In all NBA basketball games, the bookmaker will offer a proposition as to how many points will be scored by the two teams combined. This is called a “Totals” wager.
The object of the bettor is to determine whether or not the final score of the two teams will go OVER or UNDER the predicted total points by the oddsmaker.
The oddsmaker will set an original line based on the public’s expectation of the total points that will be scored between the two teams combined.
Throughout the period leading up to the game, the prognosticated total could fluctuate higher or lower than the original total, but once a wager is placed, the bettor is locked into that given number at the time of the bet.
Most totals are offered at odds of -110 (american) that returns $100 for every $110 risked.
Occasionally, the oddsmaker will adjust the vigorish (surcharge) on one side or the other rather than adjust the actual total number. However, the bookmakers’ margin will most often remain unchanged.
In addition to Totals wagers on a full game, oddsmakers will often also offer Totals wagers on both the first- and second-half, as well as, a particular quarter.
In addition, many bookmakers will also offer a Totals wager on each teams’ individual final score, as well as, each teams’ individual final score in the first- and second-half.
Many sportsbooks also offer opportunities to wager on the Total during live in-game wagering.