MA Sports Betting 101: Live Betting on Patriots, NFL Football Games

Written By Dan Holmes on January 24, 2023
Understanding how to live bet Patriots, NFL games in Massachusetts

Pro football will likely be the overwhelming favorite subject for sports betting in Massachusetts.

The NFL is the most popular sport for bettors in the US. The Super Bowl and the NFL Playoffs annually pull in a large portion of the total handle for sports betting operators.

But wagering on the NFL isn’t just about picking a winning team or betting on the spread. It’s also more than simply slapping down $20 on whether Mac Jones tosses for 275 yards in Sunday’s game.

If you want to add more to your betting options, you may consider live betting on NFL games. That type of betting will be available to sports fans in Massachusetts when online sports betting launches in March, and when retail sportsbooks open for business 10 a.m. on Jan. 31.

LOOKING AHEAD: Best Potential Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos

What Is Live Betting?

Back in the old days — when linebackers were still under 200 pounds, teams ran the ball more than they threw it, and “Pat the Patriot” was still on the New England helmet — sports betting was pretty basic. You placed a wager and waited for the game to end to see if you won. 

But times have changed. A lot.

Technology now makes it easy to bet on an event while it’s happening. With live betting, or what is sometimes called in-game betting or in-play betting, you can place a wager when a game is being played, based on odds that change based on the status of that game.

For example, suppose you want to wager on an NFL game but don’t like the moneyline or spread going into the game. Instead, you could place wagers on player props before the game, and allot some of your expected betting layout on live betting opportunities.

READ MORE: MA Treasurer Fears Sports Betting Will Hurt State Lottery. Is That True?

With live betting, you log on to your favorite sportsbook and monitor betting opportunities. The moneyline changes as the game is played. For example, say a favorite jumps out to a quick 10-0 lead. The moneyline on the underdog may go from +165 to +315.

If you think the underdog can win the game outright, you can jump on those odds and make an in-game, live bet. In that way, a winning wager would pay out far more than what was available prior to the NFL game.

Which Sportsbooks Offer Live Betting Odds?

Every major sportsbook offers live odds on an NFL game while it’s happening. All you have to do is open your favorite sports betting app to see the game odds for the NFL matchup you’re interested in.

Why Should I Live Bet the NFL?

Not every bettor will enjoy placing wagers live while a game is being played.

But, for some, the value is just too good.

When a sportsbook sets the moneyline, spread, or Over/Under for an NFL game, they have days, sometimes weeks to set those lines. That gives them time to run their data through algorithms to leverage their best methods for winning.

In addition, the lines are heavily influenced by the bets placed by people like you. That’s what it means when sportsbooks say “customers set the odds.” The more or less money wagered on one team, the more lines can shift.

But once a game starts, you remove a great advantage that the sportsbooks had over you: time. Oddsmakers are required to place odds quickly when a fast-paced NFL or NBA game is being played. That means you have opportunities to beat them.

PATRIOTS: Early Projections for New England Patriots 2024 Super Bowl Odds

It’s also important to note that in-game bettors are more likely to wager with their hearts than their head. The game is on! Their favorite team is playing! They want their favorite players to make a big play NOW! 

That type of emotional betting helps imbalance the odds, and if you pay attention, it can create bad lines opportunities. Because people will bet on crazy things in the heat of the moment.

Another reason to bet live is the chance to hedge your bet. Suppose you have a $50 wager on the home team to win, and they have a nice lead at halftime. But the sportsbook is now offering long odds on their opponent (say +750), and you think those odds are too high.

You could place a smaller wager on those odds, and now no matter how the game turns out, be assured of winning your original bet or breaking even, or winning a smaller amount on the other side. 

Can I Bet on Every Play?

Some sportsbooks, such as PointsBet Massachusetts and Betr Massachusetts, allow betting on every play, or almost every play that occurs in an NFL game. How does that work?

You must be logged in and keeping an eye on what the odds lines are for the next play. For example, you may get odds for whether the team will score a touchdown in the red zone, or get 5+ yards, or whether the play will be a run or a pass. You can even bet on whether a team will run a fake punt, if the sportsbook offers it.

Sportsbooks differ in how they offer live sports betting and the odds associated with the activity. Some offer multitudes of odds within a game, while others keep it limited.

Choose a Superior Sportsbook

The best sportsbook for live betting is one that has a top-notch mobile app. You want the app to seamlessly update the odds without having to reload a web page or wait for a delay. You don’t want a sports betting app with a scrolling ticker of live betting odds. Choose a sportsbook that is easy to navigate and understand

BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers, FanDuel, and DraftKings all have robust sports betting apps that allow customers to quickly place bets without delay on live game action.

Dan Holmes Avatar
Written by
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for Play Massachusetts with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

View all posts by Dan Holmes
Privacy Policy