Totals in Wagering

One of most popular ways to wager on sports is over/under betting. The wagering line presented by a sportsbook is just as simple as it sounds, usually the total points or goals combined between the two teams, yet there are many things to consider when placing a bet. Here are just a few considerations when placing an over/under or totals wager in multiple sports:

* Overtime or extra periods: Unless specifically specified, extra periods count towards the total that is graded to make the wager win or lose. Some extra periods even guarantee scoring, such as hockey, where a goal will be added either in sudden-death or in a shootout. Other overtime scenarios, such as in the NFL or soccer, can end with no extra points scored and the game ending in a tie.

* The weather: It is amazingly common for sports bettors to place a wager on the total of a game without checking the weather report. Of course, in basketball and hockey it won't matter, but it is very important for outdoor games in soccer and football. Heavy rain or wind can affect the passing game in football, having the effect of suppressing scoring because the clock runs more when teams rely on the run. This would be a situation where an under wager would have more value.

* Head-to-head trends: Many websites will post head-to-head betting trends for Over/Under totals in matchups. These trends are dangerous to follow blindly, unless you know what is relevant. Look for trends in series of games where both teams have not changed coaches or offensive and defensive strategies. This is especially true in matchups between division or conference foes where the coaching staffs know each other's tendencies. Trends where a team has provided the same over/under result in a series of matchups against different teams are less reliable overall.

* Team and player prop bets: These are instances in which the side being presented is more detailed. Popular player prop bets include events such as completions for a quarterback in a game, which would be a good thing to bet over on if a star running back was injured. A team prop bet could be how many wins they will achieve over a season. That wager must be placed before the season and will have your money tied up over the long haul, but can be a profitable endeavor.

Another popular team prop bet could be the amount of points just one team scores in a game. This wager is useful if you are certain a one-sided matchup between an offense and defense exists, but don't know about how the other units will match up with each other.

* Public inflation: The public likes high scoring games, and as a result, the over/under markets put out by sportsbooks can be inflated towards the Over. Look for lines that move rapidly to the upside for opportunities to make a contrarian wager with value.

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