Sportsbooks offer you the option to buy points on point spread wagers in football and basketball. You can choose to give away less points on the favorite, or receive more points on the favorite. Most books offer this option at a price of 10% per each half-point you decide to move the line.
As an example, let’s say Indianapolis is -5.0 -110 against Houston (+5.0 -110) and you want to bet Indianapolis. Instead of just betting them at -5.0 -110, you could instead buy a half-point to make it Indianapolis -4.5 -120, or a full point to make it Indianapolis -4.0 -130. Similarly, you could bet Houston at +5.5 -120, or Houston +6.0 -130 by buying a half-point or a full point. Many sportsbooks will allow you to buy up to three points on basketball and football lines.
Due to the nature of the scoring system in football, the most common winning margin in NFL games is three points. For this reason, it is more expensive to buy points that move a team on or off of a three-point spread. The premium paid for this type of move is usually 25% per each half-point.
For example, if New England is -3.0 -110 against Miami (+3.0 -110), buying the half-point to make New England -2.5 will now cost you -135. The same is true of buying the half-point to make Miami +3.5 -135. Moving a game on to a three point spread will also cost you 25%, such as making a +2.5 -110 underdog +3.0 -135, or making a -3.5 -110 favorite -3.0 -135.
Since seven (7) is also a very common winning margin in the NFL, some books offer a premium on betting on to or off of seven-point spreads as well. Before buying points, be sure to know the rules at the book that you are using.
With so many games in football and basketball ending within a half-point of the spread, buying even a half-point could sometimes be the difference between a loss and a push, or a push and a win.