NFL Key Numbers: How to Use the Strength of Three and Seven
by George Monroy - 9/4/2014
NFL key numbers are a simple yet powerful concept that most bettors tend to ignore. Football is a straightforward game that involves touchdowns and field goals as its primary methods of scoring points, and since bettors are in the business of predicting final scores, wouldn't it be wise to know what those final scores are during a professional football game?
NFL key numbers are the most common margins of victory during an NFL game. If someone were to ask you to guess what the two most common numbers are, I'd imagine that most bettors would guess three and seven. If you have watched enough football you know that a field goal or touchdown is often what separates teams during the end of a game.
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NFL key numbers
Knowing that three and seven are the most common margins of victory might seem like an interesting statistic to throw around, but how exactly does that information help a sports bettor? Well, it might be shocking to know that an NFL football game will end by a difference of three or seven points nearly 25 percent of the time.
One in every four football games will end with one of those margins, and a savvy bettor should be able to use NFL key numbers to improve his betting habits and pick better spreads. At the very basic level, key numbers will show a bettors which spreads to take and which ones not to. Why would a gambler take a favorite of 7.5 points when the game is most likely to end within seven points?
What are the key numbers?
Three and seven are the strongest and most important key numbers, but expert sports bettors have been compiling data for years and have a list of the most common margins of victories. Here is a quick look at the Top 10 NFL key numbers
Three points: 15.81 percent
Seven points: 8.80 percent
10 points: 6.06 percent
Four points: 5.41 percent
Six points: 5.41 percent
14 points: 4.77 percent
One point: 3.93 percent
17 points: 3.85 percent
Two points: 3.58 percent
Five points: 3.15 percent
It would be wise to know and understand every NFL key number, because they can all add value at certain points, but the most important are three, seven and 10. After those first set of numbers there is huge drop off in occurrence and not enough power in each number to make them truly important. The top key numbers happen nearly a third of the time, which is such a high occurrence that all bettors should perk up when they see spreads near those marks.
How to use key numbers
NFL key numbers are information that every sportsbook and oddsmaker will know and intimately use during their linemaking process. Many times sportsbooks will place lines at 2.5 points or 6.5 points because they are looking for action on a certain teams and expect the opposite to happen. Other times those number my be a bit more innocent and just happen to fall on those spreads.
If a spread opens at exactly three or seven points, most sportsbooks will be hesitant to move their lines off of those numbers and will usually adjust the juice in either direction. If a sportsbook happens to move a line either way then it probably means there was a large amount of action one side of the number. The best way to use key number is to try and figure out what the oddmakers were thinking when they released those numbers and try to wager accordingly.
The biggest takeaway from knowing key numbers is to understand that half points can make a huge difference in NFL football games, and sometimes a spread being off by such a small margin can take away the value on a line.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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