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What is a Win Total Bet?

by January 28, 2022
Juan Soto

In the realm of sports betting on futures, the classic futures get most of the attention as they are more of a yes/no question of whether a team will win a league, conference, or divisional title; as well as annual player awards. There is another long-term market, however, that is attracting more and more attention each year; the “Win Total.”

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly this is, and what are some good strategies for capitalizing on the market.

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What is a Win Total Bet?

A Win Total bet is quietly simply betting on an over/under on a posted total number of wins. In the NFL for example, there are now 17 total games played by every team in the regular season.

Per oddsmakers ratings, the “average” team will likely have a posted win total number of between 8-9 or exactly half of their total games. It’s also worth noting that just like individual game point totals, the numbers posted are usually posted in .5 increments, so an NFL team expected to win half of their games would be posted at 8.5.

Also similar to traditional totals, the over or under is usually shaded with juice depending on where bookmakers want/need the action.

What is a Good Win Total Bet Strategy?

When oddsmakers make the Win Total, they are using a myriad of strategies but most commonly going game by game, assigning a win probability, and rounding and up and down tallying ones and zeroes. As a bettor, one strategy would be to do the exact same.

If you believe the team you are betting on as an edge (or lacks one) in a game, based on player matchups, matchup histories, etc, that a bookmaker does not, you have found your Win Total edge.

Another strategy that I have deployed in the past, is to use the wide availability of sportsbook options in your state to find a “middle”, as not all books will have the same posted Win Totals.

As an example for the upcoming MLB season, let’s say DraftKings has the Washington Nationals posted to win 83.5 games, but BetMGM has them posted to win 86.5. If you bet the DraftKings number over, and the BetMGM number under, and they win 84.85.86, you would win both bets.

While these anomalies are hard to find, they’re most common right when the books post their Win Totals market and certainly exist for those willing to look hard enough.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Bet on Sports — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.

Johnny is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Johnny, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

Bet Types, Betting 101, How-To