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A "Total bet" is a wager placed on the combined number of points scored by both teams in a matchup. Any other points acculmulated during game extensions, such as overtime or penalty time are included in the final point total.

Suppose the Yankees and Redsox are playing tomorrow, and you think the Yankees will get 6 runs and the Redsox will get 3, making a combined point total of 9. If you placed a "Total" bet on this game, you would wager that the Yankees/Redsox Total would be 9 for tomorrow's game. Total bets can be fun in sports contests that are characteristically low scoring, that is, a game result is generally decided by 3 or 4 units/runs/goals/points etc, because this makes guessing the total much easier. Accordingly, soccer, baseball, and hockey are three top total betting sports. Most of the time, the total bet will be less than 12.

Things get much trickier in high scoring games, or games with multiple ways of scoring points. For example, in football, teams can score with a 3 point field goal, a 6 point touch down, (and accompanying 1 point field goal or 2 point conversion) or a 2 point safety. This makes guessing the final outcome in points to be much more difficult, since the result is contingent on many more variables and scoring options. Likewise, with Basketball, where points can be made with 1 point foul shots, 2 point shots, or 3 point shots, game point totals can easily range from 80 on the low side, to over 200 on the high side. Thus, guessing the total for a basketball game is much more challenging and almost sheer luck if you're able to nail it.

As a result, the odds for totals are adjusted per the level of difficulty of picking the total for a given contest. Baseball and hockey game totals don't pay as much as football or basketball totals, unless the game is forecast to be a complete blowout with one contender having the possibility of easily scoring multiple times. Totals make the game a little more interesting, because you're essentially routing for both the winner and loser at the same time. You want the winner to score a certain number of points and no more, and you want the loser to only score so many points and no more or no less.

Totals, in general, are difficult bets and hinge on many game variables. Referee calls, weather, competitor matchups such as quarterbacks or baseball pitchers, penalties, umpires, etc all can make a drastic impact on the final tally of the game. Essentially, you're looking for a fair contest with no goof ups by the officiating crew that "goes as planned" with the favorite scoring one portion of your points and the loser only scoring the remaining portion of the total. Is a total bet a sucker's bet? Yes, it can be. If you're betting basketball totals, good luck - this is literally more difficult than a crap shoot or black/red bet on the roulette wheel. With hockey, you face better odds but won't get as much money in return.

Our suggestion is to bet totals very carefully. Stick to one's you think you can win. And, if you're also betting on the general outcome of the game, bet a smaller amount of money on the total bet, because if you lose your total ( a harder bet than straight bet ) you don't want to nullify your straight bet winnings. Have fun and Good Luck!

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