While most sports bettors concentrate on the full game lines in NBA betting, first half lines might offer exceptional value for the smart handicapper. Your basic lines and totals are set for just the first half of the game and the outcome of the wagers will be decided after 24 minutes of play instead of 48 (or more in case of overtime).
Betting on the first half of an NBA game offers you a way to win money by using statistics that most people usually don’t pay attention to. It is worth checking out how well a team fares in the first half of games and browse various sportsbooks for value. Most bettors focus on a NBA team’s overall record and their past performance against their opponent. If you are betting on the first half of a basketball game, you will have to go a little further than that to find out how they do in the stretch of the game that is important to your bet.
Teams might be slow starters or fast starters. Do a little research and find out what teams tend to come out strong and what teams take a while to find a rhythm. Finding the ones that hold the advantage in the first half might take a little more time than your regular research for a full game bet, but the outcome will be worth the extra effort.
If you look at games that have a heavy favorite, a first half bet on the underdog might carry great value. The favorite could come into the game with a lack of motivation and the underdog could take advantage. Usually, by the middle of the third quarter in a NBA contest the favorite will have recovered and tied the game or taken the lead, but in first half bets, that won’t matter to you.
Basketball is a game of runs. An early run by an underdog could carry the team long enough to cover a first half spread or win a first half moneyline outright. And even if the favorite comes back with a run of its own hitting shot after shot from the hardwood in the second half, your winnings will be counted after 24 minutes.
The betting public’s lack of knowledge on such first half tendencies comes into play for the oddsmakers as well. More often than not the recreational NBA sports bettor will put their money on the favorite in first half bets. This leads to oddsmakers setting the line a little high to compensate for the high volume of bets on the favorite. With a little research you will be able to find a fast-starting underdog that offers great value.
The teams’ schedule might play a huge role in NBA first half betting. You have to look at whether a team had time to rest or might be tired. Check out if they are on a road trip or a longer home arena stand. Did they have to travel a long ways to get to the game? Are they coming from a different time zone? What time of the day is the game?
Many teams on road trips or teams playing back-to-back games might take a while to get into the games. A team coming off a long road trip might enjoy the comfort of home too much and get a slow start to their first game back on their own court.
Just like with all factors playing into sports betting, these factors could influence a team in a different way. Always make sure to research teams’ prior performances. A few select pro basketball teams might flourish in the first half of back-to-back games as they’re able to translate the momentum from the night before or stay in a rhythm. They could end up losing the game because of a drop-off in stamina in the second half, but that won’t affect your first half wager.
Teams that have an excessively long break between games might suffer from this seemingly profitable schedule. It might take them a while to get into a rhythm and you could capitalize on that by betting against them with your first half wager.
NBA first half betting offers you additional options to use your knowledge of the game and invest into winning picks. It might involve a little bit of extra research, but it will be worth the time. Make sure to compare a variety of sportsbooks for the best value. You can find a list of our approved sports books here. See which ones work best for you and use them when handicapping and betting the NBA.