NFL Strategy – Buying Points

Purchasing half-points in NFL football is something that is often highly debated among sports betting circles. However, buying points can be an excellent NFL betting strategy, especially when bettors line shop appropriately and can profitably figure out when buying points is a +EV decision.

The Basics – Buying Points NFL Betting Strategy

Buying NFL PointsWhat do we mean by buying points betting strategy? Well, let’s say you want bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers at -5.5 (-110) who are facing Cleveland Browns +5.5 (-110). You’re not a fan of Pittsburgh -5.5 and want a better price, but you have line shopped and there is no better price available.

If you wanted to buy a half-point on Pittsburgh and move the line to -5.0, a typical price on a half-point on this point spread would be 10 cents. Meaning, the line would move to -120. If we want to buy a full point and move the line to -4.5, the standard price at most sportsbooks would -130.

We can also buy points from the underdog with no change in pricing. If we wanted to move the line favor of the Browns +5.5, the price for each half-point would be 10 cents. A +6.0 line move would be priced at -120 and a +6.5 move would be -130.

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Key Numbers In Buying Points Strategy

The standard 10 cent pricing, however, changes on key numbers such as 3 and 7. Why are these numbers so important? Well, since 2003, more than 30% of games have been decided by 3 or 7 points.

The highest margin of victory is 3 points and for that reason, buying off the 3 is going to cost more than 10 cents. When you move from 2.5 to 3.0, 3.0 to 2.5, 3.5 to 3.0 or 3.0 to 2.5, this is going to cost 25 cents per half-point at most shops.

Buying off the 7 is almost always going to cost more as well. Most sportsbooks charge 15 cents when buying off the 7. This includes line moves of 7.0 to 7.5, 6.5 to 7.0, 7.0 to 6.5 and 7.5 to 7.0. Compared to the 3, bettors may find some sportsbooks that don’t charge extra for moves on the 7, but this is rare.

Evaluating Buying Half-Points

One of our favorite sites to link to is the Wizard of Odds. The site is based around casino gambling but offers some of the best insight and information into sports betting markets as well. For buying points at NFL, the data they have available is fantastic. Feel free to use their chart for buying points off the spread each time you’re looking to figure out if your bet is +EV or not.

The major conclusions drawn from this data is that +3 wager at even money (+100) is equally as valuable +3.5 bet at -120. It also reveals that paying 10 cents (if available) for moves on the 7 is a +EV strategy. That price may be harder to find, but should may be available for those who shop pricing.

The math here can be done using implied probability, but there are several other tools online available as well. Sportsbook Review has a half-point calculator, and a NFL “push chart” for raw data is available here.

Top Betting Sites To Use Buying Points NFL Betting Strategy

The standard pricing for half-points is listed at the top of the article. For the US market, bettors have plenty of options when it comes buying half-points. Many of these betting sites are top-rated sportsbooks at

bovada sportsbook

Bovada is our number one sportsbook, and while they have many positives, buying points is not one of them. Bettors can only buy a single half-point at Bovada and cannot buy off the number +3. They can buy a half-point at 3.5 or 2.5 and move it 3, however. The price here is 25 cents, but be aware. Bovada does not offer this option for all markets.

BetOnline sportsbook

BetOnline offers some value for bettors looking to buy points. They allow buying up to 4 points (8 half-points) at -110 pricing without increasing the price of each half-point. Their college football pricing half-point pricing is also better than most of the market. They charge just 15-cents on point spreads involving the 3 and 10 cents instead of the 15 that other sites normally charge.

Bookmaker sportsbook

The sportsbook taking the largest bets offshore doesn’t offer a ton of value for buying points, but they’re still acceptable and bettors should be able find +EV spots. Clients can purchase up to 1.5 points (3 half-points). charges standard vig for NFL contests, but just 20 cents on odds surrounding the 3 on college football.