Key Numbers for NFL Spreads & Totals

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Betting the NFL is hard. It’s even more difficult when you don’t know these key betting numbers. Because of the mechanics of scoring in football–six points for touchdowns, one-point and two-point PATs, three points for field goals, and two points for safeties–the numbers that a game spread can land on limited. Use the key numbers for your NFL spread and total betting to improve the number of tickets your cashing.

NFL Key Numbers for Spreads

The key numbers for NFL spreads are straight-forward. The two key numbers are three and seven followed by six, ten, and four. The following will show a final spread landing on 1, 2, 5, 8, and 9 only account for 5-6% of games in pro football.

  • 3: 14-15%
  • 4: 4-5%
  • 6: 6-7%
  • 7: 9-10%
  • 9: 1-2%
  • 10: 5-6%
  • 1, 2, 5, and 8: 3-4%

These numbers are especially important for teasers and middles.

During Week 1, I shared about grabbing the Eagles at -8.5 and looking for a +10.5 to the middle. I was able to find a +10.5 on Saturday night and took it. Taking +10 wouldn’t have made much sense–but getting 10.5 opened up a 6-8% window of opportunity as opposed to a 1-2% window. Of course, a horrific Bad Beat took place where the Redskins scored a touchdown to cover, but lose by five with just 0:06 seconds on the clock. It’s also worth noting, before the Eagles kicked a field goal in their final drive, the spread was at 9 points.

Teasing numbers +6 points is critical getting a team like the Eagles +8.5 through the key number of three and bet -2.5. To maintain an edge you would not tease underdogs up because you lose the value in the numbers.

These numbers also come in handy when you’re betting in-game. Memorize them and use them to create an additional edge in your handicapping.

NFL Key Numbers for Totals

For totals, the key numbers get a little murkier in the NFL. The most common totals land on 43, 44, 41, and 37. But 51, 47, 40, and 33 are also frequently hit. Thinking about how football scores happen during the game is critical to your wagering.

For example, if you bet over 24.5 points in the first half of a pro football game, you are betting that a minimum of four touchdowns or a combo of five scoring plays (three of which would need to be TDs) are required to go over the total.

When the total is 24 you only need four scoring plays (three of which would need to be TDs) to push/cover. That is a big difference for 30 minutes of a football game.

Do not use these numbers for any collegiate football games or other pro leagues. These numbers are specific to the National Football League.

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