Making Halftime Bets
You’ve done all of your research, and finally decided on the bets you like for today’s games. Once you’ve placed your bets though, the action is out of your hands. Now all you can do is sit back and watch. Or is it?
Actually, there are ways to get more action on a game even after it has begun. The most common method of doing this is through making halftime bets. These bets allow you to make bets solely on the second half of a game, taking into account only the points that are scored in that half. In fact, that’s the most important thing to remember about halftime bets: what occurred in the first half doesn’t affect whether or not you win a second half bet.
Types of Halftime Bets
Generally, halftime bets will be available for the same kinds of nearly even money bets (usually -110) that were available before the game. This usually means that you can bet on a second half point spread, or a second half total. The sportsbook will post a line and a total, and you can pick a side just as you would before a game began.
Here’s an example of how this might work. Imagine that the Jets are playing the Dolphins. The halftime score is Jets 17, Dolphins 10. You head to your favorite online sportsbook and see that they’re offering two halftime bets:
Jets -3 (-110)
Dolphins +3 (-110)
Over 24.5 (-110)
Under 24.5 (-110)
Remember, these bets are only on the action that occurs after halftime! If you bet on the Jets -3, and the final score is Jets 24, Dolphins 20, it may look like you barely covered. However, because halftime bets only consider the second half action, you’ve actually lost your bet. The Jets scored seven points in the second half compared to ten for the Dolphins, meaning you didn’t cover the spread. The same goes for totals; you need to figure out how many points were scored just in the second half and compare that to the side you took in order to find out if you’ve won your bet.
Halftime Bet Strategy
Halftime bets can be used in a variety of ways, and different gamblers will find several different reasons for making them. Of course, one option is just to use halftime bets as a way to get more action on a game you like, but there are also more creative ways to use these bets.
Perhaps the most common way to take advantage of a halftime bet is by using it to hedge against a bet made before a game. The idea of hedging is to limit your risk by taking the position opposite of the one you already hold. Bettors will usually choose to hedge when doing so locks in a win, especially when the amount they could win would make a significant difference to their bankroll.
However, you can sometimes also hedge in a way that gives you a chance to win both bets with very little risk. For instance, using the above example, imagine that you had bet on the Jets -7 before the game, but the Jets now led by 17 at the half. If you believe the Jets will likely ease up in the second half, taking the Dolphins +3 at halftime might make sense. This gives you an excellent chance to win both bets; if the Jets ultimately win by anywhere from 8 to 13 points, both bets will win. In the worst case scenario, you will only win one of the two bets, and essentially break even (you will lose a very small amount due to the vig that the sportsbook places on each wager). This allows you to increase your potential win while minimizing your risks.
Halftime bets can be a great addition to your betting portfolio. Whether you use them to hedge your bets or simply to get some extra action, these mid-game bets shouldn’t be ignored by any serious sports bettor.