Even though the names sound similar, in-play betting is different than in-game betting and has much more to offer sports bettors. In-game wagering is simply wagering on a game while it’s happening. Sportsbook odds for the in-game will usually only change during a timeout or commercial break.
The subtle difference between the two betting options is that in-play wagering takes place throughout the game. Odds change after almost every play or possession throughout the game. In-play wagering is currently available for game-specific wagering opportunities. There are no individual in-play wagers available for specific player propositions. The types of in-play wagers could and should change in the future.
In-play wagering odds
Like traditional pre-game odds, every sportsbook could have different in-play odds. The probability of the in-play event occurring comes from a proprietary algorithm from the sports wagering app software developer.
Each sportsbook operator adds their desired edge to the algorithm’s probability and odds are computed and offered to the customer. In-play odds may be different even if sportsbook operators use the same mobile wagering app and algorithm for their in-play odds.
This would be a lot of work and nearly impossible for individual bookmakers. Thanks to advances in technology, computers can process all of this in a matter of seconds.
How to place an in-play wager
In-play wagers take place via mobile sports betting apps. Bettors have to be very focused on both the game and odds screen when placing in-play wagers. There may only be a few seconds when some in-play wagers are available. Depending on the sport the odds change after almost every play. If there’s a certain number available that makes sense to bet, the opportunity may only available for 10 to 20 seconds.
In-play betting isn’t for everyone. In addition to understanding what each wager is for, the bettor must be quick on the draw. This usually means that the bettor must have a mobile device turned and be logged into an account (or accounts). The accounts should be funded so a wager may be placed as soon as the numbers make sense for a bet.
Why in-play is good for bettors
In-play wagering is useful for a bettor who misses placing a bet before the games begin. Unlike in game wagering, there are multiple betting options available during the game including; point spreads, alternative point spreads, moneylines, and totals available with In Play wagering.
Since the data is updated in real time, the odds should be fair. Each sportsbook operator places an advantage into the price of the wager so some odds may be fairer than others. Much like pre-game wagering it’s wise to shop around at different sportsbook operators to see which offers the best prices for In Play wagering.
These wagering options are available throughout the game and they also allow a bettor to wager on the other side of what may be a losing wager. Additionally, bettors can play both sides of the game in an effort to “middle” the game. This would allow the bettor to have both sides of a point spread and possibly maximize a win if the final score falls in the middle of the two bets.
Why in-play is exploding in the U.S.
In-play betting in the United States is still getting off the ground but can become incredibly popular in time. Bettors around the world have taken to in-play wagering. According to Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Don Best Sports, there are more wagers are taking place during games in Europe than before the games.
However, in-play wagering still accounts for less than 20% at most Nevada sportsbooks. On the high end of in-play betting William Hill sports book director, Nick Bogdanovich told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that in-play wagering accounted for 22% of William Hill’s betting handle in 2017. There’s plenty of room to grow for one of the leaders with in-play wagering in Nevada.
In-play wagering still isn’t available from all Nevada sportsbook operators. The deployment of in-play wagering with more sportsbook operators should make this the year this form of wagering really starts to take off in Nevada.
In-play betting should see a big increase once every sportsbook operator has the technology to deploy it. The next growth spurt could come from the introduction of new wagering options.
Pre-game player proposition bets have become more popular every year. Once player propositions become available for in-play wagering we should see another increase in the popularity of this kind of wagering.
Overall, all types of wagering will become more popular once sports betting becomes legal across the United States. At this point, the sports leagues and TV networks should become involved with sports betting. While football and basketball might be the most popular sports to wager on during a game, the options will be limitless and could include sports such as tennis, golf, and soccer.