Season Win Totals Betting – NFL, NBA, MLB & More

Some sports betting terms are difficult to understand, and even after doing some research and trying to learn the language, it can take some personal experience to get it all figured out. That’s not the case with betting on season win totals, which is about as simple as it gets.

Sportsbooks set an estimated number of wins for a team to finish with during the regular season, and bettors can choose over or under that total. If you choose a team to win more than the expected number of games, you’d take the over. If the team exceeds the anticipated win total, you won the bet.

Season win total bets are very popular across many sports and also can be a tool for sports fans to gauge the expectations for their team prior to the start of the season. It’s a form of futures betting as you may be placing a wager that is months away from an actual outcome.

Want to learn more? Here’s every detail you need to know about betting on season win totals.

Season win totals explained

Season win totals consist of placing a wager on whether a particular team will finish with more or fewer victories than the number that oddsmakers set prior to the season starting. Then, you can follow that team all season long and root according to your wager.

Futures betting is a popular type of betting where bettors predict outcomes well in advance. Some of the more popular forms of futures betting include wagers on who will win a championship, conference or division. With the increase in betting options over the years, futures betting has become more and more individualized.

Every team in a sport will usually have a projected season win total, so there is certainly not a shortage of betting opportunities when you want to place a wager on win totals.

Betting on season win totals

After you’ve done your research, you are ready to place your wager on a particular team’s win total. Let’s say you’re analyzing the NFL win totals market, and you see the Washington Football Team has a total set at 7.5. Here’s what the NFL odds might look like:

  • Over     7.5 (-110)
  • Under   7.5 (-110)

In this example, let’s say you are expecting the team to finish with more than 7.5 wins, so you’d take the over in this scenario.

Just like when setting lines for point spreads and point totals, oddsmakers would prefer to have action coming in at 50% on both sides. One thing to note is that the betting odds will likely fluctuate, with numbers moving around as sportsbooks adjust to the betting action coming in. That’s one thing to follow as you consider where to place your wager.

For example, the standard -110 odds could flip to one side being at -120 with the other at +100. If there is such heavy action on one side or a significant move in the offseason that could change a team’s future, the entire win total number itself might change. If Washington landed a key player in the offseason, the win total could increase to 8.5 instead of 7.5.

As in all categories of sports betting, locating the best number with the best-priced odds is crucial when analyzing whether to place your money on a particular win total.

When do sportsbooks post lines on season win totals?

With so many betting options, online sportsbooks want to be as precise as possible when setting win totals. While next year’s championship odds are posted sometimes less than 24 hours after this year’s champion has been crowned, sportsbooks will wait longer to post the odds for season win totals.

With each team being assigned a win total, oddsmakers factor in plenty of information, and their accuracy is important. With so much that can change in the offseason, bettors could get pretty good value depending on what happens leading up to the season.

Sportsbooks may fluctuate when they decide to post season win totals to bet on. Some may put them out months in advance, while others could wait to see how the rest of the betting market adjusts before offering up their numbers.

The NFL is king when it comes to season win total bets, and sportsbooks will usually offer NFL season win totals way before the regular season gets underway, typically arriving in spring. Though dates may vary, here is where you might expect to see win total lines for other sports:

  • NBA season win totals: Late summer/early fall.
  • NHL season win totals: Late summer/early fall.
  • MLB season win totals: Winter.
  • College football season win totals: Spring.
  • College basketball season win totals: Late summer/early fall.

How long after the season do win total bets pay out?

Futures bets like season win totals are long-term wagers, so it may take a while for you to get an official result. Even if the team you bet on surpassed the season win total threshold early, or if it becomes mathematically impossible to reach the win total number, you may have to wait a little longer for it to be official.

This may vary by sportsbook, so it’s important to know the rules of where you are wagering. However, sportsbooks often will pay out winners once the regular season is officially over.

Keep in mind that there could be extreme circumstances that could change or void bets when wagering on season win totals. Sportsbooks are generally transparent about this sort of thing, so it’s best to check with your operator. A potential example of a reason a bet is void is if a team does not play its full season for whatever reason. Be sure to check the rules at your sportsbook so you’re not caught off guard.

Important factors to consider when betting on season win totals

No matter what you are betting on, whether it’s on the point spread or over/under going into a single game or taking a futures wager like a season win total or which team will win the Super Bowl, it’s important to have some sort of strategy and reasoning behind your bets. Getting your research in is important, as is reacting to any relevant news.

When considering where to go with a season win total wager, there are a number of areas to look at before placing the bet. Here are three factors to consider.

  • Offseason activity: Did the team sign any big-name free agents, or is there a draft pick who will play a big role? Other items to look at are injuries, as these can certainly happen leading up to the season.
  • Hype: This is difficult to predict, but there are always a few teams in every sport that fans and analysts are excited about. Sometimes for those teams you can find some value going to the other side.
  • Consistency: Taking a look at year over year win totals is important. If a team consistently has at least nine wins every season and its win total is set at 7.5, it might be a good idea to take a closer look.

How do you determine strength of schedule?

One of the most important items to look at when considering win totals is the strength of a team’s schedule. Certain sports try to make it as fair as possible to add parity to the league, while others may play up divisional and regional rivalries. Regardless, it’s important to look at how difficult the competition is when deciding to bet on a win total.

There are many ways to look up a team’s strength of schedule. For the simplest method, you can simply look at last year’s overall records of the opponents for the team you’re considering placing a wager on.

You could also go more advanced and develop your own method or use one of the other formulas out there that aim to predict what teams will be up against.

No matter your strategy, there are tons of sites you can find via a simple internet search that will give you an in-depth look at strength of schedule. Sports betting information is everywhere as the industry continues to expand, and it’s important to find whatever it is that works best for you. It’s your money you’re making the wager with, so it’s important to use whatever it is that you value most.