large number of bets in a very short time. You have to make quick decisions and bet fast. Thus you must have a clear mind and focus on what you are doing so that you can correctly and quickly analyse the bets and make the best decisions. Lack of concentration can lead to poor results and at the same time loss of a significant amount of money in a short time. Lack of concentration can be caused by fatigue, nervousness, stress or even an advanced state of intoxication. So it's not a good idea to make live bets after a few glasses with your friends. Usually, the results will not be the best.

Are live bets safer than pre-match bets ?

The interest in LIVE bets has existed since the first live matches. When you follow a sport, but especially a team and you know how they play, you immediately realise if it is the day of the expected result or a surprise. At that moment the result is already set in your mind, without realising you have made a prediction. If the game ends exactly as you anticipated, you think you could have made some money quite easily.

Yes! It seems much easier to predict a match in progress because you have all the information you need and see how the match progresses. There may be injuries in the first few minutes, last minute changes, but if you bet before the game, there’s nothing you can do. Eventually, wait and pray. Theoretically, LIVE bets are safer from this point of view.

Of course, this is true in theory if you are able to follow certain rules because with live betting it is very easy to get carried away.

Do we lose or win more when we bet live ?

It is easy to win when betting during a match, or at least you have bigger chances during the match if you have analysed the match. This is the moment when you lose your patience to bet on what you know and bet all your money mindlessly.

The biggest problem when you bet mindlessly is the odds or data displayed by bookmakers, which, believe it or not, can often be WRONG, do not rely on them alone. For example, you bet on a friendly match from an unknown lower league, the displayed data may be wrong ( reversed score, multiple corners or cards for a team ). You look at the odds, you look at the data and that’s it, you place the bet. The terms and conditions clearly state that the operator does not take the responsibility, and the data is for information purposes only.

  • DO NOT be greedy, bet only on matches that you can watch on TV or online on your PC, so you'll be sure you have all the data you need.

  • DO NOT increase the stakes if you see that you are starting to lose, take a small break. This is usually the case when you bet on events that you have absolutely no information about and you can hardly find anything on Google or in the media.

The idea is that live bets could be more profitable than the pre-match ones, but they also come with more temptations and traps for punters. A cool-headed person will gain more when betting live, just as those looking to get rich quickly will be penniless in the shortest time.


Many professional punters choose the pre-match bet because it is much easier to follow a set of rules and organise themselves better. When betting before a match starts, they have more time to make the best decisions. They can analyse statistics, see what teams are at the start, look at recent stats, etc. They also have the right money management and a well-established betting system or strategy.

That's why they need a little time to determine exactly what bets to place and what amounts to invest. They will calculate if the desired bet is a value bet, ie if the odds offered by the bookmaker are good enough. Such punters will only place single bets and will rather be more interested in achieving a steady profit in the long run. They will not bet very large amounts of money because they do not place many bets, so they can not make a big profit in a short time either. On the other hand, they do not take any unnecessary risks.

A beginner who wants to hit the jackpot with 2 EURO will not bet on live sports but will form a bet slip from many matches to place at the bookmaker round the corner. However, we would not compare professional punters and amateur punters because those in the first category bet more pre-match because that betting mode is more convenient for their style, while those in the second category do it rather out of ignorance, for convenience, and without having logical arguments in their favour.

Who prefers live betting ?

A lot of regular punters choose live bets, just as some professional punters do. Usually, live bets are chosen by those who like adrenaline and rely less on figures and more on feeling. To be successful in live bets, you must be able to feel the match and anticipate what will happen. In a match, whether it be football, basketball or hockey, the teams involved are not usually constant throughout the game. It is easy to assume that a football team that dominates the opponent in the first 15 minutes will be able to win the match. This is not always the case, and this differentiates a regular punter from a good one: the vision of the game and the ability to predict when the course of the game will change.

When you bet live you do not have time to analyse all kinds of statistics and you have to know the teams involved very well. For example, if the head coach introduces an offensive player 15 minutes before the end of the match, will he be able to make the difference? If the leading team moves to a more defensive style will it be able to keep the result? Does a team have the habit of starting a game forcefully and lose in the end? Or maybe the other way round? Who benefits if a heavy rain starts at half-time? These are questions that you need to be prepared to answer when placing live bets.

When betting live, you will place more single bets, but unlike the bets placed before the start of the matches, you will invest much more money. That's because it takes far less time for a bet result to be decided, so you can place many bets in a short time. For example, there are people who place many bets on tennis picks and who bet on the winner of the next game or points. Such punters get to place even a few dozens of bets in just two or three hours, so they can get to bet their bankroll a few times in one day. We saw punters with a turnover of 100,000 euros in a month although they did not have more than 1,000 € in their account. Such a way to bet comes with both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, you can win big amounts of money in a very short period of time, but on the other hand, you can just as easily lose all your money if you catch a bad day and a long series of bets is lost.

What will you choose?

Taking into account what we have written above, pre-match bets can be profitable especially for the calculated people, who carefully plan the steps they have to follow and leave nothing to chance. They are suited for those who bet in the long run and aim to achieve a steady monthly profit.

On the other hand, live bets are for dynamic people who rely more on instinct and feeling, but who also have solid knowledge of the teams involved. Such punters will be looking for a slightly faster profit and are more willing to take risks. Or at least it should be like that. Of course, in reality, things are not always the same, and if you ask someone why they choose a bet type to the detriment of another they may not even know how to give you a logical answer to this question.

Besides the things discussed above, there are a few things to be said. If you want to place live bets then you have to forget the mortar and brick sports books and just bet online. Of course, there are many offline bookmakers that offer live bets, but no serious punter will take this option into consideration. Do you really want to stand in a queue every time you want to bet? If you bet before the matches start, then it is easier to bet at offline bookmakers. However, if you are the type of punter that only places single bets many times a day, then it is clear that online bets are a natural choice.

Ultimately, both live betting and pre-match bets have their advantages and disadvantages. It is up to every individual to choose the most suitable bet type.

How Are The Pre-Match & Live Betting Odds Set ?

Q: How do bookmakers set live betting odds for football?

A: It's a tough question, we will try to answer it. The truth is that sometimes these odds are set manually and sometimes they are set automatically. You've probably seen that live bets are often blocked, and you can not bet on that match anymore, which means that the "suspended" feature has been activated. Although you may wonder, in most cases activating this feature is done manually by a real person.

Q: Does that mean that there is one person watching each live match?

A: Yes, it really does exist, but it's not as difficult as it seems.

How the live betting service works ?

When bets are suspended, you can not bet on that match anymore. This happens when an injury occurs, when a warning is given, when a goal is scored or when the end of the first half or the whole match approaches. In other words, bets are blocked when something notable happens on the ground. But why are bets blocked? The answer is simple: the odds can be changed without the punters taking advantage of them. In some sports, bets are automatically blocked. For example, in horse racing, this happens when competitors enter the last quarter of the race. However, in football, bets are usually locked manually most of the time.

Is there any way to exploit this feature ?

If the feature is activated manually, then you can use it, provided you are faster than the person in charge of the match. But it is not easy to do so. The point is that if you watch a match on TV or on the Internet, you have no chance to be faster and that's just because the transmissions have a delay of a few seconds and in such a situation every second counts. From our point of view, you can only use this feature if you are watching the match live on the stadium and you already have the bet in the phone. For example, you select a bet on the phone that the home team will score, but you still do not place it. Hang on with your phone, and when the team scores, tap the "Bet" button. It should also be said that it is immoral to do so and we do not encourage this practice, but after all, each punter has the right to choose whether or not to use such "strategies". Take into account that you risk being limited and have your account locked by the bookmaker! It is not moral to use such practices, and we do not recommend them at all!

Bookmakers add a lag to livestream

But suppose you have no opportunity to watch matches live from the stadium or want to bet on a match in another country. There are sports betting sites that offer live video broadcasts such as :

These transmissions will always have a delay, perhaps even longer than the delay that matches have on TV. That is why you should not be surprised if, while watching a live match, you will notice that the bets are blocked without reason, and only then something notable happens. No bookmakers have premonitions, but their transmissions are lagging.

Fixed odds are affected by placed bets more than by live bets

When we say "fixed odds" we refer to the pre-match odds. When a bookmaker introduces a match in the offer, you will see that these fixed odds vary. This is because of the betting manner. If big amounts are bet on the home team, then the home team odds decrease even if the bookmaker considers the away team to be the one to win. But when we talk about live betting things are different, and odds are much less influenced by betting tendencies. They still matter, but not so much.

Do bookmakers guess what will happen during the match ?

No, but to be honest, bookmakers are much better documented than punters. They have more information about players, teams, weather conditions and other important factors that could influence the outcome of a football match. Think about bookmakers investing enormous amounts of money in developing apps capable of anticipating the results of a sports event, and it is normal for these applications to perform better than any betting program or betting system that a regular punter might have.

Think about marketing and risk

Although bookmakers are able to accurately anticipate the real winning chances of a bet, they do not set the initial odds solely on the basis of these winning chances. It is known, for example, that for horse racing often fake favourites are chosen to confuse the punters. This can also be true for football. Let's say that a team is led by two goals at the end of the first half, and bookmakers know that it is impossible for that team to score because it never did in such a situation. That's why the bookmaker will offer very tempting odds for a possible comeback to convince customers to "donate" their money.

What factors have an immediate effect ?

When a goal is scored, live bets on football will be suspended and will be unlocked once the odds have been adjusted. A few minutes after scoring you may see how the odds change suddenly. This is because it is commonplace to score more goals in a short time. The team that scored first could take advantage of the moment to score again or, on the contrary, the team being led could react quickly by scoring too. Statistically, such situations occur quite often, so bookmakers might suddenly change odds to be prepared for such a scenario.

And when an important player gets hurt, it's likely that the odds are undergoing major changes. But this is not a rule, because there are many cases where, after an injury, the odds remain the same. This also applies to red cards, although it is true that those situations where odds do not change after a player's elimination are rare. But it depends greatly on the context in which that elimination comes. For example, if the better team takes a 2: 0 lead, their share in victory will not change too much, even if it remains in ten people.

There is a saying:
"Time does not forgive anyone"

This also applies to live bets. If a team is led 0: 2, their chances of getting a positive result will be smaller and this will also be reflected in odds. The leading team will have a tiny share in the win a few minutes before the end of the match and sometimes the bookmakers will not even allow you to bet on this team.

How can you benefit from these odds changes ?

As we said above, bookmakers have high-performance applications and scripts in which they have invested a lot of money. These applications are able to calculate the odds of a bet. And live betting odds change according to the calculations of these apps, so, honestly speaking, you can’t take advantage of these odds changes. There is no magic formula to earn guaranteed money. Of course, if you have a well-established strategy and you are an inspired punter able to choose the perfect time to bet, then you can make some money. For example, if a team is led in the 88th minute, but the instinct tells you that the losing team is able to even the score, then you could earn good money if your bet is winning because the odds will be quite high.
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