Some bettors love to buy points in the NFL. They want to move the line in their favor a little bit more, and they don’t mind paying a price to do it. You will see this very often with key numbers like 3 and 7, but is it a wise decision? Usually, the answer to that question is a resounding “No”.
When to Buy Points
It’s always nice to have a little something extra. That’s true in pretty much every facet of life, and an extra point or two can be the difference between a winning wager and a losing wager. However, while an extra half-point or point might help you win a few extra wagers, it typically isn’t worth the price you pay.
For the most part, each extra half-point costs an additional 10 cents of juice. For instance, if you are looking to bet Team A as a six-point favorite, they would be available at -120 odds at -5.5, -130 odds at -5, and -140 odds at -4.5. Each little bit helps make you more likely to win your bet, but instead of paying $110 to win $100, you are now paying $140 to win $100 if you move the line by 1.5 points in your favor. That’s an enormous difference in the long run.
There are a few times where buying points can pay off though. The NFL has key numbers due to its scoring system of threes and (mostly) sevens. That means buying onto and off of three and seven has a huge impact. Since a large number of games are decided by either three or seven, it’s important to have those numbers on your side when possible.
Oddsmakers are very aware of key numbers, so bettors will have to pay a premium to move onto and off of those numbers. Rather than the normal 10 cents for a half-point, you may see 25 cents charged to move a line from -3 to -2.5 or from +3 to +3.5. That is a steep price, but it can go a long way between a win or a loss.
It is worth noting that three and seven are slightly less important than they used to be though. The NFL’s decision to no longer make extra points automatic has led to more teams attempting two-point conversions. We are now seeing a two-point conversion attempt in every other game on average, and the 2020 season saw the most two-point conversions of all-time on a proportional basis.
That is an angle to look at in the future as it may become apparent key numbers are changing, especially as more coaches look to move away from conservative play styles. We are starting to see more coaches use math in their decision making rather than tradition, and one or two more teams seem to be leading the way in this regard.
You don’t always have to buy points in order to receive a half-point or point on your wager. There are some sportsbooks that offer a free half-point or full point on certain days of the week. These are usually earlier in the week when the lines are more fluid rather than later in the week when the lines are more rigid.
There is the opposite of buying points too. Rather than buy points to increase your likelihood of winning a wager and decreasing your margins, you can sell points in order to increase your potential payout. Not all sportsbooks allow bettors to sell points, but many of them do in this day and age.
You won’t find the same value in selling points as you do in buying them. The sportsbooks still need to take their cut, so they are going to be more reticent to offer juicy +odds that could really put a hurting on them.
Blowouts aren’t too common in the NFL, so selling points could backfire in a big way. Additionally, sportsbooks won’t give you much of an odds boost without a key number to tie it to as well. However, fans of college football will tell you that selling points can be one of the best things to do as it’s much harder to line those games.