Get O/U records for the 30 NBA teams to see how each one of them performs in totals betting.
- Over record: The number of times a game featuring a specific team went over, under or pushed, written in record form (over-under-push)
- Over percentage: The percentage of times a game involving a specific team went over the combined point total, excluding pushes
- Under percentage: The percentage of times a game involving a specific team went below the combined point total, excluding pushes
- Total +/-: The average number of points that a game goes over (positive) or under (negative) for a specific team
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What does the Over/Under Mean in NBA Betting?
Different from the point spread where you look at the matchups and pick a favorite or an underdog, an NBA over under is a projected number of how many combined points per game oddsmakers at betting sites believe both teams will score. Bettors can wager on whether they believe more points will be scored than the projected total (taking the “over”) or whether the combined points will be less than the set total (taking the “under”).
Understanding NBA Over/Under Odds
For those who bet on NBA games, the over-under is pretty cut-and-dry. You’re not looking to bank on a huge underdog or ride a team that has won five straight. Oddsmakers set a total and the two teams either combine to surpass it (going over) or not reach it (going under). Because it’s an essential coin flip (in every game it either happens or it doesn’t), the odds are usually between -105 and +115. In that scenario, a bettor could wager $105 to win $100, or bet $100 to win $115 on the other side of the bet. The payout on most NBA over under bets is fairly standard across betting sites, though it is still smart to compare and look for the best value.
Why is Over/ Under NBA Betting So Popular?
Betting the over-under is popular both in-season and during the postseason because it does not involve picking a winner. The point spread never comes into play when considering the over-under. Bettors are simply interested in both teams scoring or not scoring and not whether the favored Oklahoma City Thunder can beat the Cleveland Cavaliers by more than 10 points, for example. Not having to root for a team can be a lot of fun, though, as every possession matters instead of bettors cheering on one side of the bet if they wagered on the point spread.
Also, there’s an added bonus of winning your bet before the game even ends. For instance, if you took the over in an Indiana Pacers-Golden State Warriors game that was set at 220.5, you win the bet as soon as the combined point total hits 221. Also, betting the over-under in NBA betting is so popular because no other sport scores as many points per game as basketball does.
Another component to over/under betting is live betting once the game has begun. Let’s say the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics are playing in a huge Eastern Conference matchup. The over-under (or totals) line before the game was 212 but the game is extremely low scoring to start. With live betting, sportsbooks will alter the total in real-time and give you the opportunity to get that new total while the game is being played. Don’t worry if you bet the under before the game, though! You locked in at the 212 and you will get your payout if the combined score falls below it.
RELATED: Check Out Our Daily Expert NBA Picks
What to Consider When Making an NBA Over-Under Picks
There’s plenty to consider when making over-under NBA picks. Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration how good both offenses are and, conversely, how good both defenses are when looking at matchups to bet. Western Conference teams traditionally score more than Eastern Conference teams, so oddsmakers take this into account when setting the total. So, typically, when the Houston Rockets play the Portland Trail Blazers, expect a higher total than if the Boston Celtics are playing the Indiana Pacers.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how fast both teams play; certain teams run more than others, creating additional possessions for both their team and their opponent. Consider how much rest a team has had coming into the game (teams on fewer days rest score fewer points), and don’t forget to look up referee statistics; officials who call more fouls are more likely to be involved in games that go over. Our handicappers take all of these factors into account in their expert NBA picks.
NBA Over/Under Betting Tips
Pace and efficiency matters. Analyze how teams play when considering an over-under bet. Some teams run the fast break more often, some shoot more 3-pointers, and others focus their attention on defensive efficiency. A slower-paced team is more likely to speed things up against a faster-paced team than the other way around. More possessions mean more points.
Rest matters. Basketball teams playing back-to-back nights statistically score less and allow more points. The better rested, the greater the discrepancy.
Whistleblowers. Referee statistics are out there, and very revealing. Refs who call more fouls tend to oversee higher scoring games.
There are myriad numbers to analyze that will lead you to a good estimate of how many points a team may score on a given night. Consider the number of points you believe a team and its opponent will score, and then compare it against the point total set by oddsmakers. If it falls much higher or lower than what oddsmakers have predicted, bet that side of the over-under.
Also, keep in mind that regular season games tend to be higher scoring than in the playoffs, when teams are matched up better and there is a lot more on the line. With each possession having enhanced meaning, team play slower.
You can compare odds at top online sportsbooks using Bookies.com – whether it’s the best odds or the highest/lowest point total for which side you’re on – and place a wager (always use first-time bonuses on websites you’re new to!).