Live Betting vs Pre-Match Betting: Which is Better?

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As a sports fan, you can place many different types of bets on your favourite teams, players, and matches.

Some sports bettors like to get amongst the action and place their bets once the game has begun, whilst others prefer to analyse all the betting markets available and bet before the event.

No matter what your betting patterns, we explain everything you need to know about live betting vs pre-match betting to help you decide which option is best for you when betting online at Stake Sportsbook .

What is Live Betting?

Live betting is a form of sports gambling that occurs after a fixture has already started. Rather than placing all of your bets before the event begins, you can hold off until the match gets underway to make your selections.

This can be advantageous because you can wait to see how the players or team are performing before deciding whether to back them. Also, live betting enables you to place bets on a fixture if you miss out on the pre-match betting window.

How Does Live Betting Work?

Fundamentally, live betting works the same as pre-match betting – you consider the sporting markets available to you, decide on a stake, and place your bet. However, live betting odds are much more likely to fluctuate as they respond to the action as it’s taking place.

What’s more, live betting markets can be suspended without notice, depending on what’s happening in the match. You can place a whole host of live bets on sports, including moneyline wagers , proposition bets , over/under , handicap , and spreads.

Live betting markets are available for the biggest betting events, including sports such as soccer , tennis , basketball , ice hockey , American football , baseball , MMA , boxing , and Esports .

Why is Live Betting Popular?

Live sports betting is popular for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to bet on unique markets, such as the next goal scorer in a football game or the next player to hit a home run in baseball.

There is also the fact that live betting allows you to start watching a match before placing your bets. This enables you to delay your selections and consider how a team starts before backing them, potentially saving you from betting on a team on their off day. For example, you may want to make your halftime selections on the team that performing well during the game.

As alluded to, live online betting is also popular because it lets you place your bets if you miss the pre-match deadline, ensuring that you don’t miss out entirely.

Pros & Cons of Live Betting

There are pros and cons associated with in-play betting that you need to take into account before making your selections.

Pros of Live Betting

  • Wide variety of unique and exciting live betting options to choose from.

  • You can wait until the action begins before making your selections.

  • If you miss the pre-match betting window, you can still place your live bets.

  • Live bets are a great way to bet on the biggest events on the sporting calendar.

Cons of Live Betting

  • Live betting markets can be suspended without notice.

  • Not all pre-match bets are available as live bets.

  • The odds in live betting markets are not always as good as pre-match odds.

  • Not available for every fixture.

What is Pre-Match Betting?

Pre-match betting is a sports wager placed on upcoming sporting events before the event begins. A pre-match bet can be placed mins from kick-off or hours from kick-off, or even weeks to months in advance. In other words, pre-match betting is more conventional and allows you to place the likes of moneyline bets, proposition bets, and outrights before any action gets underway.

In many respects, this is beneficial, as pre-match odds can often be better than live-betting odds. Also, you can usually access a wider betting market with pre-match wagers and place bets like parlays much more easily.

How Does Pre-Match Betting Work?

Pre-match betting is very simple to understand. Before a sporting event or fixture, log in to your account at and select the sport that you would like to bet on. Then, scroll through to find the fixture you’re interested in and consider which specific bets you want to place.

You will see the betting odds available to you before the event begins, and you can place your bets accordingly. Then, when the action is underway, you can always supplement your betting slip with some in-play bets if you wish.

Why is Pre-Match Betting Popular?

Pre-match betting is a popular type of bet because you have plenty of time to place your bets on various upcoming sporting fixtures and events. You can spend time researching the betting market and consider the best types of bets to place before creating your betting strategy and making your final selections.

While you can place pre-match bets the hour before the game begins, you can also prepare your betting slip the week, or sometimes the month before most matches, providing ample time to research and pick winning selections.

Pros & Cons of Pre-Match Betting

There are both pros and cons associated with pre-match betting that keen sports bettors should be aware of before getting amongst the betting action

Pros of Pre-Match Betting

  • You have lots of time to conduct your research and make your selections.

  • Pre-match odds are typically better than live betting odds.

  • Pre-match odds won’t be suspended without notice.

Cons of Pre-Match Betting

  • You don’t have the benefit of waiting to see how a team starts before placing your bets.

  • You can’t bet on unique markets like next goalscorer, number of goals in each half, etc. as they are reserved for live betting.

  • Team selection & injuries can jeopardise your betting slip.

Differences Between Live Betting & Pre-Match Betting

There are several differences between pre-match and in-play betting that you need to be aware of before making your selections:

  • In pre-match betting, you must make your selections before the game begins, and you are then stuck with your predictions. You can respond to the action in live betting and place your bets accordingly.

  • You have more time to place pre-match bets. Live bets can be suspended without notice during the match, depending on what’s happening.

  • Different betting markets are available to pre-match punters and live punters, so you might not find the bet type you’re looking for.

  • Live betting odds tend to fluctuate much more than pre-match odds due to the ever-changing nature of the game.

How to Combine Live & Pre-Match Bets – Successful Betting Strategy

Combining pre-match and live betting is a great way to take advantage of betting as you can utilise all the markets and odds available.

Do to so, you can visit your account in the weeks, days, or hours before a fixture to make your pre-match selections. For instance, you might bet on the Cavs to beat the Lakers in an upcoming NBA match .

Then, when the game starts, you can bet on a host of live markets, such as who will score the first 3-pointer of the game and which player will have the most rebounds in the match.

The same is true for so many sports, be it bets on the NFL or wagers on e-sports like FIFA, League of Legends , and Dota2 .

Ultimately, combining live bets and pre-match bets is a great way to develop your betting strategy to make a profit throughout the season. Find out more about devising a game strategy in our ultimate guide to sports betting .

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Way to Bet?

It's entirely up to you how you bet on your favourite teams, sports, and events. The best way to bet will depend on various factors, including where you are on your betting journey, how much time you have to research the stats, how invested you are in the sport, how much the betting odds vary throughout the season, and the betting offers available.

However, when it comes to the types of sports betting, combining pre-match bets with live bets is a great option, as it provides you with a wide selection of markets and puts you in control of your betting picks.

It's also wise to keep up to date with the latest predictions and game tips from our experts when devising your betting approaches for the biggest sports events.

How to Deposit & Withdraw Funds to Bet on Sports

Easily deposit units into your account to place live bets and pre-match wagers by following these steps:

  • Step 1 - Retrieve your deposit address, located in Wallet > Deposit.

  • Step 2 - Choose the method that suits your needs. supports multiple cryptocurrencies , including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (Doge), Litecoin (LTC), and others. You can find more information about our local currency options on our community forum, as well as our local currency payment guide.

  • Step 3 - Use your deposit address as the ‘send to’ location for your wallet or exchange.

  • Step 4 (Optional) - If you wish to make a deposit via fiat currency, you can buy crypto for Stake via Moonpay.

Learn more about deposit and withdrawal methods for betting, with our online payment methods guide at

Stake also offers live support to players via our customer support staff for help with issues regarding depositing and withdrawing units. If you're just beginning your betting journey, you can discover more information about buying cryptocurrency .

Moonpay supports multiple payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others, to buy cryptocurrency to bet on sports. For a full list of supported payment methods, please refer to the Moonpay documentation .

Final Things to Consider: Sports Betting Rules, Regulations & Security

Before betting on sports at, familiarise yourself with our terms and conditions to understand our sports betting rules and regulations. You should always gamble safely and responsibly.