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Strategy for Betting OVER/UNDERs

Betting on the NFL can be profitable if you know what you’re doing. You may be familiar with point spread betting, a popular way to wager on the NFL, but handicapping totals (OVER/UNDER) is also an exciting way to bet on football that doesn’t involve picking a winner or loser.

Here at OddsShark, we’ve complied a comprehensive strategy for betting the OVER/UNDER on the NFL. If there’s one thing we do better than anyone else, it’s sports betting. We’re also pros at yelling at the TV whenever a kicker misses an easy field goal, but that’s neither here nor there nor in between the uprights.

Totals are one of the simplest forms of NFL betting you can do because you’re not looking for a clear winner or loser. You’re looking for the total sum of points scored by both teams in the matchup. If two teams score more combined points than the listed total, the OVER is a winner. Likewise, if the teams score fewer combined points than the total, the UNDER wins.

Like Ice-T on every track, let’s break it down.


Some bettors love to wager on the OVER because they enjoy seeing a lot of scoring action, and that has a profound effect on line movement and betting behavior. Oftentimes action can come in on the OVER throughout the week leading up to a typical NFL game, which will make the total climb. This generally leaves the oddsmakers no choice but to adjust the line accordingly.

So, if you like the OVER, make sure to take it early in the week before the number rises. If you’re leaning towards the UNDER, consider holding off on wagering on it until closer to kickoff. It’s typical that at that point, the total will be at its highest.

The key to betting totals is to keep an eye on them daily and watch for line movements caused by sharp bettors or other factors which can happen at any time such as injuries and changes in the weather.

A Great Example of a Totals Bet

A hypothetical matchup between the Packers and the Vikings is set at 37.5 for the OVER/UNDER total. If you bet the OVER, you would need both teams to score a combined 38 or more points to win your wager. If you bet the UNDER, you would need both teams to score t37 combined points or less to win your bet.

Other Factors that Impact Totals

Much like how the point spread can change dramatically if a key player is out with an injury, other factors can change totals just the same. Always make sure to evaluate weather conditions, offensive and defensive rankings, and home/away and indoor and outdoor splits before making a call on the total.

For instance, a warm weather quarterback who usually plays in a dome environment may have a hard time lobbing TDs during a snowy outdoor game, which will impact that score.

In addition, routinely take a look at betting trends and the reasons behind why a particular team is cashing the OVER or the UNDER with regularity.

Patience and Practice makes for Perfect NFL Totals Bets

Like with any form of NFL betting, winning at totals is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes training to avoid the pitfalls that can damage your bankroll and patience to know when it is the right time to jump on a number and when you should wait and save your money for another good wagering opportunity that could come your way.

Remember that betting on the NFL, or any sport of that matter, should be fun like watching a bear try to understand the mechanics of a trampoline. If you’re not having fun while placing your NFL OVER/UNDER wagers then take a step back, call an audible and figure out why.

Are you betting too much of your bankroll? Are you betting too little of it and not seeing enough of a return? Are you forgetting that the points totals is a combination of both teams’ scores?

Bookmark this page and you’ll be able to make calculated NFL OVER/UNDER wagers and of course, have more fun than a bear on a trampoline.