In the sports betting words there are two main options betting the point spread, which was review in the previews chapter and betting the Over Under – also known as "totals".
When you bet the Over Under, you don’t care who wins the game, all you are focusing on is the combined score of the two teams at the end of the game. Here is a quick guide to over under betting in different sports.
When you’re betting on totals in baseball, you’ll likely see numbers anywhere from 6.5-12 for the most part. If the number is around seven runs, that means you’re looking at a pitcher’s duel. A number like 12 usually means it’s two bad pitchers on the mound and two potent offenses.
One thing to remember with baseball totals is that the home team does not bat in the ninth inning if they’re holding a lead and the game ends after 8.5 innings. That becomes a factor in many cases as an under bettor might be happy for the home team to stay in the lead and not show up in the ninth whereas an over bettor might hope that the road team can tie it and force the home team to come to bat, so that they can get some extra runs on the board.
When you’re betting on totals in the NBA, expect to see numbers in the neighborhood of 200. A game that’s projected to be low-scoring might see a total of 180 whereas a high-scoring game could see a total of 225. In college, the numbers are much lower. You might see totals from 120-150, roughly speaking. Remember that they have a longer shot clock and the games are shorter, so there is less scoring.
Totals in football focus on the combined score of the two teams. Usually, an NFL game that’s deemed to be low-scoring will see a total in the range of 30-35 points. A game that’s deemed to be a shootout will have a total in the range of 50-55 points. In some cases, the numbers could be higher. For example, in college football, the total for a high-scoring game would be somewhere in the 70’s or even 80’s.
There are a number of factors to consider when betting the total: venue, weather and style of play. If it’s snowing and windy, you’d probably want to consider the under. If it’s a team that runs the hurry-up offense and is playing indoors on turf, then you might want to consider the over. Other factors to consider are injuries, what is on the line for the teams and rest.
Totals in UFC and boxing are a little bit different than other sports because they hone in on the length of the fight. You’re still betting an over/under, but it’s not the combined score of the two sides. Here you’ll see a round set by the odds makers and you have to decide whether the fight will go over – or longer – than that set round or whether it will go under – or shorter – the set round. If you feel the fight will end quickly via a knockout, you’d bet the under. If you think it will go to the judge’s scorecards, you would bet the over.
If you’re examining totals in hockey, you’ll likely see the numbers 5 or 5.5. There are times when there’s a 4.5 or a 6, but those are rare instances. A line of five indicates that the game is expected to be low-scoring whereas 5.5 is the typical line.
In hockey, remember that if the game goes to overtime, you’re going to have at least one goal added to the total. Either a team will score in overtime or someone will win in the shootout, which means one goal will be given to the winning side. Each individual goal in the shootout does not count towards the total.
Remember that overtime is included when it comes to totals. That can often throw things for a loop. For example, let’s say you handicapped an NBA game to go under. The set total was 200 and after four quarters, the two teams have only combined for 188 points, so you’re a winner, right? Not necessarily. If the score is 94-94, then the two teams will go to overtime to decide the game and whatever is scored in the extra frame or frames will be added to the total. The lone exception is hockey where you have the option to bet on a full-time result or a 60-minute result. The latter means whatever it is at the end of regulation is what is relevant to your bet.
Browse through the betting sites rating guide, pick your favorite sportsbooks and head over to check their over under lines so you can practice what you've learn.