NBA First-Half Spread Betting

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

NBA betting has never been more popular.

Traditional bets, such as full game point spreads, totals (O/U), and moneyline betting, are still popular for those who like to wager on the hardwood action.

However, as sports betting legalization expands across Canada and the United States,

NBA player, and game prop bets have seen a huge spike in popularity.

Bettors are no longer required to sit through four quarters of game action to watch their wager playout.

One of the most popular prop bets offered is NBA first-half point spread betting.

For those who are fans of NBA hoops and interested in first-half point spread betting, we have you covered below.

Betting NBA First-Half Point Spreads

If you are familiar with NBA point spread betting, you will certainly understand how betting on the first-half point spread works.

As the name implies, instead of betting on the spread for an entire game, a bettor is only focused on how the first half will play out.

What makes first-half point spread betting interesting is that the bet takes place over a much shorter period, and teams who are great at playing four quarters of basketball aren’t necessarily great at covering just the first-half spreads.

Identifying teams who excel in the first half is the key to this bet.

For those willing to do their homework and dive into the stats, there is often value found in teams many consider underdogs.

2021-22 NBA 1st Half Stats

Teams1st Half Margin (+/-)Overall ATS (full game)
Grizzlies+4.752-29-1
Celtics+3.843-36-3
Jazz+3.733-46-3
Bucks+3.539-43-0
Nuggets+3.037-45-0

Our table above lists the top five NBA teams from last year with the best first half point differential.

What is interesting about this table is comparing how these great first-half teams fared overall against the full-game point spread.

If we look at the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, we can see that their first-half success translated into a great overall ATS record.

However, when we look at the remaining three teams in our table, we see that all three finished below .500 ATS, despite getting out to great first-half starts.

This tells us that when doing our first-half point spread research, we must dive deep into the stats and see how teams play specifically in the opening two quarters.

If we use just the overall ATS records and assume those represent how teams play in the first 24 minutes, our strategy will be flawed.

NBA First-Half Point Spread Odds

When it comes to analyzing first-half point spreads, there are two numbers a bettor will want to key in on.

The first number is the actual spread set by the sportsbook.

Using our table below, we can see that in the Orlando vs. OKC game, the ‘books have set a full-game point spread of 3-points and the first-half spread of 1.5.

It makes sense that the first-half spread would be half of the final game spread, or at least close to it.

In our second game listed below, we see that the overall spread is a Pick ‘Em, but sportsbooks have made the first-half spread a half point (0.5).

MatchupFull-Game Point Spread1st Half Point Spread
Orlando vs. Oklahoma CityOrlando +3 | -110Orlando +1.5 | -110
OKC -3 | -110OKC -1.5 | -110
Golden State vs. MiamiGolden State PK | -110Golden State -0.5 | +100
Miami PK | -110Miami +0.5 | -120

The other key number of interest to bettors is the moneyline associated with the spread.

In the case of the Orlando vs. OKC game above, the moneyline is -110 for both sides, which is very common.

However, in the Golden State vs. Miami game, we see that the first-half spread is juiced towards the home team at -120.

Understanding the spread and associated odds is essential for bettors looking to profit from betting on first-half spreads.

NBA First-Half Point Spread Strategy

There is no substitute for hard work and effort, regardless of the types of bets that interest you.

When betting on NBA first-half point spreads, the most successful bettors are well-researched and informed.

2021 First-Half +/- Margin – Home and Away splits

Team1st Half Margin (+/-)HomeAway
Grizzlies+4.7+7.3+2.0
Celtics+3.8+3.0+4.5
Jazz+3.7+5.5+1.9
Bucks+3.5+5.0+2.1
Nuggets+3.0+2.4+3.7

Our table above is interesting because not only does it detail who the top first half teams were in the NBA last year, but it also breaks down that information into home and away splits.

A bettor willing to dive into the data deeper than most can give themselves an advantage over the betting public.

In the case of our teams listed above, it’s easy to spot the Memphis Grizzlies as a great first-half team.

However, breaking down their splits by home and away games emphasizes that the Grizz were truly special while playing on home court and just pretty good when on the road.

This information makes us more informed and leads to better decisions when it’s time to place our bet.

How To Use The NBA First-Half Point Spread Standings Page

If betting on NBA first-half point spreads interests you, you will want to make sure BestOdds.com is a key part of your research routine.

After each night during the NBA season, BestOdds.com will update its first-half point spread standings page.

This page will detail how teams perform against the first-half spread and break those out for home and away games.

Bettors will not only be able to dive into individual team trends but also use this page to spot league-wide developing trends and allow them to stay ahead of the betting market.

Shop Around For Your Best NBA First-Half Odds

If you enjoy betting on NBA basketball, you probably also enjoy analyzing stats and trends that help us form our betting decisions.

Sports betting brings an added level of excitement to a game, and the additional buzz of having some money at stake can provide a very enjoyable experience.

Being profitable against the operators who have a built-in advantage through the juice (vig) is a challenging task.

A bettor’s greatest advantage over a sportsbook is our ability to shop around and find the Best Odds that work for the specific wager we want to place.

For a single wager, the advantage of shopping around may not always be significant.

However, our ability to play the odds that work best for us throughout an entire NBA season can provide an additional 20-25% ROI.

If we aren’t shopping around for our Best Odds each time we want to place a bet, we are leaving money on the table.

Looking for more stats? Check out the NBA First-Quarter Spread stats for betting.

Latest update: 3 hours ago
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About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.