What does the half point line mean in betting?
When betting on sports, there are two different types of betting lines;
Lines that have a half point line, and betting lines that do not.
This article will break down the half point line and explain exactly what it is, along with explaining how and when to apply it.
For those who have bet on sports before, you’ve likely seen an over/under or point spread betting line end with (.5).
This is a half point betting line, and the (.5) is the only thing that distinguishes these types of betting lines from your typical betting line that will end in whole numbers with no decimal or fraction involved.
For example, an NBA 188 point over/under betting line is not a half point betting line, but 188.5 would be a half point betting line, with the (.5) being the obvious indicator.
Whenever there is a decimal of (.5) following the betting line, you are working with a half point betting line.
Why are there half point betting lines?
Now that you know what a half point betting line is, why exactly do the sportsbooks offer these lines?
Half point betting lines are used in many ways by different types of bettors.
Some bettors prefer to use the half point betting line to be safer by adding a “cushion” between their bet and the original line, while others will add a bit more to their payouts by giving the bookies the (.5) on the original line in exchange for more profitable odds.
For the bookies, the half point betting lines are used to avoid a PUSH, which would result in a refunding of all bets, making the house no money.
With a half point betting line, the PUSH is impossible, as one cannot score (.5) of a point in any of the major sports that are often wagered on.
Half point betting lines – Over/under
If you are betting on over/under lines, then half point over/under betting lines are a must-know.
The only difference between a half point spread bet and a spread bet is the (.5) included with the half point spread bets.
This implies that the over/under total will never equal the half point spread betting line, as it is not a whole number.
Other than this, half point over/under lines function exactly like a regular over/under bet.
An ideal example would be the over/under total for an NBA matchup between the Clippers and the Cavaliers being set at 232.5. Instead of the line being a whole number, such as 232 or 233, the (.5) was included.
The main significance of this half point line is the fact that when betting on these lines, a PUSH is impossible.
Of course, it is impossible to score a half of a point, so any over/under betting lines that end in (.5) will either be a winner or loser for the house, ruling out a PUSH.
The concept of half point betting is truly a simple one.
If you understand over/under betting, then comprehending half point over/under betting will be a breeze.
Half point betting lines – Spread betting
Spread betting also involves countless half point betting lines.
Exactly like half point over/under betting, half point spread betting ensures that a PUSH is not possible.
The half point betting line is just as relevant as it is when betting the over/under.
In fact, it may have a bigger impact, especially when betting on low scoring sporting events that can end in a draw such as soccer.
The (.5) is quite important when betting on soccer, as it allows bettors to bet on two different outcomes of a soccer match with just one spread bet.
How do they do this? Simple. Half point betting lines are abundant in soccer, and (+.5) is a unique tool for soccer bettors. This half point betting line….
For example, let’s say that Barcelona is a slight underdog against Real Madrid, and the bookmakers have the spread at Barcelona (+.5).
As previously explained, this (+.5) is indicating that Barcelona only has to stay within .5 goals of Real Madrid.
This means that bettors who take this line would be deemed a winner if Barcelona either won OR tied this match.
This is because a tie or Barcelona win indicates that Real Madrid’s goal difference over Barcelona is less than (.5) goals.
If Barcelona loses this hypothetical match by 2-1, then they would have not covered the (+.5) spread, as Real Madrid’s goal lead on Barcelona is greater than (.5).
Despite being extremely applicable when betting on soccer, the half point line is important to understand when spread betting on any sport.
If you know how to bet on the spread of a game, then understand that betting on a half point spread line is no different.
Make sure to fully understand all of the possible outcomes when betting with the (.5) lines, and remember that a PUSH is not one of them.
This half point line can also be used in team totals, parlays and alternate betting lines and much more, making it an essential skill to master if you want to be the best sports bettor you can be!