The total in sports betting is the set amount of combined offensive scores by both teams in a sporting fixture. The sportsbook sets a pre-determined number predicting how many points, goals, or runs there will be in a game or event. You can wager on whether the two teams combined will go above or below that total, which is why such markets are also commonly called the over/under.
Total or over/under markets are offered for almost every single match in all major sports, including hockey, football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. The total is commonly set to an increment of .5, e.g. over or under 47.5 points, to ensure there will be a set outcome for any wagers. After all, it is impossible for a MLB game to have a total of 7.5 runs.
Sportsbooks attempt to set totals which have an approximate 50/50 chance of going over or under, meaning you will often see the same odds offered for both outcomes. Before recent legislation, Canadians had to bet on multiple total or over/under outcomes in a parlay in order to make a wager. As of 2021, Canadians can use single-game betting to bet on the total or over/under market for a game on its own.