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NFL Fourth-Quarter ATS Betting


Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Jul 20, 2024

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Just because a team is very good at covering a first-quarter or second-quarter point spread doesn’t mean there is a lot of correlation with their odds of covering the overall game spread.

However, when we analyze teams that cover a lot of fourth-quarter point spreads, at first glance, there appears to be a little more correlation with overall game spreads.

Let’s dive in.

Betting NFL 4Q Point Spreads

The five teams in our table below had the best ATS (against the spread) records in the 2022 – ‘23 season.

We were curious to see if there is a correlation between the best teams at covering the entire game spread and those who cover a lot of 4th-quarter spreads.

2022 NFL ATS Records

TeamATS RecordATS %4Q ATS4Q ATS %
NY Giants14-574%12-763%
DET Lions12-571%12-571%
CIN Bengals13-668%14-574%
SF 49ers13-765%11-955%
LA Chargers11-6-165%9-950%

When we study our table above, we see that the top three teams ATS also had great success covering fourth-quarter spreads.

However, the two California teams in our table were 24-13-1 ATS overall, but in 4th-QTR spread betting, they were just 20-18.

NFL Point Spread Betting – By QTR

Below, we have point spread odds broken down by quarter for the Week 13 Patriots vs Steelers game.

The overall point spread for the game is 6 points.

That explains why each quarter has an individual spread of 1.5 points. (1.5 x 4 = 6)

NE vs PITT – QTR Point Spreads

Team1st Q2nd Q3rd Q4th Q
New England+1.5 | -150+1.5 | -116+1.5 | -148+1.5 | -134
Pittsburgh-1.5 | +124-1.5 | -106-1.5 | +122-1.5 | +110

It’s important to remember that even when we are betting on point spreads, there is always a moneyline attached.

Although each quarter has the same 1.5 spread, the moneyline is different for each quarter.

This is because we have enough data to prove that each quarter is not equal when it comes to scoring points.

Historically, the first and third quarters are the lowest-scoring quarters.

The second quarter is the highest-scoring quarter.

Let’s dive into how scoring can differ between the four quarters and why that is.

NFL Point Spread Betting Tips

Betting 1st & 3rd QTR Spreads

The first and third quarters are similar because both of those quarters start with a team kicking off.

The majority of these kicks result in a touchback, with teams starting at their 25-yard line.

Compare that to how the second and fourth quarters begin, which is just by continuing play from where the first or third quarter ended.

Most drives would start in a better spot than a team’s own 25-yard line.

This better field position will be one of the factors for why the second quarter is higher scoring than the first quarter.

Another factor to consider when point spread betting individual quarters is that there is no urgency for a team to score before the first or third quarter expires.

However, once the second quarter and fourth quarter expire, the current possession ends.

Teams are forced to abandon drives and go for points before the second or fourth quarter expires, or they lose the opportunity to score on that drive.

Betting 2nd & 4th QTR Spreads

At first glance, one might assume similar points are scored in the 2nd and 4th quarters because of how each quarter starts and ends.

However, one of the ways that these two quarters are different is that in the fourth quarter, ball possession and controlling the game clock are often more important for a team than scoring points.

As the second quarter winds down, almost every team is interested in scoring before going to halftime.

However, when the fourth quarter is winding down, if the winning team has possession of the ball, they may be more interested in running out the clock than they are in scoring.

This is the main reason why the second quarter is the stand-alone highest-scoring quarter in the NFL.

Identifying The Best NFL Bets Today

For those of you who are regular users, you are already very familiar with the Stats Hub.

The Betting Stats Hub was designed to provide hard-to-find stats, data, and information for many different bets.

NFL betting is the most popular form of sports betting in North America.

Because of this, sportsbooks spend a lot of time, energy, and resources creating their lines for the traditional NFL bets.

Many recreational bettors are turning to the NFL game prop bets available with sportsbooks because the operators just don’t have the same kind of resources to spend on these bets as they do with the more mainstream ones.

4th-quarter betting just isn’t going to draw the same volume of bets or handle for an operator as the full game point spread.

So, with that in mind, maybe there is an opportunity for us if we focus on 4Q spreads or other niche markets.

The sport-specific Betting Stats Hub can be a fantastic resource for bettors of all skill levels and experience looking for an EDGE against the operators.

How To Use NFL 4th QTR Stats Page

Point spread betting in the NFL is the most popular form of sports betting.

The lines set by sportsbooks for full NFL games are the sharpest lines of any sport.

However, when we start to focus on point spread betting by individual quarter, sportsbooks don’t invest the same amount of time and resources into setting those lines.

The Fourth Quarter stats page breaks down every NFL team’s performance against the fourth quarter point spread only.

We provide their overall 4th QTR spread record, home, away, recent game splits, and more.

Check out our Highest Scoring Quarter stats page for even more stats and information on a niche NFL game prop.

Always Shop Around

At, we are very proud of our Sports Betting Hub and the stats pages found within it.

As a bettor, there is no doubt that the more time, effort, and energy you spend analyzing data, trends, and stats, the better your results will be.

However, we are also very aware that a bettor’s biggest advantage against the sportsbooks is their ability to shop around for the Best Odds available.

NE vs PITT – 1st QTR Spread Betting

New England vs PittsburghDraftKingsFanDuel
New England+0.5 | -135+1.5 | -142
Pittsburgh-0.5 | +114-1.5 | +116

The odds above show a significant difference in the point spread and moneyline being offered.

DraftKings is handicapping the first quarter as a half-point spread.

This means the Steelers could cover if they led 7-6 after one quarter.

However, FanDuel has set a 1.5-point spread for the same quarter.

In this case, if the Steelers were leading 7-6 after one quarter, they would not cover the spread.

The difference in odds might not seem like a huge deal for one single bet.

However, over time, the stats show that by shopping around for the Best Odds available each time we make a wager, the impact on our ROI can be 20% or even greater.

A 20% difference in ROI over time is a great reason to make sure we shop around for the Best Odds each time we want to place a bet.


About the author

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