The Pros And Cons Of ‘Buying Points’ In The NFL

Buying points to move the NFL lines to a 3 point spread can protect you when teams play for a game-winning field goal. (Photo credit: The Bay Area Bias / Foter / CC BY-ND)

Buying points in NFL betting is a popular NFL betting strategy.

Instead of laying 4 points with the favourite, you can “buy” a point to move the NFL lines down to 3 points. This way, you don’t lose if your team wins by a field goal — the most common margin of victory in NFL betting.

Unfortunately, it’s called buying points because it costs you.

For each half point you buy, you’ll be faced with steeper odds, which affects your break-even percentage on the wager.

Expensive to buy points onto or off 3 and 7

Since 3 is the biggest of the  NFL key numbers, you’ll pay the most juice in buying points to get on or off 3.

In this example from Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season, you can see what it would cost you to buy points on the Washington Redskins at Pinnacle sportsbook.

The Redskins are +2.5 +100, but those odds change to -127 if you buy a half point to move them to +3. They’re -151 if you were to buy a full point and move them to +3.5.

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A 25 cent change in odds (from -125 to -150, for example) requires you to win that bet approximately another 5% of the time just to break even.

So if you’re going to buy a half point that costs you 25 cents in juice on the NFL lines, you should only do it when you think it will help you win that wager more than another 5% of the time.

It will also cost you a lot of juice to buy onto or off the number 7, since 7 is another of the NFL key numbers in NFL betting.

Doesn’t Cost Much To Buy Points On Non-Key Numbers

Other points won’t cost much to buy at all. Check out this other game from Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season, where the Browns are +5.5 -104 at the Steelers.

The odds change to -111 if you buy half a point to make the Browns +6, and -118 to make them +6.5.

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Make sure it’s worth it when buying points in NFL betting

The bottom line when buying points in NFL betting is to make sure it’s worth it.

Yes, you’ll increase your probability of winning your bet if you buy points. But the extra odds you pay can often offset that increased probability.

Before you buy points, try to determine whether the probability of you winning that bet with the extra points is higher than the increased percentage of the time you need to win that bet to break even.