When Betting Totals on the Over / Under in NFL Makes Sense?
Betting totals in the NFL is one of many different ways you can wager on NFL action each week.
Totals are a set over/under line for points. For example, Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers had total points set at 56.
If you bet the under, you’re betting on less than 56 points being scored. If you bet the over, you’ll need more than 56 points scored to hit your bet.
Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl, 31-9, meaning those who bet the under won their bet. Let’s explore betting totals in the NFL: how they’re determined and when it’s the right choice.
How Totals are Determined
NFL totals typically range from the high-30s to the low-50s. The total before the Super Bowl was a rare occurrence at such a high number.
Totals are determined by the quality of the two teams playing. If both teams have strong offenses, as was the case between the Chiefs and Bucs, then the projected total will understandably be high.
Totals can also be high if both defenses struggle to stop opposing offenses.
On the inverse, low totals are determined by some combination of struggling offenses, strong defenses, injuries to quarterbacks, or a combination of weak offenses and strong defenses.
When Betting an Under Makes Sense
As a viewer, betting on overs is definitely a more enjoyable experience than betting on under. When you bet an under, you’re actively rooting against anything happening. You root for field goals over touchdowns, turnovers over big plays.
Despite hijacking the viewing experience, there are instances when betting an under makes sense.
Perhaps you see that both teams playing have really struggled with their red zone offense, meaning that when they get near the goal line, they consistently kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. That’s four points they’re leaving on the field, extremely helpful for betting an under.
The clearest sign to bet an under is when you see that each defense has an advantage in the game. Let’s give an example: the Ravens are visiting the Steelers. Baltimore ranks as a top-ten rushing offense and the worst passing team in the NFL.
Pittsburgh’s defense is the number one team at stopping the run in the league. In this instance, Baltimore’s one advantage is wiped away by an even bigger advantage for the Steelers.
On the other end, Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled all season, and Baltimore has a top-five defense.
This would be a terrific opportunity to bet an under.
When Betting an Over Makes Sense
Betting an over, as mentioned, is far more enjoyable when it hits. There are plenty of reasons to bet an over in an NFL game.
Let’s say Dallas is visiting Philadelphia. The Cowboys have a top-five passing offense, going against an Eagles 32nd-ranked pass defense.
Dallas has one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, and the Eagles come in averaging over 200 rushing yards per game.
When both offensive strengths align with defensive weaknesses, you bet the over.
The Final Word
Betting NFL totals is one of the most popular betting strategies in the sports betting community. With advanced statistics and yardage totals available to all, it’s easier than ever to gauge the strength of each offense and defense.
For the 2021 season, find instances where strengths and opposing weaknesses align from either end. When you get an overlap for both teams, it’s the right time to bet a total. Good luck!