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Here are the key numbers in football by their importance,  3, 7, 10, 6, 4, 1, 2, 8. 5, 9,  in the NFL the final margin is exactly 3 over 15% of the time, the final margins of  5 or 9 less  than 2% of the time.

Everybody understands if a number is 3, or 7, you need to be careful, not to lay a bad number. But let’s look at a couple of other situations that determine  how you bet a game.  I want to look at two numbers,  the number 4 1/2   and the number 8 1/2.   Here is two numbers that you make completely different betting decisions depending if you are laying or taking the number.  If I like a game and the number is -4 1/2,  I am going to wait to the very last minute  to bet this game, I am hoping for the line to move, if the line moves to -5, it hardly hurts me at all, but if it moves to -4, I have a much better bet, so in this case I ALWAYS wait.  If I am planning on taking the 4 1/2 points, I go ahead and get down as soon as possible, in this case, if it moves to 5, it is not a great improvement for me,  but if it moves back to 4, I have a much weaker bet.  I ALWAYS take 4 1/2 immediately.

The number 8 1/2 is the same situation,  I always wait if I am laying it,   hoping for -8, and not really working about  moving to -9,  If i am taking, I bet right away locking up the 8 1/2, as 9 would not be a big improvement, but if it moves back to +8 its is a much weaker bet.

So pay attention to the number, in a lot of cases, you have a decision, if it makes sense to lock up a number now, or wait for a move that might improve your bet.

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