NBA Team Totals Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
6 minute read
NBA team totals betting guide

There is a variety of betting markets for the NBA, which seem to expand every year. One market that is now a mainstay at online sportsbooks is NBA team totals.

This bet differs from betting on the game total, and instead, is a market centered on the number of points that each team will score in the game. 

Team totals fall into the proposition category, but in practice, they are wagered and graded in the same way as totals or over/unders.

Many bettors are unaware that team totals, or NBA team totals, for that matter, even exist as a market. However, they can offer some of the largest edges for gamblers when it comes to NBA wagering.

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What Are NBA Team Totals?

NBA team totals are a betting market that is a handicap on the number of points a particular team will score in a game.

It’s important to note that they are different than NBA totals or NBA game totals, which is the number of points scored in a game by both teams. 

If you’re familiar with totals betting, understanding NBA team totals will be a breeze. Let’s look at an example:

NBA Team Totals
Los Angles LakersOver 120.5 Points (-115)MyBookie Sportsbook
Los Angles LakersUnder 120.5 Points (-115)

The market allows gamblers to place a wager on the Lakers’ team total for an NBA game.

Bettors can wager the ‘over’ or ‘under’ the oddsmakers projected total, which in this case is 120.5 points. Like regular NBA game totals, if the game goes to overtime, those points will still be counted towards the total.

If we take the Lakers over 120.5 points, then L.A. will need to score 121 points or more for us to win our bet.

If we decide to bet the ‘under’ then we need the Lakers to score 120 points or less for our wager to be graded as a winner.

Increased Vigorish

Notice that the vigorish for this bet is higher than the standard -110 that is offered for most bets. NBA basketball team totals do fall under the prop bet category at sportsbooks, so that means the odds will most likely have a baseline of -115.

Of course, this makes NBA props and betting on NBA team totals, for that matter, a bit harder to profit if we look at them from purely a bookmaker’s fee or juice perspective.

However, there are several reasons to be interested in betting NBA team totals that we will cover below.

How To Bet NBA Team Totals

  1. Step 1: Sign Up At Online Sportsbook – This is the easy part and it is even easier if you check out our awesome reviews at SBS, where we go over every aspect of the NBA betting sites. Signing up at a sportsbook is simple, enter your name, email, and address and you’re ready to go.
  2. Step 2: Make Your Deposit – There are many ways to do this, but the best options are debit or credit card deposits due to their availability or cryptocurrencies. Cards offer convenience, but cryptos, such as Bitcoin, come with no fees for depositing and withdrawing.
  3. Step 3: Find NBA Team Totals Markets – The basketball team totals will be listed under NBA betting options or markets, but they most likely will not be listed with sides, totals, and moneylines. However, they should be listed under the full list of markets for each game or in a separate team totals section.
  4. Step 4: Choose Your Wager(s) – Once you have decided on the team total selections you want to place, you can get them ready for wagering by clicking on them and placing them in your bet slip. Then, you can move onto the next step.
  5. Step 5: Place Your Bet – Be sure your selections are correct on the NBA team totals you want to bet. Then make sure you choose the right wager amount before clicking to submit your bet. Always double-check both of the above before submitting your wagers because many betting sites now have one-click confirmations on bets.

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It’s essential for your success to choose a sportsbook that is reliable and pays out on time when you’re betting NBA basketball team totals.

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Read Our Complete Review Of The Best NBA Betting Sites

Tips For Betting NBA Team Totals

NBA team totals are a unique market for all sports. They’re not quite game totals, and though you are picking a team to bet on, you’re not wagering on a moneyline or a point spread.

However, team totals are targeting, and there are several strategies you can utilize to increase your profits by betting them or become a winner.

The Market Is Soft

NBA team totals are simply not as sharp as other markets. They don’t always move in line with NBA totals or NBA implied team totals, for that matter, offering an edge to those bettors who pay attention.

Often, sportsbooks have NBA basketball team totals as totally independent markets and will not adjust enough or as quickly when there is a major move in an NBA point spread or totals market.

This is a significant reason the betting limits are much lower compared to NBA sides and totals. You might be able to wager $5,000 on an NBA point spread, but just $500-$1,000 on an NBA team total

When You’re Interested In Scoring Output And Nothing Else

Betting a team to win on the point spread or moneyline doesn’t always offer the best value.

The same can be said for the game total. However, if you feel a team is destined to go far over (or under) their projected total and want to wager on them, without outside factors, then NBA team totals are the wager for you.

There is just the simple fact that the oddsmakers may be wrong about their projected number of points.

There are plenty of scenarios where the game total may go over or under, or a team will not cover the spread, but their team total may still go over or under.

If you are purely interested in the amount a team will score in the game, then basketball team totals are the only market you should be considering for that bet.

Increasing Your Exposure To Side

Let’s say you love the Lakers against the Clippers, and you’ve taken them on the moneyline and the point spread, but you still want to increase your exposure to them in other betting markets.

Team totals are an excellent way to do this. In some cases, if you are at a sportsbook that has low betting limits or you have reached the maximum bet on the point spread or moneyline, then NBA team totals are another route to “get more down” on a team that you think is going to dominate in all facets of the game.

Max Bets On NBA Team Totals

The maximum wagers available on NBA team totals are far less than the max bets on NBA totals. Some sportsbooks will take tens of thousands of on NBA point spreads and moneylines, but just a max of $1,000 on the totals of the NBA teams.

Read Our Complete Guide With The Best NBA Betting Strategies

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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