How Totals Work in College Basketball

Total bet is betting for experienced bettors. With totals, your goal is to figure out whether the game will be high or low scoring before placing your bet. Betting on college basketball is very popular, especially during NCAA March Madness. If you want to learn about how total bets work in college basketball, this is the right article. Here we will discuss the concept of basketball totals, tips on how to place your wagers properly and other types of basketball betting strategies.

Totals Bet

Popularly known as over/under, totals bets deal with the total points won in a game. The sportsbooks will predetermine the number of points they think will be accumulated by both teams. You have to decide whether the teams will overachieve or underachieve the set target and place your totals bet. When using this strategy, you need to keep in mind the teams involved and their playing style. If you think there will be a lot of defense being played and points will be hard to come by, then betting under is advisable. There are different ways of betting with totals in basketball, and we shall discuss them below.

Partial Totals Bet

Partial totals bets allow you to narrow the over/under wager to a small portion of the game instead of the entire game. You can choose to bet on the first half of the game. For instance, say the set over/under for a game between Team A and Team B by halftime is 80.5 points. If the teams manage to garner 80 points, the under bet is the favorable one.

Individual Over/Under

You will be required to determine how many points a player can score in that particular game. The sportsbooks will set a certain number of points that they think a certain player can score. If you choose over and the player exceeds the set limit, then you win the bet.

Over/Under with Money Lines

Over/under bets that are linked to money lines give higher payouts than regular individual totals bets.

Tips For Betting Basketball Totals

Now that we have discussed the various basketball bets, we will give you guidelines on developing proper strategies for these wagers. Going the extra mile to find out more information can mean more payouts for you.

Research On Systems

It would help if you were keen to find out how coaches at the NCAA run their programs and how skilled their players are. Some coaches are heavily reliant on defense, resulting in players having poor offensive skills, meaning that the game will be full of cold snaps and slumps. Take time to study the seasons and the systems, which are the bedrock of all these things.

Study Advanced Statistics

It is not enough for you to look at the cumulative points per game. The real deal lies in the points per possession or offensive efficiency. Points per possession gives you a clearer perspective of how often the team puts the ball into the basket. Offensive efficiency is defined as the rate at which points are scored over 100 possessions. Knowing these advanced statistics will help you be in a better position to bet wisely.

Maximize on Use of Under Bets

Bear in mind that these are young college students, and they might not play as well as professionals who rely on basketball for a living. They are more prone to making mistakes and are heavily reliant on offensive play. It is, therefore, wise to embrace the use of under bets as these are more likely to ensure you get payouts.

Be Picky With Your Wagers

Look around for the right total to use for the particular game in question. It is not advisable to go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing. Just because the majority is doing something does not make it right. It would help if you also looked up different bookmakers who can offer you an extra point.

Alternative Basketball Betting Strategies

Though over/under is the most commonly used strategy, look at the following alternative systems you can use when betting on basketball.

Spread Bets

Sportsbooks will predetermine the number of points they think a team will win or lose. Yours is to decide to bet on whether the team will outdo that prediction or underperform. For instance, in a game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Villanova Wildcats, the sportsbooks have predicted that the Wolverines will win by 8 points. You should place a bet on the Wolverines if you think they will win by 10 points. That way, you will still win the bet if they win by just nine points.


Parlay bets combine more than two bets into one, allowing you to get a higher payout than if you had made two separate bets. However, you can only win this bet if you win all of the bets on your slip. If you get even one of them wrong, you lose.

In A Nutshell

With basketball totals, you have the potential to win lots of cash, provided you follow the rules. There exist straightforward strategies that even rookies can understand and use in their favor. However, some totals require significant investments, while others have meager payouts and are unfavorable.