There are any number of ways to bet on NFL games at your favorite online sportsbooks. Most of the betting action that does come in on a weekly basis are on the pointspread for sides and the OVER/UNDER on the total line. Moneylines are another good option, especially if you really like an underdog to win a game straight-up.
One of the more interesting way to bet on NFL games is on the first half lines that most books post as the week wears on closer to Sunday’s full schedule of games. For the most part, the first half line betting the sides is the pointspread cut in half. For example, if Green Bay was set as a seven-point home favorite against Chicago, the first half betting line might be 3.5 points. The same can be said for the total line. If that number was set at 48 points for the entire game, the betting line for the first half might be 24 points.
There are exceptions to every rule. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when betting first half NFL spreads and total lines is the matchup at hand. All 32 teams have tendencies that can follow suit from one week to the next. Breaking down a particular matchup, you may find that one team has been able to get out to a fast start in the majority of the games they have played. The ideal matchup for betting the first half would be against a team that likes to dig themselves into an early hole. This may be hard to uncover through the first few weeks of the NFL regular season, but some definite patterns will begin to immerge the closer you get to the midway oint of the 16-game schedule.
A perfect example heading into Week 8 is the Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville game in London this Sunday morning. Both of these NFL powers from last season are off to a troubling 3-4 start. The Eagles just blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead against Carolina while the Jaguars spotted Houston a 13-0 lead at the half of Sunday’s 20-7 defeat. The week before, Jacksonville fell behind 24-0 to Dallas in the opening half on its way to a 40-7 loss. Philadelphia is favored by three points in this neutral-site matchup, so you can expect to see a 1.5 to two-point spread for betting the first half.
Tracking a team’s scoring trends can be beneficial to both betting the spread and betting the total. The Kansas City Chiefs are the highest scoring team in the NFL through the first seven weeks of the season with an average of 37.1 points per game. They scored 24 points in the first half of their recent 45-10 victory over Cincinnati.
New Orleans is second on that list with 34.0 PPG. The Saints squeezed out a 24-23 road win against Baltimore in Week 7 with a 17-point surge in the fourth quarter.
The Los Angeles Rams are the only undefeated team in the league at 7-0. They just scored 22 of their 39 points against San Francisco in the first half of that 29-point win. The Rams will be on the road against New Orleans on Nov. 4, two weeks ahead of a Monday night showdown in Kansas City on Nov. 19. Now is the time to keep tracking all three of these team’s first-half scoring trends ahead of two of the biggest matchups on the board in November.
Every NFL game has to be broken down on its own merit with a heavy emphasis on current form, key injuries and possible issues with playing conditions at an outdoor venue. However, sometimes a play on the first half spread or total line can jump off the page given each team’s recent scoring trends.