Totals can be an incredibly fun way to bet on any sport, so we wanted to explain it to you in detail.

Totals Betting For Beginners

Punters often enjoy placing different bets on their favourite sports. 

Experienced players know that the most widely used and most popular types of bets are moneyline (when you bet on a specific team to win) and point spread (where you place wagers on a team winning by a specific number of points or goals). However, another commonly used type of wager is Totals. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll know precisely how totals betting works and how to place these bets on your own. 

Let’s take a look.

What is the total or over/under in betting?

A total bet is simple; it’s a bet on the overall result on any match or event. This can be used in football, tennis, basketball, and many other sports. With totals bets, it doesn’t matter who wins, it only matters what the overall score is, or more specifically, the total score in the game.

In most cases, a bookie will allow you to place either a Total Under bet (TU) or a Total Over (TO) bet. Because of this, a totals wager is often called an over/under bet as well. The names are interchangeable, and they signify the same thing. For that reason, we’ll use both names throughout the article.  

Whichever name you wish to use, the bet is the same — you need to wager on a total score being over or under a specific number.

Let’s look at this example from the 888sport betting site:

over under odds example

In this English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Everton, you must predict whether the total number of goals will be higher or lower than 1.5.   

If two or more goals are scored, the “over” bet wins, regardless of who wins the match or whether it ends in a draw.

If you bet on “under”, you will need only one or none goals to be scored in order to win the bet.

For the “over” bet, the bookmaker sets the odds to be 1.20. For example, if Chelsea wins 3-1, that would mean that there are four goals scored in total. Therefore, the “over” bet would be the winning one. 

If you place a £100 wager on this outcome, it would result in a win of £120 (1.20 multiplier x £100 wager) and bring you a profit of £20.

Another case would be the “under” bet, where the bookmaker sets the odds of 4.33. For example, if Chelsea wins 1-0, that would mean that there is one goal scored in total. Or, if there is a draw of 0-0, that would still make the “under” bet to be the winning one, since the total goals scored are less than 1.5. 

If you place a £100 wager on this outcome, it would result in a win of £433 (4.33 multiplier x £100 wager) and earn you a profit of £333.

Totals are the easiest to understand in football, as the scoring system is simple. In other sports, it can be a bit more complicated. However, as long as you know the sport, you’ll understand how Totals work and increase your odds of winning.

For example, in tennis, there can be more than a single over/under bet. However, the most popular is a total bet on games in a match. Here is an example from the 10bet betting site (read 10bet Review):

over under tennis odds example

So, if you were to place a 21.5 “under” bet on a match, it means that the total number of games will have to be 21 or below. If the match ends with a score of 2:1 in sets (6:1, 2:6, 6:0), you will have won the bet. That’s because the total score is 6+1+2+6+6+0=21. 

In this case, if you place a £100 wager on this “under” bet, it would result in a win of £183 (1.83 multiplier x £100 wager) and earn you a profit of £83.

tennis under odds example

Different bookies (such as Betition, Betfred, or Betfair) might represent the bet differently, or they might offer several types of over/under bets. However, the main point is always the same — you’re betting on the total score or something else being either over or under a specific number. 

Other forms of totals bets

Most people prefer standard Totals bets where you can bet on the total score in the match. However, there are many other forms of Totals bets as well. For instance, if you love golf, you can bet on the total number of bogeys in a single round of a tournament. 

Naturally, you can do a similar thing in football, and you don’t even have to bet on the score of the game. You could bet over/under the number of corner kicks, the number of yellow cards in that same game, or something else.

Here is an example for the total over/under number of corner kicks by the Unibet betting site with different odds:

over under odds corners example

As you can see, it’s clear that Totals bets are quite diverse. The main point, as we’ve said, is that there is the option for you to bet over/under a specific number, and that number can be the goals, points, bogeys, corner kicks, or anything else that the statistics of the game follow. The choice is there, and it’s up to you to decide what you wish to wager your money on. 

How do you bet with total points? 

As you can see, betting on Totals is quite simple. It’s always about betting on a total score or the total points in a match being over or under a specific number. The bookie that you’ve chosen will likely provide several options with exact odds, and all you need to do is select the one that you think will be most likely to happen based on your knowledge of the sport, the match at hand, and the odds themselves. 

The act of betting on any given platform is quite simple, and it works in the same manner as all other bets. However, bear in mind that the bets are not shown in the same form for all sports. 

For example, in sports such as football, where the score total is usually a very low number, you’ll primarily see bets in the range of 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and the like. On the other hand, in sports like basketball, Totals can be much higher. 

Here is an example of a basketball match presented by MansionBet where you can see that Totals is set at 210.5. This means that the total score in the game needs to be over 210 or under 210 points.

basketball over under odds example

Since the actual betting is quite straightforward, you need to consider things that aren’t. Totals, like all other bets, have specific numbers that are more likely to occur, while others are almost useless for punters. 

A bookie will often offer sucker bets that are there to take your money, and you need to make sure that you avoid them. It’s important to know the sport, and what is likely to occur in the match that you’re betting on. You can focus on the odds, but then you’ll likely fall for some of these sucker bets, because bookies can easily adjust odds to look better to punters, while the actual thing that you’re betting on is unlikely to occur. 


As you can see, Totals are fairly straightforward bets. They are easy to learn and master. You don’t have to favour a specific team, and you don’t have to think about a wide variety of possibilities. You only need to focus on the total score of the game or some other point total, and wager on it being over or under a specific number. 

The whole point is knowing the sport that you’re betting on and understanding what the most common score totals are in that sport. If you are a fan of a specific sport, Totals bets might be the way to go for you. We hope that this guide will help you to understand them better so that you can start using Totals when betting on your favourite betting site.