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NFL Key Numbers
Key numbers are the winning NFL football Game point margins that occur most frequently.
3 is the most frequent occurring NFL football game winning point margin. Field goals are the winning score in many games, either in the final minutes or in overtime. About 15% of all NFL games end with a 3 point margin.
7 is the next most frequent winning margin with about 7% of all NFL games ending with a 7 point victory.
6 point margins occur a little more than 6%.
10 and 4 occur a little under 6%.
Oddsmakers use key numbers when they set the spread and when they adjust the spread. By using a half point adjustment ( in football of course it is impossible to score a half point ) they are forcing the action, there cannot be a tie or a push on a bet. But there is also a psychological reason for the half point!
Oddsmakers will Shade the Point Spread Line.
Oddsmakers will move a game off a key number by shading the line by a half point up or down to invite more football betting action. Beware of point spreads with a half point in them that are near key numbers. History tells us NFL football games with these shaded lines often do not cover.
-2.5, -3.5, -6.5, and -9.5 are all lines that seem to give you the advantage of a key number bet. The oddsmakers have invited you to bet on the favorite to win by a key number. In your head you think Team X giving 6.5? Surely they will win by a touchdown! But usually they do not, and the oddsmakers set this line because they thought the favorite would not win by that touchdown.
+3.5, + 4.5, +7.5, and +10.5 work the other way. The oddsmakers now are inviting a bet on the underdog. They want you to think Team Z +7.5, surely it will be closer than that, they cannot lose by more than a touchdown. But again, the oddsmakers set this line because they think the underdog will lose by more than a touchdown.
Remember, most bettors are betting on emotion, not logic. They want to take the home team, or the national favorite, and are subconsciously looking for a way to do so, These shaded key numbers are set up to bring in action and to create a perceived betting value in the minds of the emotional bettors. When you see these spreads on games, take a good close look, there is usually a good reason for them, and it is not because the oddsmakers are being charitable!
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