The Super Bowl is obviously unlike any other game for several different reasons, but there’s something that may alter the outcome of the game more than other factors — the halftime show. Throughout the season, halftime is generally 12 minutes long, which is just long enough for the players to catch their breath and for coaches to set the tone and establish a plan for the second half. In the Super Bowl, halftimes can creep over 30 minutes due to the elaborate performances which may or may not include nip slips, left sharks, and meme-inspiring embarrassing photos.
How does this elongated break change the outcome of the game? Let’s take a look.
Teams losing at the half
|Losing at half||2H ATS Record|
|Postseason (NO SB)||54-54|
According to Bet Labs Sports, taking a team that is losing at the half to cover in the second half has not been a profitable trend. However, despite a small sample size, you can see that this hasn’t applied to the Super Bowl. This could be attributed to the long halftime show, but could also just be due to the fact that the team that is losing in the Super Bowl is still an elite team.
If you narrow down the regular season sample size and only look at teams with winning percentages of 60 or greater, this trend doesn’t hold true. These strong teams have gone 382-452 ATS in the 2nd half, which is even worse than the original regular season sample. If you look at 60+% winning teams against other 60+% winning teams, that record gets worse again: 160-220 or a -18.2% ROI. AKA not good. It seems like the long break may have something to do with this trend.
2nd Half Favorites
|Postseason (NO SB)||58-48|
If we look at teams favored in the 2nd half, we see some interesting results. In the regular season, you’re better off taking the dog in the 2nd half. Once we reach the playoffs, the favorite in the 2nd half has actually reigned supreme, but this hasn’t applied to the Super Bowl. The 2nd half dog has gone 7-4 in the Super Bowls in our database.
Once again, this is a small sample size, but still an interesting trend that could definitely be attributed to the long halftime show. Teams that are down at halftime have more time to figure out what went wrong in the first half and adjust accordingly. On the other hand, it’s not as if the winning team is packing it in for the 2nd half of the Super Bowl, but they may not make as many halftime changes and as a result, could get stagnant when play resumes.
Teams getting Less than 50% of 2nd Half Bets
|<50% of 2H bets||ATS Record|
|Postseason (No SB)||51-59|
If you are looking to go against the public in the 2nd half, it appears that the Super Bowl is the best time to do so. In both the regular season and playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl, teams getting more than 50% of 2nd half bets have actually had the edge.
If you combine the past two trends (underdogs getting less than 50%) the record improves to 6-3 ATS. If you add the first trend (teams losing at the half) to the past two, the record improves to 4-1 ATS in the Super Bowl.
2nd Half Overs
|Postseason (No SB)||54-59|
Wondering if the extra rest will lead to more points? Less points? In our sample size, at least, second half totals in the Super Bowl essentially play out the same as they do in the regular season and other postseason games.
If your team is down at the half and you think they don’t have a chance – think again.
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