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BTSC Bookie: Betting the over/under for the NFL Week 6 games

9th October, 18:33

It is time for the Week 6 installment of BTSC Bookie! This is a chance for the BTSC community to collectively choose games in which to place an imaginary wager of "BTSC Bucks." Each week I will remind everyone of the rules and explain an aspect of betting in order to further educate those interested about the process.

Before I get into the procedure of things, I want to remind everyone that gambling addiction is a serous problem numerous people face. Like many things in life, gambling can be a fun and safe exercise if done in moderation, while obsessive gambling can have destructive and life-altering consequences. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, help is available HERE.

For Week 5, the majority of the users voted for the Steelers to beat the Ravens straight up since it was a nice payout if they could pull off the upset. The voting was very close between betting straight up versus against the spread. It was a tricky spread to bet against at 3.5 points. While betting the spread with $100 would have yeilded $90.91 in profit, the moneyline was $160 profit. Unfortunately, with a 3-point loss, it was the case where betting the spread would have paid off but instead the $100 was ripped from us much like the victory was ripped from the Steelers.

As for the other two games, the $50 wager was a great payout which was on Arizona to defeat Cleveland at +155 which came in second place in the voting. Since the Cardinals won the game, we earned $77.50 in profit as well as gaining back out original $50.

The Green Bay Packers vs. the Dallas Cowboys had a $25 wager on the Packers to keep the game within 3.5 points at the -110 payout. The Packers won the game straight up and we earned a payout of $22.73 above our original investment. If the bet against the spread and on the moneyline had been switched between the Packers and Steelers, we would have earned about $110 more. Instead, we lost the $100 in the Steelers game. So the more than $200 swing burns almost much like knowing the Steelers would be in the division lead if they had won on Sunday. In all, we earned a $100.23 profit on the second two games. Taking into account the loss in the first game, we just broke even with a $0.23 profit.

One other thing to consider while placing a bet is the option of betting on the total number of points scored by the two teams combined. To better understand, here is a rundown on betting the over/under according to Odsshark.com.

What does OVER/UNDER Mean in Betting?

OVER/UNDER betting is also called a totals bet. The total in any given sporting event is a combined score of both teams. The total for these games is an amount that is set by oddsmakers based on how they envision a game will unfold from a scoring perspective. As a bettor, you would need to select if the total number of points scored by both teams will be OVER or UNDER the set total.

OVER/UNDER Explained

A sports betting OVER/UNDER is a bet where you have to correctly predict the combined score of both teams. You have to pick if the total score will be lower or higher than the number set by oddsmakers - the people at betting sites who set the lines and odds.

For example, let's take a Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys game with the total set at 48.5 points. As a bettor, you would select if the game's final score will be OVER 49 points or UNDER 48 points.

At the sportsbook, the odds would be laid out like this:

48.5 OVER -110

48.5 UNDER +105

If you bet $50 on the OVER and the combined score was 56, you would get a payout of $95.45 - your original $50 comes back along with your $45.45 win. Conversely, if the game ended 27-20, that would be a pooled score of 47 points, meaning the game went UNDER. That same $50 bet on the winning UNDER would get you $102.50 - your first $50 plus your winnings of $52.50. Our Odds Calculator will give you an idea of how much you'd win based on the amount wagered.

What if the Set Total is a Whole Number?

Generally, totals betting lines are numbers ending with a half-point (.5), but in rare cases oddsmakers will predict that the total combined score will be a whole number. A PUSH in sports betting is when a total is a whole number like 48 points and the combined score hits it exactly.

For instance, let's pretend the Patriots are playing the Saints and the total is set at 48. If the final score is 28-20, that would be considered a PUSH since all points scored equal 48. The sportsbook you wagered with would refund your bet no matter if you selected UNDER or OVER in this matchup.

Some bettors may feel that there is a larger advantage with betting on totals with a solid number instead of with a .5 as it provides an extra safety net to avoid losing your wager entirely.

What if the Game Goes to Overtime?

If a game goes to OT, it doesn't change your bet. OVER/UNDER betting is just like any other bet where you are looking at the final score, whether the game ends in regulation or multiple overtimes. Although it's often said that NFL overtime is an UNDER bettor's worst enemy but an OVER bettor's best friend, it's important to remember that both teams get the chance to touch the ball. So, if the Rams get the ball first and score, the Chargers will get their chance too.

Here are the options chosen for the Week 4 betting exercise. Make sure you cast your vote in the poll. If you want to play your own game, leave your choices in the comments below and keep track of your total throughout the season. I've expanded the field to 12 entries to give the over and under option for six different games.

For this week, payouts are listed in parenthesis, most of which are -110. As stated earlier, only one choice per game will have a wager. The nice thing about the over/under is the winner of the game is irrelevant, so you can be cheering either for more or less points. If you wish to vote for more than one, clear your "cookies" on your browser and vote again.

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