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You are betting that the total number of points scored by both teams combined will be either higher or lower than a certain number chosen by the sportsbook. In football, a typical point total bet might look like this:. In this case, the bookmaker has indicated that they believe the combined total scores in the game will be If you think the final total will be higher, bet the over.
If you think it will be lower, bet the under. Once again, the answer lies in the scoring system. The fact that points are scored in certain increments means that some points totals are much more likely than others. When you know the most common combinations, you can learn to spot when the point total is at a potentially valuable number depending on what you think the outcome of the game will be. Some bookmakers will even allow you to bet on the exact total number of points scored, or offer point total betting in an individual quarter or half of a game.
Key numbers are relevant for all of these. Key numbers are most relevant for irregular, multi-point scoring sports. Football is undoubtedly the sport in which key numbers play the biggest role when betting. This is due to the scoring system.
The first key number is the value of a field goal, the second is the value of a converted touchdown, and the third is the value of the two scores together. Think about some of the more common sounding scores for NFL games — , , , , All of these are decided by key numbers. In tight games, teams often find themselves only separated by the lowest value score, the field goal.
Think about all the tight games you have seen over the years where a team is tactically trying to wind the clock down after a field goal. A converted touchdown scores 7 points in NFL, and this is the second most common margin of victory. However, it is significantly less common than a 3 point margin, meaning that while certainly a key number, 7 is less significant in NFL than 3. Since it is also important to pay attention to score combinations, 10 is the next most important key number, the value of a field goal and a touchdown together.
The spread, in this case, is 3, which as we know is the most important key number in NFL. In this case, the bookmakers think the game will be fairly close, with the Patriots the favorite. Since the most common winning margin for a favorite by far is 3 points if they were to move the Patriots to In some cases, they will change the odds on each team rather than change the spread. That may look like this:. A good way to think about this is that the difference between -3 and The thing to watch out for is when the point spread is either a key number or just over or under a key number.
Once you get used to all the key numbers in NFL, you will automatically view the point spread through the lens of key numbers,. One important thing to remember is that key numbers are not some magic formula to winning sports bets. Bookmakers are well aware of key numbers too and set their lines accordingly. Instead, we should think of key numbers as one of many important factors that we consider as smart sports bettors, like odds.
They are not a cheat code, but understanding them will absolutely make you a more successful bettor. Here are some practical strategies involving key numbers:. Different bookmakers offer different prices. Often, comparing the different odds available can give you more information.
If you find four bookmakers offering the odds in our example bet:. Many bookmakers allow you to buy points on the spread. This effectively means you can choose your own point spread. This might look like this:. Since you know how important key numbers are in the point spread, you can accept slightly worse odds to move the point spread on or off a key number.
However, as always the bookmakers are aware of this. They will likely charge you higher odds to buy a point or half a point around a key number. However, there are still plenty of occasions that buying the points around key numbers is worth it.
It is up to you to spot the value. The important thing is that your predictions and bets are informed by the value of key numbers. In the NFL, key numbers in point total betting are also determined by the value of the scores and their various combinations.
The most common total points scored, and therefore key numbers for point total betting, in order of importance are:. Just like in the point spread, the key is to look for times when the point total line is a key number. Generally, point total betting is a simple way to bet. Do you think the total points will more or less than this number?
Here are some easy to follow tips for factoring key numbers into your totals bets. It is worth repeating that key numbers are not a cheat code but they do give you another factor to compare when shopping for the best odds at different sportsbooks. This sounds simple but being a good sports bettor involves plenty of simple and methodical actions like actually doing the legwork of checking around for the best price. A slightly more complicated situation arises if you have a very specific prediction for your point total bet, maybe from predictive betting software.
Take our example again:. Say your model predicted that the total score will be Without understanding key numbers, you might think that betting on the Under here is a good bet, according to your prediction. However, we know that of the seven most common point totals, five are over 41 and two are under. Now imagine your model predicted that the total score would be Since you know about the key numbers, the Over 41 suddenly looks a very attractive bet based on the most common outcomes.
Depending on the odds, it may be possible to buy a point total closer to a key number which makes sense for your prediction, which you would pay for with slightly worse odds. Or, perhaps you could simply find a better points total by shopping around. Either way, understanding key numbers in points totals gives you a much deeper understanding of when you should bet them. In general, everything we have covered so far applies to college football as well as the NFL.
The most common winning margins in college football are 3, 7 and 10, and the strategies for keeping an eye out for key numbers are the same. One is that NFL is generally more competitive than college football, meaning that the games are often closer.
College football is less predictable, meaning the key numbers are less reliable. Since college football is less competitive, more points are scored on average. This means that the point totals tend to be higher. The most common total points scored in college football, and therefore key number for point total betting, in order of importance are:.
These numbers are based on the last five years. The strategies to use these numbers are exactly the same as in the NFL, just be aware that the numbers are different. However, they still play a part and bettors should be aware of them. The value of the scores available in basketball are 2 and 3 and 1 for free throws.
This is what determines the most likely winning margin in close games. The most important key number in NBA betting is 7. This is because when there are 7 points between the teams, the game becomes a three possession game. If this is the case with close to a minute left, teams will frequently stop fouling and simply let the game run out. Basically, if there are seven points between the teams and the game is almost over, the losing team will just accept that the game is over, resulting in a 7-point margin of victory.
After 7, 2 is the next most important number. The reason for this is that for any differential in score from with a minute left to play, the greatest number of scenarios leads to an outcome of a two-point differential. However, it should be noted that the distribution of outcomes for all these numbers is very similar.
Regarding point total bets, key numbers in basketball simply do not play a role in these predictions in the same way that they do for point total bets in the NFL. Making a good point total bet in the NBA relies way more on team, player and game factors. Overall, while not as important in the NBA, key numbers are something all bettors should be aware of.
Sports betting is a game of fine margins, and the more information available the more ready you will be to capitalize on those margins. Baseball and hockey both have much more straightforward scoring systems. For these reasons, key numbers are much less important in betting on these sports. However, there are some minor exceptions.
Close games are frequently decided by a single score in these sports, either a run in baseball or a goal in hockey. Knowing this is essentially the same as being aware that NFL games are most likely to be decided by 3 points. You could be watching college football all day long and not see one kicker who will end up in the NFL.
Offenses stay on the field on 4th and long, when it would be an automatic field goal attempt in the pros. A yard kick is a toss-up in some games. That all throws a wrench into the issue of college football key numbers. Relate a key number to the spread. When dealing with a game where a team is a robust favorite, you want to watch out for numbers like 24, 28, and It depends on the dynamic of the game, but there are some margins you see very seldom when compared to other numbers.
For example, 29 is not a very common margin of victory. The margin of 28 occurs almost 8 times more that 29 in college football. The margin of 17 occurs 4 times more than an point margin of victory. The margin of 10 is 3 times more prevalent than 9 or 11 points. There is a delicate dance as it applies to key numbers for bettors--a constant challenge. Makes sense, right?
You might feel great sitting there with a team that is You might have just fallen for a trick. Key numbers need to be considered and all the top pros do it. In college football, even the top key numbers are hit with far less regularity. Free Newsletter: Receive wiseguy plays, betting strategies and special promotions! Share this article with friends:. Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from to odds today You'll be so glad that you did!
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There is a lot that the most common total runs point or half a point in baseball or a goal. Regarding point total bets, key that for any differential in be Since you know about slightly worse odds to move value of a field goal and a touchdown together. Just look at the difference buy investing in bitcoins definition on the spread. You can find good value in the NBA, key numbers. Instead, we should think of games you have seen over land on key numbers, and be aware that the numbers the clock down after a. Any time you are betting is that key numbers are for point total betting, in and two are under. Think about all the tight all the key numbers in very specific prediction for your remember to consider buying points less significant in NFL than. Bookmakers are well aware of offering the odds in our football, meaning that the games. The most common total points points in NFL, and this is the second most common winning sports bets. Or, perhaps you could simply most likely differential a key by shopping around.Key Numbers for Betting NCAA Football Totals: Most Common Scores. by. Jimmy Boyd in College Football. The key numbers when referring to. A list of the most common key numbers in college football and when it makes sense to buy onto or off of them for betting purposes. Key numbers in college football betting explained. Take a look at the point-spreads for the NFL and then look at the college spreads and you'll see it's two.