Advantages of Betting First Half NFL Lines

Betting first half NFL lines is a commonly used wagering market.

Key Points

– Betting NFL first half lines offers bettors the opportunity to beat the book.

– Understanding the rules and guidelines for first half NFL bets is a big first step in winning more of these wagers.

Betting First Half NFL Lines

There are many different ways to slay the NFL betting dragon. One method is through the advantages of betting first half NFL lines. Instead of betting the entire game, the bettor cuts out the entire second half completely.

There are a number of advantages to betting this way. There are also several strategies that can be employed by NFL bettors to take advantage of betting first half lines.

It all starts with understanding what you are doing.

What is a First Half NFL Lines Market?

First half NFL bets are offered prior to a game and include common bet types like the moneyline, point spread, and totals. These bets focus only on the action that happens in the first half of an NFL game.

The results are based on the halftime score. First half NFL bets are popular with bettors that find first half trends, which can result in giving bettors an edge. Bettors can find first half NFL lines at most sportsbooks.

Too much for you? Take a look at working with professional sports handicapping sites.

The “Dead Heat Rule”

Sometimes, the NFL halftime score reveals that the two teams tied. What happens in this case is a great question for bettors. Most sportsbooks handle first half ties using something called the Dead Heat Rule.

The tie or draw is not offered as a betting choice, so sportsbooks will offer bettors half of the original odds on their wager. Take the following example.

A bettor wagers $100 on a moneyline underdog at +220. If the underdog wins the first half, the bettor would receive a payout of $220. With a first-half tie, the bettor would receive half of that payout – $110. 

There are some football sportsbooks that do offer the tie as a first-half betting option, thus creating a three-way market.

The First Half Point Spread

Betting the first half point spread is just like betting the spread on a game. The difference is that only the first half counts. Bettors should keep in mind that the first half point spread is not just half of the full game point spread. 

Some teams are hot in the first part of a game and start scoring quickly. Other teams need some time to get acclimated to their opponent and maybe play better as the game wears on. 

Weather can be a big factor too. A storm may affect the first half but not the second or vice versa. An early injury can affect play in the first half as well. Factors that influence a full game point spread can do the same to a first half point spread.

First Half Totals & Betting First Half NFL Lines

Like first half point spreads, the NFL first half totals market mirrors the full game totals market. More often, the first half totals market is pretty close to half of the full game total.

Scoring in the NFL does not follow a linear pattern. A team might score on all of its first four possessions or it may not score at all in the first half. That’s the trick with first half totals – figuring out which half will feature more scoring and then betting accordingly. 

Look for the First Half Blow Out

As far as betting NFL first half totals, there are a number of different football betting strategies that can be employed. One that may take a few weeks to find is betting on a heavy favorite that looks like a playoff team.

These are teams that are laying a bunch of points and they are laying them for a reason. These teams want to jump out to a big lead in the first half so that they can rest their starters for a bulk of the second half.

Pay attention to blow out games

Covering the first half is much more likely than the favorite covering the full game.The junk time at the end is very unpredictable.

Slow Starting Favorites

There are a handful of reasons why a favorite might start slowly. One of the biggest is related to the NFL schedule. Professional football is a brutal game and players’ bodies need time to recover from the impact of a game.

It’s hard for teams to get started in games where their rest is not a full week. Take a team that plays a late game on a Sunday then plays the following Sunday night. If that team had to travel on top of all that, that might be a situation for the first half point spread or Under bet.

Big Games When Betting First Half NFL Lines

There are a number of NFL games throughout the course of a given season that are essentially “do-or-die” type matchups. In these games, teams tend to play a bit more conservatively, especially early in a game. 

Underdogs in these types of games often use some tactics to throw off their opponents. Targeting these games for you NFL picks can pay off.

They might run a trick play or two or do something they haven’t shown before. This can disrupt a game’s scoring and make it much less predictable. Regardless, be aware of two teams playing a must-win type of game and look for first-half advantages.

Attack Less Popular Games

If Kansas City is playing Buffalo or Green Bay, you can bet there will be plenty of interest in the game. All you have to do is look at the betting handle. The public loves these types of games.

What about the less popular games? The public has much less interest in a matchup between Jacksonville and Houston. These are games NFL first half bettors can target.

The reason is simple. Betting markets are pretty efficient these days. The markets that attract the money are even more efficient as oddsmakers and sportsbooks strive to get those right so they don’t lose their tail.

NFL games that don’t attract as many bettors will not develop the same efficiencies as the Chiefs-Bills matchup. Sportsbooks are less concerned about those games. NFL first-half bettors can step in and take advantage of less efficient lines.

NFL first half bettors should first keep in mind the rules and guidelines of first half betting. Strategies include looking for advantages or disadvantages in the schedule. This often has an impact on how a team starts its next game. Bettors would also be wise to look for less popular games as well as games late in a season that are deemed “must-win.”