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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

To Buy or Not to Buy the 1/2 that is the Question....


To Buy or Not to Buy that is the Question....

There has been a lot of talk about buying half points in the NFL especially on the Key number of 3.5 and buying it down to 3 points. With the help of Marc Lawrence I was able to run the following numbers.

Going back to 1980 there have been 575 NFL Games with the line of -3.5

In those 575 Games the Won/Loss Record laying the 3.5 is 285-290. Meaning that just blindly playing every 3.5 point favorite in the NFL would have resulted in a net loss of 34.0 Units...

Looking closer we found that 51 of those losses landed on 3 giving you a half point loss when lay 3.5. So here's where the question comes in should we buy the 1/2 point on -3.5?

The average price for buying a half point to -3 is a lay of -125 so doing this on all 290 losses would have changed our total number of losses to 239 as we would have pushed 51 games. But it would have cost us 15 extra cents on 239 losses.


239 x .15 ( the extra juice for buying a 1/2 pt) = 35.85 units

But let's not forget that there was 51 games that by paying the extra juice to get to -3 we now pushed instead of losing the game so we saved ourselves 51 losses.

51 x 1.10 ( money we saved by pushing when landed on -3) = 56.1 units

So to summarize buying the half point is like having a insurance policy. The policy cost us 35.85 units since 1980 but cashing in on the insurance every time the game landed on 3 paid us back 56.1 units or if you prefer money we didn't lose.

Net result is we saved 20.25 Units Since 1980 buying every game down to 3 from -3.5 at -125 if you have to lay more your savings is decreased.


At -130 you would save 8 units

At -133 you would save 1 unit


If you have to lay -134 or more it becomes a losing proposition...


So here's the keys when you are laying -3.5 check every available source to try to find a natural 3 or go with the best outlet that has the lowest lay price for buying the 1/2 point.

In fact, if you were able to find a -3 (at -110) when the consensus line was -3.5, you could have played those games blind and WON 22 units (a 56 unit improvement from playing blind at -3.5). Getting that half point from having more outs and shopping is a key to winning!


Remember this is just another reason you need as many betting options as possible as you can never have too many. To see all the trusted sportsbooks visit



Finally I would again like to thank Marc Lawrence and Marc Lawrence Jr for supplying me with the data for this study.


Visit my Home Page for more great winning Sports Info

GM of Picks at Pregame Pros because Marco knows picks - over the last 29 years his teams of pro bettors have won millions! As head handicapper of "Sports Unlimited" Marco is a three-time world champion... Read more

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