Over/Under Betting: Totals Betting Guide in Massachusetts

Fact Checked by Hunter Hewitt

Betting on sports doesn't have to relate solely to who wins. The best sportsbooks in Massachusetts offer several other ways to place wagers. Sports bettors can also wager on totals, whether it's guessing the over or under on both teams combined, one team, players, or even other wager types.

Before we cover over/under totals betting, be sure to claim some of the following Massachusetts sportsbook promo codes to build your sports betting bankroll.

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What Does Over/Under Mean?

While wagering on the result of a game with MA sports betting apps and sites will always be popular, many bettors also enjoy the challenge of predicting outcomes in which it does not matter who actually wins. Some sports bettors are more interested in guessing how many points, runs or goals are scored, or how many sets or rounds are completed.

Betting the over/under total is arguably the best example of a way of gambling without even caring which team comes out on top. Over and unders are also known as totals because they relate to the number of times a particular occurrence will happen during a game or part of the game. This is usually the total number of points, goals, or runs scored but, as we will see, there are a sizeable number of markets that can be available if you want to bet over/under, whether it's with the BetMGM Massachusetts sportsbook or site, or any other legal sports betting operator.

What is Over/Under in Betting?

So how does over/under sports betting work? It all comes down to opinions. 

You may have a strong sense of - for instance - how many points a team, or an individual player, will score in the match or in the first half or period. An operator like Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts will also have an opinion, expressed as a total number. If you think the actual final total will be more than that figure, you bet Over; if your opinion is that it will be fewer, you bet Under. It really is as simple as that.

Over/Under Bet Example for Massachusetts Bettors

Let's look at an example of an over/under Massachusetts bet. When the New England Patriots face the Miami Dolphins, your sportsbook might see a combined points total for both sides of 44.5. If you fancy the Pats to let rip and win a high-scoring encounter, you will be able to bet on the Over at all sportsbooks; if you feel it will be a low-scoring affair, the Under is the bet for you.

MORE: ESPN BET Massachusetts Sportsbook Review

How Are Totals Bets Used in MA?

Why choose over/under betting? Massachusetts sports betting fans may have many reasons for selecting this option rather than a point spread or the moneyline. Maybe you think the sportsbook has the points spread odds exactly right and there is little value in betting on either side; perhaps you simply don't know which side will actually win the game.

How to Read Over/Under Betting Lines in Massachusetts

There are certain subtleties that over/under betting Mass sports fans should be aware of, whether they are using WynnBet Massachusetts or any other sports betting operator.

 Over/under MA betting will look similar across all the major sports that the people of the state adore. However, to be really successful at this type of betting on each sport, a little research could be invaluable so that you are aware of the differences between them.

  • Over/Under Betting NFL The most popular type of NFL over/under betting MA players are likely to enjoy is on the total points scored in any game. Rather than simply picking your fancy at random, look at several factors. If the New England Patriots are likely to be playing in rain or snow, for example, that might push the total points scored downwards. Similarly, look at the defensive records of both sides involved, and how many points they usually concede in a game. It's also worth knowing what types of offense the teams use; running-based offenses tend to take up more time for each drive, which in turn can impact the final score and make it lower than a game between two passing teams.
  • Over/Under Betting NBA Basketball could have been made for totals betting. The high-scoring nature of the sport ensures that the total put up by a sportsbook for the combined number of points in a game offers plenty of scope for opinions on the matter either way. For instance, the NBA over/under total for a Boston Celtics match against the Miami Heat might be 217.5. Check out both teams' makeup; have they scored heavily in recent games? Is there a Celtics player you expect to go big on the night because he has excelled against the Heat previously? Your knowledge of the current makeup of the teams and earlier meetings could be really useful.
  • Over/Under Betting MLB Any over/under bet Massachusetts enthusiasts are contemplating can be influenced by a host of factors. For instance, you might be quoted 7.5 about the total number of runs to be scored in a game between the Boston Red Sox and their old rivals, the New York Yankees. But do some research. It's useful to know if any of the key batters on either side are injured. Check out if the umpire at home plate tends to have a smaller or larger strike zone. Look at the weather forecast to see if there will be high winds during the game. You might be able to gain an edge and bet smarter than other over/under Mass players.
  • Over/Under Betting NHL The most common over/under bet in hockey is on the total number of points in a game, and most sportsbooks pitch their line at 5.5 or 6.5. However, you may be looking at an upcoming game between the Boston Bruins and their arch-rivals the Montreal Canadiens, and be convinced there will be more goals than that - in which case you take the Over side of the bet. There are elements to take into account that can affect the level of scoring in a game. If a prolific player is injured, for instance, it might mean fewer goals are scored. Similarly, make sure you know which goalies are likely to play; the quality of the netminder can make a big difference to the result.

Over/Under Payout in MA

When you are asking "What is over/under betting?" one of the most important aspects to understand is the odds and your likely payout. Here we explain how they work.

Minus Odds (-)

On the typical over/under bet Mass customers can expect to see, the odds about both sides will be -110. That means you need to stake $110 to win $100. You do not have to invest exactly $110; for instance, your stake might be $11 with a profit of $10.

Plus Odds (+)

The outsider in any two-sided bet should have odds that appear with a plus sign. If the Boston Bruins are +150 for their next NHL game, for instance, you will win $150 for every $100 you stake. If you see odds of +100, your profit will be the exact value of your wager. These odds are also called even odds and sometimes are labeled PK - which stands for "pick'em".

What Happens if Over/Under is Tied?

As you will have noticed from the examples above, most sportsbooks use half-point lines on over/unders. They do this to avoid the possibility of the total points, runs or goals scored matching the line exactly. This would happen if, for instance, the total line on a New York Jets vs New England Patriots game was 45 and the Pats won 29-16.

If a sportsbook does put up a number on an over/under that is matched exactly, this is known as a "push". In circumstances like this, operators like FanDuel Massachusetts will refund your wager.

Over/Under Prop Bets for Massachusetts Bettors

The most popular over/under bet MA customers can expect to see relates to the total scored by both teams in a game - but there are plenty of other ways in which you can bet over/under on sports. These can be over/under player props, such as the total yardage gained by a New England Patriots running back, or first-half points scored in a game by a single Boston Celtics player.

Over/Under Parlay Bets for Massachusetts Bettors

There is nothing to stop you from combining several over/under selections in a single parlay bet. Your picks can come from a variety of games, or you can combine your totals bets with moneyline selections. As with all parlays, the prospect of a chunky payout as the odds are multiplied is exciting, but all your choices have to be correct for you to collect.

Betting Over/Under Strategy in MA

In choosing to play on the over/under, Massachusetts sports bettors are putting themselves in line for plenty of research - there is more than guesswork at play here. For instance, it has long been felt that the underrepresented value, is because so many betting customers subconsciously want to see an exciting, high-scoring game and bet accordingly.

It's important to be aware of any rules governing over/under bets at your sportsbook, while there are a host of factors to take into account when making your selection, including the teams' form and other analytics.

Does Over/Under Include Overtime? 

This is a crucial question when weighing up an over/under bet - particularly in sports such as hockey when the scores are quite frequently level at the end of regulation time. Most sportsbooks like DraftKings Massachusetts do indeed include overtime in their over/under lines - which can make a complete mess of your calculations if you have gone for the Under. It is always worth double-checking with your operator to see what rules it applies to games that go to OT.

Defensive and Offensive Trends

Virtually your first piece of research for an over/under MA bet should be the level of scoring - and conceding - the teams in the match in question have been achieving recently. Two teams in prolific form, or a pair of sides with leaky defenses, could make for a high-scoring match-up. However, if you are looking through recent results to see how many - or few - points a team has been recording, you can bet your sportsbook is doing the same thing and will set its total accordingly.

Game Pace

This is a fascinating statistic that can impact directly for an over/under bet Mass bettors might want to stake. It is used by analysts of the NFL and, in particular, the NBA. The question is, how many times does a team have possession during each game - and is that more or fewer than the norm? Obviously, a side that has a faster game pace than average is likely to score more often, meaning there is a strong case to bet on the Over side of the line.

Line Movement

Line movement describes what happens when the total put up by a sportsbook on an over/under bet changes. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as late absences through injuries to key players or a sudden change in the weather, but it can also be caused by an imbalance in the number of bets placed on the Over or the Under. By moving the line, a sportsbook tries to make the other option more tempting in the hope that more wagers will flow in that direction. As you become more experienced, you will know when to bet to get the best odds with a particular operator.

How the Over/Under is Determined in Massachusetts

As you can see, there are numerous factors to apply when weighing up an over/under Mass bet. The need to weigh these different considerations applies both to bettors and to sportsbooks. Operators like Barstool Massachusetts will spend plenty of time setting the over/under line; they will revisit previous meetings between the teams and their recent form before deciding on the odds.

All bookmakers thrive on information, and news of injuries, suspensions, and even the likely weather conditions will go into the mix before a sports betting company releases it's over/under lines.

Get Started Over/Under Betting in Massachusetts

Now that you understand how this type of wager works, you are ready to savor the joys of the over/under betting Massachusetts has in store. If you visit the websites of leading operators such as Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts, you will find numerous opportunities to get involved in this type of sports betting.

An over/under wager is a great way to have a stake in a game where you have no emotional ties to either side or cannot decide which team is going to win. When you bet over/under, that simply does not matter.

Over/Under Betting in Massachusetts FAQ


An award-winning contributor covering sports betting and casino gaming around the world for decades, Martin Booth is one of the most trusted voices in online gambling. From legislative updates to breaking down the top betting apps, Martin covers a gambit of topics for BetMassachusetts.com.

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