Buying points when betting the NFL is a divisive subject for many in the sports betting community. While many swear by it and regularly buy points or half-points, others scoff at buying points and consider it a negative expectation play. In this article, I will examine the process of buying points, and if they provide an advantage for bettors.
What Does Buying Points Actually Mean?
Buying points or half-points relates to the NFL point spread or total. Most sportsbooks will allow bettors to buy a half point or more off the spread or total. For instance, if a bettor was wagering on the Buffalo Bills +9 and felt it was a strong move to get an extra .5 points onto the line, the sportsbook would charge a player a fee for doing so. The line for the bettor would now be Buffalo +9.5 but would come with increased odds. It would work the same way if a bettor was wagering -9 and wanted to buy a half point, the odds would then become -8.5 and again with fee for the change in odds.
Usually, when a bettor buys a half point, the price is -120 rather than the normal -110 that is standard for most NFL point spreads and totals. NFL gamblers are getting an extra half point on the game, but is it worth it to pay a steeper price over the long haul to buy points?
Profitability of Buying Points
Buying points are generally not considered profitable due to the increased price that bettors are paying when they buy them. It is hard enough to beat the sportsbooks when you are betting -110, let alone when you are wagering -120 or -130 after buying a point. The -130 will normally be charged by sportsbooks when bettors look to buy a half point to add to a +2.5 underdog or a -3.5 favorite.
This is due to the large percentage of games that end by a margin of three points; the other most likely outcome to an NFL is not surprisingly 7 points. One of the best sports betting and casino sites online, the Wizard of Odds did a study on buying points with decades of data attached. The conclusion was that buying points were generally not profitable and that one of the only times it is worth it is when buying off the 7, provided that bettors can get -120 for a half point.
Bettors can get even deeper in depth with their calculations of buying points, by converting the odds into implied probability, which can be done simply through an online betting calculator or through a mathematical formula. Push percentage also matters, which is the percentage of times a bettor will push on a certain number. For 7 points, this number is 5.72 percent, and for 3 points it is 9.79 percent.
Pricing is a large determination if buying points are profitable and it is unmistakably a negative proposition to buy points off numbers other than 3 or 7. This move is not profitable and does not give bettors any advantage against the oddsmakers. It only charges them more juice over the long haul.
Top Sportsbooks for Buying Points
5Dimes chargers bettors -120 for a half point but does increase the odds for buys when bettors buy points to reach the key number of 3 and 7. If you have their reduced juice option as a bonus these odds are slightly better, as well.
Bovada.lv surprisingly does not allow bettors to buy points. They allow bettors to buy off the” hook” or half point but do not allow them to buy multiple points or to buy points on any number. For instance, if a team is favored by -16.5, bettors can buy off the .5 points at the ‘Review Bet’ screen on Bovada. It’s certainly something to note if you’re thinking of betting at Bovada and want to buy points.
The best site to buy points is Bookmaker.eu and their other sister sportsbooks. Bookmaker sells half points at 10 cents, making the price -120 if you buy a half point and doesn’t adjust these odds on the key number of 7 by adding extra fees. The book is well trusted and offers enormous betting limits and has a long history in the offshore betting world.
Be Aware of Pricing
There are many other sportsbooks than the ones I mentioned above and most offer the ability to buy points. Prices on this can vary wildly, and many sportsbooks will gouge bettors for 20 or 30 cents per half point, making it impossible to beat them. Be mindful how much you are paying when buying points. You should never be paying more 10 cents for a half point that isn’t on a key number of 3 or 7.
Though buying half points is not usually profitable, it is vital to line shop and look for the best odds and prices.