What Does It Mean To Buy Points In Sports Betting and Wagering?
It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice bettor just learning the ropes or a serious bettor who has been in the industry for 20+ years, losing a bet by half a point is the most frustrating way to lose. Depending who you talk to, some say that if your bet loses by half a point, it is the bettors fault for not buying points and moving the line. By buying points, you are helping yourself get the best number possible, especially when you are moving the line through key numbers in football or basketball. Doing this can turn a push or loss into a win more often than you can imagine.
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What Does Buying Points Mean?
When you hear a bettor talking about “buying points” they are referring to an action they take in order to secure an extra half point or full point in his favor on the point spread of a particular game. For example, if a bettor wants to bet the Bills on the point spread at -3.5, they may buy a half or full point in order to get the Bills at -3, or -2.5. Of course, the bettor must pay a premium price in return for lowering the spread. The term “buying points” can also be referred to as “moving the line”.
Why Would a Bettor Buy Points?
Since you can only “buy points” on the point spread, this leaves us with two sports that allow such action – basketball and football. Football is the sport that “buying points” makes the most sense for because it has three key numbers that are crucial when talking about the most common margin of victory. These numbers are three, four and seven. Let’s use the Bills as an example once again. If they are three-point favorites over the Dolphins, a three-point win would be a push and you would get your money back. By buying half a point, you would move the line to Bills -2.5 which means that same three-point win would now cash your ticket. The same thing can be done if you like the underdog. Buy a half point up from -3, to -3.5 and three-point Dolphin loss would be a winning ticket.
Is Buying Points Worth It?
When the right opportunity presents itself, then yes moving the line is completely worth it. However, your bankroll must be big enough to accommodate paying the extra juice to get a better number. Typically, point spreads are lined at -110, meaning you need to bet $110 to win $100. By improving the line, you would likely need to risk around $115 or $120 in order to profit $100.
However, the number of points you can buy is dependant on what book you use. Some books only allow you to only buy up to three points, while some allow you to buy up to 14. Needless to say, if you buy 14 points, your return will likely be non existent.
If you are a bettor who is just starting out, I would suggest being cautious when buying points. Buying points when the point spread doesn’t involve a key number is the biggest mistake you can make since you will be paying a premium - typically around 10 percent - for an uncommon margin victory. Secondly, buying points should be the last resort. Often times, if you shop around hard enough and have a few different sportsbooks to place a bet at, you will find the line you are looking for.
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