NFL Picks: Key Numbers Sharp NFL Bettors Look For

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 6:52 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 6:52 PM UTC

In previous articles on teasers and pleasers, we discussed some of the more common margin of victories in the NFL. Today we’re delving a little deeper into that category, to see how it may positively affect our NFL Picks this season.

In all levels of football, but especially the NFL, the most common point spreads to end games are 3 and 7 points. 25% of all NFL games in the last 20 years have ended with either one of those two margins of victory. Obviously if a game goes into overtime, that makes it even more likely to end by one of those numbers. 

We can take it even further. Some other common point spreads are 4, 6, 10 and even 14 points. Combine those four with three and seven and you have nearly 50% of all the margin of victories in the NFL. 

So, how can this information help NFL bettors? For starters, like I mentioned in my article on teasers, teasing a line up or down to encompass all of the spreads ten-points or less gives the bettor a much bigger advantage than betting the spread as it stands. Say you really like two underdogs that are +3 ½ underdogs; you can tease them together up 6 ½ points to +10 underdogs, giving yourself a much better chance at covering some of the NFL’s most common margins of victory. This strategy can almost give you bettor value than just betting them both separately at +3 ½ each. 

But it’s not only for betting teasers. Say you like an underdog at +2 ½. You can buy a half-point for about ten cents at most sportsbooks to increase the NFL Odds to +3 underdogs. That move alone could mean the difference between walking away a winner or a loser. By just giving up ten cents, you have given yourself several times better of a chance to cash your bet, and the winnings only drop from -110 to -120. Buying full points and beyond takes that advantage away, but by simply buying a half point to move an underdog from +2 ½ to +3, or from +7 to +7 ½, you are creating a ton of value for your NFL picks. This is sometimes called buying the “hook.”

It can work with favorites as well. If you like a team, but they are -3 ½ favorites, you really should buy the half point to move them down to -3. That half point is worth several percentage points and is much more valuable than the ten cents you’re losing to buy it. Buying a half point to move a spread to one of the top three numbers (3, 7 and 10) is traditionally a very smart move for NFL Bettors. Also, using the purchasing of points to get rid of a half-point in a certain spread is almost always a good move if the spread is around one of the key numbers. 

Lastly, as I have stated in almost all of my betting strategy articles this summer, shop around. Whether you are online or in Las Vegas, shopping around for the line you’re looking for is normally the best way to go. Before you buy any points, make sure you aren’t getting better NFL odds from another shop. Every inch of value helps in this business, and you don’t want to leave a stone unturned on any given Sunday.
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