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James Fuller
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There is nothing more exciting than betting on the next team to score or your favourite club mounting a second half comeback, the ever growing football live betting. So, just how does live betting work for football?

Also known as in-play football betting, this guide will explain everything there is to know about this increasingly popular method of wagering on the beautiful game. Available with all leading online betting sites, live markets are now synonymous with football betting. We will kick things off by outlining our favourite operators for live football betting odds.

Top 10 Football Live Betting Sites

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What to Consider When Choosing a Bookie for Football Live Betting

With so many online bookmakers now offering live football betting, knowing where to register is not easy. However, there are a number of factors which separate the best from the rest. So, just what should bettors be looking out for? The following services and features will help you make a decision:

  • Safety – Regardless of whether it be pre-match, outright or live betting, bookies must ensure that customers are safe at all times. This means that all personal info and payment details should be secure. SSL encryption technology is perhaps the most important feature. However, a host of other tools are used to ensure for the security of punters.
  • Markets – Placing bets after the first whistle of a football match opens up a host of options. While the final result can be wagered upon, it is totals, next goal and goalscorer markets that are often favoured. Surrounding the Premier League, Champions League, La Liga and other top football competitions, some bookies offer 150+ live markets.
  • Odds – Live football odds are ever changing. When a goal is scored, red card issued or simply as the time ticks by, prices will alter. Punters should feel that they are getting good value for what they are betting on. For example, if you are betting on a team coming back from a goal down to win with just 20 minutes remaining, the odds should be long. 
  • Mobile – Football betting in-play should also be easily accessible on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are the preferred platform for many punters today. Each of our recommended football live betting sites is fully functional on mobile browsers. Meanwhile, football apps are available on both iOS and Android with many bookies. 
  • Features – When placing in-play football bets, the ability to watch games live is hugely beneficial. As such, top UK bookies offering footy live streaming are likely to have a head start against their competitors. Meanwhile, other features can also add to the user experience. Cash out, bet builders and live chat support all appeal to modern day bettors.
  • Promotions – Offers related specifically to live betting are becoming increasingly common. Whether it be a free bet, money back, enhanced odds or insurance offer, bookies look to keep existing customers satisfied by delivering such promos. Meanwhile, you can kick start your football betting with a welcome bonus in most cases too. A qualifying deposit or bet are required in order to qualify. As well as this, terms and conditions determine how appealing betting offers really are!
  • Support – It may be that you have a question regarding a live bet placed. Alternatively, you could have a technical issue regarding your account. Whatever the problem, online bookmakers must ensure that members of staff are on hand to help. The majority of our recommended operators offer support via telephone, email and live chat. Some are also active on social media platforms. Bookies should also promote responsible gambling!
  • Banking – Funding your live football bets should be simple. A host of payment methods are available online. However, only those that are safe, quick and convenient are likely to be attractive to punters. So, be sure to select an option that ticks all of these boxes. There is nothing worse than having to wait weeks to receive your winnings from a successful in-play wager.

How Does Football Live Betting Work?

Simply put, live football betting means wagering on a match that is unfolding. Whether it be the first minute of the 90th, bets can be placed on a variety of markets. Odds reflect the ever changing nature of matches, while markets are likely to be suspended upon a goal being scored. The following are two examples of live football bets:

Football Live Bet Example 1

Manchester City concede an early goal at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund. Having started as the pre-game favourites, the odds on a City win will lengthen. With plenty of time remaining, it may well be worth betting on City mounting a comeback and walking away with the victory.

Football Live Bet Example 2

A Premier League encounter between Burnley and West Ham United is goalless at half time. With both teams having struggled for goals all season, betting on there being under 2.5 goals during the match is a good option for punters.

Football Live Bet Example 3

With the German Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich taking on Wolfsburg, Robert Lewandowski opens the scoring in the 1st half. Many punters will then place bets on the Polish international being the next player to score in the match.

How Football Live Betting Odds are Calculated?

football live betting

As we have already mentioned, live football betting odds are updated regularly as matches play out. As apposed to other pre-match sports betting markets, prices can be effected by goals, time, red and yellow cards and the overall performance of teams involved. In the event of the pre-match favourite scoring an early goal, their price for victory will shorten yet further. However, if they go a goal down, their odds will lengthen. Some bookmakers use traders to adjust prices, based on the scoreline and important statistics. Meanwhile, others use high-tech algorithms, which take care of everything for them.

The Best Football Live Betting Markets

Generally speaking, the same markets as found pre-match will also be available to utilise in-play. However, there are certainly some live markets which attract the attention of punters more than others. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular options that punters add to their betslip:


It is often easier to pick a winner once matches are underway. Whether it be because of a goal being scored or one team dominating possession, bets can be placed on a home win, draw or away win. However, those looking to bet on the pre-match favourite, who have already scored, should not expect significant returns.


Wagering on the total number of goals is another popular market. If an early goal is scored between two attack minded teams, it could well be worth betting on a large number of goals during the 90 minutes. Betting on the number of corners is also available with many bookies.


Has a top striker already found the back of the net against a relegation threatened opponent? Consider backing them to score the next goal too. Bets can be placed on players to score next, last or anytime.

Both Teams to Score

This popular pre-match market is often taken advantage of by fans of live betting. As the name suggests, both clubs must score during the 90 minutes for your bet to win. Punters must pick either “Yes” or “No”.

Correct Score

Whether it be 0-0, 3-1, 5-0 or a different option, punters here must predict the exact final scoreline. Depending on the prediction, the odds can be significant.

What Are the Benefits of Football Live Betting

It should come as no surprise that an increasing number of punters are turning towards live markets. This form of betting brings a host of benefits, with the following being the standout advantages:

Better Value – Punters will often be able to find more appealing odds once matches are underway. Those with a good knowledge of football will often know when the next goal is likely or who the goalscorer will be. While many suggest that football live betting is for experts, it is a good option for recreational punters too. 

Greater Info – Bettors can read all the pre-match tips, news and stats available. However, there is no better information than what is taking place out on the pitch itself. Especially for those watching live, it is clear to see which players are in good form, as well as which team is on to. 

More Markets – Betting on a football match that is underway also opens up a host of alternative markets. Next goalscorer, next team to score and time of next goal are all popular options. 

Exciting – There is nothing quite like placing a successful live bet. This is especially true when it comes to football. Betting on there being a late winner or a first half red card is very exciting. 

5 Ultimate Live Football Betting Tips

Whether you are new to live football betting or are simply looking to improve your success rate, be sure to take on board our top tips. Written by experts, each will help give punters the best possible chance of beating the bookies:

1. Betting on the Favourite

In the event of the pre-match favourite scoring first, it is often worth overlooking live markets, at least the 1×2 option. However, should they concede first, it could well be worth quickly backing them to come back to win. The best teams are at the top of the table for a reason. However, they are not immune to conceding.  Those who are able to time their bets well could well reap the rewards.

2. Watch the Action

Whether it be via a bookie’s live streaming service or on the box, watch matches where possible. This will give you the best idea of how games are playing out. You can read all the statistics, however nothing beats viewing every pass, shot and tackle.

3. Consider the Need To Win

If the favourite is struggling to find their top form, it could well be that they are not completely motivated. For example, Real Madrid could take the foot of the gas if they have already secured the La Liga title. While players will seemingly always give 100%, the lack of a need to win can subconsciously have an impact.

4. Other Markets

When it comes to football live betting, the best value can often be found away from 1×2 picks. Totals, goalscorer and both teams to score markets are often more appealing in terms of prices.

5. Cash Out

The cash out feature is very much your friend surrounding live football betting. Allowing punters to settle bets before they are settled, this feature can be useful for guaranteeing a profit after your pick scores or cutting your losses when things do not pan out as hoped. Check out our Cash Out page to learn more.

Football Betting Guides

If live betting is not your thing, then there are a host of other ways to bet on football. Our experts have created guides on a host of leagues, tournaments and bet types. So, be sure to check out the following pages in order to find the area that best suits your needs.

Football Betting In-Play Bottom Line

Live football betting is available with all reputable online bookmakers today. The chance to bet on matches after the opening whistle has gone is hugely exciting, as well as potentially rewarding. For those with a good knowledge of the sport, in-play markets often offer greater value when compared to pre-match options. So, whether it be betting on the next goal or the match result, be sure to check out our top bookies in this area. As always, each is fully licensed and completely secure for punters in the UK. You can also claim your welcome bonus or free bet in the process.

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Plus Best Odds On All Premier League Matches (fixed odds Match Odds, pre-match v top 5 bookies on Oddschecker). Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. 18+ Spread betting losses can exceed deposit.


What is a live football bet?

Simply put, it is a bet placed on a football match that is already underway. Bets can be placed as soon as the kick-off has been completed. This form of betting opens up a host of additional opportunities for punters.

Can I cash out a live football bet?

This will vary between betting sites. However the answer is likely to be yes. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions surrounding cashing out beforehand. Cashing out is a hugely popular feature, especially for those placing live bets.

Can I watch matches live to help with bets?

Some football betting sites now offer live streaming services. This allows customers the chance to watch matches from top leagues and tournaments. A funded account or small qualifying bet will generally be needed to access streams. Watching the action as it unfolds will give punters a better understanding of how matches are playing out.

Which are the most popular live football betting markets?

1x2 remains the most popular market for punters, as is the case with pre-match bets. However, better value can often be found elsewhere. This is why it is always worth checking out the odds on totals, goalscorer and other more diverse markets.

Are promotions specific to live betting available?

Yes. While not all bookies will introduce such promotions, they can be found. A hatful of sites now offer free bets for those placing a series of live football wagers.

Which other sports is live betting available on?

Live betting is also popular when it comes to sports including snooker, rugby league, table tennis, volleyball, ice hockey, Esports and others. However, horse racing fans will not find any live markets, due to the nature of the sport.

James Fuller

James Fuller is a sports journalist based in Bath, England. Specializing in sports and iGaming, he has worked for a variety of leading online publications in the past, having first created content for safebettingsites in 2020. James also has a degree in Sport & Leisure Management from Sheffield Hallam University. He also has a certificate in Football Communication & Digital Media from the Sports Business Institute in Barcelona, which James has used to help brands enhace their following and reputation on online platforms. With almost a decade of experience in sports writing to his name, James has received outstanding feedback from existing and former clients.

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