Over/Under Totals Bets Defined
Over/under bets, also known as totals bets, are a wager available to gamblers where they attempt to predict how many total points will be scored in a game. Before the game, sportsbooks release a line that gamblers can then bet on if they think the points scored will be greater or lesser.
To determine if your bet is a winner, you need to add together the final score of both teams at the end of the game. If the total points scored were greater than the line, and you bet the over, then your bet is a winner. The same is true for if you bet the under and the total combined scored was lesser than the line.
How Does A Totals Bet Work in Maryland?
In Maryland, totals bets are available for virtually every sport. However, because the different sports use different scoring systems, there are a few unique features that accompany each sporting event.
Despite those small differences, the basic concept remains the same where the points scored by both teams must be compared to the original betting line.
How to Read the Over/Under
The line for totals bets will be represented as a number, with a set of odds for the over and a set of odds for the under. The odds for the over bet and the under bet do not need to be the same.
As an example, let's take a look at how some Maryland betting odds might look like for a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Baltimore Ravens vs Kansas City Chiefs Total: 46.5 (Over -115 / Under -105) We can see that the total is 46.5 and that the over is a slight favorite. This means a couple of things. For one, a wager on the over isn't an even money bet. One would have to stake $115 to make $100 back. Also, the total- 46 and a half points- is deliberately used to avoid a push (or draw). The game must result in a total of less than, or greater than 46 points.
- NFL Totals
As the largest betting market in North America, there's plenty of money that flows into NFL betting every Sunday. NFL totals usually range from somewhere in the high 30s to the mid-50s, though there are occasionally exceptions that are extreme to either side.
- NBA Totals
NBA totals bet are the highest of any sport because of how much scoring there is in basketball. The modern NBA has only seen more scoring and totals continue to inch up higher and higher. Totals between two teams can each as 220-230.
- MLB Totals
MLB totals are a popular bet type. One thing that gamblers will sometimes do is bet on the total for just the first five innings instead of the full game. This way they know who the pitchers will be for at least the majority of that time and don't need to worry about a shaky bullpen changing the outcome of their bet.
- NHL Totals
There isn't much variation between NHL totals across different games because of how low-scoring the sport is. Most totals will be set between 5.5 and 6.5. Occasionally some totals get as low as 5 or as high as 7. It's very rare to see a line as low as 4.5 or as high as 7.5, though it does happen a few times a year.
- College Totals
There is always a large variety in college totals because of how many teams there are. For example, in a college football game, some teams play a high-octane style and have games with totals in the 60s and 70s. Other teams play a lower-tempo brand of football, resulting in fewer points.
How Over/Under (Totals) Bets in Maryland Payouts
When you're over/under betting, there are a few examples of factors that you need to be aware of in terms of the odds. The odds are the key to figuring out how much you stand to win, so you're going to want to know how to read them. Odds for over/under betting will be shown in American format in Maryland.
Plus Odds (+)
Plus odds are used for underdog selections in American format. Any selection with a 50% or less implied probability of happening will have plus odds. They represent how much can be won with a $100 bet.
For example, let's say that you bet that the Baltimore Orioles game would go over 8 at odds of +125. You could bet $100 to win $125, returning a total of $225 if the total score is over 8.
Minus Odds (-)
Minus odds are used for selections with a stronger chance of occurring, over 50% to be precise. The number represents how much you need to risk to win $100.
If the betting total is set at 50.5 for a Baltimore Ravens game, you might be able to bet the under at odds of -110 for $110. If the game ends on 50 total points, winning the bet by the half point, you would be returned your $110 along with $100 in winnings, for a total of $210.
A push occurs when the total points scored equals the betting total. This is considered a tie between the gambler and the sportsbook, meaning that everyone is returned their original stake but doesn't get any more than that.
How Prop Bets Work with Over/Unders in Maryland
While the main totals bet is one of the most popular, there are also other over/under bets in Maryland that can be considered prop bets. These are bets on smaller events within the game. A good example is betting the over/under on a smaller subset of the game, for example, betting on the points scored in the first quarter of a game.
The over/under concept is also used for other prop bets that aren't related to the final score total. For example, betting on individual player statistics like points scored uses an over/under system. What's more, some sportsbooks offer alternate lines, allowing you to pay more- or less- for a total that differs from the widely available one.
Over/Under and Parlay Bets
Over/under betting in Maryland can also be used in parlay bets. Parlays are an easy way for gamblers to massively increase their potential return without changing their stake.
Over/Unders (Totals) Betting Strategy
Here are a few different Maryland over/under betting strategies you can try:
Looking at the final score can give you an idea as to what the total might be. Games where there is a big favorite often mean that one team is guaranteed to score lots of points and it will just come down to the actions of the other team.
Since overtime counts for the over/under, finding games where overtime is more likely gives you a chance at extra time for more scoring to occur. If you bet the over in a game between two evenly matched teams, that's a real possibility.
Offense and Defense Trends
Looking at each team's offense and defense is a great starting point for betting over/unders in Maryland. If a team is trending in a certain direction, for example, their offense has picked up over the last month, that can be a good clue as to how the game will go.
Looking at the pace a team plays at can be very helpful when betting over/unders in Maryland. For example, hockey teams that have more shots or basketball teams that have more possessions tend to have higher-scoring games. One thing to keep in mind is that this is often priced into the line.
If you see a line moving quickly in one direction, it can often be because of lots of money from professional gamblers pushing it that way. Just make sure you catch it while it's still moving and don't get stuck with the worst number.
Determining the Over/Under in Maryland Sports Betting
The over/under in Maryland betting is determined by the sportsbooks who put plenty of resources, including money and man-hours, into developing these lines. They take into account every factor you could imagine, from the weather of different games to the coaching style of each team.
Over/under lines will be released far in advance of each game starting. As gamblers make their bets, the lines will shift to reflect how the sportsbook thinks they can best cover their liability.
Marylanders, Start Betting in Over/Under Betting Now!
Hopefully, this guide helped teach you something that you didn't know and will lead to more money for you when gambling. Predicting the game total is one of the most common bets for gamblers of all experience levels.
FAQs About Over/Unders in Maryland Sports Betting
An over/under bet works by gamblers predicting if the final score of both teams will combine to be greater or lesser than a betting line released by sportsbooks before the game.
If the over/under lands exactly on the number, then it's considered a push. This can be thought of like a tie and all gamblers are returned their money.
Yes, over/under bets include overtime. The only exception to this rule is in certain soccer competitions. However, all North American sports include overtime when over/under betting.
From an objective point of view, there's no advantage to betting the over or the under. However, many gamblers prefer betting the over as cheering against scoring can be boring.
Yes, you can parlay over/under bets. Every sportsbook in Maryland will allow you to put multiple over/under bets in the same parlay.
Noah Strang is a freelance sports reporter with extensive experience in the worlds of sports gambling and sports cards. He's worked as accredited NHL media and contributed for a variety of publications across the web. You can find more of his work or contact him at his Twitter @noahstrang_.