MLBSports Betting Strategy

How Totals Work In Different Sports

Understanding the nuances of over-unders.

The two main options when you are betting on sports is betting the point spread and betting on the totals, which is also known as betting the over/under. Betting on the total focuses on the combined score of the two teams at the end of the game. Here is a look at how betting on the totals works when it comes to different sports.


When it comes to betting on totals in baseball, the numbers will usually be anywhere from 6.5 to 12 for the most part. If the number is around seven runs that usually means you are looking at a pitcher’s duel. A number like 12 usually means it’s two bad pitchers on the mound and two potent offenses. An important thing to remember when betting on baseball totals is that the home team does not bat in the ninth inning if they are holding the lead so the game will end after 8.5 innings. That can become a factor in many cases as an under bettor might target games where the home team is expected to win. Betting on the totals in baseball is easy to do but in order to master making a significant profit doing it you have to understand the game and which matchups tend to favor the over as well as which matchups tend to favor the under.


When it comes to betting on NBA basketball, the numbers will usually be anywhere from 180 to 225 with the majority of totals set around the 200 mark. The numbers in college basketball will be much lower because they have a longer shot clock and the games are shorter, so there is less scoring. It’s important to remember that the sportsbooks will often make a point of lowering the lines for games that are expected to go under and raising the lines for games that are expected to be higher scoring, which can often relate in over or under inflation.


When it comes to the NFL, games that are expected to be lower scoring will usually be listed in the 30-35 points range while games that are expected to be a shootout will have a total in the range of 50-55 points. The totals will usually be much higher in college football with numbers as high as the 70’s or 80’s when they feature teams that are expected to be in a shootout. Everything from style of play, venue, weather and injuries can impact the football totals. For example, a pair of teams that run the hurry-up offense on a turf field indoors will usually play a higher scoring game while a pair of defensive teams that like to run the football playing outdoors in the freezing cold will usually play a lower scoring game.


The majority of NHL totals will usually be around 5 to 5.5 but in recent years we have seen numbers like 4.5 and 6.5 pop up on the board. It’s important to remember that in hockey there is overtime, so the potential is there for an added goal in the extra five minutes of four-on-four hockey. The shootout isn’t the same as the extra goals scored in the shootout don’t count towards the total, but rather the winning team is credited with a single goal that works towards the total.


Betting on the totals in sports is very easy to do, but it’s important to remember the unique factors that are attributed to the over/under in each sport. Betting on totals is one of the most popular options among sports betting experts and in order to gain an edge you will have to understand the keys to betting on each individual sport.

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