NFL in-game betting is a wagering option that has been around for a few years already and is beginning to gain popularity amongst bettors. The concept is simple yet enticing. During commercials and time outs of NFL football games, new and updated lines are offered for bettors to wager on. For example, if New England begins the game as a seven-point favorite and then scores two straight touchdowns early in matchup, the updated spread would probably have the Patriots as a 10- to 12-point favorite (depending on the opponent). In-game lines can be used in a variety of ways if you know what to look for, but they can also be dangerous and allow you to put extra money on a situation you otherwise wouldn't.
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Let's take a closer look at in-game betting and figure out the best way to use it on NFL football games. Nearly all online sportsbooks offer some form of the wager. Large sites like Bovada, offer quite a few in-game options.
Pick your spread : most NFL games are never as one-sided as you might think, and if we graphed the scoring patterns, they would resemble a zig-zag rather than a straight line. The final score of a matchup could end at seven points but be all over the map prior to that. If you are leaning toward an underdog, but want a few more points, wait and see if the favorite scores a touchdown quickly and then try and grab a larger in-game line number. That scenario happens all the time with in-game lines.
Wait out the favorite : just because a team is the favorite heading into a game does not mean it will blow out its opponent from the get-go. Favorites fall behind all the time in the NFL. If you find a line where you lean toward the favorite, but think the spread is too high, wait until the game starts and look for a situation where the underdog scores first and the original spread is lowered by a point or two. In sports betting even half points can have a huge impact and be the difference between a winning and losing bet.
Doubling down : this is a situation that can get dangerous and is not something recommended for novice sports bettors. However, if you have a strong handle on a matchup and trust the handicapping that you did, there is always an opportunity to double down during the matchup on great situations. Maybe you took an underdog plus points and the favorite comes out and scores quickly. If you know this game will stay close because of your knowledge of the situation, this is a spot to double down and get the underdog with more points that the original spread.
Changing sides : this is another situation that should be left to the advanced bettors. Sports betting is not an exercise in loyalty or commitment, and there is nothing wrong with changing sides mid game. There will be days where you simply pick the wrong side of a bet, and if you identify one of those situations early on, in-game betting allows you the opportunity to jump ship and wager on the opponent or to cancel out your bet altogether. Again, this isn't something you should always be looking to do, but in the right situation it can come in handy.
Maybe you wagered on a seven-point favorite prior to the game and the underdog comes out and scores 10 points early in the matchup. Many times the oddsmakers will be bullish on a team, particularly if it is a public one, like New England or Green Bay, and the in-game spread might still be a two or three points in their favor. If you are watching the game and see an upset coming, why not thrown down in-game bet and switch sides?
Remember, in-game betting isn't something you should always do. But there will be situations where an in-game bet can provide better value than the original spread. Keep an eye out for these lines and if you find something juicy, don't be afraid to jump on it.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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