As the calendar flips from August to September, we can officially kiss the dog days of summer goodbye and turn all of our focus over to the king of sports: football. The first week of September marks week 1 of the college football season with games being played on 5 consecutive days to kick off the year. While the start of a new college football season is one of the most exciting times of the year for people like me, it can also be very overwhelming with the amount of games being played each and every weekend. Because of this, I have found that the most profitable way for me to bet college football is to live bet. Live betting allows you to get a feel for the flow of the game and gives you a good opportunity to jump in live when the lines are adjusted. While live betting is extremely simplistic to do, there are plenty of strategies to use to make it a profitable way to bet all season long. Let's get into some of those strategies.
Pre Game Research
Pre game research is arguably the most overlooked, but also most important step of making live wagers. Before the games kick off, you want to familiarize yourself with the closing lines of the game. Take note of the spread, total, moneyline price, and any other lines that you may look to live bet. This is incredibly important when live betting to ensure that you make a +EV bet. You also want to have an opinion or lean heading into the game and unless your opinion is dead wrong from the jump, try to stick to your initial lean. For example, lets look at the LSU vs FSU game for Sunday night. Heading into the game, I lean LSU moneyline -130. Once the game begins, I am not going to make a bet on LSU unless I feel good about the way they look AND the line is better than the closing line of -130. My hope would be for FSU to get the ball first and to drive down and kick a field goal, moving LSU moneyline somewhere around +100, giving me a nice adjusted live line. Having a pre game opinion is extremely important so that you know what advantage you are looking for. It also helps with bankroll management. If the game isn't going the way you initially expected or if the play you were looking to back looks good from the jump and makes the line unbettable, it is okay to pass on the game and move to the next one. An example of this would be if LSU comes out and goes up 14-0 early, moving the line from -130 to -300, do not bet them at the -300 price. Accept that your initial lean was a good one and move on.
Get in at the Right Time
Getting your bet in at the right time is very important when live betting. You are always going to want to get involved right as things aren't going your way. I know that sounds backwards but that is when the value is at its best. If you want to bet the favorite, look to bet them after they turn the ball over or after the opponent scores. If you want to bet the under, bet it right after a touchdown. This will ensure that you are getting the best of the line, rather than betting when things are going your way. Also remember, the games are always about 30 seconds ahead of what you're seeing on your tv screen. The most advantageous time to get involved with a play is during a stoppage to make sure that you are caught up with the live game. Getting your bet in at the most advantageous time could be the difference between being a losing bettor and a profitable bettor.
Have a Good Football Understanding
Having a good grip on the tendencies of football games will ultimately help you in the long run when live wagering. By knowing the rules of the game, knowing the tendencies of the teams playing, and knowing how football games tend to play out will be a big advantage for you. For example, lets look at Alabama vs Middle Tennessee. Alabama is a 39 point favorite and the total is set at 52 points. We can expect for Alabama to come out and run the score up early. Hypothetically, let's say Bama is up 35-3 at halftime. If this is the case, the live total will likely be in the 60's, giving us some added value. It is likely that Alabama will slow things up in the second half with such a big lead, giving the under some value. This strategy is one of my favorite and most profitable ways to live bet college football. Knowing the tendencies of how football games typically play out can go a long way when it comes to betting.
Don't be Afraid to Pass
I touched on this above but one of the best things that you can do when betting in general is knowing when to pass on a play. This is one of the biggest advantages that us as bettors have against the books, we are not forced to bet each and every game. Knowing when to make a play and when not to is the difference between bettors who do this for a long time and those who fizzle out in a couple of years. If the line gets away from you, don't go chasing it. Let it go and move onto the next game. This can be one of the hardest things as a bettor. It is hard to lean on a play and watch it go exactly the way you thought it would when you don't have a wager on it. It feels like you left one on the table. I struggle with this as well but trust me, letting it go and living to bet another day will save you in the long run.
Incorporate all of these strategies into your live betting strategy and get ready to make some money. Having a game plan heading into a college football Saturday will set you up for a successful and profitable day. Have a game plan going into the game, follow your game plan and try to get involved at the right time, understand how football games tend to play out and don't be afraid to pass on a play if the line gets away from you. By doing these 4 things on a consistent basis, you can expect your bankroll to grow this college football season. This strategy has made me a profitable college football live bettor over the years and I look forward to another profitable live betting year in 2023. Let's cash some tickets.