The question which team is going to win the game is probably the most important question for every fan. However, when it comes to betting you don’t always have to bet on the outcome in terms which team is going to win the game. You don’t have to bet on the point spread, or the point difference in the end. The NBA betting total is an alternative to the more conventional NBA bets.
We all know that some teams focus more on offense and thus end up scoring more points than average. Other teams play tight defense and tend to prevent the opponent from scoring a lot of points. With the NBA total bet, you’re betting on the total amount of points that’s going to be scored in the game, by both teams. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to guess the exact number of points that are going to be scored on the game, because that would be almost impossible.
Totals through examples
With the NBA total bet, you have two options over and under. The sportsbook sets a certain number of points as the total, which usually is an approximation of the expected number of players. If you bet over, then both teams combined should score more points than that. On the other hand, if you bet under, then you should be hoping that both teams taken together will score fewer points. The odds may be set equally for both over and under, but sometimes, for some games they may set a total which would give you higher odds for over or vice versa.
Let’s give few examples. Imagine a game between the Utah Jazz as the home team and the Boston Celtics as visitors. Let’s assume that both of them are good teams and score a lot of points. So, the sportsbook decided to set the total at 195 and gives you -110 for over and +125 for under. This means that you’ll need to bet $110 on over in order to win $100 and that $100 will win you $125 if you bet on under.
The game will be written like this: Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz, Total 195, O(ver) -110, U(nder) +125. So, if you bet $110 on Over and the game ends 103-101, which is a total of 204, then you’ve won the bet and you are going to win $100. Similarly, if you bet $100 on under and the game ends 98-89, which is a grand total of 187, then you’ve won $125. Sometimes the odds are going to be equal, usually -110 or -115 for both over and under.
Some sportsbooks may even give you different total bets, with different odds. For example, they may set 2 or 3 total bets for the same game, 187, 193 and 196, and of course the odds for over and under will be different for each of those.
And one final dilemma that you may have concerning NBA Betting Totals is what will happen if the game ends with the exact total result. For example, let’s say that the total is set at 194 and the game ends 103-91, which is a total of 194. Then, the game is a push and you’ve neither lost nor won, and you’ll receive the so called risk amount. To eliminate this option, sportsbooks sometimes set the total at non-whole numbers like 194.5, 199.5, or 201.5. Let’s assume a situation where the total is set at 195.5. In such a situation, every total result of 196 or more is considered an over and every result of 195 or fewer points is considered an under. You can also bet on the total amount of points in a particular period of the game, like the first quarter or the first half.