What Does Total Mean In Sports Betting?
Much like in baseball where the traditionalists complain that the new wave of players are taking over and disrespecting the game, sports betting is slowly becoming geared to the younger generation of players. The demand for quick results and instant gratification have taken the sportsbooks by storm and sportsbook have replied by offering up more and more obscure bets. However, one of the simplest forms of betting has remained the same and that is betting the “total” for a particular game or event.
What Does Total Mean?
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If you hear the phrase “total” being talking about during a sports betting discussion, it is referring to a betting option where the bettor is predicting the number of runs/goals/points scored by the two teams combined. The two options a bettor has is to bet “over” the total, or “under” the total.In order to understand how the “over/under” works, you must first understand what betting on totals entails.
To keep it short and sweet, linemakers set a total for the number of points they think the two teams will combine to score in a particular game. Bettors then have two betting options to choose from – the “over” or the “under”. Taking the “over” means you think that both teams will combine for more than the linemakers posted total, while taking the “under” is the exact opposite.
When setting these totals, sportsbooks try to set a line that gets balanced action. They hope half the bettors think the line is too high, while the other half think the line is too low. If they can accomplish this, they can make a profit without any risk to them.
The concept is straightforward but throwing in an example never hurt. Let’s say you are looking at a hockey game between the Red Wings andLightning and the linemakers set the total at 5.5 goals. If the teams combine for six or more goals, any bet on the “over” would be graded as a winner. If there are five or fewer goals scored, “under” bettors would be the ones celebrating a winning bet.
Different Types of Total Bets
Almost every single sport available for wagering will have a posted total that you can choose to bet on. In it’s simplest form, bettors typically choose to wager on the “over/under” for the entire game. This does not mean that it’s the only option available.
Sportsbooks give bettors the opportunity to wager on the “over/under” for half time “totals”, team “totals”, individual performance “totals” and future bets. To keep it simple, I will use the Red Wings and Lightning example to explain each of these options.
Some sportsbooks offer a 1.5 goal total for each period. This means you can wager on the “over/under” for each period. If you are playing team totals, the Red Wings may have a team total of 2.5 goalsin which case you would have to choose either the “over” or “under”. There are also individual performance totals available, such as the number saves a goalie will make or the number of shots on net a certain player will have. And lastly, if you decide to lay a future bet down on the “over/under” you will likely be betting how many games a particular team will win over the course of the season.
Betting Strategies for Totals
Just like any betting option, you will come across a totals opportunity every once in a while, that is just screaming out at you to bet it. These are the opportunities that you need to capitalize on in order to be a successful handicapper over an extended period of time.
Betting strategies surrounding the total often time revolve around the weather in a particular matchup. In football, if it’s snowing or raining profusely, the “total” could be effected which is why the “under” may be worth looking into further. Now, I’m not telling you to bet every game that has snow or rain “under” the total. I’m telling you to do your research and understand that snow and rain effect all aspects of the game and could take away the part of the game a team has success in (think pass-happy team playing in snow storm – probably won’t be the greatest result).
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