The ultimate guide for the sharp bettor

What is The Hook in Sports Betting?

The Hook No real sports score in half points, but many sports bets do. Why is that? Find out now through this in-depth guide.
Kukhanya Magubane
Author:
Kukhanya Magubane
Updated:
13 October 2021
Table of Contents

    What Is The Hook In Sports Betting?

    A hook is simply gambling slang parlance for the last half-point in a betting spread. While most (if not all) of the sports people wager on aren’t actually scored in half-point increments, these half-points serve as a useful, win-win precaution for both the bettor and the house. 

    If sportsbooks and oddsmakers didn’t implement these hooks in their betting lines, then wagers could have an exceedingly greater likelihood of falling on push outcomes or ties. These pushes are unfavorable, undesirable, and unfun results for both the bettor and the house; while you won’t lose any money, you also won’t gain any, and the house won’t gain anything either.

    Obviously, neither party wants that, so these hooks serve as a useful precautionary measure. But that’s not all that’s worth knowing about them; learn more about hooks, when to avoid them, and when you can take advantage of them for your betting strategy.

    Half-Point Hook Betting: How It Works

    Even single half points can mean the difference between making or breaking a winning bet. A half-point hook is the potential differentiator between a push or a winning bet, a winning parlay or a doomed leg, and whether or not a spread is ultimately covered. In essence, this can be the potential “hook” that keeps bettors on edge from the moment they place their wager to the very end of the game. 

    Some online sportsbooks may offer the option to buy these hook half-point increments and add them to their spread as a contingency plan, albeit at the expense of the final profit. Sometimes line movements are necessary to guarantee a profit, but you should only purchase them if you’re comfortable with losing the profit shares they cut into.

    When buying the hook, keep in mind that these half points can just as easily spell your downfall as they can your victory, if you’re not careful. In the gambling world, losing in spite of being dealt a very good hand is known as “bad beats”, and losing by the hook would absolutely qualify as a bad beat. 

    For example, say you wanted to place a bet favoring the Baylor Bears 6.5 in their latest matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, breaking the tie around their notorious Big 12 college football rivalry. Baylor could still score a game-winning touchdown in the 4th quarter that winds up breaking their all-time series tie (as of 2020), but if the kicker fails to make the extra point, then the team would fail to make it past the hook and cover your spread.

    If you’re thinking about buying the hook to improve the odds of your bet pulling through, and feel confident that it will, know that half-point prices will vary depending on:

    The sport you’re betting on
    The line you’re betting on
    The key number differentials you’re betting on
    The sportsbook or exchange you’re betting with

    The house is well aware of the fact that certain sports are more likely to score higher than others, and that certain sports are more likely to be subject to falling on key number differentiations. As such, they’ll price accordingly. Next up, we’ll run through some of those key number differentiations you should know if you’re considering buying the hook.

    Key Numbers In Sports Betting

    Beyond half-points, there are many other key point totals you should know, point totals which can be vital in making or breaking the overall success of a wager. Each unique sport has its own unique set of common victory margins, and even those victory margins may have their own unique variations depending on the league the sport is being played in.

    For instance, both NFL and NCAA football score margins commonly fall on multiples of 3, 7, and 10, but since college football is generally smaller scale than NFL football (in season length, field size, and ball size), game scores tend to be closer and harder to predict.

    As far as basketball goes, score points fall on smaller increments of 2 and 3, but with exceedingly higher final scores than just about any other sport. Consequently, it might seem harder to predict, but with that said, NBA final score point margins most commonly fall on multiples of 5, 6, 8, 3, and 4.

    In both basketball and football, 7 remains a lucky number that you may want to buy the hook to cover. These key numbers are less important in lower-scoring sports like hockey, soccer, and baseball, though you can still buy a +1 point to add to your overall spread. When a game can hinge on one goal or home run, then buying the hook can be an important determining factor in making or breaking your wager.

    Can You Buy Points On FanDuel Sportsbook?

    Depending on which sport you’re wagering on, you can buy alternative spread lines and whole point increments. Unfortunately, as of writing this, you currently can’t buy half-points or hooks via FanDuel or any Fanduel Sportsbook promo, but that doesn’t mean you have to count yourself out entirely.

    Currently, 13 states and the District of Columbia all have facilitated active sports betting markets on the web, featuring some of the best online sportsbook operators in the industry, renowned names like:

    Caesars Sportsbook

    FanDuel Sportsbook

    PointsBet Sportsbook

    BetMGM Sportsbook

    BetRivers

    WynnBet

    Unibet Sportsbook

    Fubo Sportsbook

    Golden Nugget Online

    Borgata Sportsbook

    DraftKings Sportsbook

    888 Sport

    Sugarhouse Casino

    Fox Bet Sportsbook

    BetAmerica Sportsbook

    Tipico Sportsbook

    The Score Sportsbook

    SI Sportsbook

    Betway

    Betfred Sports

    Bet365


    You can review the terms and conditions of each one to determine which service is right for you. Better yet, you can look for sportsbooks that offer generous deals, discounts, and no-deposit bonuses for new players. These promotions are a great way to mitigate risks, even more than buying the hook already can.

    For learning more about all of these promotions, more betting tips, and even more exciting iGaming industry updates, we strongly encourage you to stay in touch with us.

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