Why You Bet on NFL Second Half Totals

There is a key advantage bettors have when betting on NFL second half totals. Sportsbooks have focused heavily on setting betting odds and lines as sports betting has grown in popularity. The NFL generates the majority of bookies’ profits, but one area they consistently lack is the second half.

Key Points

– There are advantages when betting NFL second half totals.

– Time is a key factor in the NFL second half totals market.

Second Half Odds

Second half odds are one area where sportsbooks are significantly less effective. Smarter bettors can take advantage of sportsbooks’ major disadvantage in this area by exploiting their inefficiencies.

If done correctly, betting NFL second half totals can aid the typical NFL bettor in making money during a given season. One of the keys is understanding how the market works. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers are at a huge disadvantage. Smart bettors know how to exploit this.

Why Bet NFL Second Half Totals

NFL bettors underutilize the second half of the NFL betting market. More people ought to at the very least look into the possibilities. Compared to the first half or even the full game market, sportsbooks are much less effective.

NFL rules limit how long bookmakers have to set odds for the second half of a game. NFL halftimes are required to last 13 minutes. Add one minute before the start of the official halftime clock and one minute after it ends—possibly for TV purposes—and you’re left with a potential 15 minutes overall.

That gives sportsbooks a short amount of time to set their second half lines. They have to cover a variety of wagers, such as moneyline, point spread, and totals bets. Even with a week to get it right for the full game market, getting all of those lines correct is a challenging task. 

Asking oddsmakers to get everything right for the second half in just 15 minutes is a tough one. Because of the short amount of time, sportsbooks are more likely to make mistakes, which is where bettors can take advantage and profit.


NFL Second Half Totals Numbers 

In the NFL, there is not a significant secondary market for halftime totals. There isn’t a rush of bettors going to their sportsbooks to place wagers on this market. That’s okay, though, because if you know where to look, value can be discovered.

This is a not-so-surprising statistic regarding NFL second-half totals. The second half Over has won 50.3 percent of the time since the 2003 season. That is roughly what you would anticipate from such a large sample size—50% Over and 50% Under.

Anyone interested in wagering on NFL second-half totals doesn’t pay much attention to the 50.3 number. However, when an oddsmaker sets a second-half total of 20 or less, that gets people’s attention. In this case, the Over win rate rises to 53.1 percent.

Even more intriguing is this. When the first half total goes Under and the second half total is 20 or less, the Under win rate increases to 55.5 percent. A savvy second half bettor will use this information to his benefit.

Only Bet What You Know

You are better off betting on things that you know. If you don’t typically bet NFL totals (or don’t bet totals at all), this is not the market for you. Only bet on what you know.

If you watch football frequently enough, you probably have a solid understanding of how games are conducted. You can learn some of the game’s subtleties. This will enable you to make more accurate predictions about how the second half will turn out. You’ll be even better off if you track your wagers.

You will learn even more as you keep betting on NFL second half totals. You’ll be aware of where to look for bargains. For instance, you’ll be looking for totals of 20 or less in the second half. 

Additionally, remember that you will have real-time knowledge after watching a game’s first half. Don’t bet on the second half of a game in which you didn’t watch the first half. When you have watched the first half, you will have as much information as any sportsbook.

Again…bet only on what you know.

Hedge Your Bets 

Remember that you can middle or hedge a pregame wager by placing a second half total bet. Second half markets are a nice addition to first half and pregame wagers.

Consider placing a wager before an NFL game. You bet on the Over at 48. The teams go into halftime with a score of 21-14 after the first half has concluded. That is well over half of the game’s total points scored, at 35.

The second half line is read and the final tally is 24. The smart bettor knows he can middle this bet. Knowing that the teams only need to score 14 points in total to push the game total Over, you decide to take the Under 24 on the second half total. 

That wager will also be paid out if the second half’s point total is less than 24. Both the initial wager and the second half wager will win if only 12 second half points are scored. 

Don’t Overreact When Placing NFL Second Half Totals Bets

Bettors on the second half should keep an eye out for a few things. NFL games have injuries. When they affect star players, particularly quarterbacks, the results can be disastrous.

Additionally, the impact of an injury may be exaggerated or lead to biased odds in one direction or the other. NFL second half totals odds frequently overreact when a crucial player is hurt in the first half. 

A team may have a backup quarterback who has never lost a game, for example. Or they might have a backup pass rusher who has the same number of sacks as the player he is replacing.  

Look to see if there is a chance to profit from an overreaction in the second half lines and odds, whatever the circumstance.