You might be familiar with buying points in sports betting, which means adding points to a line, but getting worse odds.
I.e – If the Nuggets are five point favorites at odds -110 and you buy one point to make the line -4 but now at (-130) odds.
Buying points seems like a profitable strategy, considering how bets come down to just a point or two from winning or losing. But is buying points actually a long term winning proposition?
To figure out whether buying a point is actually a profitable decision, we decided to take a look at historical data for one sport specific, and see the long term results across the board for buying 1 point. At almost all sportsbooks, buying a point moves the odds from -110 to -130, or basically 20 cents per point.
To decide on the sport to go with when looking at the historical data on our end, we started with the NFL. Buying points in football seems to make a lot of sense considering there are way less scoring plays when comparing it to a sport such as basketball. Furthermore, the NFL has key numbers such as 3 and 7, which means that scoring plays result in these two figures. A bettor may look to buy points when there is a line of -3.5 for a favorite, to cross the key number of 3 and make the line -2.5 at (-130).
Basically, we wanted to start here and to see if it is profitable to buy points in the NFL, because if not NFL, then we most likely wouldn’t see this in other sports.
Buying a Point
Since 2005, NFL favorites have covered 49.1% of games and underdogs at 50.9% via data complied from the CapWize NFL Model.
The break even threshold for a regular ATS line at -110 is 52.4%
The break even threshold for a a regular ATS line w/ buying a point is (-130) at 56.5%
Buying one point on every favorite since 2005 contributed to 1.4% more bets winning, which would be a total of 50.5% of bets winning.
Buying one point on every underdog since 2005 contributed to 2% more bets winning, which would be a total of 52.9% of bets winning.
Remember, the break even point for buying a point is 56.5%, so buying a point across the board wouldn’t be profitable.
Buying The Hook.
We plan on executing another article on “buying the hook” and its profitability around key numbers (HINT- you might be surprised by the results).
So buying a point and half point across the board is a long term losing proposition. Knowing this, you have to ask yourself why you are buying points in the first place-
Is it to get to a whole number and key number? Or do you just buy a point to make yourself feel more comfortable about your bet.
If you do have a rhyme and reason for buying a point, then that is a start, but I would still be careful about doing so.
If we are seeing these results in a sport such as the NFL that has key numbers and a smaller number of scoring opportunities, then we are almost certain that buying points in CBB and NBA will not be a winning proposition long term.
We will continue to dive deeper into the data on buying points and will look at if buying a point or the hook to get to key number is a profitable move.