NFL over/under betting is a betting market that is wagered on more often than most. From the preseason until the end of the postseason with the Super Bowl, bettors enjoy making total bets all year long. In this guide to NFL over/under betting, find out what totals betting is and what bettors should be aware of before they place their bets in this market.
The over/under bet is easy to understand. Bettors simply need to determine whether the total number of points scored during NFL games will go over or under the number set by the oddsmakers. Unlike with spread and moneyline bets, it doesn’t matter if the favorites score or if the underdog does the scoring. It also does not matter who the winner is in the game. All that matters is the total number of points scored.
There is a secondary version of this betting market, the team total, where bettors can wager on how many points just one team will score in the game. Regardless of which over/under market a bettor wagers on, though, the most important thing to remember is that the only thing that matters is whether the total points scored goes over or under the set total.
For an example of an NFL over/under bet, let’s say that the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. If the total for that game is set at 56.5 at -110 odds for both the over and under, that means that the final score of the teams combined would need to be 56 or less for the under to cash. It would also mean that a combined final score of 57 or more would mean that the over was the winning side.
In over/under betting markets, both the over and under are typically at or near -110 odds. When the odds are -110, it means that bettors need to risk $110 to win $100. Those amounts can be adjusted proportionally based on how much a bettor wishes to risk on a game or how much they are aiming to win. Bettors should be sure to wager within their allotted budgets, whatever they may be, when betting on NFL totals.
In NFL games, the point-spread may move throughout the week leading up to a game. This is not unique to total lines, as all NFL odds are subject to movement as the week goes along. But this is especially important to monitor when betting on NFL totals, as both teams need to contribute to the total either by scoring points or preventing them. Most important when it comes to line movements in NFL over/under betting is understanding why the total has moved.
Whether it be an injury on one side or the other, or changes to the weather forecast leading up to a game, NFL totals can be more fragile than other betting markets. While one side or the other may still be more likely to win when betting on spreads and moneylines, the tempo of a game is the most subject to variance based on outside factors. These should be monitored intently throughout each week before games kick
The most important piece of advice to make the best NFL bets possible is very applicable to betting on NFL totals. That advice is to understand the circumstances surrounding each game. There are obvious items that can impact totals such as weather. After all, snow and wind can impact the number of points scored more than a sunny day. But there are several circumstances that bettors should be mindful of that are less apparent.
When a game is being played in a season is impactful when betting totals. Teams in the first week of the regular season may not be as polished as teams that are in the playoffs. That could mean more conservative approaches on offense or defense, depending on where a team stands at the beginning and end of the year.
A team’s sense of urgency heading into each week is also worth keeping track of. Late in the season, teams that are fighting for wild card spots are likely to play harder than teams with nothing to play for. And teams that are looking ahead to a key division matchup may not be focused the week prior. While all teams respond to situations differently, situational awareness is just as important for bettors as it is for the athletes on the field.
Betting on game totals is easy, as these wagers can be placed at a number of legal sportsbooks in the United States. Bettors hoping to earn a payout betting on NFL totals can login to their preferred sportsbook and go to the NFL section of the site. From there, bettors can choose from the list of games available and select whether they want to bet on the over or under. At that point, bettors can select the amount they want to risk and click the place bet button to finalize their wager.