When placing a wager on a sporting event, you will often come across odds that seem rather high. If you are wondering what these numbers mean, then read on!

## The Over/Under

The over/under is an odds format that is quite widely used in sports betting. Basically, the over/under represents the total number of points that will be scored by both teams in a game. For example, if the over/under is 63, then both teams must score at least 63 points to avoid a shootout at the end. If the total number of points scored is less than 63, then the betting odds will favor the team that scored the most points.

Odds are often given for over/unders in sports, but the format can also be applied to other betting situations. For example, if you are betting on who will win a certain fight, then the over/under represents the total number of punches that will be thrown in the fight. The person to throw the most punches will win the fight.

When somebody wins an over/under bet, their payout will be determined by the number of points they scored against the total points across both teams. Similarly, if somebody loses an over/under bet, then they will receive the underdogs’ payout. That is the amount they would have won if both teams had scored the same amount of points.

## The Spread

Another term you will often come across in sports betting is the spread. The spread represents the difference in points between two teams. For example, the spread between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots is 3 points. In other words, the Ravens must win by 3 points or more to earn a win in this bet. The same goes for the Patriots.

The spread can be applied to all sporting events, but it is most commonly used in NFL football betting. If you have ever watched an NFL game, then you know that some of the scores are quite close. This is why a spread bet might come in handy. The closer the spread, the more likely a push is needed to make a winner. A spread can also be used to measure the difference in performance between two athletes or two golfers. If you think that one golf course is holding back the other, then you can use the spread to measure the difference in their handicaps. The closer the spread is to zero, the better, because then there is no difference in performance between the two golfers or athletes.

To calculate the spread, simply take the total number of points scored by one team and subtract it from the total number of points scored by the other team. The remaining difference is the spread. For example, if the Ravens scored 56 points while the Patriots only scored 44 points, then the spread is 12 points.

## The Total

Another key number you will commonly come across in sports betting is the total. Sometimes called the over/under total, the total represents the total number of points that will be scored during a game. For example, the total for the Super Bowl is 62, which means that either the Broncos or the Patriots must score at least 62 points to win the game. If the total is less than 62, then the underdogs will win, assuming they score at least as many points as the favorites.

The total can be applied to any sport, but it is most commonly used in horse racing. The reason is fairly straightforward; almost all sports have rules about how many points a team can score, but not so many about how many they have to score. In horse racing, you don’t know how many points the other team will score until the game ends, so there is no way of knowing what the underdogs need to do to win. With a total, the bettor can have some faith that the underdogs will at least be able to keep the score even.

When somebody wins a total bet, their payout will be determined by how many points they scored against the total number of points across both teams. The reason why the total is used instead of the spread is that you cannot lose money on a spread bet if both teams have the same number of points. For example, if the underdogs score the same number of points as the favorites in the first half and the underdogs lose, then you will have lost the original 3 points spread, but you will have won the total, making the payout 2.3 to 1.

## Why Are Teams Scoring Fewer Points Than Normal?

There are several theories about why some teams are scoring fewer points than normal in games this year. One reason could be that players on both sides are conserving their energy for more important games. Another theory is that players on both teams are using less energy since the season is so far gone that there is no chance of making the playoffs, so there is no point in pushing hard. Still another theory is that players on both teams are conserving their energy because they feel there is no point in risking injuries by giving 100% during the last quarter of a game that will have no effect on the outcome. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that fewer points are being scored this year across the NFL, and this is why you will often see point spreads and totals in use rather than the more traditional head-to-head betting format. The key takeaway from all this: sometimes, the bookmaker has faith that a particular game will have a low score, so they list the underdogs’ payout first and the favorite’s payout second. It is quite all right to use this strategy if it makes you feel better about placing a wager. Sometimes, the reverse is true and the bookmaker lists the favorite’s payout first and the underdogs’ payout second. Ultimately, you will have to determine for yourself which payout is more favorable, taking into consideration the odds should you win and the value of what you are risking should you lose.