Totals, Over/Under Betting Explained

A total, or over/under, bet is a bet on the total amount of points scored by both teams in a game. The sportsbook sets a total and the bettor decides if the total will be over or under the number set by the sportsbook.

Over / Under and Totals Betting Rules for NFL

One of the most simple and fun kind of bets to partake in is an NFL Over/Under total bet. The sportsbook has already done the research and figured out what to set the Over/Under at based on several statistics, including team vs. team history, rushing yards, down conversions, field goal percentages and a ton of other data that allows them to set those numbers realistically.  All you need to do is decide whether you think the total score will by more or less than what the sportsbook has predicted. Here’s a look at a game in which the bookmaker has decided that the total score between the Raiders and the Patriots will be 22.5 points.

Over / Under betting - NFL example 2

In the example, the total is set at 22.5. Over bettors win if the sum of both teams’ scores is greater than 22.5. Under bettors win if the sum of both teams’ scores is less than 22.5.

Over / Under Betting Rules in NBA

Basketball fans can get in on totals betting action as well and bet on the total points scored in a game, regardless of who wins or who loses.

Over / under betting rules for NBA example

In the above example, the oddsmaker has decided that the total points scored in the game between the Raptors and the Celtics will be 205 points. If a bettor thinks there will be more than 205 points scored in the game, they bets the Over. If a bettor thinks that the there will be less than 205 points scored in the game, they bet the Under.

If the total is exactly 205 points, then the bet is deemed a push. All bets are voided and the stakes returned in this instance.

The second number after each team, -110, is the price of a winning bet. A winning bettor will win $1.91 for every $1.00 bet.

Over / Under Betting Rules in NHL

The same principle in the examples above also applies to hockey betting. The sportsbook will set a total number for the combined score of both teams and then you can bet on the game either going over or under the set total.

Over / under betting rules for NHL example

In our example, the game total between the Sabres and the Senators is set at 5.5. In this case, if you bet on the over, you’d need both teams to combine for six goals or more to win the bet. If you bet on the under, you’d need the combined goal total of both teams to be five or less to win.