Increasingly popular and almost as popular as spread betting itself, totals betting (often known as “over/under”) is likely the closest you can get to “democratizing” sports betting.
Why? Because sports bettors who love watching the game find a preference towards success with this type of sports betting. Unlike betting on the point spread, which can make use of a number of variables, or a money line betting strategy, which requires you to challenge the house to be successful, totals betting is effectively investing on a game’s entertainment value.Betting on the over / under is deceptively simple. Rather than betting on a single winner, sports bettors wager over or under the total points in the over/under value given by the house. For example, when betting on the NFL, if the New York Giants are playing the Dallas Cowboys, and your over/under is 45.5 (the house usually adds .5 to the total to make a push impossible, since there’s no way in football to score half a point) then you are either betting that the total will be over or under that number.
Well, that sounds easy enough– you don’t have to pick a winner like betting a money line betting strategy — but you’re going to need a good understanding of how certain teams stack up specifically against each other.
Knowing How Teams Stack Up When Betting Totals
Because this is a win/lose scenario, but not one where a specific team wins, successful over/under betting requires research. Especially when betting on the NFL, you need to know which teams are primarily defensively minded and which ones are offensively minded. And to complicate it further, you’ll need to how these NFL teams play against each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Maybe the Miami Dolphins are playing offensively this year– except against the Denver Broncos. That’s something that you need to know in advance and you can usually get this information from the online sportsbook matchup details, or buy these insights from football handicappers who utilize betting research tools to produce their NFL picks and predictions.
For sports bettors who voraciously follow every aspect of the game– even playing with fantasy leagues– totals betting is often the smartest type of bet for them. Why? Because bettors who follow each game with such care can usually intuitively grasp higher or lower scoring games– precisely the type of advantage you need to be successful with totals betting.
However, it’s important to note that this type of passion leads bettors to clumsy betting…or more simply gambling. Because the NFL knows that touchdowns and offensive play are what keep people watching, they tend towards promoting offensive play. Likewise, then the viewing (and betting) public will tend to psychologically promote the over, which is often not the case at all. So it is important to remember in this scenario that the house knows that people will tend to bet over, and will compensate accordingly. Because of the number of people betting over, the house often will adjust the total closer to game day when sports bettors choosing “over” come out in force.
Don’t Forget the Over / Under Details
Finally, there are a few other considerations when it comes to totals betting. The first is that the totals betting line often will not show up until close to the day of the game (sometimes the day of the game itself). This is because there are variables that can change the overall shape of the game the same day: poor weather, for example, is a common reason scores could become lower. A practice injury can completely derail a game depending on who’s out. This is even more so for sports bettors who wager on baseball and look to handicappers for their MLB picks. For this reason the line usually comes out very late, to give a more accurate picture of how the game could look.
If you’re a cool-headed fan of the game but not married to a certain team, totals betting can be a very profitable investment. It takes more game knowledge, but can often produce far better results.