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Halftime betting has become
fulltime job

Oct 21, 2003 5:09 AM

With no seeming end to the public’s appetite to wager on NFL football games, the sports books recognize that offering new betting options can only increase the overall interest.

Halftime betting handle has grown immensely from all indications, and is popular not only with the squares looking for additional betting outlets, but the sharper players who see opportunity.

Whenever you have a situation where linemakers have to post numbers on less common propositions with little time to evaluate the lines before sending them out, the initial reaction is to think that number may be softer than those on high visibility events with plenty of lead time.

This may of course prove to be false thinking, but it certainly is plausible to believe that with just minutes between the halves to get the numbers up and accept the bets, the chance of weak spreads is increased.

To look at historical trends in second half totals, we have broken out the games into four scenarios: Home favorite, leading at halftime; Away underdog, leading or tied at halftime; Home underdog, leading or tied at halftime; Away favorite, leading at halftime.

Unfortunately we do not have a database with the actual halftime over/under lines to compare the results to at this stage, so we will use the full game total line divided by two.

For another data point we’ll examine whether the "over" or "under" is ahead at the half. When the "over" is ahead we consider it a high scoring first half, while a low scoring half favors the ”˜under."


Home favorite ahead: In general, expect a low scoring second half. With totals exceeding 43, the second half saw 59 percent "unders."

Home dog tied or ahead: Totals exceeding 43 saw a high scoring second half 65 percent of the time. Home dogs up 0 to 7 with an "over" first half draws an "over" second half 61 percent of the time.

Away favorite ahead: When scoring was in line with the "over/under" full game line, there’s a slight tendency to see low scoring second halves.

Away dog tied or up: A low scoring first half often leads to a low scoring second half. If 0 to 3 point lead for road team, the first half scoring trend continues almost 60 percent of the cases.

History shows tie games with a home favorite play out "under" more often than not, as perhaps the home side gets extra conservative. With high full game lines 43 and above, second half "unders" prevailed 61 percent. features innovative statistical coverage of the NFL to help you win. Visit us on the web at or contact us at [email protected]