How Live In-Play Sports Betting Works At Ontario Sportsbooks

Most Ontario sports betting apps offer live in-play betting. This is betting on a game as it is being played. Live betting is particularly popular because it makes each play engaging for bettors. Who doesn’t get more involved in a game when they have money on it?

But like most sportsbook features, live in-play betting often has strings attached. Here’s everything bettors need to know about live betting on Ontario mobile sportsbooks. 

How Live In-Play Betting Works

Live in-play betting, often abbreviated to “live betting,” is betting on a game while it is happening. The biggest advantage to live betting is being able to take advantage of odds fluctuations. If a favorite performs poorly at the beginning, then rallies to win it all, a live bettor could get positive odds during a game instead of negative odds before a game’s start or near its end. 

However, there’s one big string attached to live betting: Broadcast delay. If Ontario bettors are watching the Maple Leafs play the Bruins, what they’re seeing is 8-10 seconds behind reality. That small delay is a normal part of broadcasting and viewers would never notice or care about that difference. 

But that delay is important for live betting. Sportsbooks receive game data in real-time and update their live betting lines in time with the broadcast. That means sportsbooks are ahead of bettors even in the live betting section. This delay allows sportsbooks to calculate and update live odds as the game progresses. 

That’s a good deal for sportsbooks, but not a good deal for bettors. 

How Ontario Sportsbooks Benefit From Broadcasting Delays

Bettors will often see parts of the line grayed out while sportsbooks recalculate odds. This can happen in sports like the NFL when a touchdown is successfully challenged. Those six points make a big difference in the outcome of the game. They also make a big difference in the odds that a sportsbook would offer. 

That’s also why some bettors’ wagers don’t go through when live betting. Bettors commonly experience delays between the time they submit their bets and the time they’re accepted. Even though this delay only lasts a few seconds, it can be long enough for a sportsbook to update their odds and ask bettors to lock into different odds than they originally put money on.  

For example, a bettor may want to bet on -200 odds on the Maple Leafs. When they submit their bet between plays, the odds may change. That bettor may be prompted to accept odds of -205 instead. 

So, while bettors can benefit from large changes in odds, they may have to accept small changes in odds depending on luck and timing.  

Missing Live Odds At Ontario Sportsbooks

Sometimes, bettors will open live betting lines and see point spreads and totals, but not moneyline odds. At the end of a game, bettors will often see different game lines disappear as the game draws to a close and how the bets will resolve becomes clear. This is another feature of live betting that Ontario bettors must prepare for if they try it. 

Missing game line odds at the end of a game are unsurprising. Every NFL fan has watched a Super Bowl where a losing team has one last chance to either win or tie the game up. After a final drive, the game is pretty much decided even with 40 seconds on the clock. 

Missing game line odds at the beginning of a game can come from a sportsbook making major recalculations. Those absences could also come from behind-the-scenes technical or oddsmaking reasons that vary by sportsbook. 

However, missing game line odds can also occur because of technical glitches. That is a more troubling scenario that would call a sportsbook’s live betting technology and platform into question. While uncommon, this is a cause that is plausible if the routine oddsmaking factors have been ruled out. 

Missing odds don’t mean that a sportsbook’s live betting section is broken. There are many mundane technical and oddsmaking reasons for those absences. Often, sportsbooks will add those missing odds in a timely manner. 

But these variations across sportsbooks are why serious Ontario bettors should consider having multiple sportsbook accounts. Shopping for odds in the live betting section is like regular odds shopping. But live bettors must also have options to ensure that all of a game line’s parts are available at any time.

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a senior author and contributor for many different sports betting websites, sharing his expertise on the subject for readers across the continent. He's a devout Broncos fan, for better or for worse, living in the foothills of Arvada, Colorado.