Recently, we unveiled a revolutionary new in-game betting tool that we think will unlock a lot of value for our users. Essentially, this betting tool allows you to accurately price lines while a match is in progress. We utilize what we know about the game and combine that with our real-time live betting feeds from our Game Odds Screen. You then provide the current score and how much time remains. The end result is a table of alternate spreads and totals that become your shopping list as you attack sportsbook in-game betting lines.
In-Game Betting Moves Fast
One of the reasons we’re excited to develop this tool is because in-game betting is widely seen as the future of sports betting. Consumers more and more are looking to bet on games as they happen. Sportsbooks put up in-game lines and the line may only be available for a very short time before the game dictates that the line needs to move. For most sportsbooks, this is a labor-intensive task so they outsource the generation of these lines to other providers. One of the leading outsourced providers is DeckPrism Sports. That is why it was always imperative for us to find a way to display DeckPrism’s in-game lines in real-time. They are the sharpest market maker in the business for in-game pricing.
The speed of market also makes it more difficult for books to pick off sharp bettors. The usual metrics of CLV, time of bet, and type of bet that typically tip off a risk management team aren’t as applicable to in-game betting. While this isn’t a completely unbound market to bet into, you’ll be able to make a lot of nibbles at lines that add up to a profitable portfolio. We’ll talk more about the art of getting down shortly.
Why In-Game Betting Works
Before a game is played, the value of each half-point is fairly well-established. So if a customer wants to buy a half-point, going from -4.5 to -4, the sportsbook charges an accurate vig (in their favor) to do so. You can explore the value of half points using our Alternate Lines Calculator. However, once the match starts, time begins to decay. As time decays, the value of each half-point increases. This isn’t a linear scale though.
It is influenced by many factors including the current margin, how many points have been scored, and how the game is expected to play out. Understandably, if there was just 20 seconds left in a game and the favorite was leading by exactly 4, the value between -4.5 and -4 would be immense. Whereas, if there was 18:20 left in the 1st half and the favorite is ahead by 4, the value between -4.5 and -4 wouldn’t be as consequential.
Our Data Science team put a lot of work into finding the best possible approach to solve this problem. The result is one of the first publicly accessible alt line pricing tools for in-game odds.
How To Approach In-Game Betting Using Unabated
First, to find our in-game betting tool, you’ll need to load up our Game Odds Screen. It defaults to Pre-Game lines, but you can also toggle over to Live betting odds. We currently only offer two sources of lines for in-game betting lines. The aforementioned DeckPrism and Sports411. This is because in-game betting odds move fast. You need real-time feeds. A delay of even 20 seconds is too slow. As we negotiate more real-time feeds the books offered on this screen will continue to grow.
Currently, Unabated offers live odds for every sport our odds screen supports. However, using the in-game pricing tool we’re about to explore is restricted to just College Basketball. NBA basketball is in the final stages of development and will be released soon. In-game betting tools will be a staple of Unabated for other sports as we evolve.
Let’s Get Down To Business
To get started with using the in-game betting tool, click on the Calculator Icon in the top right corner of the Odds Screen. The toolbar will slide in from the right. Now you need to base your alt lines off of a market source. Sports411 is the traditional in-game pricing which changes very quickly based on what is happening in the game. They’ve got a feed about 30-60 seconds faster than what you’re seeing on TV.
This is what makes in-game betting so frustrating to many. You’re betting based on what you’ve seen and the operator is booking the bet knowing what is to come shortly. They may accept or deny your wager based on what happened in that delta between your viewing experience and theirs. That’s why it is always a best practice to only bet in-game during stoppages of play. Whether they be timeouts or scheduled TV Timeouts.
In College Basketball, there are 4 scheduled TV Timeouts per half. They occur at the first dead ball after the 16:00, 12:00, 8:00, and 4:00 minute marks. This makes for predictable and structured ideal times to use the tool.
When the line is updated, click on the spread in our Game Odds Screen that you want to use. You can also click on the total. The team side you click on will be the team the tool returns alt lines for. However, if you click the total, the output is expressed using the pricing for the Over.
You will be presented with a table of alt lines for the spread, alt lines for the total. Additionally, we give you a projected moneyline and the odds of the game going to OT, which is a popular in-game prop bet offered at numerous books.
From here, it is up to you to find the value in the market.
Finding Value At Sportsbooks
Not every sportsbook offers alt lines on in-game betting. However, most of the newer regulated sportsbook in the US do offer these bets. Let’s step through an example from the Notre Dame/Rutgers play-in game. With 2:29 to go in the 1st Half, the teams hit the 4:00 TV Timeout (first dead ball since that minute mark). The score was:
In the Game Odds Screen, we click the Deck Prism line:
Entering in the current score and time left, we hit Get Prices and we’re presented with the selection of fair price lines to the right. Now it’s time to find if any books are presenting us with some value. At the first book we visit, we find the following alt lines:
The prices from the Unabated in-game betting tool are the vig-free fair prices for Rutgers. Since it is vig-free, the fair price for Notre Dame is then the inverse. So for Rutgers -1.5 the fair price is -115, which means the fair price for Notre Dame +1.5 is +115. As you can see above, Notre Dame +1.5 is priced at +135 at this book.
If you’re able to get a bet that pays +135 when it should pay +115, that’s a +9.3% edge! More information on calculating your edge on things like this can be found in this article.
You’ll find you don’t have more than a couple minutes to shop for lines. If you live in a state with a wide variety of sportsbook options, that may mean you don’t get to check every account. That’s fine, you’ve got 8 TV Timeouts plus halftime to work with.
Before play resumes, you decide to check one other book. Here there are a wide range of alternate lines offered. Some that exceed the boundaries of our tool. Again, while Rutgers +2.5 -250 doesn’t have value when the line should be -186, Notre Dame -2.5 +200 certainly does when it should be +186.
This is a +4.91% edge for the bettor. While not as good as the earlier bet, it’s still pretty damn good for sports betting. It’s at this point we should probably discuss the art of building an in-game portfolio.
The Art Of In-Game Betting
It is easy to get carried away when in-game betting on a game. This is especially true if you are not tracking each of your bets as you go. You may find value in a wager at each timeout and take a unit each time. Towards the end of the game you may find yourself with 8 units all set on the same very correlated outcome. Having a 16 unit swing on a game is not something a sharp bettor should be looking to do. There are some approaches you can take to help have the best experience.
Don’t Over Extend Yourself
My advice is to attempt to trade only one game at a time. It’ll be tempting during the March Madness frenzy to take on all four games that airing at once. However, it’ll be much easier to follow one game at a time. Be ready for each TV Timeout. Have your accounts lined up and refreshed.
Alternate Between Sides And Totals
Another good tip is to not try to shop for both sides and totals in the same commercial break. Alternate between sides and totals. Also worth noting is that the final TV Timeout at the 4:00 minute mark of the 2nd Half is likely not to have many alternate lines. As explained earlier, the value of each half point has reached nearly peak value. Books are wary to make too much available at this point.
Keep A Log Of Your Bets
Keeping track of what bets you’ve already made in this game is important so you don’t wind up with that big swing I mentioned earlier. It’ll take a little bit of feel to decide what bet sizing you should use. Generally, most of you will want to bet more on bigger advantages. I don’t disagree with that approach. I’ll add that it is just a piece of your overall pie. Bet a fraction of what you would typically bet on an edge like that. In the future, we hope to have logging of your in-game bets to be a built-in function, but for now a handy notepad does wonders.
Don’t Forget About Moneyline and Overtime
We report the moneyline price and the odds of the game going to OT because we’ve found value in those markets in our testing. Be sure to check that out as well. Typically the best time to check these bets out is in the 2nd Half at the 12:00 and 8:00 minute marks.
Spread Your In-game Betting Around
The best way to fly under the radar is to not target too much of your in-game betting at just one sportsbook. Spread your bets around if that is feasible in your jurisdiction. Furthermore, there may be situations where you find value in setting up a middle for yourself during the game. An early -1.5 +120 on one team and a late +4.5 -115 on the opponent might both show value. Most sportsbooks should not get offended by this type of activity, however, I’m sure there are some that do. Be cognizant of that and avoid betting both sides of the same game at the same book to be safe.
Ready To Try The Unabated In-Game Betting Tool?
Many of you will look to put this through its paces during the opening weekend of March Madness. We’d love to hear your feedback about it when you do. You can always contact us on our sports betting Discord or give us feedback through the help icon (? icon) in the top right corner of the screen. There are other enhancements on the way. These include live scores that can be automatically ingested by the tool rather than the manual input.
If you’re still not comfortable enough to use it. We’ll be conducting a livestream on Friday, March 18th at 3pm. Right in the heart of the first round games. You can watch us use it as we hunt down value in real time. If you’re checking out this article after that date, the replay will be below.
This site is 100% for entertainment purposes only and does not involve real money betting. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER. This service is intended for adult users only.