Most bookies now offer markets to implement an In-Play Betting Strategy for football. Bet365 has the biggest range of in-play betting markets available and some great odds to be cashed in on.

What is in-play betting?

In-play betting (also called live betting or in-running betting) is very straightforward. It has changed the way people bet by allowing you to place a bet while a sporting event is unfolding in front of you.

Bookmakers alter odds during the game according to how increasingly or decreasingly likely it is that a particular outcome will materialise. For example, you might want to bet on the unlikely scenario that a football team will make up a three goal deficit in the second half to win. A great recent example is betting in-play during a PSG game in the French Ligue 1. They are by far the best team in the division and if they go a goal down, you will get good odds on them to win the game, better than you would pre-match or with a handicap.

In-Play Betting Strategy

In-play betting strategies can be more effective than basing your bets on pre-match form, head-to-heads and so on. This is because you are witnessing the game live and can see which way the momentum is swinging.

1. Watch the game!

The best in-play betting strategy is to take in the opening exchanges of a football match before making any decisions. If you bet immediately after kick-off without any action taking place, then you might as well snap up the pre-match odds. It is important to remember that if you are watching a match live on TV, your stream will be a few seconds delayed compared to the odds you are seeing.

Look for the cues

Momentum and reading the game is key. There’s so many ‘cues’ you can watch out for such as:

  • Does it seem to be a feisty game from the outset?
  • Does the ref seem to be dishing out the cards?
  • Has a first choice goal-keeper been injured and taken off?
  • Has a star striker been injured and taken off?
  • Is one side going all-out attack?
  • Has there been a sending off?
  • Is a formation different to previous games to make them more/less attacking?


Things to consider while watching the game are trends in the team’s recent performances.

  • Does a team have a history of coming from behind and winning?
  • Is it a local derby?
  • Does a team traditionally have a lot of corners?
  • Is one team much stronger than the other?
  • Does the ref have a reputation for lots of cards?
  • Does the side traditionally start strong but then fade away?

2. Think about the gains

As with any betting, you need to consider whether you want to stake a big sum on a low odds bet or a smaller sum on a big odds bet. Or somewhere in between. It is important to decide this, or at least be aware of your approach, before the game so you don’t make rash decisions in the heat of the moment. Good odds can come and go in a second so you need to be ready if it fits what you are looking for.

If you have a big stake you can be cautious and spread funds across a range of almost sure-fire outcomes whose odds are very short. For example, if there has been four corners in the first ten minutes of a game then you may bet on an over seven corners in the game outcome. Or if there’s a one-sided game and a side has gone 1-0 up, backing them to score next or to win outright. These incremental gains that could start to add up. The other option with a big stake is to put it all on one sure-fire outcome.

3.  Over-Valued Odds

The thing all in-play punters are looking are over-valued odds. Meaning you think the bookmakers have underestimated the likelihood of an outcome. This often comes with some insider knowledge of the team, players or ref. If you are watching your own team and know they crumble in the last ten minutes then you may take the punt on a late goal. Or if you know your centre-back has the most powerful header in the league and your team are looking like winning a corner, you may consider backing them to score the next goal. Over-valued odds do exist but unfortunately we often only know they were over-valued after the event. Try testing the waters with smaller stakes and seeing how your ‘hunches’ pay off.

4. Don’t Be Greedy

It goes without saying, don’t go chasing your losses. Don’t try and recoup losses by suddenly spreading a number of wagers across markets you haven’t thought about. Keep your head in the game and don’t make rash decisions. Have an In-Play Betting Strategy and bet with your smarts not your heart.

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