NFL Football Total Betting


NFL Total Betting


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NFL Football Totals Betting






Picking the winner of a game isn’t the only way to bet on football. NFL Over-Under betting, also known as total betting, has you wager on how offensive or defensive a game will be. Although most people parlay these bets with the spread for a big payout, you’re free to make individual totals bets, which is great for those times you’re unsure which team will win the game.


What are NFL Totals?


Simply put, the total is the sum of points scored by both teams in a single game. Pre-game, oddsmakers compare the two teams and predict a total number of points known as the number. If they think Team A could score 14 points and Team B could score 21 points, the total would be 35. When checking the NFL Odds you get to wager on whether you think the actual total number of points scored will go over or under the oddsmakers’ predictions. That’s why you’ll often see it written as totals (over-under).



How Does Betting on NFL Totals Work?


In the 2008 Super Bowl, the New York Giants were up against the undefeated New England Patriots. Both teams had scored at least 21 points in their previous two playoff games, so the offense was expected to continue in the final. The NFL totals line was set at 54 points. The offense didn’t continue as expected, and the Giants beat New England 17-14 (total of 31), allowing the Under to cash in. Bettors who parlayed the Giants on the spread with the Under won an extra big payout.


The payouts for NFL totals depend on the odds assigned to the Over and Under. On every gameline, the total appears in the third box with the odds in brackets beside the Over and Under. Here’s an example of what you can expect to see on any given gameline.


Minnesota Vikings      O 46 (—120)
Jacksonville Jaguars    U 46 (—110)


The total is set at 46 points, and the Over “O” is favoured at —120; the Under “U”has slightly longer odds at —110. In terms of payouts, the numbers shown are the amount of money you’d have to bet for a $100 payout. Betting $120 on the Over would pay $100, and betting $110 on the Under would pay $100. That being said, you can bet any amount you want, and the payout would scale up or down accordingly. For example, betting $12 on the Over would pay $10, and betting $11 on the Under would pay $10.


The odds associated with the Over and Under shift as the public bets. With the Minnesota-Jacksonville example, if the Over gets a lot of action, the odds would shift to encourage more betting on the Under. The odds could change to this:


Minnesota Vikings      O 46 (—130)
Jacksonville Jaguars    U 46 (—105)


Sportsbooks are always trying to create balance between both betting markets, so changes like this are quite common. Increasing the Over from —120 to —130 will help balance the books, as more people are enticed by the greater value of the Under.


When whole numbers are used, such as the Minnesota-Vikings example, there’s a risk of the actual total being the exact same as the proposed total. If Minnesota beats Jacksonville 26-20, the total would be 46. These cases result in a push, with all bets returned. To avoid this outcome, many totals include a half-point, such as 46.5. Since there’s no such thing as a half-point in football, the actual total is guaranteed to go over or under the proposed total.



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When to Bet on Totals


Since NFL totals betting isn’t affected by team loyalty, even the most die-hard fans can be shrewd when betting the over-under. Things to take into account include open-air stadiums vs. domed stadiums, extreme weather conditions, injuries to star players, and how away/home games affect certain teams. You can pore over stats before filling out your bet slip.


Once you know which side you want to bet on, there’s further strategy regarding timing your bet. It’s no secret: the public loves betting the Over; offense-packed games are more entertaining to watch. As a result, the total often climbs as the game approaches. If you want to bet the Over, doing it early is advised. If you want to bet the Under, waiting until the total increases will give you a greater chance of success. Regardless of which side you go with, including the over-under on your bet slip will make for a more complex experience than just picking the winner.


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