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OVER/UNDER Strategy for Betting on NFL Football

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 bet on football, but handicapping totals is also an exciting way to wager on the NFL.

Here at Odds Shark, we’ve compiled an OVER/UNDER betting strategy. 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 extra point, but that’s neither here nor there nor in between the uprights.

How to Bet OVER/UNDER on NFL Games

Totals are created by sportsbooks to create equal action on both sides of a bet. To make this type of bet, you’re looking for the total number of points scored by both teams in the matchup. If two teams combined to score more total points than the oddsmaker’s set number, the OVER is a winner. Likewise, if the teams score fewer combined points than the total, the UNDER wins.

Let’s break it down – odds generally look something like this:

New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Chargers = 37.5

What Happens When the Number Hits Exactly?

Some odds will not have a decimal. In the example above, we used 37.5 as the total. However, odds may be an even number. The same two teams could meet again during the season and the total could be 38 instead of 37.5.

If you think that both teams combined are going to score more than 38 points, you would take the OVER. On the other hand, if you don’t think it’s going to be a high-scoring affair, and believe the points scored by both squads is going to be 37 or less, you would take the UNDER. But, if the joint score is 38 exactly, that is called a PUSH. In this case, you would get your money back since neither the OVER nor the UNDER hit.

How do Oddsmakers Set the Totals?

When bookmakers set odds and betting lines, they look at a variety of factors. Sports betting sites hire odds experts to calculate how much the combined score between two teams will be. These odds specialists look at previous meetings between the two teams, how each team handles down conversions, their field-goal percentages, rushing yards, and completions and interceptions.

Handicapping Tips: OVER/UNDER Strategy

As a sports bettor, you need to do some homework. Don’t worry, it’s not as intense as anything you had to do in high school – you’re simply handicapping your totals bet enough to make smart picks.

Watch the Odds

Some bettors love to wager on the OVER because they enjoy seeing a lot of scoring action. Oddsmakers take betting behavior like that into consideration when setting the odds. Oftentimes action can come in on the OVER throughout the week leading up to a typical NFL game, which causes the total to climb. In turn, oddsmakers must adjust the line accordingly to keep up with the football betting public.

Keep an eye on the odds and any line movements throughout the days leading up to the game. If you like the OVER, make sure to take it early in the week before the number rises. If you’re leaning toward the UNDER, consider holding off on your bet until closer to kickoff when the total should be at its highest.

Betting Trends and Stats

Much like how spread betting is affected if a key player is out with an injury, factors like that can change the totals too. Always make sure to evaluate weather conditions, offensive and defensive stats, and home/away and indoor/outdoor splits before making a call on the totals. 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.

In addition, routinely take a look at betting trends and the reasons behind why a particular team is cashing the OVER or UNDER with regularity. These trends can tell us which sides bettors generally take. For example, how does the NFL betting public lean when the Jets are playing the Pats at home, or what happens to the total score when the Vikings meet the Packers on the road.

You can also look at the following Odds Shark pages to handicap your totals picks:

Consensus – How is the NFL sports betting public taking each side of a totals bet?

Standings – Go beyond traditional standings and see how your squad does when it comes to game total bets.

Team Reports – A synopsis of all NFL squads.

Game Logs – How any given team fared for any given game.

Power Rankings – Sports are all about how each team stacks up against another.

OVER/UNDER Betting NFL Total Scores

Remember that in the NFL, scores are determined in three- or seven-point intervals. A field goal is three points and a touchdown is six, along with the potential point after touchdown making it seven. There are times where a team will try to attempt a two-point conversion, but don’t bank on this every game. Most coaches will only go for two if they absolutely need to even the score in a do-or-die situation like a playoff game.

Betting on Football

Remember that betting on football, or any sport for that matter, should be fun, like watching a bear try to understand the mechanics of a trampoline. If you’re not having a good time betting on the combined score between two teams, whether it’s a regular Sunday afternoon game or the Super Bowl, take a step back, call an audible and figure out why.

Are you betting too much of your bankroll and wasting your Bitcoin on bets you’re not hitting? Are you betting too little and not seeing enough of a return? Are you forgetting that the oddsmaker’s set number is a combination of both teams’ scores? Once you determine why you’re faltering, rethink your betting strategy (or adjust your handicapping to include the tips we mentioned above) and you’ll have more fun than a bear on a trampoline during NFL season.