Offered in a variety of forms, including game totals, as futures options, plus various prop wagers, strategy for betting Over/Under varies by sport and the options being handicapped. Part of the “Big Three” standard wagering lines, along with Against The Spread and Money Line odds, wagering on totals is very popular during NFL matches. Let’s dig deeper in this bankroll boosting betting method.
Betting on National Football League Game Total Lines
By far the most popular, of all Over/Under ‘capping options, game total wagering is offered on every National Football League contest. From the preseason, which can be dicey and should be bet on sparingly, to regular season battles, plus as NFL playoff betting lines during the race to the Super Bowl, bettors have a 50/50 chance when wagering on game totals. Though the premise is easy to understand, simply predict whether a pre-set total will be exceeded or not, there are a number of factors to consider prior to taking a shot at total score tickets.
As the name indicates, bookmakers will post a number of every NFL match, well in advance of game time, and punters need to determine if the final score (including extra time) will be OVER or UNDER the number. Digging into our NFL odds tracking database, we find totals of 30 to 35.5 points at the lower end of the spectrum, while 56 to 59.5 is generally the high end range. As is the case with point spread wagers, sportsbooks attach a price to OVER/UNDER options (usually -110) and bookmakers look to get even action on both sides in order to collect no-risk juice.
“Consider placing Over/Under wagers on games where SU and ATS options are near even”
On any given Sunday, there are straight up or ATS matchups on NFL cards that are difficult to forecast. Whether it’s two below average squads squaring off, or a pair of crews that are battling for top spot in the overall standings, we shy away from placing ATS and S/U wagers on “too close to call” contests. However, those matches can be candidates for O/U betting, as two low scoring teams, or a pair of high-octane clubs, can produce bankroll building opportunities. As with all exciting online wagering options, when betting on Over/Under odds, research is important.
NFL wagers should never be assumed “locks” but key factors can help make total bets more of an investment than a gamble. Heading to Fantasy Football information sites can reveal valuable insight into how weekly matches are forecast to play out. Suspect defenses, let’s say Atlanta and New Orleans, facing top rated Daily Fantasy Sports pivots Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, points to a Falcons vs Saints battle going OVER the number. While that's an example from 2018, checking DFS rankings, during any American football season, will help the O/U ticket purchasing process.
Important Keys to Handicapping Weekly NFL Game Total Wagering Lines
Bettors are reminded to use their brain, and ignore their heart, when purchasing Over/Under tickets at top online sportsbooks. Let’s get the “heart” part out of the way right off the hop. Generally speaking, sports fans are “hard-wired” in a way that makes them crave high scoring matches. Simply stated, plus far and away in the majority, football fanatics would much rather watch an exciting 36-33 high-flying offensive affair – rather than a dull 13-10 defensive struggle. As such, most casual ‘Cappers instinctively gravitate to OVER lines when betting on the NFL.
Don’t get sucked into the “heart” trap. Constantly betting OVER, hoping for an “entertaining” game and without performing proper research, is a recipe for bankroll busting disasters. As is the case with ATS and S/U betting, there are lots of keys to consider when handicapping NFL Game Total wagering options. That includes considering top players being sidelined with injuries (especially at the quarterback position) the defense and offense rankings of the teams involved, how squads perform at home and away, plus a check on game time weather conditions.
“Carefully research OVER/UNDER options and then wager with your head – not your heart”
Recent trends by team, plus the overall flow of a season in progress, are also key considerations. Prime examples of both of those were evident through the first six weeks of the 2018 NFL season as several teams were scoring at an unprecedented rate. From 2002, when the NFL expanded to 32 teams, through the 2017 campaign, teams scored an average of 21.9 points per game. Six weeks into the 2018 season, that average skyrocketed to 24 PPG even though weaker squads like Buffalo (12.7 PPG) Arizona (13.7 PPG) and Tennessee (14.5) were lagging far off the pace.
That adds up to final scores averaging 48 PPG during the first third of NFL 2018 – compared to 43.8 PPG over the previous 16 seasons. Of course, bookmakers also follow trends and will move their lines accordingly. That was evident by 22 totals of 50 or more points being posted on the first 93 games during 2018 – as opposed to just 19 during the entire 2017 season. OVER had a slight edge in the 2018 contests as 12 of the 22 contests rolled past the number. Watching how individual teams are scoring, plus league trends, are huge keys to cashing game total tickets.
NFL Futures and Props are Popular Over/Under Betting Choices
Beyond standard Game Total bets, offered prior to and throughout the regular season , there are a variety of O/U wagering opportunities. Options begin flowing with team win totals that are posted on top offshore betting boards long before Week 1 action kicks off following Labour Day Weekend. With this O/U wagering method, sportsbooks post a season win total for each team and bettors are required to predict whether squads will post more or less wins. Victory total options normally have a favorite and underdog as bookmakers attach a price to both sides.
For instance, heading into NFL 2018, the New Orleans Saints had a 9.5 win total with OVER priced at (+115) and UNDER listed at (-145) on the futures board at Bodog. Team and player props are also very popular once the games begins as bettors can wager on options like total team touchdowns and field goals, plus individual player passing, rushing and receiving yards. Posted regularly, Canada Sports Betting free picks include a variety of Over/Under predictions. Once it’s time to place wagers - bettors are reminded to play at these top ranked online bookmakers.