What you need to know about live sports betting

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54), right, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) celebrate Floyd's sack during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

Live sports betting, or in-game wagering, allows bettors to put action on a contest that has already started.

There are a lot of reasons for why live betting is popular with sports betting becoming more legalized. It allows the bettor to hedge out of pregame bets or make a decision on how a particular game is unfolding. It can be a chance to find value in the market while the odds are constantly changing.

Place your live bets at Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports.

Example of live sports betting

Let’s say the Chicago Bears jump out to a 7-3 lead on the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter of their rivalry matchup, which was the case in Week 2 of the 2021-22 NFL season. The Packers were favored by 10 points before the game, but the live spread might have changed due to early results.

If the live spread fell to Packers -7.5, for example, and you thought that was too low, you could place a live bet on them. As long as they win by eight or more points, your ticket would be graded as a winner.

In that same matchup, the total might have moved due to the amount of points being scored early on. The pregame total might have been 42, but moved up to 45 after the first two possessions. This could be an opportunity for a bettor to come in on the updated under.

Types of live bets

Point spread — The margin assigned by oddsmakers that is factored into the final score of a wager. The spread will either be added to the score of the underdog team, or subtracted from the favored team’s score, to determine the result of the wager.

Moneyline — A dollar-value wager placed on a sporting event where a point spread is not assessed. Basically, you are only wagering on who will win the game/contest, outright. Values are represented by a plus/minus sign.

Total (over/under) — A wager based on the total number of combined points/runs/goals scored in a game between both teams involved in the contest. A bettor must choose over or under the set number for that game.

Reasons to live bet

Better odds — As highlighted above, numbers can move in your favor based on what happens in the game. Especially if an underdog comes out with a perfectly-scripted opening drive or records an early turnover on the defensive side of the ball.

Entertainment — Let’s be honest, it is fun to have action on the game that you are watching. Even when I don’t bet a primetime game prior to kickoff, I will look for opportunities to place live bets on the games I’m watching every snap of. Just remember to stay within your bankroll budget on every bet.

You understand the context — By waiting to bet on the game after it starts, you can have a better read on how the game is playing out. It allows you to gauge tempo, mismatches, and even important injuries that happen during a game.


Live betting can be a lot of fun and is certainly increasing in popularity. If you are someone who has a good grasp on how to analyze a game, such as mismatches and understanding momentum, then this can be a good way to have action on sporting events.

It is always important to understand the risks when betting on sports, so continue to practice good bankroll management when placing live bets.

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537)

Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson is the Sports Betting Content Director for the Shaw Media Local News Network.