What Is Over/Under in Betting? Our Experts Explain
Published on Thursday, January 27th, 2022, Updated on Thursday, January 27th, 2022
Sports betting is one of the most exciting activities you can engage in. However, most players don’t really understand all the different betting opportunities and markets they can dive in.
With that in mind, the over/under betting market is one of the most famous in the industry, but many enthusiasts still don’t fully understand it and can’t exploit it.
But when used correctly, this market can quickly become one of your favorites, and eventually, most profitable. So let’s learn everything we can about this market and how to take advantage of it.
What Does Over/Under Mean in Betting?
Compared to the other betting markets in the sports gambling industry, the markets over/under can be considered slightly more straightforward. That’s because, unlike other betting opportunities in all of the different sports events, when you are wagering on the over/under betting markets, there are only two possible outcomes for your bet.
You will either win or lose. This is very good because betting on the Money line market has three possible outcomes, and sometimes the odds are even worse. So purely from a statistical standpoint, exploiting the over/under markets is much wiser.
So, when you are betting on the over/under market, you need to predict if the total score in the game (points, goals) will be higher or lower than the standard line the bookmaker offers. And most of the time, the odds that the betting sites provide are relatively close.
For example, in a football game, the line of over/under is almost always 2.5 goals, and we can often spot odds like 1.66 for over, and 2.0 for under. This provides an excellent opportunity in the long term if you are taking only the value bets. But we will get into how you can do that in the following lines.
Understanding the Over/Under
As you already understand, the over/under betting market is generally more valuable in the long term. However, why is that? To understand this question, we will need to dive deeper into how this market works and how you can take full advantage of it. No matter what sport you are betting in, the teams constantly clash with full force to win the game.
So, suppose you are in the place of any of these teams. What do you need to do to win the game? You will need to score points or goals. And when teams strive to make these points and rack up the score as the game progresses, players can exploit this either happening or not, depending on their reads about the teams’ capabilities.
This is what makes the over/under betting market so unique. When wagering on this market, the lines are often significant enough so that you can narrow down the potential point or goals result much easier but take great odds for that. It’s also much easier to predict the score of a particular game as many factors can come as significant benefits for your bet.
For example, if you believe that the next match between Manchester United and Chelsea will be a high goal-scoring fest, you can easily place a bet for over 2.5 goals in the game, at, let’s say, an odd of 1.75. And as the game progresses, you begin to see that the away team is pretty much having a significantly worse day, and they won’t probably score any goals, which shouldn’t be good for your wager.
However, as the home side feels they are in control, they take their attacking tempo up a notch and score three goals by the end of the 90th minute. As you can see, even if one of the teams is having a bad game, the other team can always compensate, making your bet a success, while if you had placed a bet on a Chelsea win, you wouldn’t be happy at all. So, over/under betting can be a much better long-term opportunity for most gambling enthusiasts.
Suppose you don’t have any experience with over/under betting at all. In that case, we recommend checking one of our examples of a simple game, where you can see all the main betting markets and check how the specific over/under market is presented. This will give you a good insight into what you should be looking for when checking the lines in a particular sports event.
Example of Over/Under Betting:
As you can see, in the game between Dolphins and the Saints, there are a few leading markets, with over/under at the right. There, you can see the line of 38.5, which is the standard scoring line for this event.
In other words, you will be predicting if the game will go over or under this line. In this example, it seems that the game is pretty close, making the odds for both situations stand firmly at +110 and -110, or 1.91 and 2.10 in decimal odds.
Based on a few several factors, you can pretty much make a prediction that will hit quite frequently in the long run. Still, you are getting fantastic odds, considering there are only two possible outcomes of the event.
Of course, there won’t be too many opportunities like these. But when engaging more frequently in platforms like the NFL betting sites, for example, you will spot that you can have fantastic results when exploiting the over/under betting market.
How Is the Over/Under Determined?
One of the things many players are curious about is how the odds for these lines are determined. After all, there are numerous events, and each of them has its unique starting line that players can bet on.
So, how do bookmakers determine what the odds should be for every line in a particular event? Well, that’s a great question, but it’s a tough one to answer. So, we will answer it by going through the various factors that influence the odds of this particular market.
Teams Abilities to Score
When the bookmakers create the odds for the over/under betting market in a particular event, the first thing that they consider is always the abilities of the two facing teams to score or rack up points. After all, this is the sole factor that will ultimately decide if a particular game will go over or under the standard line.
At one point, if the two teams are generally scoring quite a lot, and at the same time, they seem to allow quite a lot of points or goals because of their bad defenses, it’s only natural the odds for the over in the game will be much lower than standard.
On the other hand, this will create a valuable opportunity to bet against the public and get significant odds for the under, especially if you believe the two teams won’t perform close to their limits in the particular game. This leads us to the next vital factor that influences the odds.
Once the odds for a particular over/under betting market are out, immediately bets start to flood in the market. So, the odds for a specific event are often a bit different right before the game begins.
That’s because when there are too many bets for a particular outcome, the bookmakers need to ensure to be on profit at the end of the day, and they gradually change the odds to match the amounts in wagers received. This is why you will often spot the odds for a specific betting market getting lower and lower over time, as more people take the same bet.
Matching Leading Europe Betting Sites’ Odds
At its core, all the betting sites in the gambling industry are connected. How is that possible? Well, most betting sites in the industry provide close to the same selection of events. And as the whole world is betting on the exact matches and wagering markets, it’s normal for specific trends to form, leading to identical movements of the odds.
But there are particular leading sports betting sites that are the swiftest to react to the movements of these odds and the amounts of bets in the markets. For example, the best betting sites like William Hill or 888Sport will be the quickest to correct their odds for the over/under betting market when necessary. But as some other sites can’t do the same thing, they take a different approach.
Actually, most of the sites in the betting industry are following the odd changes from the leading sites, implementing them on their platforms as quickly as possible. As a result, we rarely see events where the odds are different across the different betting sites, especially when it comes to the over/under betting market.
How Are Totals Calculated?
Generally, the best betting sites in Europe are using various algorithms to create these lines, but there are a few additional factors that will always impact the line of a particular game. We will come through all of them together to better understand how they are created. Which, ultimately, will bring your gambling knowledge to the next level.
Current From of the Teams
Above everything else, the current form of the teams leading up to the event is one of the leading factors that are always considered when the standard total line is created. And this is always relevant, regardless of the betting site you are using. Every gambling site carefully examines the two teams’ last games before their head-to-head clash.
That’s because teams often go into significant winning or scoring streaks, which will always impact the potential impact of a particular game. So, for example, if a team is scoring and receiving an average of 2 goals in their last 20 matches, it’s safe to say the standard line of 2.5 goals will probably be also present for their next game.
However, considering the last five games of the same team, we can see their average total goals have been more than 4 per game. With that in mind, the bookmakers might decide to push the line a goal further and essentially provide the same odds, but with the new standard line for this event of 3.5 goals.
Team and Competition Statistics
When bookmakers create the standard line for a particular event, the line’s foundation is always based on the long-term statistics of the specific teams and the competition they are playing in. And here, the bookmakers are not considering the last few games of the respective teams but rather go through the statistics they have been racking for years.
This allows them to get a fantastic overview of the leading tendencies of these teams and provide players with the best odds that perfectly utilize the opportunity for both parties to make significant profits. As you can see in the picture above, the different sports have various average totals.
The statistics show the game total for all the games ever played in a specific competition. The bookmakers can quickly determine what total line to provide for a particular upcoming event with this insight.
Injury Problems and Other Factors Before the Game
The last piece of the puzzle when the sports betting sites determine the over/under betting lines for a particular match are the variables leading to the build-up of a specific game. If you don’t have too much experience with sports betting in general, you might be wondering what these may be.
However, when thinking a bit more about this, it becomes evident. These variables are all the things that can potentially happen in the short term, impacting the abilities of the individual teams.
For example, every team has its core players, and the gaming style of these teams will be struggling quite a lot without them. This is why an injury even for one of the critical players often makes the headlines before a particular match. This changes the odds for a specific market, or even sometimes the movement of whole lines.
Suppose that two of the highest-scoring teams in a particular competition are about to meet up, and every gambling expert expects a high-scoring encounter. However, just a few hours before the game, breaking news is coming that the two best star scorers of the two clubs won’t be able to participate in the game because of unexpected injuries. As these particular players are fundamental for the potential score of this game, we can often see the lines moving quite a lot, basically causing chaos in the betting markets. And although events like this are pretty rare, they are certainly not impossible.
As you can see, the odds and even the standard lines for an upcoming sporting event can be pretty fickle, as there are numerous different factors and statistics that the bookmakers consider when creating them.
With that in mind, you also should understand what leads to a particular outcome in the over/under betting market. When you know the crucial factors you need to consider, you can begin to make increasingly valuable total over/under bets. We will show you precisely how to do that in the following lines.
How Do You Make an Over/Under Bet?
Generally, to make a successful bet for a sporting event, you need two crucial things. First, you need to know where to look and what information to gather. Aside from that, you will need to carefully analyze the information you got and determine the likely outcome of the game based on all the available facts and insights.
When these two factors are in harmony, you can expect to make great bets, especially in the over/under betting market, which is a little bit easier to predict compared to all the other wagering opportunities. We will go through the crucial things you need to consider before taking on a particular total line.
Analyze the Last Few Games of the Teams
Just like the different bookmakers do, you must also consider the latest results of the two teams that will soon clash.
As we already mentioned, this is a flawless approach as sports teams are often getting into significant scoring or winning streaks, which will significantly impact the likely result of their next game.
And if both teams are in similar streaks like these, you can expect this to show on the pitch and crush the standard line.
Watch Short Parts of Their Last Games
Sometimes, we can see teams that are going on incredible winning or scoring streaks, but those who have watched their games can tell they haven’t been playing that impressive at all. In other words, their results are not real merit for their skill. And runs like these can indeed be built upon luck and pure motivation from the players.
This is why you need to always quickly check footage of the last games of these teams to ensure that their results reflect what they are doing on the pitch. And this can also be perfectly relevant the other way around.
There can be teams in losing streaks that can’t rack up many points or score goals, but when looking at how they play, you conclude that they are just unrealistically unlucky when it comes to the scoring part of their game.
Check Their Head to Head Games
There are specific types of games where statistics and the current form of the two teams don’t mean much when both teams step up on the day of the event. These are usually the fierce rivalries between two teams with tens of years of history behind them.
There are many famous derbies around the world, spreading across different sports, where dignity, history, and pride lie before everything else, which pretty much makes statistics unusable.
Examples of rivalries like these will be the matches between Manchester United and Liverpool in football, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics in basketball, or the Red Sox and the Yankees in baseball.
When a match like this is upcoming, we suggest forgetting about the result of the two teams before the event and focusing more on the variables like injuries and missing key players. This will give you the best possible insight to tackle these games with the most accurate predictions.
Make Sure Your Bets Aligns With the Motivation of the Two Teams
The last thing you must consider when betting on the over/under betting market is the motivations of the two teams to go after a specific result. For example, in the closing stages of particular competitions, there are always teams who are not playing for anything significant besides their pride and dignity. This is when you can’t back two particular teams to leave everything in a game if they don’t care too much about the result.
Specifically for the over/under betting market, these games can either go way above the standard total line or massively under. However, this will depend more on the teams’ motivations and how they generally play without the normal pressure when competing for something as important as titles or a place in major competitions.
How Much Do You Win on an Over/Under Bet?
We mentioned a few examples of how much you can win when wagering on the over/under betting market. First, however, we will dive a bit deeper into that matter to understand how profitable wagering on total over/under can be. As you already know, players can determine the total points or goals in a particular game a bit easier due to the nature of this bet. But the main thing that makes these bets profitable is that there are only two possible outcomes and the high odds players can exploit.
So, let’s dive into a real example of how much you can make when engaging with the different over/under betting markets. Before continuing, you need to understand that the over/under market provides various opportunities, depending on the sport you want to wager on. For example, the lines and odds in football are slightly different from those in other sports like basketball, American football, or baseball.
First of all, the total over/under betting line for most football matches is set at 2.5 goals. Even when teams are scoring like crazy through a particular season or competition, the standard goal line will still stay at 2.5 goals, but with much lower odds for the over bet. However, these are not games you should be looking into too much. Let’s look into a sample of a classic football game with good opportunities for the over/under market:
As you can see, the odds are still high enough, so you can exploit the opportunity, especially if you spot a value bet in taking the under on the more significant odds. The football matches are suitable for pursuing the over/under betting markets because the standard 2.5 goals line can be a bit too low in some games, but you will still get odds like these above. This will allow you to hit these bets more frequently while getting fantastic value.
However, when it comes to sports with many points like basketball, American football, or baseball, the betting model for the total over/under market is different. Of course, we will illustrate it with an example to understand it better.
As you can see, these are two basketball games being played on the same day. However, the standard lines for them are very different. This is because the current form of the teams and the statistics in sports like basketball are much more dynamic, constantly leading to differences like these. But the main takeaway here is something else.
Bookmakers can pick the best possible line for a particular event in sports like these. Simply put, players will have a more challenging time choosing more winning bets, as these lines are calculated to perfection.
As a result, you will often spot the total at the end of these games to be very close to the standard line pre-game. When we compare this to other sports like football, teams can literally crush the pre-match line of 2.5 goals in some specific situations.
But generally, you can spot higher odds in these sports, as the over/under betting options, stand at an odds of 1.92. So, if you bet $100 on any of these options, you will get back $192 in case of a correct prediction.
Ultimately, it’s your decision which sports you want to exploit with this market, but one thing is for sure. If you follow the method we explained above and analyze each game properly, you will have good results in the long run.
Still, this may be a bit too much for someone who doesn’t have much sports betting experience. This is why we will present you with a quick strategy you can follow, giving you a higher chance of success than anything else you can do when placing these bets.
Latest Over/Under Strategy
Generally, betting on the over/under betting market is not among the easiest things in the gambling industry. After all, if it was, everyone would turn professional bettor and play these markets all day long. However, it’s nowhere as close as simple to that. Still, that doesn’t mean these markets should be used only for recreational betting either. It’sIt’s possible to balance the two things and be successful with over/under betting.
But how can you possibly do that? Well, there is only one way for you to do that the proper way. You will need to copy the bookmakers to determine the likely total lines and odds. So, you will gain the same insights as all these sites, but you will combine this with additional knowledge and predicting ability to find the most valuable bets.
First of all, you must check the all-time statistics of the particular competition you will bet on. You can check an example table with some of the latest statistics for over/under betting lines in different sports.
As you can see, by checking these stats, you will have a solid overview of how these games are doing from a statistical standpoint that spreads from years back. Once you do that, you will need to gather information about all the different variables in the build-up for a particular event. We already explained all these factors (team form, injuries, motivation, etc.)
There is only one more thing left to do after you have all the available information, statistics, and variables before you. You will need to find the odds where the line is somewhat mistaken, or you think the odds are a bit higher than they should be.
For example, if the under is happening 51.6% of the time in the NFL, and you have an odds of 2.10 for under in an upcoming event, this will be something worth checking. In that case, if you spot that some of the most prolific scorers of these teams won’t play because of injuries, the bet becomes an excellent value option you must take at all costs. This is how you can scan for potential opportunities and be very successful with the over/under betting market.
Is Over/Under Betting Worth It?
We had reached the most important question out of all. Is over/under betting worth the hassle after all? From our experience, we can say that this type of betting has produced fantastic results for many players, as long as they are putting in the time to conduct careful research.
The steps we have shared in this material are tested over time and will undoubtedly allow gambling enthusiasts to gain fantastic insights before placing their wagers on particular events. Considering that the over/under betting markets are generally easier to predict than other famous options like Money lines or handicaps, we can conclude that this type of wagering is worth it.
On top of that, often, the odds are even higher, especially when compared to the money line betting, so undoubtedly, many players will open a new page in their gambling experience by beginning to engage with over/under betting.
What happens if the over/under is exact?
If the result of a particular over/under bet lands exactly on the line, your bet will be voided.
Do over/under bets include overtime?
Yes! This is one of the advantages of betting on the total over. However, you should keep in mind this is not relevant for football.
What does total mean in betting?
A total is the combined number of points or goals scored from the two teams in a specific event.
What is a 3-way total bet?
If the total line for a particular game is 53 points, and at the end of the game there are exactly 53 points scored, you will lose. That’s because there is an option to bet exactly on this line, but you had placed your bet either on the over or under the same line.
What happens if the over/under lands on the number exactly?
If the betting market is Asian, your bet will be voided. While, if it’s a 3-way total bet, your bet will lose.
Is it better to bet over or under?
This depends on the competition you are wagering on and the particular event and odds you have chosen. So, you will need to follow the strategy we explained and find the best option for yourself.
Does over or under win more?
It all depends on how many bets you can hit from each of those, but generally, they should be paying out relatively evenly.
How do over/under bets payout?
Depending on the odds, they can payout rather well, but you can’t expect to hit an over/under at odds higher than 3.0.