Best times to place wagers for soccer live bettors

Soccer is a fluid game, with few stoppages, no timeouts or commercial breaks. The turning points aren’t always obvious, often not becoming clear to the casual viewer until several minutes after they happen. That makes “The Beautiful Game” an excellent sport for a talented live bettor. 

Here are some guidelines for when to make your move. 

 Immediately after goals

As the old saying goes, goals change games. More specifically, they often bring about a change in tactics for one or both teams that changes the flow of a game. 

A successful example: In the opener of Euro 2020, Italy dominated Turkey throughout the opening 45 minutes but without any goals to show for it. 

Then, Turkey conceded an own goal eight minutes into the second half. They would have to come out of their defensive shell, and Italy had already looked plenty dangerous when Turkey was bunkering. 

I bet the total over 2.5 goals at +165 odds and a 37.7 percent implied probability. Italy scored its third goal by the 79th minute. 


The midway point gives you the most time to evaluate your next decision. You might process what occurred during the first 45 minutes and how you expect that to change. 

A successful example: In the first round of group games at Euro 2020, the second halves were much higher scoring than the first. That made sense since teams were playing in their first competitive matches in a couple months. 

So, when Slovakia’s 1-0 lead over Poland stood at halftime of both teams’ Group E opener, I was pretty confident there was a good chance the second half would be higher scoring than the opening frame. 

I bet the halftime total over 2.5 goals at +128 odds. Slovakia’s Milan Skriniar scored the match winner in his side’s 2-1 victory in the 69th minute. 

Milan Skriniar celebrates his 69th minute goal against Poland at Euro 2020.
Milan Skriniar (right) celebrates his 69th minute goal against Poland at Euro 2020.
Getty Images

The 55th minute

The first 10 minutes of a second half will often show you whether a manager’s halftime tactical adjustments will substantively change the result. Additionally, it’s also often the time for the first substitution. 

A successful example: Heavy-underdog Scotland went into halftime scoreless against England in their Euro 2020 Group D encounter and looked every bit their equal over 45 minutes. Yet, I was reluctant to back them for fear of a substantial tactical and momentum change after the break. 

Ten minutes into the second half, it was clear that wasn’t likely to happen. I was still able to back Scotland +0.5 goals at +105 odds, a bet that wound up paying after a 0-0 draw. 

The 75th minute

This is often when managers make riskier, more aggressive substitutions if they’re ahead or opt for defensive reinforcements when behind. It’s also when fatigue begins to play a larger factor in the run of play. 

A successful example: Everton were heavy underdogs to Arsenal in their Premier League encounter at Emirates Stadium last season. However, after 70 or so minutes, it was clear there wasn’t a lot of difference between the teams. I bet on Everton to win at 4/1 odds, not because I believed they were going to win, but because I thought they were as likely as Arsenal to find a goal. 

Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno turned the ball into his own net not even a minute later and the Toffees held on for dear life for all three points. 

Ian Quillen analyzes soccer for Action Network.