Many online sportsbooks now offer NFL halftime lines for every game. If you are already familiar with betting on NFL spreads and NFL totals, you already know how to bet halftimes. Oddsmakers make adjustments to the original spread an total and put out odds on the second half of the game. This way if you think a team is going to beat up on an opponent early, but aren’t sure they’ll leave their starters in the game, you can take them as a first half bet. If you are actually watching the game in question, you already have an advantage over the oddsmakers. They are typically just trying to push equal action on each side of the second half and base those odds on the original point spread, not really taking into account what has already happened in the game. This also gives you a chance to stay interested in the game if you’ve already lost your first half bet, or your bet on the side or over under is not looking good.
There are a few key factors you might want to look at when deciding whether or not to bet on the second half of a game. Remember that you aren’t going to have a ton of time to make your decision, so try to remember these points that should be able to help you in several different situations.
Injuries – If one team has a key injury or a number of injuries to starters in the first half of the game, you might want to consider playing against them in the second half, regardless of how the first half when. Remember that oddsmakers aren’t necessarily looking at games in terms of what’s happening on the field, just what they think they can get the most people to bet on.
Underdogs Winning Outright – If the underdog is winning the game at halftime, this is usually a good spot to take the favorite in the second half. Most NFL teams are great at making adjustments at halftime. They were favored for a reason coming into the game and you will likely get a better line for them in the second half because the inclination is to give up on a good team that is down at halftime.
Heavy Favorites – If a team is heavily favored coming into a game and they are already covering the point spread at halftime, it’s usually a safe bet to ride them for the second half as well. The logic here is that the favored team was probably favored by less than they should have been if they are already covering the game spread at halftime, so they should continue to dominate in the third and fourth quarters.