When you place a bet on sports, you’re essentially placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. When the bet is placed, the sports book opens the books to settle the match and pay out on the wager. In doing so, the books keep a running total of the total amount of money wagered on each game. This total is then broken down into smaller chunks known as “points.”

How are points calculated and what do they mean? Here’s a breakdown.

## How Many Points Will My Wager Earn?

Every sport has its own unique terminology and odds structure when it comes to betting. Below is a breakdown of the basic points structure in sports betting:

- Quarterbacks: 25 points
- Running Backs: 20 points
- Wide Receivers: 15 points
- Tight Ends: 10 points
- Total Offense (Quarterbacks + Running Backs): 45 points
- Total Defense (Quarterbacks + Running Backs): 35 points
- Passing Yards: 40 points
- Rushing Yards: 30 points
- Total Rushing Attempts +1: 40 points
- Total Rushing Yards +1: 30 points
- Longest Play: 10 points
- Punt Return Yards +1: 15 points
- Kickoff Return Yards +1: 15 points
- Safety: 5 points
- Fumble Return Yards +1: 7.5 points
- Punt +1: 3 points
- Defense +1: 2 points
- Field Goal: 1 point
- Points After Spare: 1 point
- Clears + Hits: 1 point
- Blocked Shots: 1 point

As you’ll see below, there are a number of ways to earn more points with certain wagers, namely:

- The Over (if O wins): 4 points
- The Under (if U wins): 3 points
- First Downs (if 2 or more teams score): 6 points
- Stuff the Meter (if 3 or more TDs scored): 12 points
- Man Coverage (if 4 or more pass yards): 16 points
- Defense Wins (if Total Defense wins or is +3 or more): 17 points
- Comeback (if team comes back from a 3 point deficit to win or cover the spread): 14 points
- Eagles (+3) Wins (if Philadelphia wins vs New York): 15 points
- Patriots (+3) Wins (if Boston wins vs Philadelphia): 15 points
- Red Zone (if scored in the Red Zone or if touchdowns scored): 20 points
- Six Pack Wins (if any six of your chosen teams win): 30 points
- Double Score (if any eight of your chosen teams score): 40 points

## Why Do Some Books Use “Buying Points” & Why Is It Scrutinized?

Some sportsbooks and gambling websites use the expression “buying points” to reference the act of wagering on sports. This expression can be a bit of a misnomer, however, as it sometimes suggests that one is “buying” a certain number of points in the game. The truth is that one is simply purchasing a certain “slice” of the possible points that could be earned.

The practice of “buying points” was actually made popular by online casinos who offer fixed odds betting (FOB) in the form of contests and tournaments. The use of FOB in online casinos was made famous by the likes of William Hill and Bwin. In FOB, there are generally no limits to how many points one can wager on, and the odds of winning are always in one’s favor. In this type of betting pattern, it’s more accurate to say that one is “submitting a wager” or “placing a wager” rather than “buying” points.

## What Is A Parlay?

If you’re unfamiliar, a parlay is simply when you place multiple bets on a sporting event. For instance, you could place a quarter-point football bet, a double-digit basketball bet and a 10-point college basketball bet. In that scenario, you would earn 3 points (1/4 of a point on the football game, twice the amount on the basketball game and 10 points on the college game).

## What Is The Difference Between A Parlay And An Adventured Interest?

If you’re not familiar, an adventured interest is when you take a monetary risk on a gamble (such as sports gambling) with the hopes of making a profit. An example of an adventured interest would be when you purchase 100 shares of Apple at $1000, expecting the price to rise. Although you stand to lose all of your initial investment, you believe that there is a chance that the price of Apple could increase significantly so you profit from the investment. While a parlay is when you place multiple bets on a single sporting event, an adventured interest is when you take a gamble in the form of a wager on a different sporting event.

## Adding A Little Bit Of Maths To The Analysis

If you’re inclined to be a bit of a mathematician, you can take the analysis a step further by looking at the odds of each type of wager and coming up with a general strategy for maximizing your winnings. Below is a simple example of how you could use basic arithmetic to figure out the right way to bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl:

- Quarterbacks: 3.5-to-1 (3.5 Points : 1 Point)
- Running Backs: 6-to-1 (6 Points : 1 Point)
- Wide Receivers: 12-to-1 (12 Points : 1 Point)
- Tight Ends: 8-to-1 (8 Points : 1 Point)
- Total Offense (Quarterbacks + Running Backs): 22.5-to-1 (22.5 Points : 1 Point)
- Total Defense (Quarterbacks + Running Backs): 15-to-1 (15 Points : 1 Point)
- Passing Yards: 25-to-1 (25 Points : 1 Point)
- Rushing Yards: 18.75-to-1 (18.75 Points : 1 Point)
- Total Rushing Attempts +1: 25-to-1 (25 Points : 1 Point)
- Total Rushing Yards +1: 18.75-to-1 (18.75 Points : 1 Point)
- Longest Play: 18.75-to-1 (18.75 Points : 1 Point)
- Punt Return Yards +1: 6-to-1 (6 Points : 1 Point)
- Kickoff Return Yards +1: 6-to-1 (6 Points : 1 Point)
- Safety: 12-to-1 (12 Points : 1 Point)
- Fumble Return Yards +1: 12-to-1 (12 Points : 1 Point)
- Punt +1: 3.5-to-1 (3.5 Points : 1 Point)
- Defense +1: 3-to-1 (3 Points : 1 Point)
- Field Goal: 1-to-1 (1 Point : 1 Point)
- Points After Spare: 1-to-1 (1 Point : 1 Point)
- Clears + Hits: 1-to-1 (1 Point : 1 Point)
- Blocked Shots: 1-to-1 (1 Point : 1 Point)

In the example above, one could make the argument that the best strategy would be to take the over on the Super Bowl (if the over wins, it would be 4 points; if the under wins, it would be 3 points). If one were to do this, one would earn a total of 8 points on a single wager (plus the 3.5 points on the Quarterbacks) rather than the 4 points that one would earn on a straight play in the game.