NFL Betting Tip: A Profitable Second-Half Strategy Gamblers Need to Know

NFL Betting Tip: A Profitable Second-Half Strategy Gamblers Need to Know article feature image
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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10)

  • At halftime oddsmakers post spreads for second half lines. These lines are for the outcome of the second half only, not the full game.
  • Using Bet Labs, we’ve identified a profitable second-half betting system for the NFL Playoffs.

The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs were dull. In three of the four games, a team had a double-digit lead at halftime.

If you bet the Chiefs, Rams or Patriots last weekend you felt great about your wager but for everyone else, heck even those that were on the right side in those games, the final two quarters were not exciting.

Part of the fun when gambling is the sweat. Enter second half lines. These lines are for the outcome of the second half only, not the full game.

For bettors looking to recoup a lost bet or those wanting to make the second half more entertaining, here are the most effective strategies from the regular season:

  • Take large second half underdogs (seven or more points): 151-106-26 (58.8%) against the spread (ATS)
  • Take teams that are winning big at halftime (17 or more points): 315-244-13 (56.4%) ATS
  • Fade big pre-game favorites (10 or more points) that are losing at halftime: 59-48-3 (55.1%) ATS

Combined these three regular season strategies have gone 525-398-42 (56.9%) ATS in the second half since 2005 per Bet Labs. Unfortunately, these contrarian strategies aren’t as effective in the postseason: 23-31 (42.6%) ATS.

The best strategy for wagering on second half playoff lines is to bet pre-game favorites who are tied or trailing at the half. Unlike in the regular season, motivation is high in postseason games and playoff teams tend to be good at making in-game adjustments.

Betting pre-game favorites who are tied or losing at halftime have gone 38-25-3 (60.3%) ATS on second half lines. It is a small sample, but the results have been consistent with only two postseasons having losing ATS records in the past 14 years.

The Saints are 3.5-point favorites vs. the Rams in the NFC Championship (3:05 p.m. ET, FOX) on Sunday while the Chiefs are 3-point favorites in the AFC title game against the Patriots (6:40 p.m. ET, CBS).

If the Saints or Chiefs are tied or trailing in the Conference Championships at half time, there is value betting on them in the second half.