Beginners Guide to Sports Gambling: Game Total Bets

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Alright gamblers if you want to do well, you need to know about game total odds- but don't worry we are breaking down the info here on Sports Illustrated's Gambling 101

Part of the big 3, game total odds are posted along with point spread and money lines.

They are also known as Over/Under betting odds- but focus on the final score of a sporting event. 

Simply stated, bookmakers set a number and bettors are asked if the final total will go over, or stay under, the posted number. 

Game totals vary, depending on the sport, and range from 0.5 goals in soccer and up to 240 points or more in basketball.

Similar to point spread betting odds, game totals are posted with various amounts of juice. The Standard (-110) pricing is common on many total odds.

For example a $110 bet returns a $100 profit... and while it's usually risky to cover both sides- if you choose to do so here the most you can lose $10 bucks- which I'm ok with.

Beyond standard full game odds, there are many opportunities to bet on totals before and during contests. 

Prior to a match, or while the action plays out, bettors can wager on timed events like periods in hockey or quarter and halftime results in basketball and football.

Live betting on totals brings added excitement to baseball games as bettors can bet on options like total runs and hits during every inning.

The best thing you can do though is to shop around for the best game total odds out there before placing your bet.

If you need help, make sure to bookmark Sport's Illustrated's Glossary of Terms and we will see you next time on another Gambling 101 here on

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