One of the most over-looked betting options in sports is the halftime bet.
This option allows sports handicappers to wager on a team or game after watching half the game. And while what happens in the first half of a game isn’t always a sure-fire indicator of how the game will end, it does give bettors a better chance to get a good feel for a particular game. What players go out with injury, field conditions, crowd impact and more.
Nevertheless, handicappers still need to follow some general rules that apply to all halftime sports wagers, and here are just a few.
One, handicappers need to pay attention to the flow and speed of the game. Does it lend itself to one team more than the other? Is one team dictating the pace of the game? If so, is it keeping their opponents off their game?
Second, if the game is being played outdoors, what is the weather like, is it extreme? Is one side more familiar with playing in snow, windy or near freezing temperatures? Keep in mind that weather is not only applicable to outdoor games. Indoor conditions like humidity and heat can affect teams too. In either case is one team struggling with the playing conditions?
Third, has the game been even so far, or is one team just far off? Have there been any runs, scoring frenzies or lulls in a team’s play? This is a good way to determine if two teams have been evenly matched, or if one team is clearly outgunned.
Fourth, does the losing team show any sign of fight left? If a team has given up at the half, it’s probably just going to play the game out, while trying to avoid total embarrassment. But if the losing squad has shown a little spark, they could just pull it off.
Maybe the losing team is down because of bad penalties or a rough start, but is clawing their way back in it. If so, don’t overlook the team trailing at the half. They maybe just be able to close the gap and take the lead by the end of the game.
Next, has one team suffered any injuries in the first half that could have a big impact on what happens in the second half? And are they a team that is typically able to adjust? Some coaches and teams are good at adapting and overcoming, while others are not. If one team is much better at making adjustments, then they could have a big edge coming down to the final buzzer.
Finally, how will the betting public react after the first half of the game?
The sports books don’t have a lot of time to react when making adjustments to halftime odds, and if they books think the game is of big interest, they may try to compensate for the public biases. That in turn can create lucrative opportunities for handicappers.