NFL Second-Half Spread Betting

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

On January 3rd, 1993, led by Frank Reich, who was filling in for the injured Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills mounted the largest comeback in NFL history, a record that still stands today.

The Bills trailed Warren Moon and the Houston Oilers 28-3 at the half and would eventually trail by 32 points before their comeback began.

Buffalo would score 28 third-quarter points and add another seven points in the fourth before kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime, to the delight of 75,000 fans in attendance.

The Bills outscored Houston 38-10 in the second half (and OT) and eventually won the game 41-38.

When it comes to second-half betting in the NFL, anything is possible. Frank Reich and his Buffalo teammates taught us that.

It doesn’t matter what the results of the first 30 minutes were. Betting on the second-half spread is a fresh start for both teams. 

Savvy bettors will take advantage of odds and lines the public money doesn’t want to touch.

If you are into NFL second-half ATS betting, we have you covered below.

What Is NFL Second-Half ATS Betting?

Traditionally, when looking at NFL ATS (Against The Spread) betting, we look at the point spread set for the entire game. 

Point spread betting is the most popular form of NFL betting and something most of us are already very familiar with.

Second-Half ATS betting is exactly the same as betting the spread for an entire game, except we are only looking at a spread for the final 30 minutes and overtime if required.

NFL Second-Half ATS Betting Odds

As expected, the second-half point spread will ultimately be close to half the overall point spread for the game.

Entire Game Point Spread Example

  • Denver Broncos +4.5 | -110
  • LA Chargers -4.5 | -110

In our example above, we can see that the Chargers are -4.5 favorites at home against the Denver Broncos.

Second-Half Point Spread Example

  • Denver Broncos +2.5 | -110
  • LA Chargers -2.5 | -110

In our second-half example, we can see that sportsbooks have made the spread 2.5 points. 

With the overall game spread set at 4.5, we could have assumed the second-half line would be set at 2 or 2.5 because we know it will be close to half of the overall spread.

Someone looking to make a wager on the second-half ATS will have to decide whether the Broncos will cover the +2.5 points. 

If Denver losses the final 30 minutes by two points or less, or if the Broncos win the second half outright, they will have won the bet.

If the Chargers beat Denver by three points or more in the second half, they will have won the ATS wager.

It is important to note that each second-half point spread has a moneyline attached to it. Knowing the spread total and the moneyline associated with it is essential as a bettor.

A spread of -2.5 | -110 at one sportsbook compared to a -2.5 | -125 at another is not the same.

In the case of our first example, a $100 bettor would win $90.91 in profit. 

If we bet that same $100 at -125 instead of -110, our profit shrinks to $80.

Obviously, that is a 10% difference in payout, and although not huge for one single bet, getting the best odds associated with the point spread can earn you an additional 20-25% ROI over time.

What Is The NFL Second-Half ATS Standings Page?

If you are interested in NFL second-half ATS betting, BestOdds.com has to become your regular destination during the entire NFL season.

BestOdds will provide an updated second-half ATS standings page each week, breaking down each team and their success at covering just the second-half point spread throughout the season.

How To Use the NFL Second-Half ATS Standings Page For Betting

The BestOdds.com NFL second-half ATS standings page will be a valuable resource for bettors of all skill levels because it tracks down a lot of the important information for this bet and stores it all in one place.

Second-half point spread bettors can find a team’s overall record covering the spread or break it down by their home and away records.

Using the standings page is also effective for identifying league-wide trends before the general public can recognize them.  

If in Week 5, there were 13 of 16 underdogs who covered the second-half point spread, a bettor might want to consider a market correction and look at playing some favorites the following week.

Using the second-half ATS standings page will help a bettor identify trends for specific teams and quickly identify league-wide trends not yet recognized by the betting public.

NFL Second-Half ATS Betting Strategies

Home vs. Away Scoring

As bettors, many of us love to spend time analyzing stats and numbers to help us with our next selection. 

In the case of second-half point spread betting, most often, one of the first stats we will look at is a team’s ability to score.

However, we can take that stat and do an even deeper dive by understanding how teams score at home vs. when they are playing on the road.

TeamAverage PTS / GMHome PTS / GMAway PTS / GM
Lions28 pts/game38.7 pts/game12 pts/game
Colts17 pts/game23.7 pts/game10.7 pts/game
49ers20.3 pts/game25.5 pts/game17.8 pts/game

Our table above highlights three teams and their success at home scoring points compared to how they do on the road.

The Detroit Lions are averaging 28 points per game through six weeks of the NFL season. However, they are averaging just 12 points per game on the road. 

Obviously, there is a big difference between scoring 28 or 12 points, and bettors need to be aware of this information. 

Outlier Numbers

In baseball, a hitter could have a .125 batting average (1 for 8) and, with just two consecutive hits, bump their average to .300. (3 for 10)

When we are analyzing the different stats and metrics used to evaluate teams, we need to be aware of outlier numbers and small sample sizes.

Recency bias is a real thing with bettors. Believing the last result we saw is the most likely result to happen next week can be difficult for bettors to overcome.

Outlier stats can also skew numbers, especially in small sample sizes. 

If an NFL team scored less than 18 points in four of their first five games but scored 40 points in that fifth game, their overall points per game average might be considered inflated.

If in 80% of their games, a team is being held to under 20 points, we can’t let one huge offensive week inflate their overall numbers. 

We at least have to be conscious of that outlier week.

Always Shop Around

Spending time in the data-science lab can be part of the sports betting journey for many bettors.

Finding our favorite stat sites and diving through the analytics to help us make our final decision can be both challenging and rewarding. 

Suppose part of your betting experience involves finding an edge against the sportsbooks and trying to be a profitable sports bettor. 

In that case, your single most significant advantage over the sportsbooks is the ability to bet only the odds that work best for you.

If you are not shopping different sportsbooks and giving yourself options to play the best odds possible for all of your wagers, you are leaving profit on the table. 

Even when it comes to NFL second-half point spread betting, bettors will find points and half points in their favor and moneyline odds that can payout at a significantly better price.

Looking for more stats? Check out the NFL First-Half Spread stats for ATS 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.