Totals Betting Explained

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

Punters often like to place different bets on their favourite sports. 

Experienced players know that the most popular and widely used types of bets are moneyline (where you bet on a specific team to win) and point spread (where you’re placing 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 the piece, 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. It can be used in football, tennis, basketball, etc. 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 let you 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 want to use, the bet is the same — you need to wager on a total score being over or under a specific number.

So, for example, in football, you can place a 1.5 TO bet on a match. This means that you think the game will end with two or more goals in total. On the other hand, if you place a 1.5 TU bet, the match will need to end with only one goal in total, or none, for you to win. 

Here is an example of what an online bookie will offer if you want to place a totals bet.

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

For example, in tennis, there can be more than a single over/under bet, but the most popular is a total bet on games in a match. So, if you were to place a 26.5 TU bet on a match, it means that the total number of games will have to be 26 or below. If the match ends with a score of 2:1 (6:4, 3:6, 6:0), you will have won the bet. That’s because the total score is 6+4+3+6+6+0=25.

Different bookies (such as 10bet, 888sport, and 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 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 have to bet on the score of the game, you could bet over/under the number of yellow cards in that same game, or the number of corner kicks, or something else.

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, while that number can be the goals, points, bogeys, corner kicks, or anything else the statistics of the game follow. The choice is there, and it’s up to you to decide what you want 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 total points in a match being over or under a specific number. The bookie you’ve chosen will likely give you several options with exact odds, and all you need to do is select the one you think will most likely 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 like football, where the score total is usually a very low number, you’ll mostly see bets like 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and the like. On the other hand, in sports like basketball or even American football, totals can be much higher.

As 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 you avoid them. You need to know the sport, and what is likely to occur in the match 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 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 you’re betting on and 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, and we hope that this guide will help you understand them better so you can start using them when betting on your favourite betting site.