Until around the turn of the millennium virtually all betting on sport took place before the start of the game. However, with investment in technology and resources, the ability to offer high frequency in-play bet became a reality.
Nowadays, if a sports event is on and bookmakers have access to it, you can be sure that there will be a comprehensive in play service. This extends from the highest profile football game to the most obscure volleyball match on the other side of the world
You may ask yourself: what is the purpose of all this?
The answer: to keep bettors like you engaged throughout the whole game.
Below is an example of just how detailed the offering on a tennis match from the US Open. Note the markets offered on the outcome of points; the ultimate ‘quick-hit’ wager:
The sheer quantity of markets on offer and the requirement to update odds continuously during the match requires automation by the sportsbook, which uses complex models to achieve this.
That said, you can use your judgement to profit from the in-play revolution. Shifts in momentum and game changing events can be difficult to quantify. This can be a problem for the bookmaker who is obliged to offer odds at all time, whilst you, of course, are not under the same compulsion to bet.
Therefore, if you think that a sportsbook has under or overestimated a team’s chances based on the course of play to that point, then you may be able to benefit from situations that are more uncertain than those at the start of the match.