NFL halftime betting has certainly become more popular over the years. You can bet the first half, any quarter, or make a bet at halftime for the 2nd half of a game.
We’ll focus mainly on some tips and strategies for NFL halftime betting (making the wager during halftime of the game for the 2nd half). However, a lot of this information can be applied to betting on the first half or each quarter individually.
These types of wagers certainly aren’t for everybody, but there definitely can be +EV situations for NFL halftime betting. You must be able to react very fast with bets at the half because an NFL halftime is only 15 minutes.
This will exclude most people from being able to take advantage of the opportunities, so if you’re serious about putting in the time for halftime betting, then you must be close to a computer or at the sportsbook. Quickness is key if you’re going to take advantage of soft numbers.
NFL Halftime Betting Lines
Once games go to the half, the lines are listed almost immediately, and if you have access to live sports betting odds, then you’ll see the screen start lighting up. Depending on how you handicap halftime lines (a system, fundamental analysis, technical analysis, trends, etc), you’ll have a good feel for which direction the lines are going, but you’ll also have to act fast.
Again, this can be difficult for some folks, so you must have everything prepared and ready to go before the games start approaching halftime. Sometimes you may need to react act fast to get the best line, but at other times you may have to wait until it gets to a certain number to where you feel there’s an edge.
A half point or a point can be huge when it comes to NFL halftime betting, so that’s why it very important to have multiple sportsbook accounts in order to get the best line. The lines are moving extremely fast and you have to be able to react in a matter of seconds.
A Chance To Create A Middle
If you did you’re research before the game and know which team was getting most of the action, then this may give you some great insight as to which team the heavy action will be coming in on at halftime (for hedging or middle opportunities for those that placed a bet on the full game).
If this is the case, then you can immediately bet that team when the opening halftime line is posted before it gets adjusted because of the increased amount of action. After the line moves because of the heavy action, you can then bet the other side possibly creating a nice arb or middle opportunity.
However, if you’re unable to get your bet in at the opening line, then another great option is to just wait and make your bet after the line moves, possbily creating a nice value wager. As always though, there must be other rationale behind placing a bet other than just line movement.
Hedging At Halftime
A lot of folks simply bet at halftime to hedge a bet that they’ve placed on the spread for the full game. Trust me, sportsbooks and linesmakers are more than aware of this, and that’s why you’ll most likely be getting -EV with any type of hedge you place at halftime if you’re trying to offset a full game bet.
I personally am not a big fan of the halftime hedge because of the -EV (most of the time). However, some folks are willing to sacrifice it because of something that happened in the first half (injury, weather, performance, etc).
It’s up to you to determine if it’s worth the risk. For me personally though, it’s going to be extremely rare that I hedge a halftime bet unless I can somehow find +EV or there’s some other kind of extenuating circumstance.
A Better Feel For The Game
For some folks, they simply like to see how the game is going before placing a bet (I’m not one of those). However, there are handicappers that do very well with NFL halftime betting only.
As mentioned before, sportsbooks will often set halftime lines to discourage individuals from hedging their full game bets, thus creating value opportunities for the savvy halftime bettor. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but I can promise you there are opportunities to be found.
Whether it’s a system you’ve created or it’s simply finding soft lines, NFL halftime betting can be profitable if you put in the time and have a sound betting plan in place. A successful handicapper has to find there niche and for some, it’s betting at the half on NFL games.