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While placing a wager on the winner is the most popular form of betting, it is not the only one. In fact, there are several others that may provide you with even much more value than a simple moneyline bet. And among them, the most popular is the Over/Under bet, otherwise known as a Totals bet.

This football betting option doesn’t require you to scratch your head on who you think is going to emerge victorious after the final whistle. Rather, it lets you focus on the points, and you can bet on where you think the points totals will be when the game ends. But while betting on the winner requires you to analyze the strengths of the teams, what should you consider when betting on football totals?

We’ll dive into the details, starting with how these bet types work.

How Over/Under Bets Work

Before we look at how to make your over/under bets successful, it’s important we understand how these types of bets work. Generally, Over/Under bets involve predicting the total amount of points you think the game (not a particular team) will produce.

The bookmaker will give you a starting point by picking a particular number as the predicted total. For example, they can pick a total of 45. Your job will then be to predict whether the total points will be more than 45 (Over) or fewer (Under).

Each side of the bet will have its odds. For example, if Over has -110 odds, it means that you will need to wager $110 to win $100 if the game has more than 45 points. If Under has +120, you will win $120 if you place a $100 bet and the outcome is less than 45 points. If the outcome is exactly 45 points, the bet is a push or tie between you and the bookmaker, and the money is refunded to you.

Over/Under Betting Strategy

Below are some simple strategies you can use when betting on totals.

Offense vs. Defense Matchup

This is arguably the most important consideration you should make. Its logic is actually quite straightforward – If one of the most offensive teams in the NFL is playing against a team with a weak defense, then you can expect to have a high-scoring game. Conversely, if a team that is dominant defensively is playing against a team that struggles in offense, you can go with the Under bet.

To come up with conclusions, you can look at the recent performances of both teams in question. What are their average points scored, both home and away? However, the team consideration often goes beyond trends, so consider other things, such a divisional matchups and rivalries.


Being quite a physical sport, there are always injuries here and there. But when key players are absent, the scoring chances of a team can get a huge dent. The most important position to consider here is of course the quarterback. If a star quarterback is missing, a team can be significantly weaker in the offense, leading to low scores. This position is then followed by standout receivers and star running backs. However, note that beyond elite talents at skill positions, most single-player injuries won’t have an impact at the odds, and they should therefore not carry much weight in your analysis. Nevertheless, always keep an eye on the latest news.


The weather should be another major consideration when you are analyzing an upcoming game. If the game is being played in an open stadium in colder states, then there’s a chance that factors such as rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures might affect the total points scored in the game. For example, if there’s heavy rain or snow, passing can be hard and challenging. The same goes for strong winds and rains.

However, it’s important to note that if these are in the averages, they won’t have a big impact. Also, note that the weather can change with time, so this consideration should be made when it’s close to the game.

Published by Patrick Jane