What is a Team Total?
Team Total bets are more commonly referred to as OVER/UNDER bets. The oddsmakers will set a Total score for a game and the bet is placed on whether or not the actual score is OVER or UNDER that number. These bets are the most popular method of hedging a bet but are often played straight up as well. They are available for every sport. However, the bets and the best way to play them can vary sport to sport. Let’s look at the differences an OVER/UNDER bet has from one sport to another.
The best Totals bet may be in Football and it’s because of it’s strange scoring system. Basketball is all scoring, all the time. They score with the clock running and with the clock stopped. Baseball and hockey are low scoring affairs in contrast where runs or goals are only worth 1 point at a time. Football doesn’t do any of that. There are multiple ways to score in football worth varying amounts of points. This actually helps the OVER/UNDER bet.
When the Total of a football game is set by oddsmakers, you know how many Touchdowns and Field Goals (etc) they are expecting in a game. And based on your knowledge of the two teams playing that game, you are at an advantage of picking whether the final score goes OVER or UNDER.
The Totals bet in basketball are always extremely high. Basketball, as mentioned earlier, is all scoring all the time. When placing a Totals bet on basketball it is important to consider many things. One often overlooked is foul shooting. In order for teams to go OVER, both will have to take advantage and make their foul shots. Good foul shooting teams go OVER. Sports gamblers often bet the over for basketball games. It’s important to know this because the oddsmakers definitely know this. The UNDER will come in as often as the OVER in basketball games.
The Totals bet in baseball is much different than any other sport because it all begins with the starting pitchers. The oddsmakers start with pitching when setting the OVER/UNDER. Starting pitching, then the bullpens, then the closers, then the batters. Due to this, even though baseball is a low scoring sport, the OVER/UNDER’s vary wildly. Know your pitching before placing a baseball Totals bet.
This Totals bet is definitely the most straight forward. Hockey is such a low scoring game the OVER/UNDER is usually the same for every game at 5.5 goals a game. It will go up and down occasionally but no more than a half a goal either way. Goalies, much like pitchers in baseball, have the most influence on the OVER/UNDER. However, even great goalies can have off nights and not make it out of the 2nd period. Team defense and team scoring are important to know when laying a hockey Total.