How to bet over/unders

PJ Walsh of Sports Insights breaks down exactly how to bet over/unders. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

For the majority of the 2013 NFL season, we've analyzed archived betting data in order to find historically profitable trends and develop winning betting systems. We've mainly focused on betting point spreads, but also touched on betting totals (also known as over/unders) in our most recent article.

When wagering on totals, bettors are not taking specific teams as they do with point spreads, but are instead betting on the total number of points scored in a game. For example, the total for Monday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks closed at 48.5 at Pinnacle. Seattle won the game by a score of 34-7, meaning 41 total points were scored. All bets on "under" 48.5 were winners while bettors who took the "over" lost their wagers.

This example describes the outcome of a bet on a full-game total, but there are other ways to bet over/unders for a specific game. Below is a betting primer for over/unders, examples of a couple profitable systems and a couple over/under picks for Week 14.

First-half totals

When wagering on first-half totals, bettors focus on what the score will be at halftime. Returning to our example from "Monday Night Football," the first-half total closed at 24 at Pinnacle. Seattle led 27-7 at the half, meaning the 34 total points scored easily covered the 24 needed for a winning over wager.