Buying Points in Sports Betting: Advice and Expert Wagering Tips
It's one of the worst losses you can suffer when betting on sports, and it doesn't matter if you are a novice sports bettor or a professional bettor that's been around the block a few times, losing by the dreaded half point (also known as the "hook") can trigger your entire day and send you into a full-on rage. Some would say that losing a bet via "the hook" is entirely the bettor's fault, not the actual players' or coaches'. I would normally disagree with that statement as buying points doesn't always guarantee a win, but there are some instances where buying points is betting 101. One of the keys to being or becoming a good handicapper is to spot those situations and take full advantage of them.
The actual concept of "buying points" is quite simple to understand. Sportsbooks put out point spread lines that are intended to attract action on both sides of the line. By buying a half-point, you are essentially giving yourself a security blanket for an extra 10 cents. For every half-point you decide to buy, you are paying an extra 10-cent vig on top of the standard (-110) line that is always associated with the available spread.
Picture yourself locked in to the Monday Night Football game. You have taken a beating during the day, and the biggest loss you suffered was a heartbreaking half-point loss. You are now in recoup mode and absolutely love the Miami Dolphins getting 12.5-points on the road against the New England Patriots. However, the latest half-point loss is all you can think about, so in order to avoid a repeat of that you decide to buy a half-point and turn +12.5 into +13. The only problem with this is that you are now paying an extra 10 cents to get the number you want.
On the flip side of the coin, if you liked the Patriots to cover the spread, but wanted to buy a half-point, you could turn the -12.5 line into -12 and you would conversely be paying (-120).
The only problem with buying points in this situation is that the risk verse reward is tilted in one direction. The amount of times that the extra half-point affects the spread is few and far between when purchased in the wrong situation. Not to mention that the extra $10-20 adds up over the course of the season and really takes a toll on your bankroll.
Key NFL Numbers
This is a crucial segment because every good handicapper knows the importance of the key numbers in the NFL . Because of the way the scoring system is set up, the key numbers in the NFL are three and seven. The value of buying points and turning a three-point line to +3.5 for the underdog or -2.5 for the favorite is a liability for the books. Most books don't even allow you to buy off of three in the NFL because of the statistical advantage. For the books who do allow this, they will likely charge no less than 20 cents. So, a standard (-110) line at -3 would become +3.5 or -2.5 (-130) depending on the book you are playing at. The same can be said for any line that is within a half-point of seven.
Buying Points on NBA Games
Much like the NFL, the NBA is also lined with a point spread, and because of that bettors can buy points to get their preferred number . The same concept holds true with the NBA as every half-point bought is an extra 10-cents paid in juice. The difference with buying points in the NBA is that the key numbers are different and because of that it's harder to find the right situation to utilize the extra half point.
Seven is the biggest key number in The Association. The reason for this is the act of fouling at the end of games. A team down by two possessions will be more inclined to foul, thus giving the leading team foul shots in order to extend the lead. Once the lead reaches three possessions with time running out, the losing team is likely to concede and let the clock hit 0:00. The only problem with focusing in on key numbers while betting the NBA is that there are so many points scored throughout the course of a game that the lines are often vulnerable to different factors such as pace of play or teams hitting or missing every shot. Sportsbooks will take those factors into consideration before posting lines that feature key numbers. Very rarely will you see a two or seven-point spread, but when you do it is very unlikely that they move off those numbers unless there is very heavy action on one side of the number.
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