The over/under bet is one of the most popular totals bet around. On the face of it, it has a simple concept: You either bet on whether something specific, such as goals in a soccer match, will happen over or under a certain number of times over the course of a match.
Naturally, there’s a lot more to it than that. In this article in which over-under betting is explained, we take a look at everything you need to know about this particular bet. We’ll relate it to different sports, and we’ll show you a few examples.
Over Under Betting Explained: What Is The Over-Under Bet?
The over-under bet offers an alternative to the straightforward moneyline bet for sports bettors who want something different. The odds can be really enticing and the bet requires you to get a little bit creative.
Essentially, before a sporting event starts, the sportsbook will set a total number of points scored between both teams. For example, let’s imagine the Bucks are playing the Lakers in the NBA. The sportsbook sets their predicted total number of combined points at 218.5. It’s then up to you to decide whether or not you think the true combined score will be over or under.
The beauty of the over-under bet is that the sportsbook generally gives you a few options. Staying with our NBA example, the sportsbook may offer you odds on 218.5, but they’ll also offer you odds on 219.5, 220.5 and so on up until, say, 236.5.
Somewhere in the middle of these combined scores – let’s say 226.5 – will be the total number of combined points that the sportsbook thinks will most likely happen. Thus, both the odds for both the over and under bet for 226.5 will be around evens. At the opposite ends of each scale. 218.5 and 236.5, the odds will be much higher and lower because they are less expected to actually happen.
Here are some examples for the Bucks v Lakers game:
- 218.5 OVER – 2/5
- 218.5 UNDER – 2/1
- 226.5 OVER – 4/5
- 226.5 UNDER – 21/20
- 236.5 OVER – 13/8
- 236.5 UNDER – 1/2
As you can see, you’d hit the jackpot if you correctly bet on under 218.5 points. You’d also hit the jackpot if you correctly bet on over 236.5 combined score.
However, as you can also see, the options are so varied that getting this bet correct isn’t easy.
Is The Over-Under Bet Available For All Sports?
The over-under bet is available for most sports. It looks different for each one, of course.
For example, while in the NBA you can bet on over-under number of points, in a soccer match, you can bet on the number of combined goals scored by both teams, a number of corners, and even a number of cards. Some sportsbooks will also let you bet on the number of goals by one specific team.
In tennis, you can bet on the number of games in a set. For example, you could bet on the number of games to be over or under 10.5 or over or under 8.5 and so on. In boxing, you can bet on the number of rounds.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the NBA, you can bet on the number of combined points throughout a game, as well as the total number of combined points over the course of a specific quarter and/or half. You have lots of options.
Should You Place The Over-Under Bet?
With the over-under bet, it doesn’t matter who wins the match. All you’re concerned with is the number of points relating to something specific.
If you’re deeply knowledgeable about a certain sport, the over-under bet can be very appealing. For example, if you follow soccer and understand the form, the players, and so on, betting on – to use an example – Arsenal vs Newcastle to finish under 4.5 goals at 1/9 with big money wouldn’t seem so risky to you.
Moreover, the over-under bet is available in-play. This means you can adjust your selection according to the general pattern of the game. For instance, if there are 20 minutes left in a soccer match and Team A is beating Team B 3-0, you might feel justified in betting on there to be under 4.5 goals at this point because the game has essentially run its course. This means that if fewer than one more goal goes in, you win your bet.
The over-under bet can be easier to get right than the moneyline bet if you understand the sport. It is definitely advisable to only place this type of bet if you know a specific sport very well.
We also recommend that you find a sportsbook that you’re comfortable with, and which offers a variety of over/under bet options. Some sportsbooks offer moreover/under options than others, so it’s a good idea to do your research before signing up.