Betting Intelligence Guides

How To Find Success Live Betting Player Props

The majority player prop betting is pre-game but that’s going to change in the coming years. Live betting is a growing segment of the sports betting menu as sportsbooks continue to find ways to innovate. That means that as technology advances, you’ll eventually be able to bet on almost everything in the game at any time. 

Books like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars and many more  already have a slew of options for live player prop betting and if you know what you’re doing, there’s good value to be had. If you’ve dabbled but haven’t really dove in so much just yet, our guide below will help you succeed. 

How To Find Success Live Betting Player Props
Live Betting Player Props

How Live Betting Player Props Works

Sportsbooks continue to add to their live betting offerings as it’s become one of the most popular ways of wagering on the games. When online sports betting first started, there was only betting for pre-game and halftime wagers. Now you can bet on what the outcome of the next point, basketball or shot will be. This area of betting is expected to rapidly grow and expand in the coming years as microbetting continues to take off.

While the adrenaline rush is fun, the reality is you have to be very careful wagering on these types of props. The lines move fast and the juice tends to be excessive. At the same time, there are some advantages to the bettor – if you’ve done your homework ahead of time and are watching the games play out.

Live betting player props is not available at every sportsbook, so if this type of wager is important to you, make sure you’ve signed up at one of the ones that do. For example, DraftKings is a book that offers these types of props for some sports. They offer their “Flash Bets” for NFL and NBA and give you an opportunity to wager on player performance in-game. 

These types of lines work mostly the same way as any other type of live betting. If it’s a player prop on points scored in an NBA game, the line movement will shift up or down as the player executes on the court. If there is a foul or if there is some kind of challenge in the game, the line might come off the board.  

If you’re a regular bettor and have dabbled in live betting for the regular lines, none of this will be new to you.

Why You Should Consider Live Betting Player Props

One of the main reasons you’ll want to dive into this realm is because you can actually work with some evidence before locking in your bets. Both sharp and recreational bettors might engage in extensive research on a game before it’s started and try to find an edge as to where a player prop has value. However, there are always some unexpected outcomes like a sleepy performance from a star, weather or just a wrinkle that you missed. Everyone’s been in the scenario where someone like Tom Brady might be facing one of the weaker pass defenses in the NFL, bettors bet a number of his overs, and yet the coaching staff chooses to attack the defense on the ground. Or maybe Brady is just off that day. Or maybe even his top target has to leave in the first quarter due to injury. These are all factors that you can’t really account for when you’re betting pre-game but you can in-game. 

Once you have some evidence to work with, you can actually make an informed decision. Pre-game handicapping is critical but in-game handicapping can be that extra piece of intel you need to make a winning bet. Those who sit and watch the games, and can properly analyze the situations, will be rewarded betting player props in-game.

3 Keys To Succeeding With Live Betting Player Props

1) Wait Until Breaks In The Game

Far too often, bettors are trying to sneak in a bet as the action is going back and forth. It’s understandable that as soon as you’ve come to a conclusion, you want to lock in your wager. The challenge is that the game moves really fast and the lines can move with it. We’re not at the point where sportsbook technology allows for bets to be locked in within miliseconds; it can take a bit of time depending on the book and depending on your device. The last thing you want to do is get burned with bad timing.

The safest thing to do – especially if you’re watching the game – is to wait for a break in the action. If you’re betting on something like basketball, wait until a timeout or end of quarter. Then you know you have some space. In sports like the NFL, a turnover, a challenge or just the commercial breaks can last a couple of minutes, so that gives you a window of opportunity. 

What you want to do is have some small block of time – maybe even just 30 seconds – where you can calmly make your decision and lock in your bet. If you’re betting on Joel Embiid’s point total and the teams are running up and down the court, and his numbers are fluctuating, it makes it harder to make a cool, calculated decision. Wait until there’s a pause because these lines move fast.

Pro Tip: Take note as to whether you have chosen to accept odds changes or not. This is a setting that will prevent you from locking in a bet if – when you’ve gone to confirm your bet – the odds have changed. If you accept odds changes, you could be in for a surprise when the sportsbook locks you in for a better or worse price. Of course, this method allows you to ensure that you get a bet in but at what price? If you chose NOT to accept odds chances, be prepared for a few bets to get rejected as they’re confirming. Any line change will force you to reconfirm.

2) Know How Players Perform In The Game

When you’re handicapping these types of player props, look for trends that might allow you to find some value with live betting. A great example of this was Tom Brady in his final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here’s a breakdown of his touchdown passes per quarter in 2022:

First Quarter: 2 TD

Second Quarter: 6 TD

Third Quarter: 4 TD

Fourth Quarter: 13 TD

As you can see, both he and the Bucs offense were slow starters. That means that you could hone in on something like Tom Brady Passing Touchdowns for a specific game but wait until the game starts to bet it. Pre-game, the price might say one thing but if the first quarter passes and Brady has yet to throw a touchdown, you’ll now get a better price on the over. For a bettor that’s researched this, they’ll be less concerned about the slow start as the data points to that.

Another example of where you can find some value with live betting player props is with pitchers and the counts that they’re in. Understanding that this one goes against point No. 1 on the list, if you’re fast, you can find some value. Consider these numbers from Max Scherzer in the 2022 season:

OPS By Count

0-0: .777

0-1: .817

0-2: .212

1-0: .868

1-1: .830

1-2: .371

2-0: 1.455

What you can extrapolate here is that if you’re betting on some flash props whether it’s what the outcome of the at-bat will be, whether the player at the plate is about to get a hit or home run or just get on base, knowing the count and how Scherzer performs in those counts can give you an edge.

As we can see here, if Scherzer is up 0-2, batters have a really tough time recovering. However, if batters are up 2-0, betting on that player to get on base offers good value. 

Studying these kind of split stats are where you’ll find an edge with player props like this. Know how your players perform is specific in-game situations and you’ll have an edge over the books with live player prop betting.

3) Consider Hedging

One of the best ways to use live betting is for hedging a bet. It’s not something that is top of mind to many bettors but it should be. There are two ways to deploy this strategy.

One way you can think about this is to lock in a profit. Let’s say you bet on Joel Embiid’s point total over 25.5 at +105 and he starts off the game hot. If he has 10 points in the first quarter, his in-game point total now might be 30.5 with under at +100. In this case, you can hedge your bet and win regardless of what he does the rest of the game. It won’t be the same size of a profit as if you cash your bet and he does get over 25.5, but you also don’t have any downside risk. 

The other part of this play is that you have an opportunity to middle and hit a double win. If he lands on 26, 27, 28, 29 or 30 points and you have over 25.5 and under 30.5, you’ll end up with a double win. That’s a great end result.

The other way to consider hedging is one that makes a lot of bettors uncomfortable: admitting a loss. Sure, bettors hate to admit they were wrong but it happens. In that scenario, it might be better to get something back rather than nothing at all.

Let’s say you did bet Brady over 25.5 pass attempts but the Bucs are now up 21-0 in the first quarter because of turnovers and sloppy play from their opponent. The basic game flow might tell you that the Bucs are probably going to be running the ball a lot going forward. Holding the over 25.5 pass attempts now might make you feel a bit queasy. It’s likely that the line has changed but if you can still get the same number and pay a difference on the odds, it might be worth it. For example, if you have over 25.5 -110 but now under 25.5 is -140. If you have $50 on the over and then you properly hedge, you’re going to guarantee yourself a loss of $10.23 but it’s better to get back the majority of your money than nothing at all.

You have to really watch the games and make some informed decisions on player props like this but hedging to recover some money from a would-be loss has to be something you consider. It’s not always comfortable to admit defeat – and it’s even worse if your original bet ends up hitting – but if you feel you’ve made the wrong initial decision, don’t have the ego to go down in flames with it.

Outlier Team
April 8, 2023
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