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Totals A favorite of many gamblers is a total bet, also known as an over/under. A sports book places a line as to the total number of points to be scored between the two teams, and you wager whether or not the point sum will be over or under the line. It does not matter which team wins the game. In the aforementioned New England v. Washington game, if I wager over the total line of 47, and New England wins the game 31-17, then I win (31 + 17 = 48). If the game ends in a 20-20 tie, I lose my wager.
Many sports bettors like totals because the larger point value lessens the variance of one individual play within a game. Most football lines are +/- 6 points, so a fluke like a punt or fumble return for a touchdown can have a huge impact. Same with basketball, where most lines are +/- 10 points, and the final spread can greatly depend on the performance of a single hot-or-cold player. Such impact is lessened significantly when the two scores are combined together into one total line.
The vig on a total bet is applied the same way as the point spread: an upfront fee of (usually) 10%.
Totals A favorite of many gamblers is a total bet, also known as an over/under