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DunkOrThree > Betting Guide > Basketball Over/Under Predictions: Mastering Totals Betting in Basketball

Basketball Over/Under Predictions: Mastering Totals Betting in Basketball

Publish Date:20.02.2024
Fact checked by: Jackson T. Pierce

Looking to hit a slam dunk with your next NBA wager? Then check out my top basketball predictions for under/over today.

For those of you who are new to this game, the over/under market is the most popular and simple type of props bet. Rather than betting on the result of the game, you just need to wager on the total points scored by both teams being over or under the amount stated in the line.

What is an over-under bet in basketball?

The over/under bet, sometimes referred to as “totals” is a type of proposition (prop) bet that involves betting on the combined number of points scored by both teams during the game.

If you think that the total number of points will be more than the projected number (as shown in the betting line) at the end of the game, you pick the “over”. On the other hand, if you believe it will be less, then you should choose the “under”.

Unlike with moneylines and basketball spread betting, the actual result of the game doesn’t impact your over/under wager. In other words, it doesn’t matter which team wins or loses, so long as you get your over/under total correct.

Basketball predictions for under/over today – The pros and cons

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is an over-under bet in basketball?”, let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of this wager. I have summarized the pros and cons for you here:

Basketball Over/Under Predictions
  • The most popular bet alongside the moneyline and points spread
  • Very easy wager type to understand for beginner bettors
  • The actually win-loss result of the game doesn’t impact a totals bet
  • Available for all NBA and other basketball games
  • Stable odds that don’t vary much
  • Odds are stable, but the value is low

Betting the over-under in basketball: Explained

Now let’s take a look at how an over/under bet works in action. To explain it clearly, I’ve used a real-life example from a regular season NBA game between the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks:

Chicago BullsO 236.5-110Atlanta Hawks
U 236.5-110

If you were to bet the over (O) in this instance, you would need the Bulls and the Hawks to score a combined total of 237 points or more for your bet to pay out. Conversely, a bet on the under (U) would require a combined total of 236 points or less to be scored by both teams.

As I explained earlier, the end result – be it a Bulls or a Hawks win – doesn’t matter to you here. Your sole focus is on getting the points total right. This makes the over/under a good option if you are wagering on a game that is too close to call.

Examples of NBA over/under wins and losses

To clarify things for you further, here are a couple of hypothetical results that show a winning over/under bet outcome:

Over result

Chicago Bulls129
Atlanta Hawks123
Points total:252 (Over bet wins)

Under result

Chicago Bulls108
Atlanta Hawks114
Points total:222 (Under bet wins)

How to bet the over-under in basketball

As basketball fans, we often focus on team and player performance, and who will win or lose. But with this type of bet, that doesn’t matter at all. The first thing that you need to think about when betting on the over/under market is what the points total is likely to be.

To do that you need to consider each team’s point averages and how their defensive and offensive displayers are likely to influence the total scoreboard. The other thing to think about is your potential payout.

All over/under markets start off at the same price (-110) and if they move, they tend to move only slightly. As I will explain later, the sportsbook will always add vig/juice on top of the ‘actual’ odds to protect their profits.

Why are half points used in basketball predictions for under over today?

Given that a final points total of 236.5 is impossible in basketball, you might be wondering why the half point is always used for over/under betting. The reason behind this is pretty simple – it avoids the chance of the points total being hit exactly.

Just like in my moneyline betting explained guide, one of the two outcomes is guaranteed to win. Round number over/under lines do exist in some cases though. If the total projection was to land exactly, you would get your stake back regardless of whether you had bet the over or the under.

What is an over/under bet in basketball and how do the payouts work?

Over/under betting lines most often start with odds of -110 for both outcomes. This means that you would need to wager $110 in order to yield a $100 profit if your bet were to win. Or, in simpler terms, you stand to win 91 cents for every $1 that you bet.

Technically speaking, all over/under betting markets should start at 50/50, which would be -100. However, the sportsbooks need to protect their profits either way, so they add an extra percentage known as the “juice” or “vig”.

Over/under juice/vig explained:

With odds of -110, the implied probability of the outcome winning is 52.38%. When you add both sides of the over/under together, that gives you 104.76%. Subtract that total from 100% and the number that you are left with is the juice that the bookie has added to the line, which is 4.76% in this example.

How are basketball predictions for over-under today determined?

As was the case when I explained parlay betting, there are several factors that the bookmakers consider when setting their projected over/under total for an NBA game. Things such as average points totals for each team are considered first and foremost.

However, other factors also have to be taken into account that could affect the points total. For instance, if  Luka Doncic were injured, the Dallas Mavericks’ points total would likely be reduced, as they’d miss out on his 34.5 points per game average.

Non-sporting factors

As basketball fans, we are inclined to consider the on and off-the-court factors first and foremost. But for the bookies, there is also the money side to take into account.

If the sportsbooks see a lot of money coming in on the over, for example, they may decide to lengthen the odds on the under to make it more appealing.

Now you know what is an over-under bet in basketball – here’s what to do next

At the end of the day, the over/under is a simple market that is ideal if you can’t call who will win or lose an NBA game. Just consider the factors that I mentioned above to determine if you think the total points scored by both teams combined will be more or less than the projected number.

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Basketball predictions under over today FAQ

⛹️ What is an over-under bet in basketball?

An over/under or “totals” wager involves betting on the total number of points scored in the game being more or less than the projected amount. The outcome of the game doesn’t matter here, making it a type of “prop” bet.

🏀How do you predict the basketball over/under?

There are several things that you can consider in order to try and accurately predict the over/under in basketball. Points averages, injuries, and recent team/player form are all contributing factors.

⛹️‍♀️What does over 225.5 mean in basketball betting?

If you were to bet over 225.5 in an NBA game, the combined score for both teams would need to be 223 points or more for you to win. Looking to get started with a bonus? Check out the best sports betting bonus types explained here at Dunkorthree.com.

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