The nice thing about sports betting in the modern age is that the betting doesn’t have to stop once the game kicks off, thanks to live betting and the ability to bet on the second half of a game. Focusing on the betting during the second half, wagering on the final 30 minutes of an NFL game can open up some opportunities to find value that wasn’t there when the game started, giving you another opportunity to make money even if you missed the pre-game betting window.
Second half betting lines are often interesting, as a balance needs to be struck between what has already happened in a game and what the bookmakers think will happen in the second half. More often than not, NFL games don’t end in 40-point blowouts, which is why second half lines stay relatively tight after a lopsided first half. The key is to know what happened earlier in the game, and use that to determine what the style of the second half might be.
A great example of this early in the 2018 NFL season was with the Buffalo Bills. As rookie quarterback Josh Allen was getting his feet wet, the team was struggling early in games before letting him air the ball out in the second half. This created an opportunity for the Bills to make games closer in the second half, winning second half bets in the process.
What was happening with the Bills early in 2018 is a great example of what often works in second half NFL betting, which is going against the grain of what happened in the first half. This is especially effective in games where one team has jumped out to a big first half lead, as that team is more likely to run the ball and play conservatively in the second half while their opponent is forced to air things out. Assuming the quarterback in question can avoid turnovers, this can be a lucrative strategy.
There is also a chance for bettors to grab a nice middle if they bet on the full game line by betting on the second half as well. Say, for example, that a team who was favored by seven points for a full game jumps out to a 21-point lead at halftime, and that the second half line is a pick ‘em. A bettor could theoretically take the trailing team’s second half line, and win with both the seven-point favorite over the course of the full game and with the trailing team as long as they outscored the favorite by less than 14 points. This approach doesn’t always work, of course, but it does open up the chance to win two bets in a single game rather than just one.
Second half NFL betting is something that can be very profitable, but it requires bettors to be discerning and to understand when the opportunities are there to make smart bets that make sense. Doing so can often be more lucrative than placing full game wagers.