Over Under Betting: Definition, Types, and Examples

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Over under betting: Over/under betting is one of the most popular ways to wager on football. The betting market also bleeds into other sports like cricket, rugby, and tennis. Such is the popularity of the market, you can now utilize its basic elements of it in a number of other formats.

In this guide to over/under betting, we will go over how the market works, which markets you can use it in, and basic betting tips to bear in mind.

What Does OVER/UNDER Mean In Betting?

OVER/UNDER betting is also called a total bet. The total in any given sporting event is a combined score of both teams. The total for these games is a number that is set by oddsmakers based on how they envision a game will unfold from a scoring perspective.

As a bettor, you would need to select if the total number of points scored by both teams will be OVER or UNDER the set total.

OVER/UNDER Explained

A sports betting OVER/UNDER is a bet where you have to correctly predict the combined score of both teams. You have to pick if the total score will be lower or higher than the number set by oddsmakers – the people at betting sites who set the lines and odds.

For example, let’s take a Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys game with the total set at 48.5 points. As a bettor, you would select the OVER if you believe the game’s final combined score will be 49 points or more. You would select the UNDER if you believe it will be 48 points or less.

At the sportsbook, the odds would be laid out like this:

If you bet $50 on the OVER and the combined score was 56, you would get a payout of $95.45. Your original $50 comes back along with your $45.45 win. Conversely, if the game ended 27-20, that would be a pooled score of 47 points, meaning the game went UNDER. That same $50 bet on the winning UNDER would get you $102.50 – your first $50 plus your winnings of $52.50. Our Odds Calculator will give you an idea of how much you’d win based on the amount wagered.

What If The Set Total Is A Whole Number?

Generally, totals betting lines are numbers ending with a half-point (.5). But in rare cases, oddsmakers set the total as a whole number. A PUSH in sports betting is when a total is a whole number like 48 points and the combined score hits it exactly.

For instance, let’s pretend the Patriots are playing the Saints and the total is set at 48. If the final score is 28-20, that would be considered a PUSH since all points scored equal 48. The sportsbook you wagered with would refund your bet no matter if you selected UNDER or OVER in this matchup.

Some bettors may feel there is a greater advantage in betting on totals with a solid number instead of with a .5. Because it provides an extra safety net to avoid losing your wager entirely.

What If The Game Goes To Overtime?

If a game goes to OT, it doesn’t change your bet. OVER/UNDER betting is just like any other bet where you are looking at the final score, whether the game ends in regulation or multiple overtimes. Although it’s often said that NFL overtime is an UNDER bettor’s worst enemy but an OVER bettor’s best friend.

It’s important to remember that both teams get the chance to touch the ball. So, if the Rams get the ball first and score, the Chargers will get their chance too.

What Is Over/Under Betting in Football?

Simply put, over/under betting, also known as “totals” bets, is a bet that asks you to predict whether there will be more or less of a particular event. In football, this will usually refer to the number of goals that will be scored over the course of the game.

For example, the total goals over/under market will give you a number of options that you can wager on. Some bookmakers will put all of their available over/under options on one page. Others will split the options up, placing each over/under on a different page.

Goal Options

A bookie that places all of the goal options on one page will ask you to select whether you think there will be over or under a certain number of goals all in one place.

You will see options like “Over/under 1.5 goals”, for example. If you were to back “under 1.5 goals”, then your bet will win if one goal or less is scored. If two goals or more are scored, then your bet will lose.

Conversely, if you bet on “over 1.5 goals”, then your bet will win if two or more goals are scored in the game. If one goal or less is scored, then your bet will lose.


This market can range from ‘over/under 0.5 goals’ all the way up to as high as the bookie is willing to provide. For example, you could see ‘over/under 10.5 goals’, although this is a tally that is rare in most games. This will see the ‘under 10.5 goals’ as a big odds-on favorite. The ‘over 10.5 goals’ will have pretty long odds as it is seen as less likely to happen.

Your bookmaker decides to split all of the available markets. Then you will see each option given its own page on the sportsbook. This can make things easier to understand, as you will simply click on it. For example, the ‘over/under 3.5 goals’ market, with only the ‘over’ and ‘under’ options provided to you on this page.

Benefits of Over/Under Markets

There are always going to be positives and negatives of using a certain betting market. The over/under markets are no different. Below, we have compiled a list of the benefits of using the market when you come to bet.

You Don’t Need to Predict Perfectly

Unlike many other markets, over/under-betting does not require you to be perfect. Whereas the correct score market will ask you to nail a bet on the score and winner. Therefore, if you think that AC Milan will beat Inter Milan 4-0, you will back there to be over 3.5 goals. But if Inter Milan actually wins 4-0, then your bet will still win despite your gut feeling that AC Milan will win being wrong.

Stats Are Easy to Find

Generally, all of the over/under markets will refer to areas of the game that have stats that are easy to come by. A simple search online will show you the goals, yellow cards, red cards, and more. This makes it simple to do your research.

You Do Not Have to Wait for Your Bet to Win

One thing about being human is that most of us are impatient. Sometimes bettors do not want to wait until the end of their game for their bet to settle. This is why markets like first and anytime goal scorers are so popular. These markets can be settled within the first few minutes. That means your bet could win before the action has really ever started.

This is similar to the over/under markets. If you wager on there being over 2.5 goals in the game and Manchester City and Tottenham exchange blows seeing the former go into a 2-1 lead in the first 20 minutes, then your bet will win. Conversely, you bet on there being less than 2.5 goals and the same situation as above unfolds. Then your bet will lose almost immediately.

It Can Make Dead Rubbers More Interesting

Sometimes, matches at the end of the season can become incredibly drab and boring. Or there could be two sides that do not usually play exciting games. This is where betting over/under on goals, cards and corners can make these matches more entertaining.

For example, if you wanted to bet on Burnley and Watford but feel there will not be many goals, you can bet on under 1.5 goals, It makes a drab 0-0 that much more exciting. Because you cheer on a goalless stalemate. In the same way, if two sides are more inclined to play a physical game that does not involve many silky skills, then you can bet on the total number of cards. That means silly fouls and crunching tackles are made even more exciting.

OVER/UNDER Sports Betting: How To Handicap Your Totals Bet

Typically, when a bettor plans to wager on the number of points scored, there are many variables to consider, especially with OVER/UNDER football bets.

Offensive and defensive trends for a given team need to be considered along with injuries, the history of games between the teams, consensus, standings, team reports, and the environment. Rain, snow, and heat will impact the number of points scored in an outdoor football stadium. Whereas it makes no difference what the temperature is outside when you’re betting on basketball. The sky could fall on the Staples Center and it wouldn’t affect the game. But if the sky fell on the Superdome, it’s safe to say that the game would stop.

The betting line for both the OVER and UNDER is typically at -110 or -105 but can be shifted by betting sites to smaller or greater odds depending on certain factors. It’s up to you to weigh those elements and decide if they can impact the game.

You don’t have to be a Las Vegas sharp to make a smart game totals bet. If you keep it locked to Odds Shark, you’ll be such a pro at football betting and basketball wagering thanks to our NBA News, that you’ll be making game totals bets in your sleep.

If you are looking to make a profit from football betting we recommend you check out more articles at Footballterms.

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