As Lady Gaga ascends the stage for the Super Bowl 51 halftime show, bookmakers will be scrambling to post second half (2h) lines. These lines are for the outcome of the second half only, not the full game. How do you bet NFL Playoff 2nd half lines?

If this were a regular season game the most effective strategies are:

  • Take large second half underdogs
  • Take teams that are winning big at halftime
  • Fade big pre-game favorites that are losing at halftime

If you bet against teams that were big pre-game favorites that were losing at halftime you would be 75-50 (60%) ATS, +23.36 units. This is contrarian to what most square bettors believe. Casual gamblers tend to think that teams trailing at the half will make adjustments and rally in the second half, especially if they were pre-game favorites.

It would be nice if the regular season strategy for 2h lines worked for the postseason but they don’t. If you used this strategy for playoff second half lines not only would there be a small sample but the results would be disappointing as well (1-3 ATS). There just aren’t that many playoff games with large spreads where the favorite is losing at halftime.

The best strategy for 2h NFL Playoff lines is to bet pre-game favorites that are trailing at the half. Unlike in the regular season, motivation is high in postseason games and teams that reach the playoffs tend to be good at making in-game adjustments.

Betting pre-game favorites losing at halftime have gone 31-22 (58.5%) ATS on second half lines. It is a small sample but given the data we have it is our best strategy currently.

If New England is trailing at the halftime of the Super Bowl there is value betting the Patriots second half line.


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