In gambling, a “push” is another word for a tie bet where the gambler takes back their bet but no winnings.

Most of the time you’ll see the line for Totals set at a half-point, like the 8.5 point line we used in the example above, and since teams can’t score half a point there’s no possibility for a tie bet. Sometimes, however, the line will be set a whole number. If the totals line was 8, for example, the outcome of the game can match the line precisely.

If that happens all totals bets are a push and everyone gets their money back.

Over/Under Betting Strategy

Like all other forms of sports betting, you want to do your homework with Over/Under bets. The more you study and take into consideration, the more informed your decisions will be. You want to reduce emotion and maximize logic.

Use our top Totals betting strategy tips to give yourself an edge on your next wagers:

  • Analyze both teams independently first. Are they offensive or defensive? Do they have power hitters that guarantee more runs or a pitcher that makes it impossible for their opponents to score?
  • Consider where they are playing. Are they at home or on the road? Is the environment much different than they are used to? Will weather play a factor? If so, how?
  • Once you form an opinion on each team and checked out their statistics, compare how they’ve formed against each other in the recent past.
  • The key words here are ‘recent’ and ‘statistics. Many punters tend to mentally overvalue teams’ reputations. Look for hard statistical data to use as evidence, the more recent the better.
  • An example of this are teams that have earned a reputation for high scoring. It may actually be the case that they put up a lot of points in a few big games but actually score an average amount when you look at all their games as a whole.

You also want to take your research to deeper levels in order to think about outcomes from the perspective of the professional oddsmakers. This is just good practice and will make you a better bettor in the long term.

For example, in a hockey game, instead of just seeing how often the two teams score, consider how many shots on goal they generate on the road or at home. Do they generate most of the shots at 5v5 or on the powerplay? If you spot an edge here, compare it to how many penalty minutes the other team takes on average per game.

Is there something circumstantial about the game at hand that would factor into play, coaching, or strategy? Are there playoff implications for the teams? Go as deep as your creativity and critical thinking can take you.

Over/Under Betting Strategy in MLB Baseball

Baseball Over/Under betting can be really profitable but if you want to be a winning bettor you have to do your research. Follow these tips to get your studies started:

  1. Start with the weather and the stadium first. Each building is different and so are the elements. If it is an outdoor stadium, consider that day’s forecast, especially things like wind and rain.
  2. A dry sunny day might see fly balls carry farther which leads to more scoring. As well, certain pitchers get a larger majority of their outs from pop flies. On a given day that could mean trouble.
  3. From a defensive perspective, you might find Under bet opportunities when both teams have really strong starting pitchers, a deep bullpen, or a particularly powerful infield.
  4. Conversely, if both rosters are stacked with power hitters it might make betting the Over more appealing.
  5. Finally, make sure to look at each team’s managerial decision making. Does the manager of one team like the hit-and-run? Does he tell his guys to take risks and attempt to steal a lot bases?

All of the small factors add up to be really important so it is imperative that you gather all the information possible and use it to make an informed decision.

One final crucial piece of information to keep in mind with MLB Over/Under betting: If you think the home team is likely to be in the lead in the later innings, this may influence at-bat stats since they wouldn’t play the bottom half of the 9th inning. This could play a huge role in the ‘make or break’ of your Over/Under wager. Find out if your state has legalized sports betting on MLB before you go forward with betting.

Over/Under Betting Strategy in NFL Football

Much like in baseball, football Over/Under bets will largely be influenced by stadium and weather. You need to think about how a team likes to run their offense as well as the opponents likely defensive tactics.

Here are some of the key factors we look for when betting NFL football totals:

  1. A team that relies heavily on their passing game could face difficulties in a cold, wet, windy day.
  2. Consider as well how a team is likely to choose their play-calling depending on if they are winning or losing. Are they likely to be trailing and in need of some quick scoring or are they more likely to have a lead late in the game and want to kill the clock by running the ball on most plays?
  3. As an Over/Under NFL bettor you want to base your decisions on how you foresee the entire game panning out. Think of the most likely scenarios for how the game will play out and form an educated guess on what this means for each team’s point total per quarter.
  4. Next, go on to consider an exaggerated outcome in one direction and ask yourself how much that would impact the quarter by quarter scoring.
  5. Once you’ve done that, go through the same process but in reverse and exaggerate the outcome for the other team.

Over/Under Betting in NBA Basketball

Basketball Over/Under bets can be equal parts pure exhilaration and maddening frustration. You might find yourself hooting and hollering in glee or ripping your hair out in a fit of rage. Stick with these tips and you’ll have a better chance of experiencing the former.

  1. Unlike other sports, the ending of basketball games, even if they are not particularly close in score, can have huge fluctuations in point total outcome.
  2. Be prepared to see your whole wager come down to garbage-time free throws or layups that mean nothing in terms of game victory yet can mean everything to your bet.
  3. To prepare and study for NBA Over/Under bets, the best advice is to look at recent results for both of the teams involved and find out how many of their recent games finished Over or Under.
  4. You want to find teams who have consistently been finishing on the same side of the line. Calculate what the average point totals were in those games. This data is available on several websites.
  5. When you identify these teams and see an O/U line that has a line with a large differential from their recent average point total (during their recent streak O/U streak), then you have identified good value and should bet accordingly.

If it’s your first time betting on the NBA then you’ll need to find out if there is legal sports betting in your state. Read our legal betting on the NBA guide to find out if your state has legal betting options.

Over/Under Betting in Soccer

Soccer Over/Under lines for full-time scoring (up to 90 minutes plus stoppage time) are usually 2.5. Essentially your job is to predict if there will be more than two goals or less than 3 goals. It’s as simple as that in terms of decision making.

If you want to spice things up, some books will give you a full range of totals to bet on with longer odds for each. If you think there will be more goals you can get lines for it. Different sportsbooks will range in how far up they will go or down if you wish to predict 1 goal, or a scoreless draw).

Soccer in-play betting will update quite often for point totals so if you want more action during the course of the game keep checking the lines to find potential good value. A keen eye on the flow of the game could give you an edge here. Pay attention to changes in coaching strategies, substitutions, and injuries.

Start to Place Winning Over/Under Bets Now

We’ve covered a ton of ground in this article and we’ve seen how different sports provide different opportunities for Over/Under betting. While each sport is different and has unique elements that allow for smart point total wagering, there are some things that carry across all of them.

First and foremost, the best advice is to always go into each bet with an informed opinion.

You want to study both sides of the wager. Which team is home? How do they play there? Flip it for the visitors and ask the same question. Then look at the elements. Is this game outdoors? What’s the forecast and how does that impact the players?

The bottom line is that betting totals is a great way to put some money on your favorite team or get an edge if you’re a serious sports gambler. Stick to our tips and you’ll have another effective tool in your sports betting bag.

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