NFL Odds: How to Bet the Total

Posted by D.Zamzack on May 18, 2015 in

When it comes to sports betting, the over/under is one of the simplest bets of all and one of the most popular NFL odds for betting fans. The way it works is simple. After a deep analysis, handicappers and oddmakers choose a number that they think is very close to the combined points that the two teams will score. In that case, the bettor has to decide whether he thinks the real combined total will be over or under that particular figure. So when you bet on the game total, you ask for the “over” or the “under.”

So let’s take a look at the following example. In a sports listing, here’s how the over/under looks. So let’s pretend the Gang Green is playing Buffalo (remember, the visiting team comes first).

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New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills

Spread: Buffalo -5
Game Total: o/u 41.5 -110

Keep in mind that not all games have an over/under with a decimal ( .5) after the first number, but those that do will never have a push. If the over/under were 41, a 21-20 score would yield a push with no wins for either side. In the case of 41.5, point totals of 42 or higher win for the “over” bet, and totals of 41 or lower win for the “under” bet.

Before you make decision and place your over/under bet, look at the point spread, and then look back at the over/under. Let’s say that the Buffalo Bills are favored to win by five points. That means that the oddsmakers thinks the score will be very close to 24-19 (a five point spread totaling 43 points).

A good practice (even more if you are a novice) is to have a look at the trends before placing any bets, but if this is consistent with how one or both teams handles in this sort of situation, that helps you make the right decision with the wager. After looking at the spread, it’s important to use your research to choose one side of this bet, or just to walk away. Remember, it’s all about the information.

buffalo bills

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