Using NFL Key Numbers to Win More Bets

Using NFL key numbers will help you win more bets.

Key Points

– An understanding of NFL key numbers will help a bettor win more bets.

– There are common final scores in NFL games that occur more than others.

Using NFL Key Numbers to Win More Bets

It’s one of the most crucial things to take into account when making a wager on a specific NFL game. It’s not necessarily the side you are betting on. It’s the line that corresponds with your bet. 

The purpose of this post is to help you understand a concept known as “key numbers.” Betting on the NFL football point spread is one of the top bets placed at all sportsbooks. Bettors love it and if they want to win more of those bets they should take a good, hard look at NFL key numbers.

When a handicapper refers to NFL key numbers, he is referring to one of two things. The one that we are concerned with is the most common scoring margins in NFL games. Bettors must comprehend how these NFL key numbers affect a bet. Wins and losses will depend, many times, on a basic understanding of key numbers. 

Most Common Final Scores

The most common final score in the history of the NFL is 20-17. Other common final scores include 27-24, 30-27, and 17-14. If you notice, all of these scores have something in common. They all represent a final scoring margin of three points.

More NFL games “land on three” because you often see game-winning field goals that break a tie. Games finishing with a margin of three shouldn’t be surprising considering how teams score points in the NFL.

A touchdown is worth six points, a field goal is three, and an extra-point kick is worth one. More NFL games will end in margins related to these numbers. In fact, more NFL games end with a point differential of three than any other number.


NFL Key Numbers

Because of scoring in the NFL, more games end with a margin of three points than any other number. This is the first key number. There are others.

After three, the most common final scoring margins are four, six, seven, ten, and fourteen. Again, if you think about football scoring, it would make sense that these are the most common scoring margins. 

These are the NFL key numbers that bettors should know if they want to win more bets.

Final Scoring Margin Frequency

The most important of the key numbers are three and seven. Over 15 percent of all NFL games are decided by exactly three points. 

Next on the list is seven. This makes sense as teams are often separated by a single touchdown and an extra point. In NFL history, 8.8 percent of games have ended with a seven-point differential.

Here’s a look at the NFL key numbers in order of how frequently they occur.

  • 3: 15.81%
  • 7:   8.80%
  • 10: 6.06%
  • 4:   5.41%
  • 6:   5.41%
  • 14: 4.77%
  • 1:   3.93%
  • 17: 3.58%
  • 2:   3.58%
  • 5:   3.15%

As you can see, there is a sharp decline in occurrence following the first trio of important numbers (3, 7, and 10). That does not, however, imply that you should completely disregard the other numbers. 

You should be cautious with these numbers and aware of how line movement can have an impact on your wager. That impact could be favorable or unfavorable depending upon the line movement.

Using Key Numbers for Betting

There is no way that sportsbooks will let bettors buy points off of the crucial numbers of three and seven at the customary 10-cent fee. That’s because sportsbooks are in the business of making money. 

Sportsbooks can’t manage the value of changing a three-point line to +3.5 for the underdog or -2.5 for the favorite. Due to the statistical edge, most bookies don’t even allow you to purchase off of three in the NFL. The books that do permit this will probably charge at least 20 cents for it. Accordingly, when you go to your favorite online sportsbook, a typical -110 line at -3 would become +3.5 or -2.5 at -120 or even -130.

If you have been betting long enough, you’ll know that NFL point spreads of 2.5 or 3.5 typically don’t remain accessible to the public for very long. These lines are usually always bet to the crucial number of 3. When accepting bets at 2.5 or 3.5, bookmakers are usually accepting a lot of risk. To protect themselves, they typically move their lines to 3 to be safe.The only thing that might prevent that is a lot of action on one side of the bet.

This makes lines like 2.5, 3.5, 6.5, and 7.5 intriguing for the smart bettor. Depending upon the rest of one’s research, there could be lots of value on, say, a +7.5 underdog. That’s because a bettor would need his team to lose by seven points or less. Seven, of course, is a key number as are 3, 4, and 6. All of those numbers are covered making a wager on a 7.5-point underdog a strong bet, all other things considered. 

Middling a Line

When a bettor places a wager on a certain line in the anticipation that the line will rise, they have the option of “middling a line.” This allows the bettor to buy back the opposing side and have the spread land in the center.

Middling is best explained with an example. Take a Broncos-Raiders game on a Monday night, for example. Monday night games get plenty of hype.

Let’s say the Raiders are favored by five points – Las Vegas -5. A bettor has done his homework and likes the Raiders -5. For whatever reason, the line shifts and is now Las Vegas -8. 

Now, armed with the knowledge of NFL key numbers, the bettor immediately makes a bet on Denver +8. This is the idea with middling a bet. 

If the Raiders win by six or more, the bet on Las Vegas is a winner. If the Broncos win or lose by seven or less, that bet is a winner. The great thing though is that if the final scoring margin is six or seven points, both bets win!

Remember, two of the most common final scoring margins happen to be six and seven points. A full 14.21 percent of NFL games end with a margin of six or seven. Understanding key numbers in this case could help a bettor win big.