What Is A Total? Sports Betting Terms Explained

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In the world of sports betting, the term “total” takes on significant importance. It refers to the combined number of runs, points, or goals scored by both teams in a sporting event, including any overtime periods if applicable.

How the Total Works

Let’s dive deeper into the concept of the total in sports betting:

Example Scenario: Consider an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The sportsbook has set the total for the game at 215 points. This means that bettors have the option to wager on whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under 215 points.

Here is another example on BetMGM for another NBA game.

Over, under, and the total when betting on sports on BetMGM

Over and Under Betting

  1. Over (O): If when sports betting, you believe that the total score of the game will be higher than the set total, they can place an “over” bet. In this case, they are wagering on both teams collectively scoring more points than the specified total.
  2. Under (U): Conversely, if a bettor predicts that the total score will be lower than the set total, they can place an “under” bet. Here, they are betting that the combined points scored will fall below the specified total.

Key Factors Influencing the Total

Several factors can influence the total in sports betting:

  1. Team Performance: The historical performance of both teams, including their offensive and defensive capabilities, can significantly impact the total. High-scoring teams may have higher totals set for their games.
  2. Injuries: The absence of key players or injuries to star athletes can affect a team’s scoring ability, potentially leading to a lower total when sports betting.
  3. Weather Conditions: In outdoor sports like football, weather conditions such as rain or wind can impact the scoring potential of both teams, potentially resulting in lower totals.
  4. Game Venue: The location of the game can also play a role. Some venues may favor high-scoring games due to factors like court or field dimensions.

In conclusion, the total in sports betting represents the combined number of runs, points, or goals scored by both teams in a game, including overtime periods. Bettors have the option to wager on whether the actual score will be over or under the specified total. Understanding the factors that influence the total can be a valuable tool in making informed betting decisions.

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Eamonn KeenanEamonn Keenan
Eamonn Keenan, with a Digital Arts Degree from the University of Tampa, brings over a decade of sports betting experience to his role as Creative Director at BettingHero.com. Starting with Betting Hero in the Fall of 2020, Eamonn has been deeply involved in the industry, assisting customers with major sportsbook and casino operators like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and others. A self-proclaimed sports fanatic, he has a keen interest in professional hockey, MMA, NFL, NCAAB, NCAAF, and MLB. Eamonn enjoys researching teams and players to predict game outcomes, highlighting his passion for sports betting.