NFL First-Half Moneyline Betting

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Mar 2, 2024

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There are hundreds of different bets available for any upcoming NFL game.

This doesn’t change if it is pre-season, regular season, or the playoffs.

Of course, when the Super Bowl rolls around, the number of betting options grows even bigger.

But for a lot of sports bettors, there is something to the simplicity and ease of NFL moneyline betting.

There are 32 teams in the NFL.

Last season, 28 of those 32 teams won at least five games.

With so much parity league-wide, there are opportunities for bettors to capitalize on some enticing ML odds.

This is true for full-game ML betting and first-half ML betting.

Below, we will tackle how to bet on NFL first-half moneylines effectively.

The Baltimore Ravens finished the 2023-24 regular season with a 13-4 record.

If you bet the Ravens on the moneyline each week, you would have been a profitable bettor.

But would the same be true if you had bet the 1st Half ML for all 17 Ravens games last year?

Let’s dive into everything about NFL first-half betting below and find out.

What Is NFL First Half Moneyline Betting?

If you are familiar with betting on NFL moneylines, you already know how to bet on NFL first-half moneylines.

Moneyline betting is all about picking winners. In the case of NFL first-half ML betting, it’s all about picking the team that has the lead at Halftime.

ML betting is difficult in the long term because the odds of each team playing are rarely equal.

Let’s look at the Super Bowl LVIII Odds as an example.

Super Bowl 1st Half Odds

TeamsMoneylinePoint Spread
San Francisco-130(-0.5)
Kansas City+110(+0.5)

The San Francisco 49ers are the first-half betting favorite (and the overall game favorite), but not by much.

The first-half point spread is just half a point. A bettor will recognize that to bet the San Francisco first half moneyline, you only get them at -130 odds.

The half-point spread tells us sportsbooks expect the first half to be close.

In this case, a bettor might be tempted to play the Kansas City Chiefs, who are getting +110 odds.

Betting SF ML

$10 @ -130 = $7.69 in profit

Betting KC ML

$10 @ +110 = $11 in profit

Why Bet NFL First Half Moneylines?

There are several great reasons for betting on NFL first-half moneylines.

Speed of Bet

The average NFL football game takes three hours to play, with many games going much longer.

For some bettors, an 8 p.m. “Prime Time” start means only having time to watch the first half.

In that case, being able to place a first-half bet means you can enjoy watching your bet play out without having to invest such a significant amount of time.

A First Half Edge

Early in the season, football fans noticed that Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs were not scoring points at the same rate we were used to watching.

The Chiefs finished the year ranked 15th in points per game, averaging 22.1.

When you look at NFL first-half scoring, Kansas City was ranked 6th this year, averaging 14.5 points per game.

The Chiefs’ 14.5 points per first half represented 66% of the total points they averaged per game.

That information might be a reason for some bettors to dig deeper into some KC first-half moneylines.

2023-24 Best First Half ML Records

There is a strong correlation between teams who win the first half moneyline and teams who win a lot of football games.

However, that doesn’t mean making money on those teams is easy.

Team1H ML RecordOverall Record
Baltimore14-2-113-4
Detroit13-412-5
San Francisco13-3-112-5
Dallas12-512-5
Miami11-611-6

The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins had very good first-half ML records.

However, almost the entire betting public knew both teams were among the league’s best and capable of scoring a lot of points.

The Tennessee Titans, whose 1H ML record was 10-7, were far more profitable than Dallas and Miami.

This is because the betting public’s expectations of the Titans differed significantly from their expectations of the Cowboys and Dolphins.

Interesting Stats To Consider

First Half Points For

Team1H PTSFull-Game1H ML Record
DAL Cowboys16.830.112-5
MIA Dolphins16.227.912-5
DET Lions15.327.413-4
SF 49ers14.828.913-3-1
BAL Ravens14.627.714-2-1

As discussed previously, teams that score many first-half points win many first-half moneyline bets.

As bettors, you should familiarize yourself with how teams perform offensively in the first half.

Of the teams listed above, the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions scored a high percentage of their overall points in the first half.

First Half Points Against

Of course, teams that score a lot of points will win a lot of football games. But football is a game of two sides.

As bettors, we want to be aware of both offensive and defensive stats.

Team1H AllowedOverall Allowed1H ML Record
BAL Ravens7.716.214-2-1
JAX Jaguars8.921.89-7-1
TB Buccaneers9.219.29-6-2
HOU Texans9.321.110-6-1
TEN Titans9.421.610-7

From a points-allowed perspective, it is not surprising that all five of the top first-half defensive teams finished with a first-half ML-winning record.

Defense still matters, although the top five offensive teams won this bet at a higher % than the top five defensive teams.

The Baltimore Ravens are the only team with a top-five offense and a top-five defense, which explains their 14-2-1 first-half ML record.

Similar NFL Bets To Consider

NFL First-Half & Second-Half Betting

Full-game moneyline, point spread, and totals betting are historically recognized as the most popular NFL bets.

However, there is a real growing trend for bets that are less than a complete game in length.

The NRFI bet exploded in MLB, with fans getting their action in six outs or less.

In the NHL, the GIFT prop bet has gained a lot of popularity.

It makes sense that sportsbooks started offering bets that end well before the actual game does.

NFL Quarter Betting

If there is a growing trend for bettors to play NFL first-half and second-half bets, then sportsbooks are going to provide NFL Quarter bets and even shorter options as well.

Sportsbooks have realized the betting public has a lot of interest in bets that don’t take a full 3-hours to play out.

Whether you like your bet to be extremely fast paced like predicting a teams opening drive result, or something a few drives longer, the BestOdds.com Sports Hub has the betting stats you need to make the most informed decisions for all your NFL bets.

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About the author

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