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How to Make a Quarter, Half or Period-Specific Bet at a Sportsbook

by March 26, 2020

When oddsmakers post lines for a game, they always represent the odds for the entire game. That does not mean that one cannot wager on different intervals of a contest, like quarters or halves. There are a lot of variables one must account for when betting on an entire game. When betting on a shorter time frame, there are fewer factors at play.

Let’s break down the specifics of a quarter, half or period-specific bet and how one would make such a bet at a sportsbook.

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What is a Time-Specific Bet?

Instead of betting a moneyline, spread, or total on an entire game, one can bet the same categories on various intervals of the matchup. For example, one can bet the first quarter of an NBA game or the second half of an NFL game.

In some cases, the lines on all quarters or halves are available before the game starts. However, some sportsbooks choose to only reveal the first quarter, half, or period lines initially.

How do I Make a Time-Specific Bet? 

The steps for placing such a bet are very similar to how one would make an in-person wager at a sportsbook or from a mobile account.

The major difference from a mobile account is these bets may take some digging to find. Some sportsbooks clearly label their odds as “full-game lines” or “first-half lines” on their websites or apps. However, some sites require one to click on a “more wagers” option to reveal the other choices.

Why are There Advantages to These Specific Bets?

There are many advantages to betting on a shorter time period. One is that a bettor can usually find value in the line itself. Some may view it as laziness on the sportsbook’s part, while others may believe sportsbooks really do not know how to set such a line. The fact of the matter is most quarter or game lines are in direct proportion with the full game line. For example, if a game has a full-game line of -8, the first-half line is likely to be -4, and each quarter line would typically be -2. Thus, if a bettor can research tendencies of teams who start fast or slow, they are likely to identify value in such lines.

Another good thing about time-specific bets is the fact that there are fewer variables. For example, basketball teams do not substitute much in the first quarter. Therefore, a bettor would have more of a feel for who will play in that time span. In addition, players are less likely to get in foul trouble or injured early in the game.

It is not the best reason to bet a quarter or half, but another advantage is potentially cashing out your bet much earlier than having to wait for a full-game bet. Thus, a bettor could capitalize on multiple bets throughout a game instead of cashing out just one full-game bet.

What are the Strategies Involved With These Bets?

As mentioned above, one can look for trends with teams that start slow or fast. Also, if a team has a big advantage in terms of depth, that usually does not matter much for a first-quarter or half bet. Thus, there is more of an emphasis on whose starting lineup is better.

One should also consider the merits of betting on the later quarters or second half. Waiting on such a wager gives a bettor opportunity to watch the beginning of the game and get a feel for how it is going. Then, they can react to what they have seen and wager accordingly.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Bet Types, Betting 101, How-To