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Buying Points

Many sportsbooks offer bettors the option to buy points on point spread bets in football and basketball. Buying points allows you to give away fewer points on the favorite or receive more points on the underdog. Most books that offer this betting option do so at a price of 10 percent per each half-point you decide to move the line.

Buying Points on NFL Bets

For example, let’s say you want to wager on the Los Angeles Rams at -5 (-110) against the Arizona Cardinals, who are +5 (-110). In addition to just betting the point spread on the favored Rams at -5 (-110), you could also buy a half-point to make the spread -4.5 (-120), or take a full point to make it -4 (-130).

Similarly, you could bet the underdog Cardinals at +5.5 (-120), or +6.0 (-130) by buying a half-point or a full point. Sportsbooks that offer this betting option will often allow you to buy up to 3 points on basketball and football lines.

However, due to the nature of the scoring system in professional 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 3-point spread. The premium paid for this type of move on a key number is usually 25 percent per each half-point.

So if the New England Patriots are -3 (-110) against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are +3 (-110), buying the half-point to make the favorite New England -2.5 will now cost you -135. The same is true of buying the half-point to make the underdog Steelers +3.5; instead of -110, it is -135. Moving a game to a 3-point spread will also cost you 25 percent, such as making a +2.5 (-110) underdog +3 (-135), or making a -3.5 favorite -3 (-135).

In addition, since seven points is a common winning margin in the NFL as well, some books offer a premium on betting on to or off of 7-point spreads. Similar pricing usually applies because 7 is also a key number.

know the sportsbook rules

But before buying points on football or basketball games, always make 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 be the difference between a loss and a push, or a push and a win.

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