First and second half bets allow sports bettors to wager on individual parts of a football or basketball game. Instead of betting on the final score, you’re placing a bet based on what the scoring will be for each individual half. This gives bettors additional opportunities for betting as well as a way to get additional money into a game after play has started.

With football and basketball first and second half bets, point spreads are assigned like they are for regular straight bets on full games. The difference is that the winner is determined by the score of each individual half. For a football game, if you bet on a -1.5 favorite in the first half, they need to be leading by at least two points at halftime in order for you to cover your bet. Bets on the second half do not take scoring in the 1st half into account – only the score of the third and fourth quarters are used to determine which team covered the second-half spread.

In pro sports, first half lines are typically one-half of what they are for a full game. If an NBA team is favored by six points and the total is 200, the first half line will be roughly three points and the total will be 100. In college sports, large favorites are frequently favored by more than one-half of the full game spread. A 31-point favorite in football will likely be favored by 17 points or slightly more. College basketball totals are usually made on the assumption that there will be 10 more points scored in the second half. A game with a total of 140 will see a first half total closer to 65 than it will closer to 70.

There are several reasons that bettors consider first and second half bets. Certain teams might have a tendency to play well at the beginning of a game or fade down the stretch and first and second half bets let you use this knowledge to your advantage. Since second half lines are made at halftime, there is far less time for the sportsbooks to create their numbers, giving you a decent chance of catching a bad number.