Live football betting strategy tips and guide

Looking for a new in-play betting strategy for football? Check out these five tips for making smarter bets

football betting strategy

Using a strategy for live football betting is the best way to minimise your losses and bet with your head, rather than your heart. Data and stats have flooded the Beautiful Game in recent years – so much so that in-play football betting is easier than ever.

But with ease of access to live odds comes a greater requirement to think before you bet. Many successful football punters steer clear of the drama and use data points available during in-play betting to place smarter wagers.

In this guide we’ll take you through five live football betting strategy tips that you can utilise today. You don’t need to be a stats geek to create a strategy, nor do you need to know the best players in the Czech First League.

All you need is nous, a willingness to learn strategies and stick by them, and an active Paddy Power account!


In-play football betting strategy

football betting strategy

Before you look at these football in-play betting strategies, it’s worth also thinking about general strategies for betting on the Beautiful Game.

Read our football betting strategy guide for new and experiences punters here, and check out our guide to football betting strategy for advanced bettors.

Remember, the below tips are all focused on live football betting strategies. This means using the power of Paddy’s live football odds to your advantage.

So, let’s dive in!

Hold your nerve on 0-0

Betting in-play on football is exciting because every goal is a big deal. However, smart bettors find profit in backing goalless draws. One of the core football betting strategies is to back 0-0 at the start of the match and cash out before a goal goes in.

Naturally your bet could be ruined in seconds. However, only 13.8% of Premier League goals were scored in the first 15 minutes of matches during the 22/23 season. That’s only slightly up from 13.5% in 21/22.

If you can get through the first 15 or 20 minutes without a goal being scored then the live odds on 0-0 will begin to shift. You can then cash out before a goal goes in and secure a quick win simply by holding your nerve.

Be open to cashing out

Indeed, cashing out is an important bet strategy in football. There are two arms to cashing out. One is to accept the live odds and cash out for profit before the situation changes. In this instance you still win your wager but not at the maximum odds.

The other aspect of cashing out is to cut your losses. We should all be willing to admit defeat when betting on football, and sometimes we know when a wager just won’t go our way. Perhaps you’ve bet on England to beat Germany but they trail 1-0 at half time. Maybe it’s worth cashing out at a loss rather than losing your entire stake.

The strategy of monitoring the live odds and your potential profit is paramount when betting in-play. However, it requires plenty of attention and if you can watch games alongside the odds – perhaps via Paddy’s live streaming – then all the better!

Predict substitutions

When looking at the live goalscorer markets be sure to think ahead of who may be subbed on and off during the second half. Betting on the last goalscorer is particularly difficult unless you consider who might be on the field with 20 minutes left.

Yes, a player may have scored twice before half time but will their manager opt to bring them off and reserve their legs for the next match?

Look at subs benches and think about who might come on in the second half. From here you can make small bets and huge odds on them scoring the last goal in a game, especially if they’re a free-kick or penalty taker, or if their team is chasing the game.

Back late goals

It might sound simple but betting on late goals in the in-play football odds is usually worth your time. Around 20% of all goals in the Premier League are scored in the last 15 minutes of games. More than half (53%) are scored in the second half of matches.

The beauty of this bet is that it’s not affected by the current score. A team losing 1-0 may be desperate to score late on but might also open themselves up to a counter attack. A team cruising at 5-0 may well want to make it six!

You don’t even need to follow matches to back this market. Just look for games that appear competitive and seem destined for a late goal.

Chase a green book

A green book is when you bet on football and are guaranteed a win whatever the result. It happens when you bet on one team to win and then, later in the game, bet against them on the Double Chance at different odds.

In doing so, you end up with two bets and one of them must win. If you’ve timed it right then the odds for both wagers can be very high indeed.

Chasing green books isn’t easy and it often requires you to bet on the underdog first, and hope they open the scoring. After that you can bet against them and nail a win whatever happens.

An alternative option is to simply cash out winning bets early and then wager against that bet in the live odds.

Remember that the best football betting strategy is a winning one. Be sure to bet with your head and not your heart, and never risk more than you can afford.