Buying points in betting is one of the most controversial and debated strategies. While some argue that there are some merits to it, others believe that it is a bit of a waste and not advantageous at all. But first things first – what exactly does buying points in betting mean, and how does it work? Is buying points in betting good or bad? We will now go through everything you need to know about buying points in betting and point buy-in spreads.
How Does Buying Points in Betting work?
Before we get started with buying points, let’s talk a bit about point spreads. If you are new to betting, point spreads are a very popular betting market. Both teams carry a handicap – a negative one for the favorite and a positive one for the underdog. In order to win a point spread bet, one of the sides must cover the line provided by the sportsbook.
Let’s make things easier by using an example. If Team A is a -4 points favorite, then it must win the game by at least 5 points in order to cover the spread. Team B, on the other hand, is the underdog at +4. It means that Team B will cover the spread in two different situations: if it either loses by 4 points or fewer or if it actually wins the match.
Point spreads are a way for operators to keep a decent influx of bets on both sides. This way, even a heavily one-sided match, as in an undefeated team taking on a winless opponent, could make it appealing for bettors to wager on the underdog.
Now, what does it have to do with buying points in betting? If you consider the spread unfavorable, sportsbooks offer you the option of buying points (which can also be referred to as alternative point spreads). In this case, you can move the line by a half point or even a full point either way. Going back to the previous example, you could buy a half point to make the lines -4.5 and +4.5, or buy a full point to make it -5 and +5.
Naturally, there is a drawback. Sportsbooks aren’t going to simply offer points for free. If you choose to buy points in betting, then you will also be taking a smaller return. As a general rule, operators will usually move the odds 10 cents for every half point you buy in a bet.
Buying Points in Betting Tips
Under which circumstances should you consider buying points in betting? While it’s far from unanimous, there are some cases in which buying points actually make sense.
Buy half-point betting: if the point spread is a whole number, it can result in a push (in which the team ties the spread). When a spread bet ends in a push, the bookmaker refunds the wagered amount. In order to avoid the push, you can simply buy half a point to ensure it doesn’t end in a draw.
Create better-spread lines: in a one-sided match, the favorite usually carries a large handicap. At the same time, betting on the underdog to cover the spread can be a bit risky. You can then buy points and move the spread to create a more favorable situation to bet on.
Increase your chances of winning: you can make a favorable point spread even better by buying points. While it will come with a smaller payout, you are also taking fewer risks.
Buying Points in Betting Examples
Here are some helpful examples to help you understand how buying points in betting works:
In an NFL game, Team A is a 3-point favorite to win over Team B. However, 3 points also happen to be the exact margin in a one-field goal game. In other words, the bet could end in a push. You can then buy half a point in this bet to move the line to 3.5 or 2.5 and avoid tying the spread.
Team X is a 7.5-point favorite against Team Y. While Team X is unquestionably the favorite heading into the game, covering a 7.5 spread is an entirely different matter. You can be aggressive and buy a full point, moving the spread to a slightly more favorable 6.5.
Team C is currently undefeated and takes on Team D, the underdog by a significant 10.5 points. This bet actually favors the underdog, and you can make it even easier to cover the spread by moving it another point to 11.5.
Pros vs Cons
- Avoiding the push: this is the best argument you can use in favor of buying points. If the spread is a whole number, a team can potentially tie it and result in a non-win for you. While you won’t be losing money either, missing out on a potential win is still quite frustrating. Buying half a point in betting is the best solution in some cases.
- Less risk: buying points lets you create safer bets, whether you are going to bet on the favorite or the underdog. Moving the spread half a point or a full point makes an enormous difference. Of course, just as anything else in betting, less risk also means less reward.
- Making less money: the biggest drawback of buying points is, of course, accepting a smaller payout. Again, it’s all about balancing risk and reward. If buying points is the best alternative available for your bet, then you have no other option but to accept it.
- Don’t do it repeatedly: you should avoid making buying points into a habit. While there are some situations in which it’s actually viable, that’s usually the exception rather than the rule. Avoid buying points, and most important of all, never make it into a habit.
Buying points is a controversial topic in sports betting. In some cases, specifically in order to avoid a push, it is worth considering. However, most bettors and experts agree that you are better off avoiding it. That being said, it once again comes down to weighing risk and reward. Buying points will always come with the downside of making less money, but you are also lessening the risks. You will have to win more bets to make a sizable profit, but some consider that the smaller risk is worth it.
FAQs What are Buying Points in Betting?
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2. When to buy points in sports betting?
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