What are the most important numbers in NFL betting?

What are the most important numbers in NFL betting

There’s no doubt that the National Football League is one of the most popular sports leagues out there, if not the most popular, and it’s only natural that it’s also people’s favourite sport to bet on. As we discussed in past articles, there are numerous ways to place bets on the NFL, a single NFL game can offer a dozen ways to win money—which makes it more exciting than it already is!

If you want to have the winning edge in NFL game betting, you need to know your terms—NFL jargon—and how to read stats like a pro. In this article, we will help you understand the most important numbers in NFL betting.

Some of the stuff we will talk about are key numbers, yardage, field position, time possessions and more.

Key Numbers in NFL Betting

The first thing you need to understand is that winning is not just about luck! You need to know how to place your bets strategically and make informed decisions based on data and statistics. Remember that every bet has its own probability of winning or losing so it’s important for you and other sharp NFL bettors to understand what these probabilities mean.

When shopping the lines and looking for viable gambling choices, each sport has its own set of key numbers to keep close attention to. But what are key numbers?

Key numbers basically pertain to the most common margin of victory. These key numbers differ from sport to sport just like scoring systems.

It is crucial to know the most common margin of victory in a sport as this will help you better predict results and place wagers around these figures. However, keep in mind that key numbers are useless when wagering on other types of betting like futures bets, and can only assist you in individual game spreads and totals bets.

When sports betting on NFL point spreads and totals, the sport’s unique scoring system provides a few key numbers to consider.

We’ll talk about how to use key numbers in sports betting and ultimately in NFL.

How do you use key numbers in sports betting?

Sports bettors can place wagers on a handful of lines offered by sportsbooks but like we said, key numbers are useless in some sports betting types like the futures but they are very popular in point spreads. It entails not only predicting which side will win the game, but also the margin of victory. If you’re unfamiliar with point spreads, here’s a quick primer.

What is a point spread?

When betting on teams with varying abilities, a point spread is used to level the playing field by favouring the underdog and handicapping the favourite. The underdog will receive a positive point value, while the favourite will receive a negative point value. It will resemble the following:

New England Patriots -3 (-110)

Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-110)

In this particular example, if you placed a wager on the Patriots, they need to win by 3.5 points or more for you to win. If you placed your bet on the Eagles, however, they need to win the game OR lose by less than 3 points or more.

The set of numbers in the parentheses are the odds that will tell you how much you can payout. This example shows a $100 profit if you bet $110.

It’s an opportunity when you notice a point spread that is barely over or under a key number (3.5 in NFL games). Because so many games end with a three-point margin, +3.5 is an excellent number to have if you think the underdog has a strong chance of covering the spread.

You still win your wager if the underdog loses by a field goal in this case.

Totals, commonly known as over/unders, are another popular bet that uses the same premise.

What is point total betting?

Point total betting is simple. You are placing a wager on whether both team scores combined will be over or under the digit specified by a sportsbook. In NFL, the following is an example:

New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Over 41 (-110)
  • Under 41 (-110)

In the example above, the sportsbook just stated they believe the combined scores will be 41. You just have to choose between over and under.

Again, key numbers can help you predict based on increments. You can learn to recognize when the point total is at a potentially valuable figure based on what you expect the game’s outcome will be once you know the most common combinations.

How do you use key numbers in NFL betting?

You are aware of how the NFL games’ scoring system works. There is no half a point here. Often, NFL teams score in multiples of three (field goals) and seven (touchdowns + extra points), and getting on or off these NFL key numbers can have a big impact on your winning percentage and units won. Now, what are the key numbers in NFL games?

There are the key numbers 3, 7 and 10.

Key Number 3: Teams can earn three points from a field goal. This makes this number a very significant number for NFL betting.

Key Number 7: Teams get 7 points for converted touchdowns (6 points scored + extra point kicked).

Key Number 10: Adding 3 and 7 will get you 10.

Notice that some of the more common sounding scores in NFL games follow the increments of these key numbers 3, 7 and 10: 17-14, 24-17, 24-21, etc.

In close games, teams are often set apart by the lowest score value which is the field goal.

In the NFL, a converted touchdown is worth 7 points, making it the second most common margin of victory/key number. However, it is far less common than a three-point advantage, implying that, while a large number, seven is less significant in the NFL than three.

Because it’s also crucial to pay attention to scoring combinations, the next most important key number is 10, which represents the combined value of a field goal and a touchdown.

As we’ve seen, the two most significant sorts of bets for key numbers are point spread betting and point total betting, so let’s look at how that pertains to betting on NFL football in more depth.

Key Numbers in Point Spread Betting in NFL

Here’s an example of point spread betting:

  • New England Patriots -3 (-110)
  • Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-110)

We already know that 3 is one of the most important key numbers in the NFL. With the above example, the sportsbook believes the game will be a close one. The Eagles are the underdogs.

If the sportsbook moved the Patriots to -3.5 and the Patriots won by a single field goal, the bookmakers would likely face a huge loss since they would have to pay out on those who backed the Eagles. To avoid this, they will instead change the odds on each team to something like this:

  • New England Patriots -3 (-100)
  • Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-120)

The difference between -3 and -3.5, or -7 and -7.5, for example, is substantially higher than the difference between -10.5 and -11, because these are not NFL key numbers and are far less likely to represent the margin of victory. That half a point difference bears more weight than you think.

Margin of Victory Frequency
3 14.43%
7 9.89%
6 7.25%
14 5.74%
10 4.61%
1 4.31%
5 4.31%
2 4.23%
4 4.15%
8 4.08%

Important NFL Betting Statistics

Now we talked about key numbers in NFL but it’s not the only important number in betting. Aside from key numbers, there are also other stats to think about. We list down the most important ones, probably as important as strategizing around NFL key numbers.


When trying to strategize, we look at recent games and points scored but yardage plays an important role too. Yardage is a very accurate indicator of a team’s recent performance.

While there are various stats involving yardage in figuring out point-scoring chances, the most important ones have to be offensive yards per carry, offensive yards per attempt, and yards per carry allowed.

Yards per carry is the measurement of the total yards gained by running the ball, divided by the number of running plays.

Yards per attempt on the other hand is the measurement of the total yards gained on passing plays, divided by the number of passing plays with sacks included.

Simply speaking, these figures refer to how many yards a team gains each play either when passing or running the ball.

Knowing the offensive and defensive teams’ average yards per carry in an upcoming game can provide you with an advantage. The strain on the passing game is increased when a weak running team plays against a team that gives up a few yards per carry.

A team with a good running game playing against a team with poor run defence, on the other hand, offers the offensive team an advantage in clock control and time of possession, allowing for a higher passing average.

And of course, remember to put equal attention on the offence and defence to strategize more efficiently.

Turnover Margin

The turnover margin is a measure used in sports to assess whether a team is turning the ball over more than the opposing side.

A turnover happens when the attacking team accidentally hands the ball over to the opposing team before their possession is complete. This statistic is used in a variety of sports, but most notably in basketball and in this case NFL football. Subtracting the number of times a team has turned the ball over in a game from the number of times the opposing side has turned it over yields the turnover margin.

This is a stat that may be based on luck, but it’s still useful in determining where teams’ odds are overvalued. Turnovers can have a significant impact on a game and are frequently the decisive factor between success and defeat, thus it’s a crucial statistic to examine.

Extra-Point Conversions

The extra point, or PAT, in American football games is the act of lining up to try a one-point field goal from the opponent’s two-yard line after scoring a touchdown. The team get one point if the kick goes through the uprights.

This extra point is the reason why a touchdown leads to a key number 7.

Extra point attempts like this are important. Extra-point conversion distances have been pushed back by the NFL, resulting in more botched extra points. Although the finest kickers don’t miss, in close games, a single point might mean the difference between winning and losing a wager.

You must know which teams and kickers never miss, as well as which ones can cost you points throughout the season. Remember too that extra point attempts make up the key number 7!

Time of Possession

The amount of time an NFL offence possesses the ball is known as the time of possession. While the time of possession does not always imply victory, it does indicate that teams are performing well inside a game. If a team has a high time of possession, it’s likely that they’re running long drives, earning first downs, and forcing turnovers or three-and-outs on defence.

It’s not the most essential number, but it’s worth considering, as long as you understand that larger leads mean more time in possession, so the greater the lead, the less significant this figure becomes.

Average Offensive Starting Field Position

A field position is the location of the ball on a football field based on the end zone of the team. It is best to have a team in a good field position when they are close to the other team’s end zone and in a bad field position when they are close to their own end zone.

A team that has to run 80 yards to score a touchdown or 50 yards to reach field goal range scores less than a team that simply has to travel 50 yards and 20 yards.

Teams that can get a better field position than their opponents on average have a better chance of winning. Only if you track it for each team can you utilize it for analyzing games.

Performance of Secondary Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Receivers

Every week, players are injured in the NFL. During a match, players are frequently forced to miss a few plays, and their backups must step up.

When you keep track of backup players’ statistics and talents, you’ll have more information to help you bet on teams that are better at dealing with injuries.

How much does it impact each team if the starting running back goes down in the first quarter? Some teams have a capable backup, but many don’t have somebody who can match the starter’s abilities. Backup quarterbacks and receivers are in the same boat.

What are the most important numbers in NFL betting? – Conclusion

We hope that this article helped to give you some insight into the most important numbers in NFL betting, and how you can use them to your advantage. If you feel you understand the most important numbers in NFL betting and you’re ready to place a bet, Use our promo code JOIN125 for a 125% bonus at BetUS.


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