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Betting Numbers Explained

Sports Betting Numbers Explained

Certain numbers can help you gain a significant edge over bookmakers and increase your chances of placing winning wagers. These are key numbers in sports betting, and understanding how they work is an essential tool in a punter’s arsenal.

Therefore, this guide to sports betting numbers explained will explore everything a bettor needs to know about key numbers.

It will cover the following points:

  • What key numbers are
  • How to use key numbers to bet on sports
  • What sports do key numbers Apply to
  • Tips and strategies to employ in using key numbers

What Are Key Numbers?

Key numbers refer to specific point spreads that are considered more significant than others due to their frequency of occurrence in the final scores of games. In simpler terms, these numbers are the most common victory margin in a game, and the scoring system of each sport heavily influences them. 

Key numbers are often confused with rotation numbers, but both are entirely different. Rotation numbers in sports betting are unique identifiers assigned to each team or participant in a specific game or event. 

To understand key numbers better, let’s examine the concept in some popular sports.

NFL (American Football)

The most common victory margin in the American football game is 3 points. It makes sense as most football games are decided by a field goal which is 3 points. According to research, 15% of all NFL games since 1996 end with a three-point margin. 

The next most common victory margin in American football is 7 points. It is because touchdowns with extra-point conversions are worth 7 points. Research also shows that 7% of NFL games end with a seven-point victory margin. The NFL’s third most common key number is 10, the field goal and touchdown value.

NBA (Basketball)

The most popular key number in basketball games is 7, which happens 7% of the time. It makes sense because a 7-point margin becomes a three-possession game, and the losing team will often concede and accept their fate at this point. In a scenario where two evenly-matched teams are playing, the losing team in a three-possession game will fight till the last second, ending the game in a 2-point margin. It makes 2 the most significant key number after 7. 

How Do You Use Key Numbers to Bet on Sports?

Now that you’ve understood the betting numbers meaning let’s dive into how to use them to increase your success as a punter. 

The basic idea of leveraging key numbers in sports betting is straightforward. Since these numbers are the most common victory margins in a particular sport, you can set your wagers around them to increase your precision when predicting a game’s outcome. 

However, it is noteworthy that these numbers only concern margins and totals. Therefore, you can only use them to your advantage when betting on the point spread and over/under. They are not particularly useful in other markets like future bets, ante-post bets, etc.

Point Spreads and Key Numbers

Let’s explore the market before we explain the numbers in betting on point spreads. Point spreads are the most popular type of market in sports gambling. They are designed to level the playing field between two teams of different skill levels by assigning a handicap to the favored team and an advantage to the underdog. 

For instance, points spread betting for an NFL Super Bowl game will typically look like this:

Miami Dolphins: +3 (1.9)

The Kansas City Chiefs: -3 (1.9) 

It means Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites in the match, and they must win by a margin greater than the point spread. So, if you bet on them and they win by 3.5 points or more, you win your bet. Otherwise, you lose. Conversely,  a bet on the Miami Dolphins is successful only if they lose the game by 3 points or less or win outrightly.

As mentioned above, key numbers help you better predict the point spread in the games of a particular sport. Unfortunately, bookmakers also have access to this information and use it to set their lines and odds. For instance, they set their super bowl betting numbers at 3 in the example above, which is football’s main key point spread. 

However, there are still ways you can key numbers that can be your lucky numbers in online betting to win in point spreads. We will get to this soon.

Key Numbers and Point Totals (Over/Under)

Also known as over/under, point totals are a popular type of wager where the bettor predicts whether the combined score of both teams in a game will be over or under a specific number set by high stakes betting sites

A typical point total bet on an NFL match will look like this:

Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Over 48.5 (1.91)

Under 48.5 (2.10)

In this case, an “over” bet means you are predicting that the combined score of both teams will be higher than 48.5 points, and an “under” bet means vice versa.

Key numbers are as crucial to the outcome of point total bets as they are to point spreads. In this case, the key numbers refer to a particular sport’s most common point totals based on its scoring system. For instance, American football’s most common key numbers for point totals are 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, and 51. Knowing these frequently occurring numbers can help you predict the outcome of a game and spot a valuable point total wager with more accuracy.

What Sports Do Key Numbers Apply to?

It is essential to understand that the relevance of key numbers in sports betting reflects the scoring dynamics and patterns specific to each sport. These numbers are highly relevant in irregular and multi-point scoring sports like American football and basketball. It is because these multi-point scoring patterns, such as field goals and touchdowns, significantly impact the outcome of matches, making it possible to scale which margins and totals are most common. 

On the other hand, key numbers are significantly less useful in single-point scoring sports like soccer, baseball, and hockey. It is because there is limited variance in scoring, making key margins less impactful in determining the outcomes of these games.

That said, let’s examine the football betting numbers explained below.

How to Use Key Numbers for Betting NFL Football

Thanks to its scoring system, betting on NFL football is where key numbers are most useful. As mentioned above, 3, 7, and 10 are the most significant NFL betting key numbers in order of importance. These numbers are values of a field goal, touchdown, and both scores, respectively.

Besides these key point spreads, it is also essential to understand key totals. For instance, 41, 43, 37, 44, 51, 33, and 47 are frequently seen as key total numbers in NFL games due to the common scoring combinations in football (e.g., 17-14, 24-21, 24-17, 27-17, 27-24).

Now, let’s dive deeply into how to use key numbers in football betting on the point spread and totals markets. 

Key Numbers in Point Spread Betting in NFL Football

Let’s examine our typical NFL game example:

Miami Dolphins: +3 (1.91)

The Kansas City Chiefs: -3 (1.91)

Notice that the spread is set at one of the most significant key numbers in football betting. It means the bookmaker thinks it will be a closely contested match, with Kansas City Chiefs as the favorites. Hence, they are hesitant to move away from the number. If the bookmaker moves Kansas City Chiefs from -3 to -3.5 and the team leads by just one field goal (three-point win), they would likely suffer a considerable loss in paying out the massive betting action on the Miami Dolphins.

Instead of changing the spread, the bookmaker can change the odds for each team. For instance, if Kansas City Chiefs are receiving way more betting action as favorites than Miami Dolphins, the sportsbook can change the odd lines to reflect this:

Miami Dolphins: +3 (1.83)

The Kansas City Chiefs: -3 (2)

Tips and Strategies for Key Numbers and NFL Point Spreads 

The basic tip to using key numbers to your advantage when betting on NFL point spreads is to familiarize yourself with the numbers. It will help you easily recognize a valuable point spread wager. 

However, note that key numbers do not mean lucky numbers in online betting. It is because bookmakers and oddsmakers also know about them and use them accordingly. Instead, it would help if you considered them as one of the different factors that can make betting successful.

Below are some other strategies to help you effectively use key numbers in point spreads.

Line Shopping

Always compare the point spreads offered by different sportsbooks. Some books might be more reluctant to move off key numbers, while others may adjust their lines more freely. Line shopping can help you find the best value and half-point opportunities to move the spread in your favor.

Half points are points just above or below key numbers, and they are often opportunities when betting on point spreads. For instance, after shopping at three sportsbooks that offer +3 for Miami Dolphins in the above example, you find a fourth one offering them at +3.5. That’s a much more valuable bet. It is because you will still win your bet on the team even if they lose by a field point.

Consider Buying Half Points

Some sportsbooks allow you to buy half points on the point spread. It means you can adjust the spread by half a point to move it closer to a key number. Buying half points can be beneficial when the original spread is close to a key number, giving you a better chance of winning your bet.

For example, in an NFL game with a point spread of -3.5 for the favored team, you can buy half a point to shift the spread to -3. It can be advantageous if you believe the favored team will win by a field goal, a common margin in football. By adjusting the spread, you increase your chances of winning the bet.

However, note that the price for buying points is the bookmaker reducing the odds for the wager in question. Therefore, ensure you don’t overpay, and the bet is still valuable. You can use free half-point calculators online to determine the fair price for buying half points.

Key Numbers and Point Totals in NFL Football

NFL betting key numbers play a significant role in shaping betting decisions when betting on point totals. Understanding common scoring patterns is crucial. Key totals for the NFL are 41, 43, 37, 44, 51, 33, and 47, in order of importance. These key numbers are more likely to influence the final game score. Like in point spread betting, shopping for the best lines using key numbers to wager on point totals is essential. 

A helpful tip when betting the under is to find a total line that is just above a key number. Conversely, you should look for a total line that is just below a key number when betting the over.

Differences Between Key Numbers in NFL and College Football

Everything discussed about NFL football so far is also true about college football. The most common victory margins for both are 3, 7, and 10. Also, all the strategies discussed on taking advantage of key numbers in betting on point spreads and totals are the same. 

However, these two differ in some ways. One, the NFL is way more competitive than college football. Hence, its matches are often closely contested, and its victory margins are more consistent. Additionally, college football matches are less predictable. Therefore, key numbers in college football betting are not as dependable in determining outcomes.  

Due to the lesser competition in college football, the matches see a higher average of scored points than the NFL. Therefore, the key numbers for point total betting for college football in their order of importance are 55, 51, 45, 59, 58, 52, and 41. These numbers were obtained from research on college football events in the past five years.

Key Numbers in NBA Betting

Like in the NFL, key numbers in basketball betting refer to specific point margins that commonly occur in basketball games, influencing point spreads and totals. However, the sport’s scoring systems have smaller point increments than football. While the values of a field goal and touchdown are 3 and 7 in the NFL, the NBA only has 1, 2, and 3 as score values. This, alongside higher scoring points, makes key numbers less important in the NBA than in the NFL.

As mentioned early in this guide, the most valuable key number in basketball betting is 7, which coincidentally happens 7% of the time. The next after 7 is 2, which often happens in closely contested matches.

The strategy for betting on point spreads using key numbers is the same in the NBA and NFL. You must get accustomed to the numbers, shop for the best lines and odds, and buy half points. Unlike the NFL, buying points in the NBA doesn’t attract any cost.

Due to its scoring system, key numbers are not useful in betting on the NBA’s point totals. For over/under bets in basketball, you’ll need to consider historical stats, team and player stats, and other factors that might influence the total goals in a match.

Key Numbers in Baseball and Hockey

Unlike the NFL and NBA, no key hockey and baseball betting numbers help you with point spread and total wagers. It is because key numbers are significantly less useful in single-point and low-scoring sports. 

However, there are a few exceptions to this. First, matches between evenly-matched teams in these sports are often decided by one score: a hockey goal or a baseball run. It is close to knowing that most NFL games end with a three-point margin. You can use this information to find value in points spread betting. 

For instance, you can wager on an underdog with a spread of +1 if you feel the bookmaker underestimates the team’s ability. The chances of winning this wager are high as one goal is the most common victory margin in these sports.

You can also check out the most common total points in these sports for your over/under wagers. However, note that the scoring system does not determine the numbers. Therefore, they are not as consistent and reliable as key numbers in the NFL in deciding a game’s outcome.

Final Words

Mastering the concept of key betting numbers on sports is a fundamental skill for any betting pros seeking to gain an edge over sportsbooks. These numbers can enable bettors to make more informed decisions when analyzing point spreads and totals in NFL and NBA betting. 

By recognizing how these numbers influence the outcomes of games and being adept at line shopping, bettors can identify valuable betting opportunities and maximize their chances of success. 

However, it is crucial to remember that key betting numbers on sports are just one aspect of a comprehensive betting strategy. It must be combined with a disciplined approach, astute research, and proper bankroll management to attain sustained success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do betting numbers work?
    Betting numbers involves recognizing the most common victory margins and total points in sports like NFL and NBA games. Bettors target lines near these key numbers to increase their chances of success when betting on point spreads and totals.
  • What do sports betting numbers mean?
    Sports betting numbers are specific point spreads or totals commonly occurring in games due to typical scoring patterns. In sports like NFL football and NBA basketball, these numbers are significant to bettors and oddsmakers as they can influence outcomes and betting strategies.
  • What are the key numbers in football betting?
    Key numbers in football betting are specific point margins frequently occurring in final scores, affecting point spreads and totals. In the NFL, key numbers in their order of importance are 3, 7, and 10 due to field goals and touchdowns. Bettors can use these numbers to increase their chances of winning in handicap and over/under betting,
  • What are the key numbers in basketball betting?
    Key numbers in basketball betting refer to the most common victory margins in final scores. In NBA betting, key numbers include 3 and 7 due to frequent margins of victory. These numbers influence point spreads and totals, allowing bettors to make more accurate predictions.
  • Why are there two over/under numbers in soccer betting?
    Two over/under numbers (totals) are offered to bettors in soccer betting. The main line represents the standard total goals expected in the match. With adjusted odds, the second line allows bettors to wager on higher or lower totals, providing more betting options and accommodating different betting preferences.
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    Tim E
    Author
    Betting Guru

    Tim is our betting guru. Every gaming site needs one, and Tim’s our guy. He has plenty of experience in betting online and is quite successful at it. Tim’s favorite sports are hockey, baseball, and Esports. Tim believes the latter to be the future of betting.

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    Aditi
    9 months ago

    Betting on numbers is an excellent way to get the most out of your sports-viewing experience.

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