Understanding Total Bases: A Guide For USA Sports Bettors

Understanding Total Bases: A Guide for USA Sports Bettors

Sports betting is becoming increasingly popular in the USA, with bettors placing wagers on various sports ranging from football to basketball. One type of wager offered by USA sportsbooks is “total bases” or over/under. If you’re new to this type of bet, understanding total bases can be a bit of a challenge.

What Are Total Bases?

Total bases, or over/under bets, are a type of bet in which bettors wager on the total number of bases a team will score during a given game or season. If a bettor believes the total number of bases scored will come in higher than the given line, they can place an “over bet”. Conversely, if a bettor believes the total number of bases scored will come in lower than the given line, they can place an “under bet”.

Interpreting the Line

Bettors typically encounter a two-digit number set to the left of (+) or (-). This number represents the “total bases” line. For example, a line of “7.5 (-110)” means that the sportsbook believes each team is likely to score seven or fewer bases during the given game or season.

The mysterious number to the right of the total bases line is typically (-110) or (-105). This number represents the wager’s point spread, or the number of points a team must win by in order to cash the bet.

Odds and Payouts

When calculating the potential payout, the vig (also known as “juice” or “vigorish”) is a fee charged by the sportsbook for accepting a bet. In the total bases example, the vig is -110. Therefore, bettors must bet $110 to win $100 for an over bet and $100 to win $110 for an under bet.

How to Calculate Total Bases

Now that you understand the concept of total bases and the vig associated thereof, it is time to learn how to calculate total bases.

  • Home Runs (HR): These are the most valuable of all hits. Any ball that is hit over the outfield fence is worth four total bases (tb).
  • Doubles (2B): When a player hits a ball mid-distance between the foul line and the outfield fence, it’s considered a double. Two total bases (tb).
  • Triples (3B): When a player hits a ball to the fence or over the fence, it’s considered a triple. This type of hit is worth three total bases (tb).
  • Singles (1B): When a player hits a ball beyond the infield and onto the grass, it’s considered a single. One total base (tb).

Tips and Strategies

When placing a wager on total bases, it is important to understand the strengths of both teams. Analyzing the pitching staff, batting lineups and trends throughout the season is a great way to gain an edge in the total bases betting market.

In addition, pay close attention to the total bases line. While there are various theories on when to hit the over or under, it is best to wait until closer to tip-off before placing a wager.


Total bases wagers can be a lucrative option for USA sports bettors. By understanding the line, calculating total bases, and researching the teams, bettors can increase their chances of winning their wager on total bases. Good luck!

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