Totals vs Moneyline

Choosing between totals and moneylines in each game can be difficult. This article takes a look at totals vs moneyline wagers to help you pick the right bet.

totals vs moneyline wagers in terms of value
Totals vs Moneyline

A good bettor aims to go for sports betting that can give them the best value for their money. If you are comparing totals vs. moneyline before taking the next step, this article will help you. 

Find out what totals and moneyline are, their benefits, excellent betting strategies, and more.

Basics of Totals Betting

Totals bet

Totals betting is also known as over/under betting. It is a form of betting that allows you to wager on the game flow entirely independent of whichever team wins. It means that it does not matter which team wins the game.

As the betting type is called, you need to bet on the total number of either a score, goal, runs, and other countable things that can happen in a game.

To make it more straightforward, here is an over/under bet example.

Over/Under Example

Let's say that Golden State Warriors are competing against Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals. The sportsbook will predict which team will win the game for them to predict the final score. For example, the final scores of the two teams are as follows:

Golden States Warriors - 111

Los Angeles Lakers - 112

US betting site operators will create an over/under bet for the basketball game through these scores. They will get the total points by both teams, and bettors can bet over or under that. So, 111 plus 112 is equal to 223. Casinos will now give the total points as 223.

After that, you may now bet over or under 223. If you decide on taking the over, the total score at the end of the game should be higher than 223. If you choose under, the total score should be lower than 223. 

Again, it does not matter which team scored more. You will win the bet as long as the score is either over or under the predicted total score

Moneyline Betting Basics

Moneyline bet

What is a moneyline bet? Moneyline wagers are simply bets on a winning player or a team. Once the game ends, the sportsbook operator such as BetMGM and Bet365 will decide on either of the three moneyline odds below:

  • Win - The chosen team won. The sportsbook will return the stake plus the winnings to the bettor.
  • Loss - The chosen team lost. The sportsbook will keep the wager.
  • Draw - The game ended in a tie. Therefore, the sportsbook will return all the wagers to the bettors as if betting did not happen.

Moneyline Betting Example

Let's use NFL moneyline betting to see what a moneyline bet would look like in a sportsbook. 

Los Angeles Rams (-110)

Green Bay Packers (+100)

In this example, the favorite team here is the Los Angeles Rams, represented by a negative odds number. At the same time, the Green Bay Packers are the underdog, represented by positive odds.

If you want to win a $100 bet on LA Rams, the initial bet should be $110, and they need to win. If the Green Bay Packers won the game, you would get $110. 

What Does a Negative and Positive Moneyline Mean?

Moneyline bets always include two signs, positive and negative. To help you understand those signs, here's how to read moneyline odds. 

If you the negative sign, the team is the favorite or most likely to win the game. It also represents how much money you should stake to win $100. 

For instance, the -160 moneyline means you have to bet $160 to win $100 if the team wins.

What does plus mean in betting, then? These are the underdogs or the ones who are less likely to win. Let us say the Chicago Bulls are +300 for an NBA game. If you bet $100 on them and they win, you get a total of $400.

Totals vs. Moneyline

Let's compare totals and moneyline betting in payout, strategies, and other benefits.

Calculating Your Payout


Calculating your payout in totals betting will depend on the type of game you are betting on. High-scoring games, such as college football, NFL, and NBA, usually have double or triple digits. You will receive the same rate regardless of the game and which side you take.

These games payout at -110. If you bet for $100, you will receive $99.09 in return if you win. A total score is usually a single number for low-scoring games, such as soccer, hockey, and baseball.

In the sportsbook, the payout amounts and totals are usually similar, which is almost always at +- 2.5. For instance, the over is -180, and the under is +150. If you bet on over $10, you will gain a $5.56 profit. If you bet under the same amount, you will receive $15.


For the moneyline, it mostly depends on the favorite and the underdog. For the favorite, you have to divide the odds by 100 to get the total amount of your profit. Look at the example below:

Los Angeles Rams (-110)

Green Bay Packers (+100)

(100/110) x $100 = profit

0.90 x $100 = profit

Therefore, your profit is equivalent to $90.

It is the same thing with the underdog. However, bettors usually gain more if the underdog wins. Look at the example below:

(100/100) x $100 = profit

1 x $100 = 100

Therefore, in this example, you will get $10 more if you bet on the underdog, and they win.

Betting Strategy

You have to understand the essential numbers on each specific game in totals sports wagers. For example, the most probable score in football is 41. Therefore, keeping that in mind and depending on the teams playing will help you decide to bet over or under.

In moneyline bets, you must find the value and know when to use it to your advantage. Finding the value means finding the bets that will pay you better than you imagined. You are learning how to make money, not just how to aim for a one-time win. It is more on long-term winning than game-to-game losing and winning.


One of the benefits of over/under betting is flexibility since it allows you to bet on game flow rather than the outcome. It also allows you to enjoy the game without worrying about which team will win.

Furthermore, the benefits of moneyline are the betting simplicity, easy-to-find value, and it is a great sports betting type for beginners.

Totals and moneyline are sports betting activities that are easy to understand and start with. It does not have very complicated strategies and computations. Both of them are also good for beginners.

This article was published on June 13, 2022, and last updated on July 4, 2023.