As you sit down at your favorite online sportsbook and evaluate the betting options in front of you, first half and second half bets are another option that you should consider. Certainly you won’t want to bet halves exclusively, but there can be some profitable action in this area.
First half bets are exactly what they say they are: you bet on the first half of an event, rather than the whole game outcome. Second half bets, too, are exactly what they say they are: you bet on the second half of an event, rather than the whole game outcome.
You can bet halves as point spread bets or you can bet the over/under. These are basically the exact same bets, just half the game instead of the whole game.
But this simplicity can be deceiving, because there are many things that you must think about when placing first half or second half bets. It’s best to be a strategic thinker.
Some Teams Only Play Half the Game
The first realization that most sports bettors who like betting first or second half wagers would be that there are many teams that have a habit of only playing half the game anyways, so it may make sense to bet the half.
This can go both ways. Some teams are great first half teams, they come out firing on all cylinders, but once it gets down to the end of the second half, they have a tendency to go in the tank.
Other teams traditionally start slow, but then dominate the second half. Strong second half teams with a proven record can be a great option to bet that second half spread.
Of course the lines will be priced accordingly if everyone knows that this team is a second half team, but you’d be surprised how many bookmakers don’t pay enough attention to this level of detail.
Whenever you find a team that only plays half the game, this team can be extremely frustrating to bet on if you’re betting the whole game. They may let you down over and over again, causing you to slam your face against the wall as they choke it yet again.
But there is an easy solution: if they only play half the game, only bet half the game.
At Home Emotion and Crunch Time Performers
Whenever you’re betting halves, two things to keep in mind are the emotions that come from playing a big game at home, and secondly the presence of any crunch time performers who have a habit of taking over a game in the last half.
Some of the best first half bets are related to the emotion of playing at home. The home team may come out so fired up, it can really make it tough on the visiting team in that first half.
But be careful: the emotion of the home team can also backfire, resulting in “trying too hard” mistakes that render the visiting team the best wager for your first half bet. We have all seen this how sometimes the home team has to settle down before they can play well.
And then there are guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant in his prime, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, these kinds of players who are super-clutch in that second half. Generally speaking, you’re better off betting a second half wager when your team has a player that has a proven record of stepping up big in that all-important last part of the game.
At the risk of mastering the obvious, you need to wary of taking second half bets on behalf of teams that have a history of choking down the stretch.
Make sure you do a bit of research before you lay down your wager so you can gather some facts about how the team in question has performed in the half you’re thinking about betting on. With research, you can base your betting on fact, not just opinion.