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NFL Buying Points Explained

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, we examine the process of buying points, and whether they provide an advantage for bettors.

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What Does Buying Points Actually Mean?

Center preparing to snap the football

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 you wanted to wager 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 fee for doing so.

Your line would now be Buffalo +9.5 but would come with increased odds. It would work the same way if you were wagering -9 and wanted to buy a half point – the odds would then become -8.5, and you would pay a 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. Our betting experts analysed decades of data on buying points and came to the conclusion that buying points is generally not profitable. 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 – the percentage of times a bettor will push on a certain number – also matters. For 7 points, this number is 5.72%, and for 3 points it is 9.79%.

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.

NFL football and helmet

Top Sportsbooks for Buying Points

Surprisingly, Bovada does not allow you to buy points. They allow you to buy off the ‘hook’ or half point but do not allow you to buy multiple points or to buy points on any number. For instance, if a team is favored by -16.5, you 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 on the NFL 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 trusted, offers enormous betting limits, and has a long history in the offshore betting world.

NFL footballs

Be Aware of Pricing

There are many other sportsbooks than the ones we 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.


Should you buy points when betting on NFL?

Professional sports bettors advise against buying points when betting on NFL. Sportsbooks and their number-crunching traders are fully aware of the probabilities of every final-score margin. Therefore, they price half points accordingly, and even unfairly at times, to avoid giving away free money.

What does it mean when you buy points on a bet?

Buying points gives you an opportunity to move the point-spread for sides or totals in your favour when betting on NFL. When buying points on a favourite, you can pay a fee to take off a half point, full point or 1.5 points.

Can you buy points on the spread?

When betting on NFL, you can only buy points on point spreads. When you buy points, you move the point spread by half a point in the direction you want, either for the favorite or underdog. You cannot purchase points on money lines or half time point spreads.

How do you buy the half point?

If you want to buy a half-point and move from -7.5 to -7, or from +6.5 to +7, you must pay 15 cents of vig. That means you’ll be betting $125 to win $100. Every other half-point will cost you 10 cents in juice, meaning you will be betting $120 to win $100.

About the author

Alan Penny


Alan hails from Northern Ireland and is an avid fan of all sports. He has been with us since 2017 and serves as SBO’s Editor-in-Chief. Alan passionately covers everything from the latest regulatory developments across the globe to tips on the latest football matches.

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