Halftime Betting Strategies and Tips

Halftime betting is available at the sportsbooks for both football and basketball, and it’s becoming a key staple for NFL bettors looking to stay ahead of the oddsmakers.

Lines on the second half of action are typically available at the end or near the end of the first half, leaving bettors with precious little time to do some rapid-fire handicapping and make a bet. As well, you probably won’t have time to shop around for the sharpest number.

However, you do have one advantage: You’ve seen the teams in question play the first half.

Yes, it’s crunch time for you, but oddsmakers setting the NFL odds are in the same boat. No sportsbook watches every game, so you can take advantage of a nice line in the right spot.


When betting a halftime line, focus on key elements of what transpired in the opening half.

Were injuries a factor? Did penalties and/or turnovers have a major effect on the score and/or total? Does one team have significant momentum? Did one team just have a ‘bad’ or uncharacteristically great first half? To what extent did the respective gameplans play out? Are one or both teams already making adjustments?

Remember: Both sides – you and the sportsbook – have an advantage. You’ve seen the game, and the book has time on their side. It’s a good idea to take notes throughout the first half and to have the computer ready to look at the hard numbers in relation to your observations.

Halftime lines also give bettors a chance to pour on the winnings – or offset an inevitable loss. Did you bet the underdog on the spread, only to cheer as they took an outright lead after the first half? A smart halftime wager coupled with your initial bet could see you reap some serious rewards. 

Winning more NFL halftime bets is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes training to avoid the pitfalls that can damage your bankroll every season.