What is Over/Under Betting? How to Bet the Over/Under

Posted by James Guill .

The primary focus of sports betting typically falls on point spreads and moneyline wagers, but in recent years action on Over/Under betting has carved out its own relevant niche. This guide will help explain Over/Under betting, teach you how to bet the Over/Under and share some betting tips when researching and handicapping point totals.

Best Over / Under Betting Sportsbooks

Here are the best online sportsbooks that accept Over/Under sports betting.

Over / Under Sports Betting Explained

Over / Under betting is not complicated and does not take long to learn. The best part about Over/Unders, also referred to as “totals” betting, is that the wagers can be anything from the total score of an NFL game, how many points LeBron James scores against the Clippers or an exoctic prop bet like how many times will the president say the word “normalcy” during the next debate.

Oddsmakers simply set an Over/Under betting total and then you, the bettor, simply places a bet on whether the actual result (sum) will be higher or lower than that number.

For example, if the Over/Under total of Game 7 of the NBA Finals is 205.5 points and the Lakers and Nets final score is 103-102, the total of 205 means the UNDER bet cashes and the OVER ticket loses.

Over / Under Bet Outcomes

Over

Over

There are three possible Over / Under betting outcomes.

The first is the OVER hits, when the total points, runs, goals, etc is higher than the wagered on point total.

For example, if the O/U is 44 and two teams combine for 45 points, the OVER has hit.

Under

Under

The second possible O/U outcome is the UNDER. This is when the total points, runs, goals, etc is lower than the wagered on total.

For example, if the O/U total is 50.5 and the two teams combine for 47, the UNDER has hit.

Push

Push

There are times when O/U totals are half-numbers like O/U 50.5, whereas other times they are whole numbers like O/U 50. If the O/U is a whole number, like 50, and the two teams combine for 50 points exactly, the wager is a push and the online sportsbook returns your bet.

Over / Under Betting Tips

One of the most common questions we hear from new sports bettors is, “Should I bet the OVER or the UNDER?” The answer to that question depends on who you ask. There are those who believe that life’s too short to bet the under. Others want you to consider several factors before placing an Over/Under total bet. Here are some of the most important Over/Under betting tips.

Injuries & Suspensions

Nothing impacts a point total more than the loss of a starting quarterback to injury. The point spread swings, moneylines flip and Over/Under betting point totals typically dip. Be sure you’re paying attention to injury reports, especially Friday afternoon and Sunday mornings. Early kickoff inactive reports are released at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Weather Forecast

With the challenges NFL kickers have endured over the past 5+ seasons, don’t think for a second a slick field or stiff winds won’t impact the final tally. Remember, the windy night game between the Bills and Patriots when Mac Jones attempted only three passes? Though an extreme example, be sure to pay attention to weather forecasts for wind, rain, and – to a less degree – snow.

Present Offensive & Defensive Quality

Try not to get too caught up with Over/Under betting trends. Focus your research and handicapping on the current state of both offenses and defenses. Just because the two teams combined for 60 points in Week 3 doesn’t mean they’ll light up the scoreboard come Week 14. Injuries, coaching adjustments, and team progress and regression throughout the season can have an effect. Teams’ Over/Under histories shouldn’t weigh heavily on your decision. It’s just one data point.

Keep an Eye on the Bets

The amount of money bet on the over or the under can move the total. If more money is being bet on the over, sportsbooks might increase the total to entice people to bet on the under. If more money is being bet on the under, sportsbooks might decrease the over/under total to encourage betting the other way.

Live Betting Point Totals

The best online sportsbooks offer Over / Under live betting while the event is taking place. Sometimes you won’t have a good feeling about the Over / Under total before the game starts and fade (avoid) a wager. However, if the Over / Under was set at 54.5 before kickoff and both teams fail to score a point during the first quarter, perhaps you’re ready to hammer the UNDER on the updated lower total because you don’t think the two teams will mount more offense in the next three quarters.

You can wager on over/under live totals on your mobile device.

How to Bet the Over/Under

Sport-specific considerations affect totals bets. When betting on a sport, it is important to understand the specifics of that sport. The tips below will only cover the basics of the most popular betting sports.

Soccer

In soccer, the totals bets for goals scored in the game are usually set at over or under 2.5 goals. You will be seeing different payout odds for over and under in soccer.

Soccer bettors have the option of betting at multiple different lines. Bookmakers will have over/under 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 on some games. If you think there will be crazy amounts of goals scored in one game, you can get paid a much higher rate, the more precise you are with your prediction.

Hockey

Like soccer, hockey betting lines have a default level — in this case 6.5. Sites adjust this goal total for certain games — but more often than not, they just adjust the payout instead. Don’t automatically assume that you are getting paid out at -110 on both sides.

Football

The point averages for NFL total bets are around the low to mid-40s but can slide in each direction significantly. Pay close attention to details such as weather conditions and team defenses while making predictions.
A lot of additional prop style bets exist in NFL football. This is an opportunity to make money if you are knowledgeable about individual players. You can bet on almost anything from how many sacks a player will get, how many field goals will be scored, and how many touchdowns a player will get.

How to Bet Guides

What Is Sports Betting?

What Is Sports Betting?

Great guide for new bettors to learn about sports betting basics.

What Is A Point Spread Bet?

What Is A Point Spread Bet?

Learn what it means to bet against the spread.

What Is A Moneyline Bet?

What Is A Moneyline Bet?

Learn what it means to bet the moneyline.

Over / Under Betting FAQs

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James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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