What Is Over 8.5 in Betting?

Ever wonder what the over/under is calculated for? What is a half a point? These questions might pop up in your head after reading the previews for some NFL games. If you’re looking to wager on sports then you might wonder how much juice is in those numbers and why some games are more popular than others. There’s a lot more to betting than just the mathematical calculations behind the games. Here’s a short guide that will teach you about the different types of bets and what makes some games more worth betting on than others.


This is the most basic of all the bets you’ll find on the betting menu. The over/under is represented by the two numbers next to each other. For example, if you’re betting on the game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, you’ll see (+110) and (-110) as the over/under for the game. These are simply the total number of points that will be scored by both teams combined. You’ll also see this abbreviated as O/U or just O/U for short. For instance, if you bet on the under for the game, your money will be refunded (but you’ll still have to pay the commissions).

Point Spread

This is the most popular of all the bets. It’s pretty self-explanatory; the point spread is the difference in points between the two teams. For example, take a look at the Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears game. The Lions are currently 1.5 points underdogs according to Oddschecker.com, so if you wager on the point spread, your money will be refunded (but you’ll still have to pay the commissions).

As you might expect, the point spread gets its name from the spread in point values that apply to each game. For instance, a point spread of (-3) would mean that the favorite in the game is three points behind the underdog. If you’re looking for an easy way to calculate the point spread and what it means, simply locate the odds for the two teams from whatever online sportsbook you plan on using and follow the simple instructions. It really is that simple!


An accumulator is pretty much what it sounds like; a sportsbook accumulator. What’s the point of wagering on multiple games in one bet? You’ll simply multiply the points scored by the number of games you’re interested in following. So, if you’re betting on the NFL’s Week 7 game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, you’ll have to pick two games to follow. You could put down a bet on both games, but you’ll have to pay off two separate bets to earn two separate payout pots. So, while the potential for profit is there, you might not want to accumulate this much wagering on a single bet. Plus, you’ll have to keep track of two different bets and pay off two different accounts. Weigh the pros and cons and see if the upside is worth it.

Winning Totals

This is quite possibly the most important betting option for both casual and serious sports bettors. The winning totals are the totals of the winning scores for the games you’re betting on. For example, if you bet on the under in the Jets-Bills game, your money will be refunded (but you’ll still have to pay the commissions).

What’s great about this bet type is that if you’re unsure of the outcome of any of the individual games, you can still have some faith in the overall outcome. Say you’re not sure who will win the Superbowl this year. You could wager on the winning totals for the top four or five football teams in the NFL and simply cross your fingers that your team wins. If your favorites don’t make the top five then you’ll lose your bet, but at least you won’t lose much money. You’ll also find this bet type in the form of teasers, prop bets, and futures bets.


Similar to the above, but not quite. The futures betting option allows you to bet on the outcome of a sports event that’s not yet happened. For example, if you’re thinking of placing a bet on the 2015 MLB World Series, you’ll have to wait until the Fall of that year to find out if you were right or wrong. So, while there’s a little bit of suspense, at least there is some. Plus, as a future bettor, you know exactly what you’re getting into. You’ll either be betting on the winner or you’ll be betting against the winner (or both). No guarantees but you know what you’re getting into. It’s similar to betting on the winning total but with less risk.


This one is fairly self-explanatory; you’re betting on the outcome of a game with a little bit of suspense. The prop option is pretty similar to the futures bet type but with a bit more risk. For example, if you’re thinking about placing a bet on the Superbowl this year, you’ll have to pick one of the four or five teams to win, but if you’re wrong, you might not lose as much as you would with a future bet. With the prop option, you’re not sure what you’re getting into. You can lose some money, but you might just win too.

Tailgate Party

This one is for all you football fans out there who love to attend football games and watch the action from the comfort of your living room. If you’re planning to attend a game this year and feel like having some fun, you might consider throwing down on some tailgate party bets. This type of wager allows you to lay down some bets on the games while you’re there. For example, you could lay down a bet on whether or not the Minnesota Vikings will beat the Green Bay Packers in the upcoming game. If you’re feeling lucky, you could put down a $600 winner-take-all wager on the Minnesota Vikings.

Now, as much as we’d all love to be able to attend every game and be able to watch them in our living rooms, let’s be realistic. We all know that this isn’t going to happen. So, if you can’t make it to a game or if you simply want to have some fun while you watch the game, the tailgate party wager is for you. Hopefully, this article will help you decide if this type of wagering is right for you.