Live betting is a popular option amongst NFL bettors.
How can you gain an edge?

How Does Live Betting Work?

Sportsbooks have developed (or pay for) algorithms that spit out live odds as a game is being played. Normally you have a very small window to place your bet as every play can affect the new lines moving forward. If you like a live line that your sportsbook is offering, bet it fast, because that line will soon be off the board.  In addition to live plays, sportsbooks offer new lines and odds during every commercial break, giving you a few minutes to place your wagers. 

Tips & Strategies

Use Multiple Sportsbooks

This might sound a tad obvious, but If you are going to live bet the NFL you should absolutely be watching the game. Following the box score on an app, and betting in real time is not a winning combo.

Also, make sure you have access to multiple sportsbooks. Different sportsbooks will offer differ lines throughout the game. You want to make sure that if you are betting a live event, you are getting the best price in the market. Doing this live might be a challenge. Due to the live coverage delay between the event and your television, you often have a very short window to make plays. As a result, many live plays are not accepted by sportsbooks. By the time you put your play in, something has happened in the game which will result in the sportsbook taking your line off the board. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you were on the right side of the bet, but you didn't have enough time to place the wager.

Big NFL Favorites

If you like a big favorite, but you aren't willing to pay such a high price, you can use live betting to your advantage. Some bettors will watch the game, and hope that the underdog will take the lead early. When this happens, the line for the big favorite will drop. You can now bet on the favorite at a more moderate/reduced price. This strategy is not risk free, as your team is now facing a deficit. Use caution when implementing such a strategy, and only use it if you feel your team is getting good value.

Major Injuries

Sometimes the algorithms that sportsbooks use to generate their live lines are susceptible to in-game injuries. If a major position player such as a quarterback suffers a game ending injury, be sure to load multiple sportsbooks to see if they are still offering action. Sportsbooks may offer a line that does not account for the injury. Or, they may factor the injury into the new lines, but you may disagree with them. Not everyone places the same value on each player, so check the updated lines to see if you can find an edge.


On rare occasions, the live betting algorithms do not factor the weather of the game correctly. Let’s take the Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots regular season game in 2021 as an example. The wind was reaching nearly 55 miles per hour, and both teams had to throw into that wind for two quarters. The Patriots quarterback Mac Jones attempted three passes all game; something that we never see in the NFL.

Live bettors were able to take advantage of the live lines that the sportsbooks were offering by betting the totals under throughout the game. Once the Patriots' game plan was realized, bettors were also able to make a fortune by betting on player props. Taking the Patriots receiving core “under receiving yards” across the board was a very profitable bet. In the case for this game, the algorithm was not producing correct lines, and bettors were able to pounce on the lines being offered.

Circles Off

If you are interested in more tips and strategies regarding NFL live betting, check out Episode 38 of Circles Off with betstamp co-founder, Johnny, and betstamp co-owner, Rob Pizzola.

Link to Related Articles:
NFL Betting Guide
Live Betting
Line Shopping