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Totals & spreads are the most common bets on any betting site. Each wager has its own risks and reward rate, but how can a bettor pick one that suits them?

If you weigh totals vs. spreads before betting, this article will help you see how both work. It will also teach you how to read spreads and totals through various examples. 

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Total is also known as over/under bets. In this type of betting, US sportsbooks will predict the total score based on the game and the teams playing. It is called totals because the scores of the playing teams will be added even before the game begins.

The bettors will decide whether the game’s final score will be over or under the predicted total score. If the prediction is equal to the actual score, it is called a push, and the bets are returned to the people. If the total score is more than the predicted score, those who betted “over” win. 


Spread betting is a type of staking on the result of a game event where the payout is based on the accuracy of the bet. It does more than simply judge who is the winner or loser in the game, such as money or moneyline betting.


Football Totals 

Totals are the simplest and easiest to understand wager among the other types of betting. To do totals American football bets, you need to know the teams that will play. Choose a sportsbook that offers over/under betting for football. 

Look at their odds and decide whether you will go with over or under. For example, if the competing teams are the San Francisco 49ers against the Sheriff Tiraspol. If the sportsbook predicts a total score of 40 at the end of the game, bettors should either go over or under 40.

Football Point Spreads

The -110 is the odds of the game. However, it is not always -110, but it is one of the most common or standard odds for a point spread. Point spreads can be a little lower or slightly higher, but they are almost always close to -110. 

The odds will determine how much winning will return relative to the bet. The -3 for the Kansas City Chiefs and +3 for the Cincinnati Bengals represent the spread. However, these points are for adjustments only. They do not influence the possible outcome of the game.

NBA spreads work the same. However, there can be a big difference when it comes to scores. 


Most sportsbooks refer to point spreads as the vigorish (vig) or equalizers. This is not to be confused with vigs or the bookies’ cut, which is how sports betting companies make money. Point spread betting is another choice for punters when lines move, and they like to bet on the underdog. If the underdog wins, the profit of the bettor is also higher. 


Totals or over/under work in an effortless way. Once the sportsbooks know the playing teams, they will come up with a total score considering several factors, such as the teams’ abilities, the players playing, and so on.

Totals do not depend on which team wins the game. It is more dependent on the overall score of both teams. Typically, the odds on both over and under-bets are similar. It is because casinos or sportsbooks want to attract equal betting from the punters. 


The sportsbook’s primary purpose is to earn money from bettors. They will set up the winning wagers advantageous to them. We have 40 points for over/under betting using our examples above and a +-3 for spreads.

As much as possible, sportsbooks prevent having a tie or a “push” in a game. Because if that happens, casinos will return the money to the bettors as if betting did not occur. Therefore, they will not earn anything. 

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