NFL Over/Under Betting Explained  

Sports Betting Steve O Speak

The National Football League (NFL) enjoys great popularity in the United States. It was founded on 17th September 1920 under the name the American Professional Football Association (APFA). Fast forward to present days, the NFL is touted to be the world’s highest professional level of American football. The league consists of 32 teams and its regular season lasts for 18 weeks, starting from September.

Americans are known for their passion for sports. Without a doubt, American football is among the most beloved sports in the US, and not only. A reason for its unbeatable popularity is that American football is a national sport. The NFL brings together many of the most successful teams in the USA. Interestingly, NFL is based on the idea of equality between teams. Being the most popular American football league, it attracts huge betting action.

Understanding NFL Over/Under Bets

If you are dipping your toes into the waters of sports betting, you might find this article quite useful. Bookies often provide NFL fans with plenty of popular and exotic betting options like parlays, teasers, futures (also known as outrights type of wagering), props, etc. A popular NFL sports bet is the point total, also known as Over/Under.


As the name of the bet implies, sports fans wager their money on the total number of points scored during the match to go over or under a given line. Here the word total plays a crucial role. The Over/Under bet is based on the combined number of points scored by any of the teams at any time of the game, be it regulation or overtime. Which will be the winning team is irrelevant.

To explain how the NFL Over/Under bet works, we will use an example. Let’s assume that the Cowboys will play against the Redskins, and the over/under betting line is set at 49. Over bettors will win if the total points scored during the game are over 49. But if the total number of points is under 49, you will lose the bet. Assuming that both teams score exactly 49 points, the result is a push (a tie), and the bookie will return your money.

How Bookies Determine the NFL Over/Under Betting Line?


Bookmakers’ goal is to make money. When determining the NFL Over/Under betting line, they try to predict the exact number of points scored during the match. This way, the winning and losing bets will be equal and bookies will still get their cut. Of course, this is the best-case scenario. But if over bets outnumber under bets, the bookie changes the betting line.

For example, if the total line is set at 49, but the over bets are more than the under bets, the bookmaker might increase the line by 1 unit. While on the subject, we have to mention that some bookies prefer to set the betting line at a number ending in .5 to avoid having a push.

Factors Affecting NFL Over/Under Bets

You do not have to be an experienced punter to place a successful NFL Over/Under bet. However, you have to pay attention to some factors that may affect the game and the performance of the teams. One of them is the weather. American football is an outdoor sport. Thus, when the weather is bad, the number of scored points can be lower than expected.

Bettors have to pay attention to the stadium where the match will take place. Punters are also advised to make their predictions before checking what the betting line is. Please note that the betting line varies with the different sportsbooks. Speaking of this, NFL fans should compare the betting lines offered by the bookmakers prior to placing their bets.

NFL Over/Under Bets Payouts

Perhaps the thing that matters the most to punters is the potential payout a winning NFL Over/Under bet can produce. Most often, over and under bets offer the same payout. Bookies use American odds for the NFL totals. However, if you are not familiar with this odds style, you can choose a sportsbook that supports other odds formats. Typically, the odds for NFL Over/Under bets are -110. So, if you wager $10 at odds -110, a winning bet will pay out $9.09.

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