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Key Numbers In Sports Betting

Key Numbers In Sports Betting

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What Are Key Numbers In Sports?
Key Numbers In Different Sports
Using Key Numbers For Smarter Bets

Sports betting is a volatile source of income, but there are things you can do to have an edge over the oddsmakers. One of the key ingredients to a bettor’s success is to understand key numbers.

There are key numbers in life you already know. Numbers like 911, 7/11, or 24/7 are universally recognized. If we narrow it down to sports, there are popular numbers as well.

They can be milestones, records, or famous jersey numbers. Who doesn’t know Michael Jordan’s 23 or Tom Brady’s 12? Those numbers live in your head rent-free, 24/7.

In sports betting, there are key numbers you should understand. This time, it’s not to get some trivia questions right or to prove how good of a fan you are. These numbers are key, so you can exploit them into striking it rich in your bankroll.

This article will show you what makes a number a key number. We’ll touch on why key numbers are so important in sports. And finally, how to use the key numbers to get an edge when betting on them.

Now that we’ve established that key numbers are a big factor, let’s take a deeper look at them.

What Are Key Numbers In Sports Betting

Sports betting typically focuses on the point spread bet.

For example, the Buccaneers beat the Saints 24-21, and the spread is Tampa Bay -4. In this case, New Orleans is the winner betting-wise, and Tampa Bay loses against the spread. If the spread was Tampa Bay -2.5, then the Bucs would have won the bet.

The scoreline 24-21 is common in the NFL. If the game is 21-21 late in the game, chances are the Bucs would let the clock run out and try an FG to win it rather than looking for a TD.

The margin of victory in sports usually comes down to the likelihood of teams being able to score.

NFL Key Numbers

In betting on football, three and seven are key numbers. This is because field goals and touchdowns are the most regular ways of scoring.

A field goal equals three points, while a touchdown equals six with the possibility of the extra point, totaling seven.

To a lesser degree, numbers like six and eight can be key in football, because of missed extra points and two-point conversions. There are too many games that end in 24-21, 27-20, 23-17, and scores like that. Now if you think of the last game that ended in 29-20 or 25-20, it’s not as common.

If you ever played squares in the Super Bowl, you know numbers like zero, three, and seven are the most valuable digits.

Four, six, and eight will follow in the pecking order. Getting screwed with numbers like two, five, or nine means you pretty much lost your cash.

Soccer Key Numbers

Let’s take a soccer game for example. These are frequently won by a single goal. Each score is worth one and teams rarely score lots of goals in the same game.

In sports like soccer and hockey, key numbers are simple. Every goal is huge and thus, one, two, and three goals are the most seen margins of victory.

As spoken before, football’s scores make three and seven the most common numbers. Others like four, six, and eight are also popular margins of victory, just not as much.

MLB Key Numbers

Baseball is interesting. Most people that bet on baseball focus on moneyline betting rather than point-spreads. So, the key numbers are more applicable to the baseball totals instead of the spread.

Teams often compete for one run late in games that are tied. Wall-offs usually come on a run-scoring hit which places one RBI rather than a home run that puts in more runs.

The most normal tied scores that occur late in games are 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5. This makes the final scores 4-3, 5-4, or 6-5. That’s why the key numbers for baseball totals are seven, nine, and 11.

Approximately 30% of baseball games end with seven, nine, or 11 total runs. These are the three most common totals in baseball.

NBA Key Numbers

In basketball betting, the key numbers are harder to identify. There are too many values in scoring. A free throw adds one, a shot inside the key adds two points, and outside of the perimeter counts for three. It’s not as readable as other sports. Having said that, victory margins go between one and nine points.

If an NBA game has a 7-point margin between two teams late in the game, the losing team will foul a lot. The winning team won’t care about scoring, they will rather drain the clock.

A six-point game equals two long possessions. This often prompts a last, extra mile kind of effort for the losing team to make a steal, a foul, or get the ball quicker to score more points.

Oddly, even if seven is a key number, under 10% of games land on a seven-point margin. This is still the most likely number, though.

Key Numbers Are A Big Factor

To answer whether or not key numbers are a big factor, first, you have to answer this—is betting important to you? Or do you do it for pure unfiltered fun and care little about losing?

If it is important, then key numbers are big. If not, well, they matter but will cause a minor issue for you.

However, we trust that if you are reading this, it is because you want to get a profit from your sports gambling action.

So, if getting good sports betting ROI, winning more than the 52.4% of your bets, and having money rolling to you is important, take the key numbers seriously.

Think about it this way—an MLB game has an elite pitching matchup, which means it will be a low score affair. Betting a total of 7 or 7.5 could be the difference between a push bet or a win. Likewise, getting four points in a football game is a massive difference from getting three.

It’s important to note that not all numbers are equally made. Many football games finish 21-17 or 24-20. Lots of them are 24-17 or 27-20. The chances of a game finishing 27-22 or 25-20 are slim, the same happens with 27-21 and 26-20.

As said, the difference between three to four points is big. Now, the difference from four to seven is massive.

Use Key Numbers To Make Smarter Bets

Key numbers are a helpful tool for handicap games. They shouldn’t be the exclusive reason to place a bet, but one to help you wager on it.

Key numbers in sports betting become crucial when placing parlays and teasers. Even more than in straight bets. The chances that a single game ends on a key number are relevant.

The key numbers in different sports:

  • Soccer: 1, 2, 3
  • Hockey: 1, 2, 3
  • Football: 3, 7
  • Baseball: 7, 9, 11
  • Basketball: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

When you take a multitude of matchups, having one of them ending on a regular margin is much more likely.

The teasers’ drawback is the decreased odds. Despite that, it can be worth it if you go over various key number bets. A six-point teaser that goes from two to eight crosses both key numbers (3 and 8).

This has much more value than moving from +3.5 to +9.5, which only crosses one key number in seven.

In straight bets and totals, timing and shopping for lines is a more effective strategy.

Spreads move so if you know which side of the bet you prefer, be ready to hop in when the line moves in your favor.

Sometimes the best line is the opening line. Other times, patience is key to getting the line to shift. Once you figure out which number, you’re willing to wager on, jump right on it when you see it.

The More You Know

Never blind bet on key numbers. That’s a recipe for disaster. It helps to know that some numbers pop up more frequently than others, you can exploit those factors. It is a big help in teasers or parlays.

The more games you bet on, the more chances you have to collect prizes using key numbers. But never, ever trust a key number for the sake of it. Complete your research, and then look for a key number to bet on.

At the end of the day, successful handicappers have many strategies, and key numbers are one of them. However, this doesn’t mean you ignore the rest of the tools at your disposal.

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Sports Betting Guides Hub.

About the author

Lukasz Strycharz | Web Manager – A flâneur who follows Formula One racing and dabbles in SEO and content in the iGaming and sports betting niche. The ...

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