Let’s Learn About NFL Key Numbers


Let’s learn about NFL key numbers and how they work.

Key Points

– NFL key numbers are related to both point spreads and totals bets.

– Understanding NFL key numbers can help you win more bets.

Let’s Learn About NFL Key Numbers

Because of the different ways that NFL teams score, there are some winning margins that occur far more often than others. Scoring in the NFL is very rigid. A field goal is always worth three points. A touchdown is six and a successfully kicked extra point is always worth one.  

There are a few more factors that influence scoring, but for the most part NFL games end up with a lot of common scores. That is important because it can help bettors win when betting on football.

For instance, since the beginning of the 2003 NFL season, field goals have become so common that 14.8% of all  NFL games have ended with a margin of victory of three points. In fact, more NFL games end with a scoring margin of three points than any other number.

And when you’re betting, of course, this matters.

NFL Key Numbers

Knowing the most (and least) frequent NFL margins of victory is essential knowledge for NFL bettors. These NFL key numbers can help you determine where to place your bets.

Remember, three is the most common scoring margin. Six and seven – the value of a touchdown and a touchdown plus an extra point – are the next two most frequent NFL scoring margins. This should make sense since scoring typically happens in multiples of three, six, and seven.

Think about common NFL final scores. You will see 23-20, 27-24, 17-14 as well as 16-10 and 27-20. On a given Sunday, it’s likely to see more than one game with a similar final score.

That’s why bettors need to know what NFL key numbers are and how they can go about using them to make wise betting decisions.

Getting on and off spreads of three points is crucial for maximizing value when betting on the NFL because of the key numbers. If possible, try to identify spreads of -2.5 and +3.5 that offer some value. When a -2.5 favorite or a +3.5 underdog winds up winning/losing by three, you will be thankful that you did.

Knowledge of NFL key numbers is helpful when betting NFL teasers too.

Understanding All Numbers

While 3, 6, and 7 are the most frequent NFL key numbers, there are others. Point spreads in the NFL are rarely in the double digits, but they do occur. It’s extremely rare for a spread to be higher than 14 points. 

Interestingly, after 3, 6, and 7; the next most frequent scoring margin is 14 points. Think about the number of games you have seen end 28-14, 34-20, or 35-21. Point spreads above 14 are not common, but there are no real NFL key numbers beyond 14.

In order frequency, the top five NFL key numbers are 3, 7, 6, 14, 10. Games that end with a scoring margin of one of these numbers account for 41.9 percent of all NFL games. Two of every five games will end with a margin of 3, 7,6, 14, or 10. 

That information is powerful for bettors. So is having access to a top online betting portal.

Rule Changes

Up until 2015, a margin of three accounted for even more than the 14.4 percent of games that it does now. In 2015, the NFL decided to move the line of scrimmage for all kicking PAT attempts. 

Prior to the move, NFL kickers hit over 99 percent of their PATs. After the move made the extra-point the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal, that number has dropped to 93 percent. 

Due to the change, there have been some scoring differences in the NFL. More teams go for two after a touchdown now and more teams miss extra points. That is why a scoring margin of 1 is No. 6 on the list of most frequent scoring margins. 

Since 2015, a margin of 1 is tied with 5 and the two numbers combine for 8.6 percent of all NFL scoring margins. Margins of 2 (4.23%), 4 (4.15%), and 8 (4.08%) are the only others that occur more than four percent of the time. 

That means the top 10 NFL key numbers account for 63 percent of all scoring margins. This knowledge can help bettors wagering NFL point spreads.

Totals Betting

Betting on NFL totals, or the Over/Under, is another popular method of wagering on pro football games. Bettors wager on whether or not the combined final score of a game will go Over or Under a number set by oddsmakers.

A study of NFL key numbers can help bettors with their totals betting. As mentioned above, there are some scoring margins that are more common than others. Reaching those margins happens because of football scoring.

Scoring is more frequent in college football. That makes betting NCAA football totals a little different than the NFL.

Remember, there are final scores that are more common in the NFL. In the history of the league, the most common final score has been 20-17. There’s that key number of 3 again.

Now, because of the PAT rule change in 2015, it’s important to compare apples to apples. Concentrating on the frequency of the total points scored in NFL games, bettors can use just those played since the 2015 season. Here is what you find.

The most common total in the NFL is 41. Among all games played since 2015, a total of 41 has occurred 3.82 percent of the time. If you think about it, NFL games ending with scores of 24-17, 27-14, and 21-20 are fairly common.

Other NFL key numbers related to totals are 40 (3.75%), 51 (3.67%), 47 (3.45%), and 44 (3.37%). Those five totals account for 18.1 percent of all NFL games. 

Almost one of every five NFL games ends with one of these five totals. Armed with that information, bettors can use these NFL key numbers to make better betting decisions and win more bets.