NFL Betting: When to Buy a Half-Point

Prominent professional sports handicapper Ross Benjamin discusses what he deems to be his key NFL point-spread numbers, and how you can gain an additional advantage when betting on games with these exact lines.

When to buy a half-point betting on NFL football

Key Numbers
There are different schools of thought as it applies to key NFL point-spread numbers. Subsequently, there are varying theories on when to pull the trigger on buying a half-point. Personally, I keep it simple, and choose to stick with the most common numbers of 3.0, 7.0, and 10.0.

This Season’s Data
There’s been 63 NFL games played during the first 4 weeks of this season, and 18 of those contests have been decided by either 3, 7, or 10 points. Putting those results into perspective, 28.6% of all games played this year have landed on these trio of key numbers. What’s even more impactful, 25 of those 63 games closed with a point-spread of 3.0, 7.0, or 10.0 which translates to 39.7% of the time.

key numbers for betting NFL footballUpon further review, there were 15 NFL games played last week, and 7 of those contests were won or lost by exactly 3 points. Furthermore, there was one contest decided by precisely 7 points and another by 10. That equates to 60% of last week’s contests ending with victory margins of exactly 3, 7, or 10 points.

Case in point, the Rams closed as a 7.0-point home favorite in last week’s Thursday night game versus Minnesota, and they went on to win 38-31. Regardless of which team you bet on, by buying an additional half-point it would’ve averted a push and resulted in a winning wager. Remember, the juice only counts when you lose!

Granted, it requires you to lay approximately 10 to 15 cents more juice when buying a half-point, and it discourages many NFL bettors from doing so. Nevertheless, if bettors religiously buy a half-point when it comes to NFL point-spreads of 3.0, 7.0, or 10.0, then they’ll unequivocally discover it to be a profitable investment over the long haul.

NFL Week 5 Betting Odds
There are 15 NFL games on this week’s NFL slate starting with Thursday’s contest between Indianapolis and New England. Ironically enough, according to Bookmaker, New England is currently a 10.0-point home favorite. By the way, there’s been 5 of 63 games played this season that resulted in a 10-point winning margin. As a matter of fact, after scanning all the major offshore sportsbooks NFL Week 5 betting odds, there’s an eye catching 11 games that either have a point-spread of 3.0, 7.0, or 10.0, and that calculates to 73.3% of this week’s card.

Ross Benjamin Free Pick

Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at

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