The paper studies Hopf bifurcations of scalar neutral delay differential equations of the form
where is the bifurcation parameter and . The characteristic equation has the form
First the paper presents the stability charts depending on the coefficients of the characteristic equation. Then the paper presents a sequence of formulas leading to the criticality coefficient determining the stability of the emerging periodic solutions in the center direction. The normal form computation is done with the technique introduced by T. Faria and L. T. Magalhães [J. Differ. Equ. 122, No. 2, 181–200 (1995; Zbl 0836.34068)]. Two examples are included. Both have a delay and a linear part of the form . The nonlinear parts are and , respectively.