Is in-game wagering the future of sports betting?

In-Game Wagering Adds Great Excitement to Contests

With the advent of online sports betting and electronic betting stations in sports books as well as through cellphones and other mobile devices, many sportsbooks have seized the opportunity to offer in-game wagering. Such wagering allows bettors to lay traditional bets before a contest starts and at halftimes but with the added benefit of laying wagers on several potential bets during games. For the most part, whenever there is a timeout or other significant stoppage of play, the oddsmakers will adjust the sides, totals, vigs and money lines to reflect the current pace of the contest. If a team that was an underdog has the lead, that team very well may be favored during an in-game line. If the other team seizes the lead and holds it during the next stoppage of play, that team will be favored once again but by a different number.

Many Betting Opportunities for In-Game Wagering

When doing in-game wagering, there are opportunities to lay proposition bets on a wide range of outcomes. In football, when there is a change in ball possession, proposition bets will be posted before the first play regarding the outcome of the possession. The bettor can choose between scoring a touchdown, field goal or no score. Each proposition will have a corresponding vig. In basketball, bettors can wager on how many free throws a player will make when stepping up to the free throw stripe. Knowing which players are nearly automatic when shooting free throws can help to put money in your pocket if you bet a player will make two of two or three of three free throws. You also could bet the player will miss one, two or three free throws, but such prop bets sometimes aren’t offered when only going for a one of one bonus free throw. Baseball games can see prop bets placed for batters when stepping up to the plate that will allow wagers on the batter being walked, getting a hit, scoring a sacrifice or recording an out. Hockey offers in-game wagering, but usually only by adjusting the money line, goal line and total during a match.

Scalpers Love In-Game Wagering

When it comes to professional sports bettors, there are those known as “scalpers” who lay wagers based on the money-lines and positive vigs. If a game stands a good chance of being closely fought and have several lead changes, that contest is a prime candidate for scalping. Scalping requires laying a bet on one outcome with a positive vig and then laying another bet on the same outcome for the opponent if a positive vig presents itself. For example, if a money line has an underdog posted at +150 before a game starts, the bettor could place a $100 wager on that team to win. If during the game that team takes a lead and an in-game money line is posted, the team that originally was favored suddenly might have a +150 money line as an underdog. In that case, the scalper will lay another $100 or an otherwise equal wager on the +150 and guarantee at least a 50 percent profit. So long as the vig is at least even money, which is represented by a +100 or “ev” on the wagering board, a scalper can protect himself against a loss if having already laid a wager on the other team at plus money.

Good Times to Lay In-Game Wagers

In-game wagers can work well when a team has a particularly large lead, such as when an NBA basketball team is up by more than 20 points over an opponent, and that team has no motivation to maintain such a large differential as time winds down. Often times, the losing team will shave several points off that lead and cover an in-game line of +19 points or so, particularly when the team with the large lead makes running out the clock its primary goal instead of scoring. Similarly, football teams often times surrender late scores when leading by large margins and emptying the bench to finish out the clock. Such wagers are particularly rewarding if having laid an initial pregame bet on the other team at -5 points or whatever it might have been favored by, leaving the bettor with an ideal opportunity to middle the game and cash tickets for both wagers.

In-game wagering also works well when a basketball game is closely contested and a high-percentage shooter goes to the free throw line. Players like Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and others who generally shoot free throws at a 90 percent pace over the course of the season most times will nail both free throws when fouled, particularly during the closing minutes of a very close contest. You likely will have a -150 or so vig for both free throws to be made, but the odds of both being successful is very high.