Wagering on totals in professional and college basketball mostly includes the proposition of determining if a final score will be higher or lower than the expected score set by bookmakers, who set a line that reflects the projected outcome combined with the public opinion of monies wagered.
The total on a basketball game can remain steady throughout the market cycle or can adjust by several points depending on several factors leading up to the contest.
As a bettor, you can wager on whether the total will go OVER or UNDER for the full game, or for the first- or second-half only. Professional basketball can also include OVER/UNDER wagering in each quarter, particularly in the NBA.
In addition, punters are sometimes offered whether a specific team will go OVER or UNDER their projected point outcome.
Most totals wagers are offered at -110 but oddsmakers sometimes will juice (charge a vigorish) on a particular side of the total, rather than move the actual line.
Basketball totals can also be used in parlay or teaser bets involving multiple games and may also include combining the wager with a bet on a team.