What is Half Time or Full Time betting?

The Basics
5 Min
betting types

The wonderful world of sports betting has given us plenty of things, both positive and negative. From straight bets, to parlays, round robins, long shots, underdogs, favorites, futures, props, bad beats, and great wins, with everything else in between, sports betting has it all. 

Yet one of the greatest advantages brought on by the legalization of sports betting is the ability for people to (legally) put their money where their mouth is. Remember those moments at lunch during school when you would endlessly debate in a “First Take” style about the day's events? Think of it like that great meme going around on social media about the father that makes an agenda and prints it out for every time he meets his friends at the bar. 

In sports betting, we have those agendas too. The day’s slate of games. There are plenty of things on the menu that can make it awfully hard to choose from, much like the great New Jersey diners. And just like the diners, you can order whatever you want. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, appetizers, entrees, or dessert, there is something for everyone. Which brings us to this question. 

What is the difference between half time and full time betting?

Well, kind reader, it’s exactly as it sounds. You can either bet on half the game, or the full game result. How many times have you watched a team completely dominate for a half, only to fall apart when the teams come back out of the locker room? Our guess would be, far too often. 

Think about it. Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings fans know all too well the importance of playing a full game. 

Fans of the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies will remember a game early in the 2022 season particularly when the team from the City of Brotherly Love blew a lead late in the game, allowing the Metropolitans to claim a late victory. If you bet on half the game, known as the first five innings bet in baseball, your wager on the Phillies would have won. A full game wager would have won if you picked the Mets. It is the risk you take, but there is value sometimes in those “half time” markets. 

For example, teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers were great second half teams this season, with their defenses routinely locking down opponents in the game’s final thirty minutes. Therefore, you could find an edge in betting on those two teams to perform better in the second half of the game, rather than the full game. And that is what it is all about. Finding an edge. Not quite like Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory,” but the edge that leads to profits.


What is a half time bet?

Perhaps the best way to go about this part is to break it down by sport. 


As we all know, NFL games are divided into four quarters, making our case rather simple here. To bet on the first half, we would be betting on the outcomes from the first two quarters. To bet on the second half, we would be betting on the outcomes from the third and fourth quarters, with the first two no longer mattering. Recently in some states, the various sportsbooks have offered customers player props for half the game. Do you think that Justin Jefferson will get off to a good start in the game, but be held to minimal production in the second half? Then bet on his first half total, rather than the inflated full game number. Alternatively, maybe he had a bad first half, leading to a low live line for the second half. Perhaps there is a profit opportunity there too.


Just like the NFL, the NBA is rather straightforward in determining what would be a half time bet. In fact, the NBA offers many betting opportunities, allowing bettors to break the game down into halves and quarters for player props. 


This is where it gets a little more interesting. Live betting in baseball is not like the other sports in that the player props are scarce once the game starts. There is too much variance between players that will play or not, so most of our wagers will have to be pregame. 

However, as you know, baseball games are nine innings long, meaning we cannot divide the game in halves, for the purpose of wagering. While an official game is considered four and a half innings when the home team has a lead, both teams must complete five full innings for the halftime wagers to count. Therefore in MLB, you can bet on either the first five innings or the full nine. 


Half time/Full time betting tips and strategies

So this is probably what you came here for. Let us be honest for a moment though. There is no “one size fits all” approach to this style of betting. Different strategies and tips will work for each league, the same way they’ll change for each team within those leagues. At the end of the day, nothing is more valuable than the research you can put into a bet, coupled with some prior knowledge of the event, while actively viewing the game. One of the best tips here is to watch the event you’re wagering money on. From that vantage point, you might be able to judge momentum shifts, mismatches, and other things allowing you to snag a good live bet. 

For the pregame crowd, monitor those injury reports. Monitor the starting lineups and recent trends. How have the last five games looked for each team? Last ten? What about the last time they faced off against each other? Circumstances change constantly and especially fast, meaning you have to be quick to adapt. But do not fall into the trap of thinking just because it has happened before means it will happen again. Just because a team like the Falcons once blew a 28-3 lead does not mean a team like the Patriots will always find a way to come back and win. Be responsible and bet with your head.


About writer Nick Brinkerhoff

Nick is a New Jersey native with enough sarcasm and attitude to show he's not from New York. Despite being Jersey born and bred, he’s a diehard New York sports fan (Jets, Nets, Rangers, Mets) who has seen plenty of losing, but his sports betting ability will continue to balance those scales. Nick has season tickets to the Jets but believes it to be more character building than bad asset management. Although you may not believe in Nick now, he's actually an accomplished sports bettor, with plenty of money made, so expect he can take care of yours too.

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