Sports Betting 101
Totals are by far the easiest way to wager on the NFL, MLB, or NBA, since all you’re concerned with is the sum total of points in a game. Here are some basic strategy tips to get you started with over/under wagering on sports. The “over/under” number represents a score – a total number of points set by the sportsbook. Bettors wager that a game will produce either “over” or “under” that number. While moneylines, point spreads, and totals generally focus on the short term and specific matches, futures are long-term betting odds. They focus on events that will happen further down the line—in the future.
Often times sportsbook will pay close attention to who is placing the bet. If they perceive the bettor to be very successful at betting the over under market, they may adjust their line in reaction. I guess you could say it’s a roundabout way of paying for information. Long term Over Under bettors have usually established their own theories and systems to calculate a possible over under line. When their perceived number does not match the sportsbooks they will pounce. Many sharp bettors are ready for totals to be posted so they can access ‘weak’ numbers before the books have time to adjust.
That includes how to read totals lines and bet on them, how over/unders are set, why some totals lines are better than others, and some mistakes you should avoid while betting totals. Other sports where scoring happens more often, sportsbooks will offer total bets on individual players. Examples include how many sacks a player might have in a football contest or how many points an individual will score in a basketball game.
Exactly one goal will be added to the total in some fashion. Some sportsbooks offer totals that do not include overtime, but they’ll specifically note that it is a bet on regulation only. Yes, Over/Under odds can fall on the exact number at the end of the game. The Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills can’t combine to score exactly 49.5 points. But if that total were 49 instead of 49.5, the number could hit exactly with a variety of final scores like Cowboys 28, Bills 21, etc. MLB totals can change drastically from day-to-day, even if the same two teams are playing.
As with anything, the more information sports bettors have, the better choices they usually make in predicting a combined score. Successful parlay bets always have better payout odds, because they’re harder to achieve than a bet on just one game. But all parts of the bet must hit for the bet to pay out.
There are no ties in hockey betting so if regulation ends with the score 3-3, you’re heading for a lost bet. There must be a goal awarded either in overtime or a shootout, and the final score will be 4-3. The money line is a bet that does not involve the spread.