With so many games in college hoops going on this weekend, keep an eye out for key second-half betting situations. Oddsmakers won’t be able to follow as many of the subtle things that go on in games, which will bring some huge value.
The linesmakers will primarily be focused on the box score stats, rather than what happened in the game and that's where you can cash in.
Last week provided some prime examples during Championship Week of things to look for that can give you an edge with halftime lines. One was when Nova faced Georgetown in the Big East tournament when the Wildcats were in a tough situation heading into the second half against the Hoyas.
Besides the obvious disadvantage of trailing, 40-29, the Cats’ best player, Scottie Reynolds, smashed his head off the floor and was cut above the eye at about the eight-minute mark of the first half. He had to come out for a few minutes and while he was being tended to on the bench, you could also see that two of his fingers were taped together and clearly swollen on his shooting hand.
Reynolds is tough, but you had to wonder how he was going to feel going into the second half. Georgetown ended up blowing Nova out 82-63 and covering the second-half spread while Reynolds missed more time to fix the cut.
Opportunities like this one pop up often enough, but you have to keep your eyes out and pick your spots. Other key things to look for are foul situations heading in the second half and coaches' comments during the interview at halftime.
If a coach says he was disgusted with his team's defense in the first half, you might want to look at the under because you know he's going to blast his team in the locker room.
Notes and results from Thursday's halftime wagers during the first day of Round 1 games of the NCAA Tournament:
The halftime favorites cleaned up on Day 1, going 11-4-1 ATS (against the spread).
On Day 2, the favorites were also a better bet, but not as pronounced at 8-6-2
The 'over' cashed in too. The over/under ratio on halftime totals was 10-6.
The over won out in Day 2 again at 10-6
The highest second-half total of the day was 83 points in the Duke-Belmont game. That half played under with 64 points.
The lowest second-half total of the day was 64 points in the Washington State-Winthrop game. That half played under with 53 points.
The highest halftime spread of the day was in the last game of the day. UCLA was favored by 11 1/2 points over Mississippi Valley State. The Bruins covered that number.
The A&M-BYU game saw the tightest halftime spread. The second half was a pick 'em with the game tied 29-29. A&M won and advanced.
The Big East went 3-1 ATS in second halfs on Thursday.
The six big-school conferences went 6-5 ATS in the second half when playing against a mid-major opponent. The other games either featured two mid-major teams or two big-conference teams.