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Everything You Need to Understand Totals Betting

Totals betting explained header

When betting totals, you are no longer pledging your allegiance to one team. It doesn’t matter who wins the game or by how much, the only aspect of the game you are concerned with is the total score.

Bookmakers will set a projected number of points to be scored in the game, then you decide whether the actual number of points scored will be more (over) or less (under) than the total they set.

Totals Betting: A Case Study Explained

In the following game, the bookmakers have set the total points (to be scored in the game) at 219. The number appears twice to give you the odds for picking both “over” and “under.”

(Focus on the “Total” column. Pay no mind to all the other noise.)

total betting over/under example

So, if you believe that the scores of both Cleveland and Boston will combine to equal more than 219 points, you’ll want to bet on “the over.” If you believe it will be a defensive game with fewer than 219 total points scored, you’ll definitely want to bet on “the under.”

We’ve used an NBA line in our example, but totals bets are available on any sport that involves point totals.

How Do Payouts on Totals Betting Work?

In our example, you’ll notice that the odds corresponding to both the over and under have -115 and -110 next to them. Just like the moneyline, the odds attached to the over and the under indicate the prospective payout.

The odds attached to the over and the under indicate the prospective payout.

Meet the authors

Matt McEwan
Editor-in-Chief
Dave F.
Sports Writer
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