NFL Key Numbers

NFL Key Numbers
by Staff

If your betting on NFL football games and serious about winning, you need to be familiar with key numbers and what those numbers are. This article can and will increase your chances of beating the NFL point spread should you decide to implement this advice into your sports handicapping arsenal. Enjoy!

Key numbers are the margins most landed on relative to NFL final scores. By knowing what the key numbers are, you can avoid getting duped into betting a bad line and if your good at reading between the lines, you can actually read which way the oddsmakers want you to bet on the game.

As most already know, “3” is the most common maring of victory in NFL football games. Many games come down to the final minutes and are won by a field goal, as are games that go into overtime. A study was done by a handicapper name Andy Iskoe and he did a study on a 17 year period consisting of around 4000 games to see what the most common final score margins were.

To nobody’s surprise, 3 was the most common margin to the tune of 15.1%. It’s no surprise that 7 was the second most common margin, as this is how many points a team is awarded for a touchdown plus extra point, but what was a surprise to us is that it comes in more than two times less than the 3, to the tune of 7.1%.

What do you think the next most common margin is? I’d have guessed 4, which is close, but no cigar. The third most common margin was “6,” which is somewhat of a surprise. A six point margin happened six percent of the time.

The other two key numbers of note are 10 and 4 which came in at 5.9 and 5.8% respectively.


Now that we’ve established what key numbers are and which to pay attention to, you may be getting crafty and wondering what would happen if you bought a half point on some of them.

We once read a study that showed that:

Buying Underdogs up from +2.5 to +3, +3 to +3.5 and +9.5 to +10 have all resulted in profits. On the flipside, buying favs down from -2.5 to -2, -3 to -2.5, -3.5 to -3 and -10.5 down to -10 have all resulted in making for a better bottom line. Keep in mind that this is over a long span including all games. If your an astute handicapper that picks and chooses his spots, a half point buy can be a huge asset to your sports betting arsenal.

As we stated earlier in the article, once you are familiar with key numbers, you can use them to your advantage in helping you pick or pass on a game because you can literally kind of see which way the book wants the public to bet. We all know that the book wins long term so there’s nothing wrong with being on the same side as them!

This means that you as a rule of thumb (this does NOT apply to all spreads, just most!) you should avoid laying -2.5, -6.5, -9.5 and -3.5. These numbers are inviting you to bet on spreads that appear to be allowing you to win on key numbers. The book isn’t this stupid. Their offering easy cheesey lines because they believe just the opposite is going to happen.

Furthermore, you want to avoid wagering on lines such as +3.5, +7.5, +10.5 and +4.5 because this is a just the opposite of the inviting favorites. Their inviting underdogs! The book isn’t going to put out an opening line and let you land on a key number so easily. Do you really think their going to let you put the odds in your favor? No way. Steer clear of these opening lines unless you have good solid reasoning for fading them which does happen, but not often.

All joking aside, if you take heed to this article, you have just increased your NFL winning percentage by 3% or more. Believe it!