NFL Halftime Betting

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
7 minute read
NFL Halftime Betting Guide

NFL Halftime Betting is when you wager on any outcomes related to the second half of a football game. The results of the first half are not relevant when it comes to handicapping. Bettors are only wagering on the outcome of the second half.

NFL halftime bets are a market that more bettors need to attack. Oddsmakers have just a matter of minutes to create odds for halftime bets, giving bettors an advantage compared to more mature markets.

Betting limits are also not an issue, as most sportsbooks take substantial limits on NFL halftime markets. You can find full game markets and odds available for halftime betting, such as point spreads, moneylines, and totals or over/unders.

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How Does NFL Halftime Betting Work

After the first half ends in an NFL game, oddsmakers immediately begin working on NFL halftime betting odds. These odds are released rather quickly, usually in a matter of minutes from when the game goes to halftime.

From there, bettors can wager on several markets related to the scoring and outcome of the second half. Halftime bets include point spreads, moneylines, and NFL team totals.

You will be able to bet on which team covers in the second half (point spread), which team wins the half outright (moneylines), and the number of points scored in the second half of the game (total).

It’s also important to remember that NFL halftime betting odds do include any overtime periods. The points scored in overtime, and your NFL halftime bets’ final results will always include points scored in overtime.

How To Place NFL Halftime Bets

  1. Find NFL Halftime Betting Odds – NFL halftime bets are available at every sportsbook online, but may appear faster at some betting sites than others. They also may not be under NFL game lines but under a separate menu or drop-down that is specific to NFL halftime betting lines.
  2. Choose Your Wager And Add It To Your Bet Slip – If you’ve ever bet online before, this part is easy. Choose your selection(s) from the available football halftime betting options and add them to your bet slip. 
  3. Place Your NFL Halftime Bet – After you add your selections to your bet slip, it’s time to place your wager. Be sure your bet amount and selection is correct, then click to place your bet and confirm the odds. Once that is done, your bet is locked in and cannot be undone.

NFL Football Halftime Betting Odds Examples

Halftime bets won’t differ much from normal wagers on sides and totals. The primary difference, of course, is that they will be placed on the second half of a game and are not a full game market.

Basically, bettors will be looking a lot at the second half box score and ignoring the results of the first half of football.

Below, we will go over some examples of the different type of halftime bets.

NFL Halftime Betting For NFL Points Spreads

Betting on NFL point spreads at halftime is no different than wagering on them as a pre-game market, except being the obvious part that they are only based on second-half scoring.

The point spread is also the most available and most wagered NFL halftime betting market.

NFL Second Half Betting – Point Spread Example

NFL Second Half – Point Spread

Pittsburgh Steelers+3.5 (-110)
Baltimore Ravens-3.5 (-110)

In this example, we have the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-half point spread betting market. The Ravens are favored by -3.5 points in the second half, as the favorites, and the Steelers are the underdogs, at +3.5 points.

The same rules apply here for point spread betting. If we bet the Ravens -3.5, they need to win the game by 4 or more points for our wager to be graded as a winner. If we bet the Steelers, they need to win the game outright or lose by less than 3 points.

NFL Halftime Betting – Football Moneyline Example

As mentioned above, bettors won’t see much of a difference in how halftime bets are graded or placed.

This is also true for NFL second-half moneylines, which are wagers on which team wins the second-half scoring. Remember, there is no point spread element when wagering on football moneylines. Bettors only need to pick the team they think will win the half outright.

NFL Second Half – Moneylines

Pittsburgh Steelers+160
Baltimore Ravens-180

Once again, the Ravens are favored in this example at -180 to win the second-half moneyline. The Steelers are the underdog at +160.

Bettors only need to pick the team they think will score the most points in the second half and any overtime period. There is no point spread element here. The team who scores the most points in the second half is graded the winner in a moneyline wager.

Moneylines, at sportsbooks that cater to Americans, by default, are expressed in American odds. They’re based on a hundred dollar wager.

For instance, a $100 bet on the Steelers would pay $160 in profits. And, bettors would need to wager $180 to win $100 in profits if they are placing a bet on Baltimore.

NFL Halftime Betting – NFL Totals

Totals are also available when betting on NFL halftime betting odds. For totals or over/unders, bettors can wager on the total number of points scored in the second half. They must choose ‘over’ or ‘under’ the oddsmaker’s total. 

Again, let’s use another example using the Steelers and Ravens.

NFL Second Half Steelers and Ravens – Total Points
Over 27.5-110
Under 27.5-110

Here we can wager on the number of points in the second half of the game. For this example, it is 27.5 points. Bettors can wager over or under that number.

If they bet over 27.5, the second half needs to have 28 points or more for the bet to win. A bet on the under will needs the second half to have 27 points or less.

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Strategies For Profitable NFL Halftime Betting

NFL Halftime Betting Strategies

NFL halftime betting is a market bettors should attack, but there are a few strategies and tips to keep in mind when placing halftime bets compared to full game betting markets.

These markets can be highly profitable but bettors need to know how to properly attack them.

Act Quickly

The halftime break in the NFL is quite short, it’s only between 12-15 minutes. So, if you want to wager on a halftime line, you need to be aware that the game is going to halftime and act quickly. 

If you’re glued to your TV on NFL Sunday, it still is vital to have an app with you to keep track of scores and when games go to halftime. Sportsbooks have halftime odds up in just a few minutes, but that still leaves just a ten minute or so betting window.

I’ve missed out on a few bets because I didn’t act fast enough when a game went to halftime. Put down the beer when games start getting closer to halftime and pay attention.

Halftime Odds Aren’t As Sharp As Full Game Markets

Betting sites have all week to shape their full-game markets on NFL sides, totals, and moneylines. They only have 15 minutes to compile their numbers for NFL halftime betting odds. That, in itself, gives bettors an advantage.

You’re attacking odds that are made in a matter of minutes. And, oftentimes, many games go to halftime at the same time, such is the case on NFL Sundays, especially at 1 PM. Oddsmakers simply don’t have the time to make these lines as accurate as pre-game markets.

Bet Underdogs, Even If They Are Winning At Halftime

The public may have some influence on these markets, as underdogs may have value at halftime, even if they have dominated the first half. Bettors may have a bias that the favorite should simply play better because they were favored in prematch markets.

Bettors seem to think that the favorite will “play better” in the second half, even if it is clear by the first half that the tide has swung in their favor.

Pro Tip:

Most people simply expect the favorite to “win” the second half, especially if they are a high profile team or one that has a strong track record of success.

Don’t be afraid to bet underdogs at halftime, even if they have dominated the first half of play if the game is playing out in such a manner.

NFL Halftime Betting Limits

NFL halftime betting odds have lower betting limits than pre-game markets on NFL sides, totals, and moneylines, but there are many sites that offer competitive wagering limits.

We have listed our top NFL betting sites below and their wagering limits for NFL halftime odds.

SportsbookSpreadMoneyline Totals

NFL Halftime Bets Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between live betting and halftime bets?

Second half bets are placed before the start of the second half. They are a pre-game market. Wagers made while the game is being played are live bets.

What are the risks involved in NFL halftime bets?

There are no risks, as long as your wager is honored. NFL halftime bets can be as profitable are pre-game bets, or even more so.

Do second half bets include overtime?

Yes, second-half bets will include any scoring that happens in an overtime period.

About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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