What is a Hook in Sports Betting? How to use the Hook to your Advantage

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Ray BelkoraJune 1, 2022 at 03:14 PM

Hooks are a vital and important part of our lives. We use them for fishing, we use them to hang coats on, we use them in writing, and even to hang up decorations and pictures! 

However, these are not the hooks in regards to sports betting (as I’m sure you have already guessed). So let’s answer the age old question or something like that:

What is a Hook in Sports Betting?

A hook is quite simply a half point on a non whole number point spread. Let’s take a look at two examples. Today our lines are coming courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. 

In this example the Phoenix Suns have to win by 9 points for their spread to hit and the Miami Heat have to lose by 8 or less or win for their spread to hit. 

There is no possibility for this spread to push because of the hook. If you take the Miami Heat spread they either have to lose by 8 or less, lose by 9 or more, or win and there is no possibility for a half point. The same goes for the Phoenix Suns they must either win by 9 or more or lose by 8 or less.

In this example we can see how there is no hook and a possibility for the bet to push. The Memphis Grizzlies could win by exactly 2 and the Los Angeles Clippers could lose by exactly 2.

Common Phrases – Hook in Sports Betting

“I lost by the hook!”

This simply means losing the bet by half a point. In the above Miami vs LA example if you bet the Miami spread and they lose by 9 you lost by the hook.

“[Spread number] and the hook”

Just another way of saying the spread with the .5 added. In the hook example above you could say you took Phoenix at -8 and the hook.

“Buying the hook” 

This would mean using alternate spreads to buy a half point on the line. 

This can either increase or decrease your odds, but ensures there will be no push on the bet and subsequently can increase the value of the bet. 

For example in the Memphis vs LA game you could buy a half point on LA to make it 2.5. While this will make the odds decrease slightly, it also means if LA wins by 2 the bet has now won. 

Some Things to Watch for when Buying the Hook

If you plan to buy a point you’ll also want to know when is the best time to buy a hook. This varies by sport due to differences in scoring. For example:

In football scoring is in increments of 1, 3, 6, 7, or 9. This makes the key betting numbers for football 3 and 7 as they are the most likely outcomes for scoring in a football game.

In this example both spreads are at three. Since a valid field goal can be worth 3 points it is extremely common for NFL games to be won by 3 points.

If you are taking Green Bay it may be advantageous to shave off a half point down to -2.5 to increase the odds of the bet hitting.

If you are taking the Detroit Lions it would be advantageous to add a half point to the line. This way even if they lose by 3 the bet will still hit. 

When used properly betting hooks can give you a slight advantage on the books and we take every advantage we can get.

If you understand the information, pay attention to what sport you’re betting, and factor in the odds changes, the hook can turn you into a sharp bettor.

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