Sometimes you are in a situation where you want to make a bet but don’t feel strongly enough about it to do it. Well, you don’t have to bet on the outcome for the whole game. You have the option of playing just the first half or waiting until the second half.
The knowledge you gained from watching the first half can help you decide if you want some action on the second half. Note that in both cases the score is starting at 0-0. If the Cowboys and Patriots are tied 17-17 at halftime and the Patriots win the game 40-30, the second half score was 23-13 Patriots with a total of 36 and only that counts for betting the second half.
You can make halftime wagers on all the major sports including baseball and hockey. Baseball you can bet the first 5 innings but not the final portion of the game since there are no breaks. For hockey, you can bet each of the 3 periods separately. For games like soccer, basketball, football, or any sport that takes a short break will have a line available for its second half.
When To Do It
There are numerous reasons why a bettor may only want to particularly play the first or second half of a game. Suppose there’s a baseball game going and the team you like has a great starting pitcher going but a terrible bullpen. Since in modern day baseball the bullpen is almost always completing the last few innings of a game, you can be sure the bullpen is going to play a significant part. You love the starting pitcher, but since you are worried about the bullpen protecting his lead, maybe you will opt only for the first 5 innings. This way now you don’t have to worry about other pitchers coming in and screwing it up for you because you only have to be ahead 5 innings into the game and you know the starting pitcher is going to go pitch at least that long assuming he is doing well.
A lot of games may start out as a blowout one way but professional sports is always good to the last drop so the element of a comeback starting at any juncture is always there. The team may not complete the comeback and win but they can sure make the score a lot closer. No matter what the line was for the entire game, if there is a team trailing by a lot at halftime, they will often be a slight favorite for the second half. If not, they will only be a slight underdog as the score after the first half obviously indicates a few things to expect for the second half.
If the Golden State Warriors are a -12 favorite against the New York Knicks for the game, the line for the first half will probably be Warriors -6 or -6.5, maybe even -7. If at halftime the Warriors hold a 65-40 lead, protecting their lead and playing good defense will be more of a priority in the second half than trying to continue to pour on as many points as possible. However, the game is not over and Knicks have a lot of doable work to do to win the game. They may bring on a heavy second half effort and because the Warriors are not going to necessarily keep the pedal down, the Knicks have a better shot at outscoring the Warriors in exclusively the second half than they did in the first. With all these factors, because the Warriors are still that much better the Knicks are likely to be something like a -1 or -2 favorite, or possibly a +1.5 underdog.
Picking the team getting blown out to win the second half is not easy money. Blowouts happen all the time. The team that dominated the first half stays right on point and waltzes their way through the second half. Deciding to bet the first or second half can be heavily influenced by your research. Some teams do have a tendency to come out firing on all cylinders in the first half while others are a bit slow out of the gate. On the flip side, some teams may take a while to get warmed up but are fully hitting their stride in the second half while others lose focus and fall apart. It takes as much effort to find yourself a reasonable first or second half play as it does for the game.
Other Options and Opportunities
Note that there will also be an over/under for each half. As one might imagine, it is typically approximately half of the total of the entire game. If the Denver Broncos are playing the Miami Dolphins and the over/under is 50, for the first half the total will probably be 25 or maybe a little higher as in the NFL both teams are constantly trying to put up points in the first half. There is not yet any emphasis on running on down the clock like there is in the second half.
You can do parlays for each half as well and in a lot of cases taking a side with an over or under go hand in hand with them. If the Broncos are a -2.5 favorite over the Dolphins for the first half and have a stout defense, you might be inclined to parlay the first half under with the Broncos because if they have a lead at halftime by at least 3 points, chances are their defense held down their opponent keeping the score nice and low as well. If they don’t cover the -2.5 then there is probably a better chance that first half total went over, making the parlay combo of Dolphins and over the way to go if you like Miami. Making these types of analyses help bettors find opportunities to make more money as X may = Y.
If a basketball or football game has an absurdly high scoring first half, be aware that the second half total will still most likely be about half of what it is for the game. It’s not so rare that an NFL game goes over in the first half. If the Jets are playing the Raiders with a total of 44.5 and the score is 24-21 at halftime, the second half total will still be in the neighborhood of 22-23. There is a chance it could a couple points higher because of how the game has gone to that point but nothing too drastic. Despite how things have gone, the sportsbooks still know what is most likely to occur in each half and do not make dramatic adjustments over less likely occurrences.
You might want to consider the weather as well for football. Whenever it is snowing, a lot of people tend to think this will equate to a low scoring game because it is harder to run, see, throw, catch, kick, everything football players do – except this also includes tackling. Lots of games have run extremely high scores in bad weather because nobody can tackle and players are constantly getting out into the open field and scoring long distance touchdowns. The end result about the weather is it is a total wildcard and might make worth a game avoiding entirely.
You might also like taking the over in the second half of a football game as the hurry up offense tends to take over as the need to score becomes much greater. This can go both ways though as the team who is winning will run out the clock if they continue to dominate and maintain possession of the ball. Also note that teams will not be as likely to settle for field goals in the second half and obviously the difference of one scoring play in football can determine if it goes over or under.