When it comes to the NFL, are you a Pittsburgh Steelers or Philadelphia Eagles fan? When watching a ballgame in New York, do you support the Yankees or the Mets? When you go to a basketball game, does your heart belong to the Golden State Warriors or the LA Lakers? 

No matter which sport you’re into, you’ll often find a significant skill gap between two opposing teams in many US sports. As a result, this can create some lackluster, one-sided games with unsurprising outcomes. This is the last thing you want when betting on sports, as the odds for these teams at best sportsbooks are often incredibly low.

Fortunately, totals betting is the perfect way to conquer this problem. With this type of wagering, the game’s winner doesn’t matter in the slightest – only the points scored. You can enjoy totals bets on individual games, or you can up the ante and add totals bets together into parlays spread over several games. 

Read our expert guide, where we explain everything you need to know about totals betting. We’ll explain what this type of betting is, what an over/under is, and where you can place these bets in the US.

What is a Total Bet?

Unlike your standard moneyline bet, which focuses on the winner of a game, a totals bet instead focuses on the combined score. While US bettors will know this type of wager as a totals bet, the rest of the world often calls it an over/under. However, there is no difference between a totals bet or over/under.

Sports betting sites will provide you with a specific number (which may look something like 44.5). You’ll then need to guess whether the total number of points scored during a particular game will be higher or lower than the total the sportsbook set. Sports betting sites will always provide a total bet in a decimal format instead of a whole number. If not, you could hit the exact amount and not be over or under. 

In many US sports, especially in NCAA sports, there are games where the skill gap between teams is huge. As such, with little reward and little thrill, you may not wish to wager on the moneyline. Total betting provides the perfect solution to this problem, as it doesn’t matter which team scores the points. One side could score all the points, but you could still walk away a winner. 

This type of wagering also adds an extra layer of excitement to games with little action. Bet on the under in a game where no one scores, and you could be in for a significant profit. 

Total Betting Example

To help you get to grips with total betting, we’ve come up with an example from the NFL. While these are not real odds, they are similar to what you will find at sportsbooks like WynnBET.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings

  • Over 48.5: -110
  • Under 48.5: -110

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers

  • Over 46.5: -110
  • Under 46.5: -110

Let’s say we bet on the over in both of the above football games to make things more straightforward. Therefore, we’ll need the total amount of points scored to be more than the number provided by the sportsbooks in both games. For the first game, we’ll need a total of 49 points to be scored. For the second, we need 47 points. 

It’s vital to remember that both NFL teams can contribute towards that amount. For example, the first game can end 49-0 for the Vikings, and you will win your wager. Likewise, it can end 25-24 to the Steelers, and you will also collect a profit from your bet. 

If you were confident in getting the correct over/under prediction in both games, you could combine your totals wager into a parlay for a higher profit.

Legal US Sports Betting

Since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, US states have been able to create sports betting legislation. So far, dozens of US states have taken the plunge and launched regulated industries, introducing legal sports betting to the masses. 

If you want to start placing totals bets, read our sportsbooks reviews and choose a site for you. Use our links to sign up with the betting site, claim a welcome bonus, and start placing totals.