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In-play Soccer Betting in New Zealand (2022)

In the world of gambling, in-play betting is a game changer for those who enjoy spending time at online sportsbooks. For those who love wagering in Aotearoa New Zealand, they will be thrilled to know that in-play betting is gaining popularity. The best analogy we can think of is to be spoilt for choices at a restaurant smorgasbord as chefs keep refilling trays with mouth-watering food.

In-play betting, in soccer football terms, equates to wagering amid changing variables while watching a live game. Also referred to as in-running or live betting, it is when the highs and lows of a match influence the markets and odds that punters bank on. In other words, the excitement level shoots through the roof for Kiwi bettors when compared with placing bets at the height of matches as opposed to before they kick off.

That means online sportsbook enthusiasts cannot change their minds on pre-match bets once bookmakers lock them in, shortly before a game kicks off. However, with in-play betting New Zealanders can sway back and forth from teams, players, and other variables. In some respects, that gives Kiwi gamblers a better footing with knowledgeable bookies.

Let’s for argument’s sake say that the All Whites (NZ national men’s team) are playing the Socceroos (Australian national men’s side) in a friendly international match. Kiwi punters can place a bet on the Socceroos to beat the All Whites for the Trans-Tasman bragging rights, which will eke out modest odds. Once the bet is placed, the gamblers are stuck with those odds in a pre-match situation. However, if the All Whites pounce on their opportunities to take a 1-0 lead against the run of play against a 10-men Socceroos, who have lost a player to a dangerous sprigs-up tackle red card in the first 15 minutes, the odds will mutate madly. Pre-game punters will have no choice but to shrug their shoulders to cut their losses.

Nevertheless, those Kiwi gamblers who opt for online sportsbooks to engage with in-play betting will enjoy the benefits of placing a wager after having a feel for how a match is unfolding. The onus is on them to place a bet when they believe the odds are stacked in favour of one team or another to maximise their returns. After having read our researched account of what in-play betting is, we hope New Zealanders will enter their preferred online sportsbooks with confidence.

How does in-play betting work

One of the beauties of online sportsbook betting is the simplicity of engaging, especially if it’s at a licenced and trustworthy site that we recommend. In-play betting is no different to the pre-match one, although the former has added features to cater for the extra live-sport markets. All Kiwi bettors have to identify the in-play fixtures they wish to wager on, locate the relevant markets tailored to their needs, and then place their bets at a time they consider to be an opportune one.

The game control, as it were, is in the hands of the New Zealand players. You start determining exactly when you expect a favourable outcome is during soccer matches. It isn’t easy when odds keep mutating but that’s where the purist will find their football fix. Kiwis who want a challenge will find it during in-play features, even if they are newcomers to the digital playground.

Part of that excitement is having your finger on the pulse of a soccer football fixture. Making the most of live statistics and other features, such as cash out, at the height of an encounter ensures Kiwis will not only whet their gambling appetite but they may increase the chances of boosting their returns. It definitely pays to be able to multitask — that is, have an eye on the live streaming and the other eye on the fluctuating odds.

Steps to follow during in-play betting

For those New Zealanders who are familiar with online casinos and creating accounts with payment method providers, entering a virtual sportsbook lounge shouldn’t feel intimidating. However, just because you’re a newcomer yearning for entertainment in sports and gambling, there’s no reason why you can’t follow our easy-to-follow steps to wager during in-play soccer football betting.

Do note that just because a sportsbook offers lucrative odds and a broad spectrum of markets that doesn’t mean it’s the best site. Look at what is tailored to not just your footballing needs but also the usability of a desktop website or mobile site/app. Our recommendations of best sportsbook sites will keep you in the straight and narrow from so-called cowboys in the New Zealand gambling cyberspace.

Here is a simple guide, assuming you have already registered to establish a sportsbook account:

  • Navigate your way to the cashier’s domain.
  • Drop to the “deposit” department to pick your payment method and indicate the sum you wish to wager.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to confirm the transaction and ensure the fund is in your account.
  • On the main window-display page of the sportsbook, see if your preferred soccer football encounter is among the marquee matches the bookies have highlighted. If it isn’t, go to the menu and click on “football” to identify your game among the list of other live matches of the day.
  • Click on your match to see a selection of markets available. Identify those you want and add them to your betting slip, where you should be able to select your stake.
  • This what you’ve been waiting for — it’s time to go on overdrive to place your bets. Some sportsbooks have a click to make this happen while others promise a swift, within 60-second wait. It’s vital that Kiwi gamblers pick a sportsbook that has such facilities to avoid delays and disappointments. If for some reason your odds have changed, the bookies will advise you not to place a bet.
  • If your stars align with the sun and moon for a win or two, navigate to the cashier again to collect your winnings by following a few elementary steps. We advise first-time Kiwi players to keep within reach a photo ID (valid driver’s licence or passport), proof of residential address (electricity bill or council rates statement), and a payment method (bank statement) to verify their withdrawal. As irritable as it may feel, remember it’s for your safety, too.

What’s the ideal time for in-play betting?

Anytime is a good time when it comes to in-play soccer football betting. However, there are some elements New Zealanders must keep an eye out for to avoid tripping on entering a sportsbook lounge. We have done the groundwork to reveal these hurdles to make sure your in-play betting experience will be a memorable one so that it doesn’t curtail your enjoyment.

Needless to say, soccer betting is among the largest markets gamblers will find in the world. That means not only are there competitions and leagues scattered around the globe to choose from but also a legion of bettors which does its homework thoroughly before placing in-play bets on any given markets. We urge Kiwi gamblers to be up with the play if they want to cash in on soccer matches.

Having a sound knowledge makes it easier for New Zealanders to place bets based on educated assumptions. That requires adroit players to create their own strategies based on their judgements of previous outcomes. Our advice is to ignore the eye-catching odds to identify and focus on what your strengths are because the mutating probabilities are not a proven scientific formula.

It’s a no-brainer to watch a game live when engaging with in-play betting because that’s when New Zealanders can draw logical assumptions to exploit the cracks in the bookies’ predictions. The in-play feature pretty much makes it a reasonably even playing ground against bookmakers banking on their knowledge and instincts.

That doesn’t mean Kiwi gamblers should ever drop their guard because some online sportsbook operators tend to establish odds via algorithms which can be stacked against gamblers. The smart money should always be on recognising the opportunities disguised in the house-edge odds, then fuelling yourself with enough confidence to religiously adhere to a sound strategy. Our advice is to never betray your blueprint to pursue losses out of panic or frustration.

The hold-ups in a live 90-minute soccer football match, including halftime intervals and injury spells, are ideal times to unwind from the nail-biting moments for a clear head. Any Kiwi footy fan will tell you nothing is a given during a soccer match. The only certainty is the amount of time and energy gamblers will invest to turn in-play betting to their advantage.

Why in-play soccer betting suits Kiwis

In short, because in-play soccer football offers New Zealanders choices. With no restrictions before a game kicks off, Kiwis can dive into an event with numerous avenues to place bets. The house-edge on probabilities worked out via algorithm aside, the bettors should have a fair traction with odds given the game is unfolding in real time. We say shop around for reputable online operators, including read our reviews because we put safety and security first, so you won’t be short changed.

Not focusing on just who beats who, where, and by how many goals heightens the excitement for Kiwi bettors. Instead, they can zero in on in-play features such as fulltime/halftime scores, total goals, next goal scorer, stalemates, both teams to score, etc. They also have the opportunity to place accumulator (acca) bets, which means the sum total of all the multiple predictions has to be right to claim a win. It is much riskier wagering, but the pay-out is far more rewarding if your knowledge bank is full to the brim.

New Zealanders will enjoy it because they don’t always have to pick the winners. As astute football followers, they can hedge their bets either way to minimise risks and losses. It’s always better to come away with something than nothing, right? The English Premier League (EPL), European Championship, FIFA World Cup, and the Oceania qualifiers are taxing enough.

Throw in that some sportsbooks cover New Zealand soccer matches, so Kiwi bettors can have a field day. That isn’t just confined to All Whites’ and Football Ferns’ (national women’s games) but also the Wellington Phoenix men and women’s campaigns during the Hyundai Australian League (A-League) as well as the NZ National Summer League and premier regional men and women’s winter competitions.

For Kiwis who have a great feel for the game but not a mind for numbers need not despair. The slick sportsbooks have sharp statistics based on match analyses, including shots on/off target and the waves of attacks, as well as how many of them were dangerous enough to yield yellow and red cards. The number of corner kicks, freekicks and penalty kicks add to the match munchies.

The more proficient online sportsbooks tend to offer a hyperlink that takes bettors to an external site where more data is up for grabs. It shows information such as each team’s win ratio, linear graph on league fluctuations for the season, the previous matches’ 1X2 figures, etc. That means New Zealand gamblers don’t have to be walking, talking encyclopaedias. Simply refresh your memory of the earlier season matches with a hyperlink click.

Online sportsbooks that offer live-streaming matches is another important reason why in-play betting will suit New Zealanders to the hilt. If you find an operator in New Zealand who provides the service for marquee soccer matches, we advise you to snap them up immediately. It’s a great saving for those gamblers who don’t wish to subscribe to Spark Sports when they already have a Sky TV package, or vice versa.

However, it’s important to note that bookmakers don’t live stream EPL and other key matches because purchasing the rights can be a strain on their budgets. However, the more industrious New Zealand punters will know that you can access local league encounters via a well-established club’s website. The quality of the live streaming may be of a poor resolution, but many will argue it’s better to wager on that than to go into it blindfolded.

In-play soccer strategy

No matter what people engage in, a blueprint is essential if they are serious about accomplishing goals. In some respects, it’s hard to go past soccer teams not having a game plan for different oppositions during a season. Well, in-play betting requires a similar meticulous masterplan from Kiwi gamblers, although it’s vital to bear in mind that making money shouldn’t override the desire to have some fun when gambling.

The beautiful game is mostly a high-tempo affair with thrills and spills that offer bookmakers numerous avenues to create odds. Televised to millions around the world from some elite leagues, the mainstream media sportswriters and commentators tend to predict matches based on a mountain of statistics and historical sentiments. But anyone who has ever watched soccer will tell you the game can turn in favour of the minnows in a blink of an eye because adversity off the field and spontaneous decisions on the park can tip a prediction on its head. Just ask Manchester United and Liverpool fans.

That’s why our suggestion is to develop an educated snapshot almost 25 minutes into a 90-minute match before placing in-play bets. Why? Because even the best teams in the world can wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The early touches of pivotal players will tell bettors if they are in silky form or fraying at the seams. That Christiano Ronaldo is pouting on the bench speaks volumes on why the Red Devils are languishing on the EPL in 2022.

Always adopt an edict of putting your head before your heart. Parochialism has the potential to cloud one’s judgment. For instance, who would have expected Newcastle United’s fortunes to change in the 2022 season with relegated All Whites striker Chris Wood warming the bench while Callum Wilson took over goal-scoring duties. That means Kiwi fans have to exclude patriotism and emotion from their strategy.

It’s easy to forget that gambling is about risk and reward. Nothing endorses that more than an end-to-end, edge-of-your-seat soccer match. That’s when you have to trust your instincts. As the odds go up and down like a yo-yo, you have to realise that bookmakers also are human, albeit having the rub of the house edge. The beauty of in-play betting is that you can develop a snapshot of their mindset based on how they respond to what’s unfolding on the paddock. In-play betting gives Kiwi bettors the best seat at the virtual park.

Be circumspect when placing in-play bets. Start with what you know before slowly building your confidence. Don’t be tempted to dive into accumulators and the “scorecast” (who will score first and the final result) until you become savvy. You can place in-play bets on a Kiwi competition where your local knowledge will be better than the bookies. Are you prepared to call the bookmakers’ bluff?

Build a ceiling on the stake and number of matches. Rookie Kiwi gamblers can start with two games in a week and, for argument’s sake, place no more than $NZ20 per match. That enables you to keep a tab on how much you spend and easier to review when trying to establish a profit/loss ledger. Remember, it’s a game of luck, too, so keep everything in perspective.

Take advantage of the sign-up offers, free bets, and any other bells and whistles online sportsbooks are offering to entice newcomers. Remember that the bookmakers want Kiwis to have an enjoyable experience when they enter their iGaming lounge, not never return because of unmemorable moments.

Become familiar with why the “cash-out” option is an ideal escape clause. When things start to turn pear shaped or you begin to doubt your punts, take the cash-out offer even though it’s less than the stake you had placed or may claim if your predictions fall in your favour. Afterall, strategies aren’t magical formulae. They are simply structures to stop you from crumbling. Even the best-laid plan sometimes falls flat.

Top NZ In-play Betting Soccer Sites

What is the best sportsbook for one New Zealand gambler may not be for another when considering in-play soccer betting. Kiwis have different strengths, so logic suggests that each one will gravitate towards what is tailor made for them. Our recommendation is to read our posts on which online sportsbooks are licensed, secure, and safe to register with. Don’t dive in because the odds look great, or the bonuses are handsome.

In determining our top in-play betting soccer sites, we took into consideration these variables (in alphabetical order):

  • Betting markets: Choose an online sportsbook that has not only a variety of betting scenarios but also compliments your strengths.
  • Competitive odds: It’s not about how big the odds are but how impartial they are. It’s fine to accept that sportsbooks need house edges to protect their profit margins, but they must give Kiwis a fair chance to win, too.
  • Desktop/mobile interface: Using mobile devices such as computers, laptops, and tablets are a starting point. Sportsbooks must have efficient app downloads and/or browser accessing website platforms for the growing number of Android and iPhone users.
  • Live streaming: This is the game changer with in-play betting in soccer, but it isn’t easily available in NZ. If Kiwis find one, snap it up. Without this, it’ll feel like driving blindfolded on a stormy night. Having funds in your account helps. Some games will be excluded because of TV rights, so do some window shopping for the right sportsbook.
  • Payment methods: Make sure online sportsbooks provide a good range of payment gateways that offer swift deposit and withdrawals to make transactions a stress-free exercise.
  • Promotions: When you have a ceiling on stakes, bonuses, enhanced odds, and free bets can make a world of difference in how much you can stretch your kiwi dollars but also peace of mind to maximise your gambling experience.
  • Statistics: This is like a GPS in a car for Kiwi bettors during a live soccer match. It’s hard enough watching odds fluctuate while watching a live-streaming match, so a drop-down window of data opens up a compact perspective to a game.
    Having built a platform for our selection of the best in-play betting soccer sites, we have a cluster of online sportsbooks that appeals to Kiwis. Note that all the bookies tend to offer the latest odds and prices for in-play soccer betting. The major Kiwi leagues are available at some of our recommended sportsbooks, but you’ll have to dig them up. Here is our list (in alphabetical order):

888sport

While it isn’t the most well-known soccer in-play site, 888sport seems to be finding traction with New Zealand punters. It boasts a decent variety of betting markets and offers competitive odds. Its sign-up bonus isn’t the best, but the free bets are up there with the best providers of in-play soccer. 888sport has bet-building options and is ideal for Kiwi soccer fans following the MLS in the US. The download of apps is free but not the sharpest. Oodles of live stats certainly make a difference.

Bet365

It’s New Zealand’s most revered online sportsbook, so it doesn’t come as a surprise in-play soccer betting comes with a reputation that keeps the TAB in check. Bet365 has live streaming, best soccer odds, cash-out options, and scores of live-betting markets. Its design could be better. Kiwis can download free Bet365’s apps for iPhones and Androids to watch live-streaming matches on them. Bet365 has some lucrative sign-up bonus and bet credits. It doesn’t have PayPal.

Betway

It has a snazzy sportsbook with live-betting markets from around the world, including Australia. Unfortunately, Betway doesn’t have New Zealand on its list, but it does pick up the national men’s summer league. It offers bumper daily odds, cash out, multi-builders, and weekly betting promotions, although its interface can be better. PayPal is among its list of popular payment methods.

Guts

It may not be on every Kiwi gamblers’ lips, but Guts’ competitive odds for New Zealand fixtures is an incentive. The sportsbook’s cash-out options and other in-play soccer features are second to none. The appealing interface provides for seamless navigation, but it has no mobile apps.

LeoVegas

A relative newcomer in 2016 to the sportsbook arena, LeoVegas is steadily building a reputation on its sound online casino foundation. What piques our interest is that LeoVegas focuses on Kiwi wagering. It offers competitive odds, reliable customer support, and cutting-edge graphics that offer insight when engaging with in-lay soccer betting. Unfortunately live-streaming of soccer doesn’t offer as broad a variety or many options. LeoVegas needs to improve its mobile capabilities.

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Ijeoma Esther is an iGaming content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the New Zealand mobile casino industry. While initially diving into online casino gaming as a hobby, she soon found herself immersed in the enthralling world of mobile slot and live casino games.Through the years, she discovered that writing about her favorite pokies was just as fun as playing them.

Last updated: 9/2/2022