Live and Half-Time Football Betting

Live & Half-Time Betting Strategy

Football is an unpredictable sport. You only have to look at how many surprise Super Bowl winners there have been over the years to confirm this theory. Remember the New York Giants in 2007? No-one gave them a chance, even after they'd made the playoffs. What about the St. Louis Rams in 1999? Who could have possibly expected THAT outcome at the start of the season.

There are countless other examples too, such as the 49ers in 1981 and the Redskins the year after that. Going back even further, the New York Jets' victory in 1968 was a major shock.

If a football team can surprise people for an entire season, then upsets in individual games are inevitable. This is one of the main reasons why so few people make money from betting on football. It's hard to consistently make accurate predictions in a sport where the unexpected happens so often.

Football betting CAN be profitable of course. Solid knowledge of the sport and the teams involved helps a lot, and so does a fundamental understanding of betting strategy. But even if you have those attributes, it's still a challenge.

To be a successful football bettor you have to give yourself every possible edge that you can. Among other things, this means finding the right spots to utilize your football and betting knowledge for profit. Easier said than done, but good opportunities do exist.

Some of the best opportunities can be found when betting DURING a game of football. This is simply because you have more information to work with. You can do all the research you want prior to a game starting, but you can never be quite sure how the teams are going to perform. With the advantage of watching some of the action first, you'll have a clearer idea of how things are going to turn out.

This is why live and half-time football betting are such good options for bettors. Not sure how these work? Read on to find out. We explain the basics of these forms of betting, and also tell you what to look out for when betting this way. We also offer some useful strategy advice.

Half-Time & Live Football Betting Explained

Half-Time Football Betting

Let's start with half-time betting. Or second half betting as it's also called. This has been offered by bookmakers for many years, and the concept here is simple. At half-time the bookmakers and betting sites set odds and lines specifically for the second half of the game. They can offer a variety of wagers at this stage, with most offering at least the following.

  • Point spread
  • Moneyline
  • Total

This basically gives you the option to bet on what's going to happen in the second half of the game. It's important to note that these odds and lines are usually for the second half only. Take the following second half point spread for example.

2nd Half Point Spread Example

With this line you're betting on whether the Broncos will win the second half by more than 3 points, or whether the Steelers will lose the half by less than 3 points.

The half time score is irrelevant for the purposes of this wager.

It's vital that you understand this. A wager such as this will be settled based solely on what happens in the second half. It doesn't matter whether the Broncos are already winning or not. And it doesn't matter how much they're winning by. To cover the second half spread, they have to score at least four more points than the Steelers in the second half.

The same principle applies to a second half total.

2nd Half Total Example

Again, it doesn't matter how many points have been scored in the first half. The over/under here is for second half points only. If 20 or more points are scored, a wager on the over will win. If less than 20 points are scored, a wager on the under will win.

That's pretty much all you need to know about second half betting in practical terms. There's one final point though. You don't have very long to make your mind up when half-time betting. So you need to move quickly when you spot a good value wager. It's also worth remembering that the bookmakers and betting sites don't have long to set these lines either. This means they're more liable to misjudge things, and create value in the betting markets. If you're smart, you can take advantage of that.

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BetOnline is one of the best gambling sites for half-time football betting. They're usually one of the first to get the second half odds and lines up, and they're generally very competitive compared to other sites. There are lots of other reasons to have an account here too, as you'll discover in our detailed BetOnline review.

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Live Football Betting

Live football betting is a little different from half-time betting. It still feels like a relatively new development in the sports betting industry, although most online betting sites have been offering it for years now. As with half-time betting, it enables you to place wagers after a game of football has started. There's one fundamental difference though.

You can bet at ANY point during a game.

That's right. With live betting, you're not limited to just betting at half time. Sites with a live betting platform offer a wide variety of wagers throughout the game. So you can put your money down any time you want.

There's another difference too. With live betting, the odds and lines are typically based on the final result. They're constantly adjusted throughout the course of a game, primarily based on what's happening on the field of play.

Here's an example of what an online live betting platform looks like during a game.

Screenshot of a Live Football Betting Platform

As you can see, there's a lot of different betting options to choose from. This is one of the advantages that live betting has over half-time betting. There's simply more choice, which means a better chance of finding the right wagers to place. Combined with the ever-changing odds and lines, this creates a plethora of opportunities for making money. If you're serious about your football betting, and you're able to assess what's happening during the games, you should definitely try live betting.

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Bovada is a great site for live football betting. It's one of our top recommended betting sites in a variety of categories, and it has a great live betting platform. Their coverage of games is excellent, as is the range of available wagers and the odds on offer. If you don't have an account here yet, you should definitely consider signing up.

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What to Look Out For

You need to know what to look out for if you're going to make money from live and half-time betting. As with pre-game betting, there are several factors to consider when trying to find the right wagers to place. Some of these are the same, but some are completely different.

Here's a list of a few important questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How are the teams performing?
  • How are the game plans working out?
  • Are any players off their game?
  • Is either team making adjustments?
  • Does the current score accurately reflect the game?
  • Does either team have significant momentum?
  • Have any key players been hurt?
  • Is the weather having an effect, and is it likely to change?

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it's a good place to start. Answering these questions will certainly get you thinking about how the rest of a game is likely to pan out. And that's the goal really. You need to be analyzing everything that's happening and then using that analysis to make your predictions.

The single biggest advantage of betting during a game is that there's extra information available to you. There's no real point to doing live or half-time betting if you're not going to actually use that information. The bookmakers have the same information available to them, and you can be sure that they'll be using it to set their odds and lines. The only way to find the value in those odds and lines is by knowing what's going on in the game yourself.

Strategy Advice for Live & Half-Time Betting

The strategy for live and half-time betting is not entirely different to pre-game betting strategy. The goal is still to consider all the information at your disposal, and use that information to make informed judgements about what's likely to happen next. Taking this one step further, you can study the odds and lines to see if there are any sensible wagers to place. The main difference is that you have additional information to work with, and additional wagering options to consider.

Just like pre-game betting, there are no "perfect systems" for consistently picking winners. So we can't offer you an easy path to success. We can offer you some useful advice though.

Start here with a list of things you should definitely do when betting live and/or at half time.

  • Watch the games
  • Limit your stakes/number of wagers
  • Pay attention to injuries
  • Consider public opinion

Watching the game is an obvious one. As we've already mentioned, the primary advantage of betting during a game is all the extra information that's available to you. Much of that information is only really available if you're actually watching the game. This enables you to take a closer look at everything that's happening, and then make judgments about how that's going to affect what happens next.

Limiting your stakes is also important. Placing extra wagers during a game has the potential to be a drain on your bankroll if things don't go according to plan. So you need to be careful about how much money you put at risk. Remember, the unexpected can still happen at any point during a game. We also recommend limiting the number of live and half-time wagers you place. You don't have to place lots of extra wagers just because the option is there to do so. As with all forms of betting, the best approach is always to be selective.

It's a very good idea to pay close attention to injuries. Injuries to key players at any point can have a profound effect on how the rest of the game plays out. Although these will usually be factored into the odds and lines anyway, you still need to take them into account when deciding which wagers to place.

Public opinion is definitely worth considering too. It plays a part in how the odds and lines are set at any time, but especially so when betting live and at half-time. These forms of betting are very popular with recreational bettors, and the bookmakers know that. They set the odds and lines in a way that overvalues the favorite, as the majority of the public is likely to bet on the favorite regardless. That can mean extra value for backing the underdog in a lot of cases.

Now let's move on to some specific scenarios to look out for. The following all have the potential to create opportunities for finding some good value wagers.

  • Good teams losing at home
  • Strong favorites with a big lead
  • Opportunities for a middle
  • Losing teams with good comeback records

When you see a good team losing at home, it can be right to back them to turn things around. Strong teams don't tend to lose very often when they have home-field advantage. There are some shocking cases where this just doesn't pan out, which is why considering all the relevant circumstances is so vitally important.

Strong favorites with a big lead can create some interesting opportunities too. The assumption is often that they'll continue to extend their lead, and this is usually reflected in the odds and lines. However, teams sometimes start to hold back once they've established a big lead. This is especially the case when they're in the middle of a tough schedule. If they think they already bound to win, they make take it easy to preserve some energy. This can make it right to place point spread and totals wagers that go against the general expectation.

A middle involves taking advantage of changes in the lines to potentially benefit from both sides. For example, let's say you backed an underdog at +7 and they managed to take an early lead. The spread might change to 5 points at this stage. You could then bet the favorite at -5 and be in a great situation.

  • If the favorite went on to win by six points, you'd win both your wagers.
  • If the favorite went on to win by seven points or five points, you'd win one and push one.
  • If the favorite won by more than seven points, you'd win one and lose one.
  • If the favorite won or loss by less than five points, you'd also win one and lose one.

Basically you've reduced your overall exposure to risk, and given yourself the opportunity to win more than one wager on the same line. This isn't always the best move to make, but it can be in certain circumstances.

The final scenario we're mentioning here is an obvious one. Teams with good comeback records can regularly create good value betting opportunities. If a team has a habit of falling behind but then coming back to win, or at least reduce the points deficit, they're definitely one to watch when betting live and at half time. They won't always turn things around of course, but if they do to any degree of regularity, then you can definitely make a profit by backing them at the right stage of a game.


Half-time betting and live betting are great options for football bettors. Especially live betting, which provides a lot more flexibility and creates a better range of betting opportunities. Smart bettors who know and understand football can definitely make money from this form of betting. It's not just about making money either, as live betting is a lot of fun too.

So regardless of whether you bet for profit or just for entertainment, you should definitely try live football betting. You should also follow the strategy advice we offer on this page. There are no guarantees it will help you to win money, but it will certainly improve your chances.