Over/Under Or Totals
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|How To Place An Over/Under Bet
|How Totals Are Made
|When To Bet Over vs. Under
Sometimes in betting, you don’t need a winner; you need the score.
This is because you’re not rooting for any side. You bet on the total score of the game.
The total bets are also known as over/under bets. These bets focus on the number of points both teams score combined in a single game.
The bettor tries to predict whether it goes over or under the number set by the oddsmakers.
It’s not that you need to predict the exact number of the game, just if it goes over or under the given amount.
Totals are a very popular bet. It’s one of the most used alongside point spreads and moneylines.
Some sportsbooks usually have bonuses for total bets too which adds to their popularity.
Let’s say the NFL betting market is the over/under at 45 for the NFL game between the Steelers and Ravens.
Bettors wager for the total points combined to go over or under 45.
The game ends with the Steelers winning 28-25, which adds to 53 points. In this case, the over bettors get the payout. The under bettors leave empty-handed.
If the game had ended exactly at 45 points, the bet would end in a push. When this happens, the bettors get refunded the amount wagered.
Over/under bets come in a broad margin. You can bet on total points in a game or on props like total field goals, touchdowns, and many more.
You can find total props in rebounds, points, assists, and lots more in the NBA.
How Do I Make An Over/Under Bet?
Making a totals bet is easy. Since they are one of the most popular bets, sportsbooks make them easy to find.
Click on the game you want to bet on, select the over or under in the game chart (over goes on top), and head to the bet slip.
Log in and place the bet. Wait for the game to end and see if you win.
How Much Do You Make On An Over/Under Bet?
The total bets have a standard payout, just like the point spreads. Sportsbooks usually get their 10% cut, which translates to a -110 in American Odds.
This means you need to lay $110 bets to win $100 in return. In larger amounts, this means you bet $1100 to win $1000.
However, this is the standard number, but not the only one. In low-scoring sports like hockey, soccer, or baseball, the sportsbooks adjust the lines before moving the number.
Let’s take an example out of the MLB. Say the Mets-Cubs game has a set total of 7.5. The sportsbook project is closer to 8 than to 7 runs.
Because of that projection, the sportsbooks may decide to make the over a -120 bet and the under +100.
This way, every bettor who takes the over needs to risk a bit more money on the wager.
Here, if you’re an over bettor, you need to lay a $120 bet to win $100. As for the under, a $100 bet pays $100 extra. The under is an even money bet.
If the Mets win 5-3, the over pays out, if they win 4-3, the under does.
How Are Totals Made?
There’s a lot of variables that go into making totals for the oddsmakers. Starting with the obvious one, not all sports are the same.
Both oddsmakers and bettors use research and take notes to create a total.
These go from team form, their offensive and defensive prowess, the weather, and more.
According to Bet Labs, these are the average number of totals for the major American sports in the 2019-2020 seasons.
- NFL 45.4
- NBA 222.0
- NHL 6.0
- MLB 9.1
- NCAAF 55.4
- NCAAB 139.8
It’s important to know that the average constantly changes.
Rule changes can affect this, as well as team philosophies that can change the landscape of a sport.
For example, the basketball total average changed from five years ago.
Now, the NBA relies heavily on three-pointers. Hence, more points are scored regularly. Five years ago, the average totals were at 180.
Now, there has been no under 190 totals in the NBA since 2017. Long-distance shooting has taken over the league.
Is It Better To Bet The Over Or Under?
Well, this is not an easy answer. If it was, all total bettors would be drinking mojitos on a lovely island somewhere.
Unders have been better in every sport in the last five years. The thing is that betting on them blindly is not great. Also, the sportsbooks’ cuts limit their profit sometimes.
The popular thing is to root for points and offensive prowess. It’s what people want to see, and last time I checked, bettors are well… people. Their bias leans towards the over.
Also, you never draw dead in an over bet until the game is over. There’s always a chance for overtimes, late scoring flurries, or garbage time scores to put the bet over the mark.
If you bet for the under, the wager can die anytime during the game. This makes the under bet undervalued or perhaps not based on our own research.
Does Overtime Count For Totals?
Well yes. That’s an edge the over bettors have. Overtimes can save an over bet, while it can totally ruin an under bettor’s hopes.
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