Football Totals – How to Bet the Over/Under in Football

When it comes to betting on football, you have a lot of different betting options to choose from. While some newer bettors prefer to keep it simple and make basic wagers, more experienced bettors like to spice things up and wager on some of the more difficult football bet types to win.

No matter how much experience you have with real money football betting, there is one type of bet that always ranks high on bettors’ lists: total bets.

Total bets, more commonly referred to as over/under football betting, are one of the most simple and exciting football bet types that you can choose to wager real money on.

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Below, we will go over how football total betting works, how you can get signed up to start betting on football totals, and a bunch of other useful information about this type of football bet.

How Does Football Total Betting Work?

If you are new to betting on football totals, then you may be wondering about some of the basic information, such as how totals are created and how you can win football total bets.

Luckily, this information is easy to understand, and will help guide you in making the right betting decision when the time comes.

How Are Total Projected Points Created?

The first thing you may be wondering is how real money football betting sites come up with a projected total. First, they base their numbers off of a number of different betting trends and statistics that can determine whether or not the over/under betting total will be high, low or somewhere in between.


Some of these factors include:

  • Strength of home field advantage (a team’s win percentage at home vs on the road)
  • Weather conditions (particularly how it affects the passing game)
  • Injury status (if key players are out due to injury, then this can affect scoring)

Averages from previous games in the season are also factored in when creating a projected point total, as it gives the football betting site an idea of how many points each team is scoring every week against particular opponents.

The betting sites that offer football total betting also adjust their numbers according to how the betting public is betting. For example, they may see more people betting on the over in one game than betting on the under, so they will bump up their projected total accordingly to help balance out where the bets are being placed.

All of this information helps online sportsbooks create a point total projection for each football game throughout the season.

How to Win a Total Bet

Now that you know how total points are projected by football betting sites, you may be wondering how you can actually win your total point wager. Well, betting on football totals is actually pretty simple.

All you have to do is correctly pick whether the total score for the game will go over or under your projected betting total.

For Example:

Let’s say your online sportsbook has set a betting total of 45.5 points for an upcoming football game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. If you think the final score will be 46 points or more, then you will want to place a bet on “over” in that betting category because you think the total score will be higher than the projected version.

Alternatively, if you think that 45 points or less will be scored in the game, then betting on “under” in that category would mean winning your bet would require a total score of 45 or less.

What Is the Best Place for Betting on Football Totals?

If you’re wondering which football betting site is the best place for betting on football totals, then we have to bring up BetUS.


BetUS is one of the best football betting sites on the internet and is guaranteed to provide you with a superior and enjoyable sports betting experience.

Did we mention they offer football total betting? Not only do they offer this football bet type, but they also provide some of the most intriguing payouts for these bets when compared to other online sportsbooks.

On top of all that, BetUS features some of the best betting bonuses coupled with an easy-to-navigate user interface that makes it easy to find the page you are looking for. If you want to get started on football total betting action, then you should get started today with BetUS.

How to Make a Football Total Bet

At this point, you may be feeling ready to try real money football betting. If so, that is great! Here is a step-by-step walkthrough for making a football total bet, from start to finish:

  1. Choose a Football Betting Site
  2. Create Your Account
  3. Deposit Real Money
  4. Place Your Total Bet(s)
  5. Evaluate the Results

Choose a Football Betting Site

Football Icon
In order to bet on football totals for real money, the first thing you need to do is choose a football betting site that you feel comfortable wagering real money on. There are a ton of great options to choose from, including the sites that we recommended above.

When choosing your football betting site or sites, be sure to look for certain criteria, such as:

  • Banking options provided
  • How competitive their betting odds are
  • How easy the user interface is to navigate
  • Bet types being offered

Once you have decided which football betting site you are going to use, you can move on to the next step of creating your account.

If you’re not sure where to start with choosing a football betting site, be sure to check out our blacklisted sites to make sure you avoid any scams or fraudulent websites.

Create Your Account

Now that you have selected which football betting site you are going to use, you must create your account. This process is rather simple and will require you to provide some basic personal information, such as your date of birth, home address, full legal name, email, and so on.

You will also be asked to create a username and password that will be used for signing into your betting account in the future.

Once you have filled out all of the necessary information, you will be redirected to the banking page that will ask you to choose a deposit method and add some funds to your betting account.

Deposit Real Money

Now that you have signed up for a football betting site, you are one step closer to betting on football totals for real money. The next step in the process is choosing a deposit method and depositing money into your account.

Most real money football betting sites offer a large number of banking options and include some of the most popular online payment methods, such as:

  • Credit cards
  • PayPal accounts
  • Cryptocurrencies

Once you have selected which deposit method you are going to use, the football betting site will ask you to provide more details, such as the information for your payment method along with how much you would like to deposit into your account.

After entering in the amount of money that you want to deposit, move onto the next step to finalize it.

The last step in the process provides you with any additional details on your deposit, such as any bonuses you can earn from your deposit. Once you are satisfied with everything, click “Deposit.”

Keep in mind that football betting sites typically set a minimum amount you are allowed to deposit (typically around $50), and you can always choose to come back and deposit more money using either the same payment method or a different one from the list. Therefore, do not panic and think you need to deposit as much money as possible during your initial transaction, unless you are trying to cash in on the new bettor deposit bonus.

Place Your Total Bet(s)

Now that you have officially selected a football betting site, made an account, and deposited money into your account, you are finally ready to place some football total bets.

Betting Money

Once you are on the sportsbook page, find the football betting section. Once you select it, you should be taken to a page that looks like the photo above. Since you are looking to bet on football totals, you will want to look closely at the “total” section (outlined in red above).

To add them to your bet slip, all you need to do is click on the bet you want to make. For example, if we wanted to take the over on the game between the Washington Football Team and the Buffalo Bills, then we would click on the square that reads: 45.5 -110o.

Once you click that square, it will be added to your bet slip. Make all the selections that you want to bet on for the week, then turn your attention to your betting slip.

All of your selected bets will appear here. All that is left to do is enter how much money you are willing to risk (wager), then click “Place My Bets.” You can also click on the drop-down arrow to view more point totals you can bet on. This will provide some safer betting options, but they pay out less than the original.

Now, all that ‘s left is to watch the games and evaluate the results!

Evaluate the Results

Once the games are over and the final scores have been tallied, you can head back to your football betting account and evaluate the results. Look closely at both your wins and losses. Then, figure out where things either went wrong or right. You can use this information to make better betting decisions in the future, and hopefully grow your sports betting bankroll organically.

Naturally, you can’t win them all. So, do not be discouraged if you have a couple of losses. Just keep your head up and keep on betting!

Important Things to Know About Football Totals

Before you go off and start betting on football for real money, there are a couple of important things that should you know, including:

  • Half Points Are Relevant
  • Totals Are Constantly Shifting

Half Points Are Relevant

When you are looking at a football game’s projected total points, you may have noticed that it always ends in a half point (.5). The reason for this is simple and is not meant to confuse you as a bettor.

The half point added to the total score is to prevent what is known as a “push.” This is another word for a tie, meaning that the half point makes sure that a tie cannot happen, and that the score will always be over or under the projected total with a half point.

In the event of a push, all bettors are returned their original wager. This takes profit away from the football betting site and is considered boring among avid football and other sports bettors.

Totals Are Constantly Shifting

Every game has a total betting line, but these betting lines are always changing. This is one of the most common tips that we try to relay to beginning sports bettors.

As we previously stated, half points are added to prevent ties. This means that the projected totals are not locked in until an hour before kickoff. The reason for this is because projections can change depending on injuries, other late breaking news, or how teams have been playing in recent weeks.

All of this should be considered when betting on football totals and projecting or predicting their outcomes.

Over/Under Payouts Explained

Now that you know a bit more about how football totals bets work, you may be wondering how the payouts work. Luckily, this is simple to understand and can help you decide how to place your bets.

Teams Total Odds Payout ($100)
New Orleans Saints 39.5 O -110 $190
Cincinnati Bengals 39.5 U -110 $190

The projected total for the example above is 39.5 points, and each team is given even betting odds of -110 to try and capture an equal number of bettors taking both the over and under. If a large number of bettors are only choosing one or the other, then the football betting site will likely make the odds more intriguing for the other side.

So, let’s say that you wanted to place a bet on the total score being 40 points or more. You see that the odds are negative, meaning that you would need to bet that amount in order to win $100.

If you placed a $300 wager on the total points being over 39.5, and the game managed to go over that total, you would earn a payout of $572.73. (Remember that sportsbooks collect commissions, known as juice, from winning bets to ensure they stay in business.)

Most football betting sites will even give you more betting freedom and let you choose what point total to wager on. If you decide to take the over on a lower point total, then you can expect your winnings to be worth less as well.

If you have different odds for your bet, you can calculate your payout using this tool:


To summarize: Negative betting odds (-) represent the amount of money you need to wager in order to earn $100 from a winning bet. Positive betting odds (+) represent the amount of money you would win from a $100 bet. For football total bets, the betting odds will almost always be negative to prevent the sportsbook from losing a massive amount of cash at once.

Football Leagues to Bet On

There are several different football leagues that you can choose to bet on, and they all offer over/under betting.



The NFL is the most popular professional football league in the world. It features 32 great teams and is a favorite among football bettors everywhere.



The NCAA is another popular football league that people love to bet on. Also known as college football, the NCAA provides many great betting opportunities.



The Canadian Football League is a football league that only features 9 teams total. Although smaller, there are still great betting opportunities.

Perks of Betting on Football Totals

Aside from the simple idea of making money, there are many perks to betting on football totals when compared to other types of football bets.

Some of these perks include:

  • High Winning Percentage
  • Simple to Understand
  • Lucrative Payouts

High Winning Percentage

Since your only options are to bet on the over or under, you have a 50/50 chance of getting your bet correct. This is much higher than what other types of football bets provide.

For example, parlay bets require you to get all of your bets correct in order to earn a payout. Meanwhile, prop bets are often influenced by several things, and can be nearly impossible to predict using football knowledge alone.

With football total bets, you have a fair shot of winning every bet you make, helping to minimize your losses. This is even more true if you watch a lot of football and are good at making predictions for games.

Simple to Understand

Another perk of betting on football totals is that they are simple to understand.

Since there are only two options to choose from, betting on football totals is easy even for beginners. Even if you don’t know much about football betting in general, or how betting odds work, you’ll be able to understand the basics of betting on football totals.

We touched on this above. But to summarize, all you need to do for football total bets is look at the projected point total given by the online sportsbook and then on whether you think the actual total score of the game will be over or under that number. From there, all you have to do is watch the game!

Lucrative Payouts

If you consider yourself knowledgeable on football, then you really have the opportunity to enjoy some lucrative payouts. However, it will require a fair-sized wager on your part. The larger the wager, the higher your chances of coming out on top.

If you’re betting on NFL football totals, betting $5 or even $10 will probably not give you much in the way of profits. However, betting over $100 or more can be very rewarding if it turns out that you were able to predict the outcome correctly.

Furthermore, betting on football totals is a great way for you to get a feel for how sports betting works and what types of bets are available before moving onto other, more complicated bets such as parlays and prop bets.

Factors Affecting Totals in Football Games

When you are about to place a bet on a football total, you should always pause to consider a few things about the game you are betting on. After all, there are many external factors that can influence the total score of the game. While some are predictable or known before the football game starts, others can be trickier to identify.

Some factors to consider when betting on football totals include:

  • Weather
  • Injured Players
  • Coaching
  • Home Team Advantage


Always check the weather forecast for an upcoming football game you are considering betting on. The forecasts will usually give you some idea of what weather conditions to expect. Playing football in rain or snow can have a significant impact on the total score of the game, especially if it occurs during halftime after the game has started. If both teams are struggling to keep their footing due to heavy rainfall, you should expect fewer offensive plays and turnovers – leading to less scoring opportunities.

On the other hand, if the weather for a game is expected to be sunny with little to no wind, you can expect scoring to happen as normal. And there’s the added benefit that kickers do not have to worry about the wind messing up their extra points and field goal attempts.

Some football betting sites provide weather updates for the game that refresh every 15 minutes, so be sure to keep an eye on those for any important updates.

Injured Players

Injured players are another big factor that can easily affect the total score of the game. The loss of a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver can significantly reduce offensive production, resulting in less scoring plays.

If you are betting on the total score and you notice significant injuries to key players on one side, it is prudent to consider betting against the projected total.

Keep in mind that some injuries occur during the game and are impossible to predict. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about these situations other than hope they do not occur. When they do, they can make a huge impact on the final score of the game.


The difference between betting on the result of a football game and betting on the total score of the game is knowing how coaches approach their games. Even if an underdog covers the spread in a football match involving two teams with similar offensive capabilities, betting against their totals may still be profitable—as long as you know how the respective coaches operate.

If both coaches are known for having their quarterbacks throw the ball 40 times or more in a game, then you may be inclined to bet on the over for the total score due to the possibility of a high-scoring shootout. On the other hand, if both coaches are known to hand the ball off to the running backs a lot, you can expect a slower-paced offense that burns more time off the clock.

Home Team Advantage

Depending on the location of the game, the home team crowd can help provide a big advantage for their team. Crowd noise can affect the opposing team’s ability to communicate and execute their plays, resulting in more turnovers and bad snaps.

On the flip side, the crowd noise will be nearly nonexistent when the home team offense is on the field trying to score. This silence helps them communicate and run their offense, making it easier to move the ball down the field and call out weaknesses in the defense.

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Football Total Betting FAQ

What Is a Football Total Bet?

A football total bet is a wager placed on whether you think the total score will be over or under the projected total points provided by the online sportsbook.

Are Total Bets the Same as Under/Over Bets?

Yes, football total bets and over/under bets are the same thing and can be used interchangeably.

Should I Bet in the Over or Under?

The answer to this is entirely dependent on the game you are betting on and what the projected total points will be. Refer to our tips above to learn what factors can influence the total score of a football game.

How Are Football Totals Projected by Football Betting Sites?

Football betting sites project football totals based on a variety of statistical data. This includes the last 20 games played by each team, home field advantage, and upcoming weather conditions.

Are Football Total Bets Legal?

Yes, betting on football totals is legal so long as you are in an area that allows it. Refer to our gambling laws page for more information.

Can I Bet on Football Totals From My Mobile Device?

Yes, most football betting sites also offer mobile or app versions of their sportsbook, meaning you can bet on football totals from anywhere and at any time. Most sites are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.