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Bills vs. Texans Betting Tip: Should You Buy a Half Point to +3?

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Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Hauschka

The NFL playoffs are upon us, and with just a 2-game slate from which to pick on each day, most sports bettors are probably looking to get at least some money down on both of Saturday’s matchups.

That means this afternoon’s Bills-Texans postseason opener will see an influx of action far more significant that what it would receive if it were on, say, a full 16-game regular season slate.

And that means bettors are faced with a decision on a 2.5-point spread, which probably has many — specifically those looking to back the Bills — asking the same question …

Should you buy a half point to +3?

Using Bet Labs, I’ve looked back through the entire sample of games that closed with a 2.5-point spread dating back to the 2003 season. And the answer is a pretty clear one.

Teams at +2.5 have impressively covered at a 54.9% rate, good enough for a 13.17-unit gain on an against-the-spread record of 152-125-0 — that’s assuming an average juice of -110.

Had bettors bought a half point on all of those teams, their winning percentage would have improved (54.9% to 58.5%), but since sportsbooks charge a premium price to jump to the key number — usually resulting in -135 juice — the actual winnings decrease.

Since ’03, 17 teams that closed at +2.5 have lost by exactly three points, and the 152-108-17 record generates just a 4.6-unit gain, assuming that -135 average juice.

Today’s Bills are slightly cheaper than the standard -110, but the point remains that a half point is not worth a 25-cent increase.

And for those curious, blindly betting teams at +2.5 on the moneyline has been a more profitable strategy. Such teams have gone 135-140-2 straight up, winning 27.1 units over the same span.

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