Key NFL Betting Numbers and How to Use Them


Sports bettors are always looking for an edge in an attempt to narrow the playing field. Line movements, pick services and good old fashioned knowledge are a good start, but just by simply knowing key NFL betting numbers and how to use them can be just as advantageous. With the help of, let’s dig into the numbers formulated in the NFL between 2000 and 2017 (4593 games) and see how they can make us better bettors.

Because points are normally scored in 7’s (Touchdown) and 3’s (Field Goal) in the National Football League, it would only make sense that 3 and 7 are the most common margins of victory. Exactly 700 games finished with a margin of 3, good for an astounding 15.24%. 7 is next with 430 finishes or 9.36%.

10 (268), 6 (265), 4 (228) and 14 (214) or 5.83, 5.77, 4.96 and 4.66 percent respectively, are the next 4 most common victory margins. Although 15.24% is a huge number on its own, the top six margins of victory equal 45.82% of every game played over the last 18 years!

1, 2, 8, 5 and 17 account for the next five most frequent margins of victory, accounting for another 17.59%. This means over an extended period of time, NFL games ended with a margin of victory of these 11 numbers a startling 63.41% of the time.

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Looking at game totals, it shows 41 was the most common game total in the same 18-year time period, equaling 181 games or 3.94%. 37 and 44 were tied at #2 at 172 games apiece with 51 (167) and 43 (162) round out the top 5. In all honesty, I don’t think this data has a whole lot of merit in creating a betting system, but it’s fun to talk about.

So let’s keep talking about it…I got some interesting numbers for you. There have been 89 different combinations of total NFL scores since the year 2000. Like I told you earlier, topping the list, 181 times games ended with a total of 41. Eight different totals happened only once, and these numbers may surprise you, at least they surprised me. Only once did a NFL game finish with total of 14. I looked deeper into this one, because it made me question every one of the stats I have been quoting in this article, but I came up with nothing of the contrary. In fact, only 7 NFL games have finished with a tie score since the 2000 season.

This page really had some cool numbers so I’ll throw them at you so you do not have to go Google the page. The highest score by one team was 62 when the Saints beat the Colts 62-7 on October 23 rd , 2011, with the highest total ever recorded being 106 on November 28, 2004 when the Bengals beat the Browns 58-48. The lowest recorded total? 3, when the Steelers won 3-0 at home against the Steelers, a total that also only happened once. A rain soaked field and a new sod led to “horrendous conditions”, to paraphrase Hines Ward. On October 18 th , 2009 the Patriots beat the Titans 59-0, creating history as the largest margin of victory ever.

Sorry, I digressed there for a bit. Am I the only one that loves numbers like that? I could look at numbers all day, especially the abnormal ones. When I see them, I always dig a little deeper, trying to figure out why they happened. Like the 106 total in Cincy on that late November afternoon.

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That season in 2004, the Bengals had the #18 ranked offense with 321.2 yards/game and the Browns #28 with 280.1. On the other side of the ball, Cleveland finished that season at #15 defensively,

allowing 325.9 yards/game, with Cincinnati not far behind at 335.3 yards/game, good for 19 th . Those rankings do not tell the tail why so many points were scored.

In a losing effort, Kelly Holcomb threw for 413 yards, including 5 TD’s and 2 INT’s. However, the Browns only managed 76 yards on the ground, running the ball only 17 times. Antonio Brown led all receivers with 131 and two touchdowns.

Although he threw four TD’s, QB Carson Palmer also threw three TD’s, going through the air for 251 yards. Rudi Johnson stole the show, rushing for 202 yards, finding paydirt twice. There were 5 total field goals, with one defensive TD on a Holcomb pick-six with less than 2 minutes remaining, sealing the high scoring affair.

OK…back to the top, how we can use common margins of victory to our advantage when betting. It’s so important in the NFL because there is so much parity, there’s a reason why these common numbers happen so often. Remember the 3’s and the 7’s when you are scanning the lines, and maybe even more important, when looking at line movements.

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After you handicap the games you want to bet, it is very important to have a few sportsbooks to line shop. Getting +3.5 when most books have it at +3 or -6.5 when others have it at -7 can be the difference between a winning season and a losing one.

I hope going over these key NFL betting numbers helped get your head around the importance a half point here and there can help. Sure, we can always bet a line up or down, but by doing so, you’re also helping out your bookie by getting worse odds. Be aware and keep your eye out for spreads of 3, 7, 10, 6, 4 and 14.