2024 Super Bowl First Half Betting Tips and Predictions
The first half betting market can be one of the most intriguing bets to make in the Super Bowl. Not only does it have the added benefit of giving you the opportunity to free roll the second half, but the markets occasionally fail to adjust to relevant first half trends. Here, we will go over some first half betting trends for the big game along with some predictions to help guide you the right direction with your wagers.
Kansas City Chiefs first half trends:
The Chiefs went a sparkling 12-6-2 straight up in the first half throughout the regular season and playoffs, but only 10-10 ATS in those games. They finished 6th in the league in first half points with 14.5 PPG, and a fast start against the 49ers will be crucial to their success.
While the Chiefs have been dominant throughout the first half, their second quarter play is where they’ve really separated themselves from the chasing pack. The ability to make the most of crucial possessions in the late stages of the second half have allowed Kansas City to score 9.7 PPG in the second quarter alone. The great NFL teams are able to pull away on the scoreboard by scoring before halftime and getting the ball in the second half to possibly put 14 points on the board without their opponents touching the ball. This has been something Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have consistently excelled at throughout their tenure in Kansas City. And if they can do so once again, they will put themselves in a great position to win their 3rd Super Bowl.
The Chiefs rely on the passing game more than most teams, and their inability to stop the run has them as one of the better first half teams. Franchises that are able to wear out defensive units with the run game in the first half, with the goal of reaping the rewards of a fatigued defense in the later stages of the game, often have slower first halves. This is not the case for Kansas City, and I expect them to be able to lean on their passing game in the early stages and trust their secondary in one-on-one coverage when the 49ers have the ball.
Kansas City has one of the best defenses in the league, and this is undoubtedly Patrick Mahomes’ best defense in his career. Their ability to smother receivers down the field to take away the deep ball has been a game plan effectively implemented all season, and they will undoubtedly look to force the 49ers into the run game early on. The Chiefs took a multiple possession lead into the break against the Dolphins and Ravens and were able to stuff the passing game in the second half on both instances.
San Francisco 49ers first half trends:
The 49ers have been extremely effective at building leads in the first half, going 14-4-1 straight up, but just 9-10 ATS in the first half this season. San Francisco marched out the 4th best first half offense this season, scoring a remarkable 14.8 PPG in the opening half of games this year. Their ability to build early leads have resulted in 11 of their 12 wins coming by double digits in the regular season, and several sweat free second halves.
It almost feels like we haven’t been able to see the full extent of how potent the 49ers offense can be in the second half, as they often have the luxury of shortening their playbook and playing safe football to cruise to comfortable victories. However, the postseason has been a different story. The 49ers took a narrow 7-6 lead into the break against the Packers and needed a last-minute touchdown from Christian McCaffrey to avoid a divisional round upset. Against the Lions, they were down 24-7 heading into the break, but were able to scrape out a 34-31 victory thanks to some questionable play calling from Dan Campbell. Against the Chiefs, the 49ers will fully understand they cannot afford to dig themselves a similar hole, and I expect a little extra intensity from them in the opening possessions.
San Francisco relies on the run game from Christian McCaffrey to find success, but their passing game is just as lethal. A fresh Deebo Samuel, who has been recovering from various ailments, will be tough to contain in the early stages, and Samuel needs just a few inches of space to create game changing plays. The 49ers ability to build, and maintain, first half leads earned them the #1 seed in the NFC, and they will be confident they can secure a victory if they take a lead into the break. The comeback against the Lions in the NFC Championship was the first time this season the 49ers were able to win a game after trailing at the break, and second half comebacks is not a trend Kyle Shanahan would like to see in the biggest game of his career.
Super Bowl LVIII First Half Odds and Predictions:
The NFL fourth quarter comebacks can often overshadow the importance of a strong first half. And when the competition is this fierce, an early lead could be the difference-maker when the clock eventually hits 0’s.
The 49ers are coming in as 0.5 point 1H favorites at -110 odds both ways and are expected to take a lead into the break. However, considering the nature of these two teams, and the additional value of a tie, I will happily scoop up the free half point with the reigning champions. These two teams played out a 10-10 first half in their 2020 Super Bowl matchup, and I’m expecting an equally tight first half once again. The 49ers have the edge in the betting odds in this matchup, but I don’t necessarily believe that should be carried over in the first half lines.
The Chiefs do a fantastic job at shutting down the passing game, which is the easiest way to consistently score points against a fresh defense. I don’t anticipate more than 10 points for the 49ers in the first half, which is a total the Chiefs should be able to eclipse. Kansas City’s fantastic game management skills in the closing minutes of the second quarter have seen them put valuable bonus points on the board all season long, and I expect that trend to continue on Sunday. Even if the 49ers score first, Mahomes and the Chiefs have shown enough fire, and ability to make big plays, that I trust them to go into the break with nothing worse than a level scoreline.
While I don’t have a strong lean either way regarding the 23-point 1H total, the ‘Highest Scoring Half’ market is a great one to dip our toes in. The first half is coming in with -110 odds to be the highest scoring, with the second half giving a nice +100 payout. There is always the chance both halves are level, but I’m willing to take a shot that we see a slower first half, before the game opens up after the halftime festivities. The 49ers score the most second half points in the league with 14.1 PPG. And once they wear down the interior defenders for Kansas City, they will be able to consistently move the ball and find the endzone in the second half.
The plus money payout is simply an added bonus, as in a game I see coming right down to the wire, there will almost certainly be some late game fireworks. I’m calling for a 13-10 first half lead for the Chiefs, before the game gets blown open with an early second half touchdown for either team.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (+0.5) 1H -110
Pick: Highest scoring half: 2nd Half +100
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