Player props and same-game parlays are all the rage these days, but there is one area of betting that I feel remains largely untapped for the general public – derivative betting. In a betting context, derivatives are things like first half, first period, first quarter, etc. These lines are derived from the full-game spread and total, but can yield not only some great values, but also faster gratification.
The daily winter sports (NBA, NHL, CBB) are great for these because schedule advantages and other factors can be strong handicapping angles. I’m not a big believer in trends, but you will find some really interesting ones about NHL First Period Overs or NBA Third Quarter spread bets. When the Warriors were in the midst of their dynasty, their third-quarter lines were bet with regularity because they’d come out of halftime with rested starters and simply pummel other teams.
To that end, Golden State is + 4.3 in the third quarter this season, more than double the average margin of any other team (Charlotte + 2.0). The Cavs (yes, the Cavs!) are outscoring teams by 3.5 points per game in the first quarter. This is valuable information for making derivative bets.
A college basketball team coming off of a huge win might not get off to a hot start in the next game. An NHL team going east to west might start slow with the late start time. A backup goaltender might be rusty after going a long time without playing. There are a lot of opportunities to think about that involve handicapping smaller snippets of the game.
Second half bets also fall under this umbrella. Maybe a team playing a back-to-back in altitude (USC/UCLA this week in Pac-12) is a good second-half fade in that second game. An NBA team playing a fifth game in seven days just might not have a lot left in the gas tank. Maybe a star player is in foul trouble and will start the third quarter on the bench. There are a lot of angles to look at once you’ve seen a portion of the game.
There are so many alternative ways to bet than traditional full-game spreads and totals. Try to use those to your advantage.