Halftime Betting can be a very profitable tool if you know how and when to use it.
become increasingly popular over the past few years, largely due to the ability
of the casual gambler to follow several games at once via the internet or NFL
Sunday Ticket. It offers the advantage of allowing a NFL bettor
to see how teams
are playing for 30 minutes before committing dollars to a side or total. Hedges
and middle opportunities often abound in halftime wagering. Finally (and
unfortunately), many football gamblers
view halftime wagering as a way to chase games
that they feel are lost causes at the half.
Let’s discuss a few
halftime wagering concepts:
1. Information is
If you are watching a late
season battle between two teams that are out of the playoff hunt, you’re going
to be in the minority. Let’s say that a team is up 14-7 at the half, but those
14 points came from fluke plays and the trailing team is actually playing
better football. In this situation, you would jump on the live lines
that were favorable
to the trailing team.
Has a team lost three
offensive linemen? If you’re watching the game, you’ll know that. The casual
gambler might not.
Don’t bet on games that you
aren’t following! I have actually known gamblers who based their halftime
wagers solely on how the halftime score relates to the side/total for the whole
game. For example, if the score is 21-0 at the half, and the total for the game
is 40, this type of bettor would jump on the ‘over’ of a halftime total set at
17. Individuals such as these have made the football betting
books a lot of money.
2. Understand Coaches
Track how teams do in the
second halves of games. Certain coaches are much better at making adjustments
than others. The Patriots may look down and out in the first half, but I’m
going to give a halftime line involving the New England Patriots
a strong look because I
believe that Bill Belichick and his staff can make adjustments.
Does a coach tend to become
conservative with a double-digit lead, or does he keep his foot on the gas?
Does a particular team quit when down by more than a touchdown? You need to
follow the league closely to understand how NFL coaches and teams react to
specific score situations.
3. Understand the Game
The game situation is
critical for halftime wagering. Let’s say the New York Jets lead the Buffalo
Bills 21-0, and the halftime total is 17 ½ points. Some gamblers will find
value in this, thinking that since 21 points were scored in the first half, 21
will also be scored in the second half. This is a losing mentality. In this
scenario, one could surmise that the Jets would become more conservative as the
game progressed. Do you have faith in a more aggressive Buffalo offense
covering most of the 17 ½ points?
4. Consider the value of
middles and hedges.
We’ve all been in the
fantastic situation when we hold a winning ‘over’ ticket at the half. Should a
gambler keep money in his/her pocket, or try to hit a middle on the total? It’s
really a question of whether the gambler has a good feel on the total based on some
of the factors I have already discussed. Personally, I recommend taking the win
on the game and moving on to the next battle.
spreads also offer middle
opportunities. Let’s say the Raiders lead the Chiefs 14-3, and you have Oakland
-3 for the game. If the right halftime spread is released, you can have the
chance at a pretty large middle. Anything seven points or over is something to
Halftime wagers can be
great for hedges as well, particularly with parlays. If you have a two-team
parlay with one leg looking great, but the other looking shaky, you can use
halftime wagering to hedge the bet on the weak leg and give yourself a better
opportunity to come out on the positive side of the ledger.
Opportunity for the Educated Bettor
With the correct
information, strategy, and mindset, halftime wagering can be extremely
profitable for the NFL gambler. As with any other wager, the bettor must use
all tools at his/her disposal to take advantage of halftime spreads and totals.