To Buy or Not To Buy


As a sports handicapper, a topic that I see receiving a lot of attention is “to buy or not to buy”, the ½ point that is.  Of course there isn’t an easy answer but here’s my stance – the answer is mostly “NO” but there is an exception to consider.  

Not to buy:  Typically there are a few situations when you should not buy the ½.

Instead of betting the usual $11 to win 10, you must bet $12 to win $10 or sometimes even $13 to win $10 so now rather than win 52.3% ($11 for $10)  of your games you must win 54.5% ($12 for $10).   Most professional sports handicappers are happy winning 56% of their games. 

Another time not to buy the ½ is buying off the 3 or 7 to avoid the push it’s not worth it.

To buy:  Now here’s my take on when to consider buying the ½. 

Overall, buying half points should only be done to save potential losers, not create potential winners from ties.  For example, if you like a 6 ½ point underdog or a 7 ½ point favorite.  There is some advantage to getting to 7 as long as you’re only laying $12 to win $10. The same would apply to a 3 ½ point underdog and a 3 ½ favorite unless the sportsbook you use charges $13 to win $10 because now you must win 56.5 % of the time to break even, as stated above. 

All in all, those are the basics as I see them.   My last thought is, that the sportsbook is giving us the opportunity to even buy it should tell us something…if buying the ½ is truly an advantage, sportsbooks wouldn’t allow it.