Because NFL teams most often score in multiples of 3 (field goals) and 7 (touchdowns + extra points), getting on or off these key numbers can have a significant effect on your winning percentage and units won.
For example, since 2003 there have been 2,670 NFL games played (including both regular and postseason games). 411 of these games (or 18.69%) have ended with a margin of victory of 3 points.
In games where the favorite won by 3, sharp NFL bettors who shopped for the best line to lay -2.5 or take the +3.5 turned potential pushes into wins.
As a result, we calculated the margin of victory for every NFL game since 2003 and the table below displays these results.
|Margin of Victory||# of Games||% of Total Games|
As you can see, over 30% of games we analyzed finished with a 3-point or 7-point margin of victory, showing exactly why sharp bettors consider these to be “key numbers”.
While these margins are for all spreads, we delved in deeper to look at closing odds of +2.5, +3, and +3.5 to discover how many of those games landed exactly on a final margin of 3.
We encourage all NFL bettors to keep this chart handy in order to take advantage of key numbers this season.