Should You Buy the Hook?

By: AC Dinero     Date: Oct 19, 2015

If you’ve ever placed a bet with a sports book, one of the options you are asked is “do you want to buy the hook”? The hook is the half point. If the spread is 3.5, they you have the option to buy it down to 3. The most common time bettors will buy the hook is on the key lines of 3 and 7. The question I would ask myself is “why would Vegas offer me this”? I look at it the same way I do teasers and parlay’s. If Vegas is offering it, it must be to their advantage, not mine. I would not buy the hook for the sole reason why bettors win or lose: odds. Very few games fall on the number. In the NFL, there aren’t many games listed as 7 or 7.5. That leaves 3 or 3.5. On average, 2 out of 15 games end up 3 points or less. Add in the low probability that one of those 2 games is the spread at 3 or 3.5, you can see it’s not worth the risk. You’ll end up throwing good money after bad chasing those half points. All you have to do is look at those key lines that Vegas doesn’t want to move off of in the first place. More often than not, the vig isn’t 110 for both sides. Depending on the action they are getting, one side is usually 115 and the other 105. If you consistently buy the half-points, you’ll discover that your break-even point moves from the normal 52.2% closer to 53%. That can eat away at your bankroll over time. At the time you may not notice it, but if you kept track, you would see how much money you are giving away. As an experiment, keep track of your bets over a month. Add $5 to the normal juice you are paying and see if you would have come out ahead. Chances are your won’t, and chance is what makes gambling, gambling. As sports investors, we are trying to reduce the amount of chance as low as possible. There will always be some chance we can’t control, like a punt bouncing sideways at the 2 yard line instead of going into the end-zone or a tipped ball for an interception. Once you understand the concept of odds and how they work, you will manage your bankroll more effectively.

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