Total Bets and Over/Under Bets – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re searching for information about totals and over/under bets, you’ve
come to the right place. We’ve built this page to equip sports bettors with all
of the knowledge they need about these bet types. No matter if you’re brand new
to sports betting or an experienced bettor, we’ve got details below that will
help you walk away more knowledgeable on these popular sports bets.

In our detailed guide to totals and over/under bets, we’ll get things started
with the basics such as what these bets are and things that you can place them
on. Then, we’ll get a bit more detailed while talking about strategy for these
bet types and also giving you other valuable sports betting resources and FAQs.


For those of you looking to gather as much information as possible, we’d
suggest that you read this page from top to bottom so that you don’t miss
anything. However, if you’re looking to learn about a specific portion of
things, we’ve included some handy jump links below so that you can get directly
to what you’re interested in. Simply click on the one that you’d like more
detail on, and you’ll head straight there.

What Is a Totals Bet?

Up first, we want to help you clarify one thing to make sure that you don’t
get confused. For the purposes of this page, we use the terms totals bet and
over/under bet interchangeably. In the sportsbook world, they both represent the
same type of wager. The reason for the difference is that in the United States,
it is often called a totals bet; meanwhile, the rest of the world usually calls
it an over/under.

With a totals bet, you’re betting on some numerical total that a sportsbook
has posted for a sporting event. In many cases, you’ll be betting in relation to
the total combined score of a game or match. With this type of wager, you only
need to decide one of two things. Your decision is if you think the total score
of the game will be higher or lower than what the sportsbook picked.

Here’s a sample for you. In an upcoming match between the Detroit Pistons and
the Los Angeles Clippers, a sportsbook posted a totals figure of 195 points.
What the sportsbook is saying here is that they believe both teams will have a
combined score of 195 points when the game is all said and done.

To bet this type of wager, you then have a decision to make. It’s up to you
to choose if you think the actual combined score will be more or less than the
figure posted by the sportsbook. If you believe that the score will be less than
195 points, you will bet the under on the game. On the flip side, you can also
bet the over if you believe that the two teams will have a combined score of
more than 195 points. For you to win this type of bet, you’ll need to pick the
over or under decision correctly.

One of the nice things about this type of bet is that you only have to make
the decision about total points. Luckily, it doesn’t matter which team wins the
game, nor which team scores the most points. All that matters to you is what the
combined total score is.

Below, we’ve included an image to give you an idea of how this type of wager
typically looks in an online sportsbook. Below, we’ll talk a bit about how you
can read and interpret this data. The image showcases real betting options on
NCAA college football games.

example totals table

When checking out the snippet above, bring your attention to the right-hand
side of the image in the gold box section. It’s here that you can view the
information about the over/under bets for these games. For example, in the first
game listed between Texas A&M and South Carolina, the totals number posted by
the sportsbook is 58 points. If you wanted to bet on the total for this game,
you’d just select if you think it will finish up over or under 58 points.

It’s also worth bringing to your attention the second game listed between
Wake Forrest and Louisiana Monroe. First, the total for this game is lower than
the first game. However, it’s also using a half-point figure. With the total by
the sportsbook having been listed at 45.5 points, that means if you bet the
over, the combined score will need to be 46 points or more. Conversely, betting
the under will mean that you’ll need the final scores to sum up to 45 points or
less to win.

In the next section, we’ll give you some color on the different types of
betting options that you have to use this type of wager.

What You Can Bet On

Many folks mistakenly believe that you can only bet on final scores with
total bets. While that is what they are most commonly used for, there are plenty
of other options that you can use this type of bet type for.

As long as it’s something that can be counted, there’s a good chance you may
find a totals bet available for it. For example, you can bet on the total number
of yellow cards in a soccer match. Similarly, you can also bet on how many
birdies will occur during a golf tournament. Another good example is betting on
the total number of home runs that will happen during a game of baseball.

As you can see from the samples above, there are lots of different things
that you can place totals bets on. We mention this to you here so that you look
for these other totals betting options. Adding in these options outside of the
final score betting can be a great way to diversify your over/under betting

Strategy for Totals and Over/Under Bets

If you’d like to get a bit deeper into totals and over/under bets, we’ve also
developed a strategy guide for this bet type. On this page, we’ll dive deeper
into the best practices you can use when placing wagers. Specifically, we’ll
talk about sucker bets, key numbers, and pricing. If you’d like to see how you
can strategically elevate your totals betting game, don’t miss the link below.

Commentary on Different Sports

In this section, we wanted to provide you with a little bit of color specific
to some different sports. If you’re new to betting totals and over/unders, this
will give you a general idea of what to expect for these sports. It’s important
to note that each sporting event should be viewed independently. However, using
the information below, you’ll be able to recognize when something is outside of
the usual pattern of what is typical for these sports.

NFL Football

When it comes to betting on totals on NFL games, things are pretty
consistent. The reason for this is that in most cases, the NFL teams are pretty
well matched. Since the NFL is a professional league, you don’t find too many
instances of one side completely dominating another as you do in other leagues.

On average, the typical totals line for a game will be around 41 points. If
you find a line that is lower than this, that means that you have two strong
defensive teams facing one another. Conversely, lines higher than this mark
often will signal two offensive powerhouse teams facing each other.

NCAA Football

Unlike NFL football games, not all NCAA college football games are between
well-matched opponents. If you’re a fan of a top team like Alabama, then you’re
very familiar with the fact that there are some hard games, and there are some
cake walks. Traditionally, the Homecoming games are always scheduled against an
easy opponent that won’t be difficult for the home team to beat.

Because of the inconsistency with the level of teams playing one another, the
totals line of college football games will move around much more than the NFL.
Be sure to keep this in mind if you plan on betting totals on NCAA football as
there will be large variances depending on who is playing.


When it comes to hockey, the totals line tends almost always to be the same.
In general, you’ll find a line around 6.5 goals for most hockey games. If you
find a totals line significantly varied from this amount, be sure to dig in and
see what’s causing it. Either you have two very well-matched teams (if the line
is lower) or you have a dominating team playing a very weak one (if the line is


Soccer is another sport like hockey where the totals line is nearly always
around the same figure. On average, the line on soccer games will be around 2.5
goals. With soccer being such a low-scoring game overall, it’s rare to see it
get much higher than this.

Additional Resources

In addition to all of the helpful information we’ve provided above, we also
wanted to bring you some other useful resources related to sports betting. If
this is your first time using our site, you should know that we have built this
site to be your go-to stop to learn more about gambling. Be sure to check out
our additional guides below and check out the ones that can help you step up
your sports betting skills and knowledge.

Types of Bets Guide

Totals and over/under bets are just one of many different types of sports
bets that you can place. If you’re looking to expand the types of bets that
you’re making, then don’t miss our guide on the different types of bets. Using
the link below, you can learn about all available bet types and see which of
them might be a good fit for your sports betting strategy.

Beginner’s Guides to Sports Betting

Many of you may be new to sports betting in general. For those of you, you
don’t want to miss our beginner’s guides on sports betting. In the two guides
below, we’ll get you equipped with all of the jargon and basics that you’ll need
to understand to start placing wagers. Simply click on the links below to begin
quickly ramping up your knowledge on sports betting.

Sports Betting Essentials

Once you’ve got a good handle on the basics, your next stop should be our
sports betting essentials guide. This page is perfect for beginners that have
read the two guides above, but it’s also a good starting point for folks with
some experience betting on sports. In this guide, we’ll go deeper into the
essentials of betting on sports, including strategy and more. To visit this
page, use the link below.

Odds Converter

If you ever come across a sportsbook using an odds format that you don’t
fully understand, our odds converter page will be your new favorite tool. On
this page, you can convert odds from one form into one that you prefer. By doing
this, you’ll make sure that you always know exactly what your odds are before
you risk real money on a wager. Just click on the link below to visit this free

Suggested Sports Betting Sites

For those of you that don’t already have a sports betting home, we’ve got
some helpful guides to aid you in finding an online sports betting site that’s
perfect for you. We’ve gathered up links below to our pages dedicated to the
best all-around sports betting sites, mobile-friendly betting sites, and live
betting websites. We’ve done the research and homework for you so that you can
begin betting now.

Frequently Asked Questions

We didn’t want to wrap things up without leaving you with some frequently
asked questions relating to totals and over/under bets. Below, we’ve gathered up
some questions that we regularly receive on these types of sports bets. If you
still have some questions after checking out our guide above, we hope that these
will assist you.

Are totals and over/under bets good for beginners?

Yes. These types of bets are some of the ones that we suggest beginners use when starting their sports betting adventure. Along with totals, it’s also good to use win and spread bets if you’d like to use more than one bet type. If you are a beginner, we’d suggest that you stay away from more advanced bets like parlays and permutation wagers until you have a good grasp of the more basic bet types.

How much should I bet on a totals bet?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer here that will work for all individuals reading this page. How much you should bet for any totals bet will depend on many things. Samples of what you’ll need to factor in are the size of your betting bankroll, your risk aversion, and your knowledge of the sport you’re betting on.

If you don’t have a bankroll management plan established yet, that’s something you should do as soon as possible. We’re big believers in using these plans to help you strategically decide how much you should bet on any wager. These plans will help you calculate an exact amount of your betting bankroll that you should risk. If you’d like to read more about bankroll management and see how you can make a plan of your own, be sure to check out the link below.

What if a game goes into overtime? What happens then?

As with moneyline and spread bets, totals and over/unders also account for the total final score of the game. Anytime that a sporting event goes into extra innings, overtime, etc., the points scored in the additional periods will all be factored into the final calculation on the totals wager.

What is a push?

With totals betting, it is possible for your wager to end in a push. For this to happen, the total final combined score of the game has to be precisely the same as the totals line set by the sportsbook that you placed your over/under wager on.

Here’s a sample: let’s say that your sportsbook set a totals number of 49 points on an upcoming game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. If the final score of the two teams combined ends up being precisely 49, your wager will result in a push since the actual result was neither over nor under what the sportsbook posted.

If you ever have a totals bet push, the sportsbook will end up refunding your stake. Essentially, you and the sportsbook have tied, so there is no reason for you or them to get paid on the bet.

For a push to happen, the number posted by the sportsbook has to be a whole number like 35, 40, etc. When you come across a published totals number that includes a .5, a push can never happen. For example, if that same sample game above between the Packers and the Cowboys was posted as 49.5, a push is impossible since it’s impossible to score half a point in a football game.

What are the payouts for totals bets?

Typically, over/under bets will have the standard moneyline rate of -110 associated with them. In this scenario, you’d win $100 for every $110 that you wager on the bet if you pick it correctly. This is especially true for major sports like football and basketball. However, payouts can vary on these types of bets.

A sportsbook may decide to post a payout different than the standard -110 when they need to shift more funds to one side of a wager. It’s not uncommon to see some at -105 or other values depending on how the sportsbook is working to hedge their bets.

Certain sports also tend to see higher payouts than -110. For example, both tennis and MMA fighting often have stellar payouts associated with their over/under bets. Ultimately, be sure to check out what the payout options are for any totals bets that you’re considering making.

If you’re still searching for more answers, we’ve got you covered. In
addition to the list of questions above, we’ve also built out an entire page
dedicated solely to sports betting FAQs. On this page, you’ll find a vast
collection of questions and answers. If you’d like to view this page, click on
the link below.


Hopefully, you’ve gained all of the information and details that you needed
relating to totals and over/under bets. If this is the first time you’ve visited
our site, be sure to look around and see all of the other helpful resources that
we have to provide. We’ve built this site with the goal of helping gamblers of
all types and experience levels to elevate their betting game. This page is a
just a drop in the overall bucket of the other resources you’ll find here.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck with all of your future totals and
over/under wagers!