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Football Key Numbers

Football Key Numbers

In football handicapping, we refer to some spreads as NFL key numbers. The important football numbers to remember are 1, 4, 6, 10, 13, 14, and most importantly 3 and 7. In football, these are the numbers that have the highest probability of being the margin of victory. There are also minor NFL key numbers of 11 and 17. The reason these key numbers are important, is that if your bookmaker changes the line off, or onto a key number, they increase their own chances of losing the game or getting middled. If the line from your sportsbook changes off a key number, you know for certain that there was enough public action or possibly a “wiseguy move” on that side of the play.

Now concentrate on NFL key number 3. We can find that about 14% (or one in seven) of NFL games are covered by 3 points. An underdog getting 3 1/2 points is a great bargain, as this forces the opponent to upgrade from a field goal, to a touchdown. An underdog getting only 2 1/2 points is obviously a much greater risk, as a field goal would sink you. So let’s look at the key number 7, and study some traps you may encounter. You would think that an underdog that is getting 9 1/2 points is a better deal than one getting 7 1/2, but that’s not necessarily the case. Games rarely end in an 8 or 9 point victory, so there really isn’t much difference from 7 1/2 to 9 1/2 points when looking to wager, so be careful not to let the higher numbers tempt you.

NFL key numbers will not change often, so it is important to take some time to shop around, and try to find a better bargain. If you like a favorite that is -3 1/2, take the time to shop around and possibly find it at -3 somewhere else. Even the house edge is against you buying on or off 3 (the house factors this in the cost of buying the 1/ 2point), many professional gamblers still find value in buying a favorite from 3.5 to 3 or an underdog from 2.5 to 3.