Buying Points…How & When?

As the football season gets underway, and the practice has already proven it’s worth…turning a loss into a push and in another game a push into a win…I thought I would bring up the topic of buying points and post to the website for reference.

People always ask the question…when should you buy points in football? There are a lot of theories, I will share mine. For me, it is automatic in football (NFL & NCAAF) for prices on and around 3’s and 7’s that I buy the hook. You will hear from countless bettors who have their strategies and systems…buy points…don’t buy points except in this or that situation. What I do has been supported by performance since 2005 when I began tracking my results when buying on/off 3’s and 7’s. It works for me!

Here’s what I do…

If I have a wager that is -3 or -3.5…I am buying the hook down to -2.5 or -3. I do not buy full points! So, I would not move -3.5 to -2.5. I’ll take the push with a -3.5 moving to -3.

If I have a wager that is +2.5 or +3…I am buying the hook up to +3 or +3.5.

If I have a wager that is -7 or -7.5…I am buying the hook down to -6.5 or -7.

If I have a wager that is +6.5 or +7…I am buying the hook up to +7 or +7.5.

Here’s an article I put together about key numbers in the NFL & NCAAF ( As we can see in that article, in NCAAF…14.96% of games are decided by 3 and 7 points. In the NFL, 23.7% of games are decided by 3 or 7 points. It is well worth the hook around those two numbers given the frequency of those outcomes!

I have found when using sharp sides as wagers that these key numbers tend to be even more important and more frequent…which is why I believe the above strategy has worked well for me.

As the football season moves along, we may tend to be cheap (I’ve done it once already this season…and then regretted it when a push became a loss). We may even justify not buying points because sharp money is still buying +6.5…so why spend the money to take it to +7. However, that +7 could be the difference between a push and a loss. With the margin for error so tight on sports betting, we can’t afford to give up losses that could have been prevented by securing prices on and around key numbers.

As I like to say, the difference between a public bettor (loser) and a sharp bettor (winner) is as little as 2 games out of every 100 wagers!! You can’t afford to lose one game on a +2.5 when you could have bought the hook to +3 for a push. Over the long term, it is worth the money especially when following sharp buys…which target and utilize these key numbers to success.

The most important point though for buying points is how much you pay for the hook. A good book will see the hook on 3’s and 7’s cost 20-25 cents. Anything more and it is not worth the hook over the long-term. Sure, you will lose or push a bet at some point that you would have won had you bought the hook. However, if you are paying too much for the hook you will find yourself losing over the long-term…which then defeats the purpose. So, make sure you can get the hook for no more than 25 cents…preferably around 20 cents at a book like Pinnacle.

Continued luck and good fortune this football season!

Good luck!