Skip to main content

How to Bet on an Alternate Total at a Sportsbook

by April 21, 2020

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Imagine you are interested in betting some totals, so you take a peek at your sportsbook’s odds. Now imagine you can add or subtract as many as ten points or more to the over or under and still place your bet. To steal a line from Bob Ryan in Entourage, “Is that something you might be interested in?”

The situation we just described is “alternate totals” and are available for any sports that have an over or under to wager on.

In this article, we explain what an alternate totals bet is, as well as the step-by-step process to placing such a bet at a sportsbook.

Get a 100% deposit match bonus up to $250 at Sugarhouse >>

What is an Alternate Total?

Alternate totals are lines that oddsmakers offer which differ from the original over/under for a game. Some alternate totals may be adjusted by more than ten points.

Alternate totals have the potential for much better, or much worse payouts than the original over/under. The more points that one chooses to raise the over by and still bet the over with an alternate spread, the more their payout would be. Conversely, if one chooses an alternate spread with a higher total from the original and they bet the under, the payout would be less since there is less risk involved.

What is an Example of an Alternate Total?

The following is an example of alternate total options that SugarHouse Sportsbook offered on a game between the Eagles and Cowboys. (first published by

sugarhouse total points alternative lines eagles cowboys

The original total on the game was 49.5 points. The -110 you see is the vig on the bet, which means a bettor would have to wager $110 to win $100. However, if a bettor thought the Cowboys and Eagles could also combine to go over 54 points, a $100 bet would win them $150. Conversely, if a bettor wanted to take the over 36 (13.5 fewer points than the original total), they would need to wager $770 to win $100.

How Do I Make an Alternate Total Wager?

Placing an Alternate Total Bet Online (or a mobile device)

  1. Log into your sportsbook account
  2. Find the game(s) you which to wager on
  3. Click on the subheading that says “More Wagers” or “Game Props”
  4. Find where it says “Alternate Totals” or “Alternate Lines”
  5. Look over all the alternate totals and find one that is most agreeable
  6. Review the odds/potential payout
  7. If you are satisfied, enter your wager amount and click “confirm bet”

Placing an Alternate Total Bet at a Sportsbook (In-Person)

  1. Approach the cashier window and tell them which game you want to wager on
  2. Tell the cashier you want to make an “alternate total” wager
  3. If you are already familiar with the alternate totalss offered, tell the cashier which you want to wager on. Otherwise, the cashier will display all the available alternate totals on the screen in front of you.
  4. Tell the cashier your wager amount
  5. Review the odds/potential payout
  6. If agreeable, hand the cashier your money. Take your betting slip and keep it in a secure place.

SugarHouse Sportsbook: View our review and access special sports betting offers >>

Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Bet Types, Betting 101, Betting Tips, How-To