It was quite a scene at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex the other night, as the Los Angeles Lakers were celebrating a return to the winners’ circle as NBA champions. It was actually kind of bizarre, as they were hooting and hollering in front of no one in particular, owing to the absence of fans in the bubble.
While they were consumed with glee, so was I. It’s not necessarily because I had wagered on the Lakers to cover against the Vegas odds in the decisive Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Rather, it was because I had placed a successful bet at BetOnline on the Miami Heat.
What’s that I hear? You say that an explanation may be in order?
Well, it’s simple. I made what is called a “halftime bet” on the Heat, in which Iaid (gave) five points to the Lakers in the second half of the game.
Part of my rationale – and this is something you would know if you watched Game 6 – was that the Lakers had built up a 28-point halftime lead (64-36), and that it just made sense to me that this lead would shrink a bit over the final 24 minutes of the game, for a few reasons.
First of all, there would just be a natural tendency for a team that far ahead to lose some intensity and coast a little. Secondly, from what I knew about the Heat, no one should have been expecting them to lie down and roll over, as they had made some very spirited comebacks in the bubble. And on top of that, they had enough three-point punch (second in the NBA in accuracy this season) to make up some ground.
The Vegas Odds Scenario
So they were an even money proposition in the Vegas odds (even money in this case being -110 on each side) to outscore the Lakers by five points in the second half.
BetOnline customers should keep in mind that when contemplating this wager I took into account that the Heat didn’t have to win the game, or even make a massive comeback. In fact, they didn’t even have to make a major dent in the Lakers’ lead, which led most to consider this game a foregone conclusion.
I just needed them to cut the lead from 26 to 20 points to be a winner.
As it turned out, they did it with room to spare.
Hey – not that it was any cakewalk. The Lakers actually extended their lead by a point in the third quarter. But things eased up a bit in the final period, as Miami outscored Los Angeles 35-19 to make the final tally actually look pretty respectable (106-93).
The point I’m making about all this is that there are a lot of options out there when you want to challenge yourself against the Vegas odds. And the “halftime bet” may well be one of those wagering options that can be very profitable.
Of course, you have to use it in the right circumstances.
A halftime wager (i.e., a wager on the outcome of the second half of a game) can be made as a hedge after you have already made a pre-game wager on the result. Or, it can afford you the opportunity to watch the action in the first half and use it to inform you as to what might happen in the second half.
If you are preparing yourself and have an idea as to what you want to do, you might be able to get a jump on the situation once halftime comes.
Of course, the people at the sportsbook who make up the Vegas odds are doing the same thing. The difference is that they have to operate with a certain degree of care; a certain degree of exactitude. But there isn’t much time for them to do it in.
The Betting Opportunity
Since halftime breaks – whether they are in football or basketball – only last about 15 or 20 minutes, people like those at BetOnline have to make up their halftime lines within a few minutes, in order to create enough of a window for customers to place wagers. And perhaps this is a situation for you to take advantage of.
In many ways, it depends on how good an analyst you are, and how well you can forecast which way the game is going to go after the break. if you are pretty good at it, you’ll have a real chance to make a profit.