College Football Halftime Betting

College Football Halftime Betting

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Halftime wagering in college football is a bet that begins at halftime. Whatever scoring there was in the first-half has no bearing on the result of this bet. A lot of college football betting sharpies are getting increasingly involved with halftime betting. It is a unique betting aspect that presents many challenges and opportunities for college football bettors.

With all your picks, the line sits there and you have days to handicap it. Sure, it might move, but it’s a very contemplative endeavor. In halftime betting, everything is on the fly. The bettor does not have time to ponder his options very deeply. At the same time, the bookie doesn’t have a lot of time, either. Some of the potential benefits of halftime wagering for the player is that you have a chance to see a full half of football before making your next move. It is quite a luxury.

Another asset to the player is the ability to amend or hedge your original bets. Your straight-bets that you made at the beginning of the game might be going really well. A few well-placed halftime bets could help almost guarantee that you see some profit. You might decide to just let it play out and that’s OK too. Maybe you strongly sense that your bets are about to crash and burn. You can make some plays at halftime that will help cushion some of those setbacks.

It is key to watch the game. Seems basic enough, but never just go off of the score. A lot of halftime scores can be awfully deceiving. You see it all the time. One team has 2 touchdowns called back on iffy holding calls, while their opponent has a couple flukes go their way and is up 14-3 at the half. The score doesn’t really reflect what happened in the game and the team that is down figures to possibly romp in the second half.

And don’t forget that you can also bet 2nd half totals, which also gives the bettor the edge in certain scenarios. Maybe there’s a Sun Belt conference game you’re watching that had several fluke scores. The book doesn’t have people watching every single game, so maybe the 2nd-half total is set high in recognition of what appears to be a high-scoring game. But you know the bolts of lightning that occurred in the first half are not likely to take place in the second half.


Other things that could affect the second half are injuries. Maybe a key lineman went down late in the first half and in just a series, you can tell his replacement is going to have a lot of problems. Or maybe you see one of the defensive backs is gimpy and it’s only a matter of time before he gets run past. Use this knowledge against the book!

Take into account the playing styles and coaching philosophies of the various teams when making halftime plays. Some teams play a lot different when they’re ahead or behind. A defensive-type team that jumps out to a nice first-half lead might just try to clamp down for the remainder of the game. A team like Boise State or a good Hawaii team, however, will continue letting it fly.

Let’s not forget about urgency–the emotion that fuels good play in college football. Every team opens a game with a certain amount of urgency, which may increase or go down as the game progresses. If a team hits the locker-room with a 38-3 lead, that time spent during the rest period will only let the feelings of grandeur to further resonate. The team that comes out of the tunnel for the second half might not bear much of a resemblance to the team that opened the game.

Many times, a team that is flying high in the first half will not duplicate that excellence in the second half. Especially if the second half requires the team that is ahead to maintain the same frenetic clip. The urgency is now in the corner of their opponent. You almost never see a team just duplicate the first half if they’re way ahead. They might still edge their opponent, just not at the same clip. In some of these cases, you might see some soft point-spreads in favor of the teams that are behind.

In college football, a lot of value can be seen in the lower-end type of games. As mentioned before, no bookie can have people keeping perfect track of 60-something games. If you are watching these games, keep a close eye on the second-half lines. Oddsmakers only have a short amount of time to fashion a line. There are times when you can get some good value on a soft halftime line in some of these under-the-radar games.