Totals are particularly popular on the Sunday and Monday Night feature games as they are often tied into parlays in NFL betting.
NFL betting totals are easy to understand. For example, let’s say the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts are playing and the total was posted at 47.5. The final scored was Pittsburgh 21 and Indianapolis 18 for a combined score/total of 39. That is below the posted total of 47.5, which made the game an “under.” Keep in mind that with over/under NFL betting it doesn't matter who wins the game, it's just the combined final score that counts. You are risking the normal 11/10 as you would with a pointspread side in NFL betting.
Just as is the case with pointspread/side NFL betting, over/under NFL betting comes down to value and knowing that the oddsmakers are fully aware of how the public perceives a game. For example, a matchup of two defensive powerhouses with conservative offenses certainly makes for a potential low scoring game in NFL betting. It will also make for a low total posted on the board because the NFL betting oddsmakers will know that the gambling public will be thinking under. This means that, yes a low scoring game can go over the total. The same holds true for an old-fashioned shootout. The totals will be posted high and a high scoring game can often go under the NFL betting total.
Totals can be just like pointspreads in football bets. You are looking for value as you make your NFL bets. This sometimes means going against the grain and betting a potential high scoring game under the total and a potential low scoring game over the total. You only want to do that though when handicapping indicates value for your NFL bets. Don’t forget totals this season when you watch NFL games. And keep in mind that you can also bet totals in the first half and at halftime at the online sportsbook.