Over-Under Betting Guide: What You Need to Know

An over/under bet is one of the most popular betting picks among fans of major sports like football, basketball, baseball and hockey. Sports bettors can unlock several benefits by placing a straight wager on the total points, runs or goals line.

There are lots of different options within this popular form of betting, including game totals, individual team totals, alternate over/under lines and totals on individual halves, quarters, periods and innings.

Over/under predictions are also common when you check out game props and player props. Read on for a detailed betting strategy guide on over/under wagering.

The Best Sportsbooks to Bet on Totals

What does over-under mean in betting?

This is one of the most straightforward and popular wagering options available to sports bettors. It is a simple prediction of the number of points, runs or goals that will be scored in a game.

For example, the sportsbook might set this total points line on a football game:

  • Over 47.5 points (-110)
  • Under 47.5 points (-110)

All you need to do is predict the number of points both teams will combine for. If you expect them to combine for 47 or fewer, bet on under. If you anticipate at least 48 points, bet on over.

You do not need to specify who will win or how the points will be distributed. A team could win 48-0 or 28-24, and the over would pay off either way.

There will also be alternate points lines at the best sportsbooks. For example, sticking with the example used above, you might find odds of -120 on over 46.5 points, +100 on over 48.5 points, +110 on over 49.5 points and so on.

Over/under betting can apply to all sorts of sports. Here are some examples:

  • Over/Under 9.5 rounds in a boxing match
  • Over/Under 22.5 games in a tennis match
  • Over/Under 2.5 goals in a soccer match

There are also individual team totals, where you do not need to focus on the combined score of both teams. You will be able to place over/under bets on specific portions of a game and on prop markets.

The Benefits of Over-Under Betting

Despite its simplicity, over/under betting is equally popular among casual bettors and sharp bettors. The best sports betting sites offer appealing over/under betting odds on every game of the regular season and postseason, and it is always one of the first betting options listed.

These are the benefits you can enjoy:

  • It is an easy-to-understand betting option for beginners, and you should find appealing odds and lines if you use our odds comparison service.
  • You do not need to predict who will win a game or cover the spread, as you just need to decide if it will be a high-scoring or low-scoring game. This gives you an interesting alternative when you cannot split the teams.
  • There are lots of alternative over/under lines at the best sportsbooks – often known as buying or selling points – which allow you to adjust the risk as you see fit. You can go for a tougher line in a bid for a larger profit, or take a smaller potential profit to make it easier for yourself.
  • The over/under line can move as the game approaches, presenting opportunities for arbitrage betting or middling.

When is the best time to place an over-under bet?

The ideal time to place an over/under bet is when you have a strong feeling as to whether it will be a high-scoring game or a low-scoring one. Sometimes, sportsbooks publish an over/under line that looks ill-considered based on your analysis of the game, and you can capitalize by betting either over or under. You can examine stats on each team, betting trends and other variables when making your projections.

Many bettors place this type of bet pre-game, but it is also beneficial to wait until the game is underway to place a live bet on this market. That gives you a chance to analyze how well each team is shaping up, spot any mismatches and make over/under plays from a position of knowledge.

How to Place Under-Over Bets

You will need to sign up for an account with an online sportsbook before placing your first over/under bet. The BMR team has reviewed hundreds of online betting sites, seeking out high-quality operators that welcome customers from all over the United States. We have identified the top five online sportsbooks available right now:

Click the link next to any site to register today and claim your welcome bonus. When you have verified your account and made a deposit, follow these steps to place a totals bet:

  1. Choose a sport from the menu, such as football or baseball.
  2. Select a league and then click on a game.
  3. The over/under will be one of the first options listed, along with the spread and the moneyline.
  4. Click on the odds next to either over or under to add that selection to your betslip.
  5. The selection will immediately appear on the slip, so you can type in the amount you would like to bet. It will highlight your potential winnings, and you then just need to click again to confirm the wager.

Strategies for Under-Over Betting

Over/under wagering is simple on the surface, but you can boost your long-term chances of success by sticking to a sensible betting strategy. These are our top betting tips for over/under wagering:

Watch The Odds

Make sure you get the best odds and lines available when betting totals. For example, you might find these odds at Sportsbook A:

  • Over 42.5 points (-110)
  • Under 42.5 points (-110)

Meanwhile, Sportsbook B might have these odds on the same game:

  • Over 42.5 points (-105)
  • Under 42.5 points (-115)

In this case, Sportsbook A would be the better option for betting on under, whereas Sportsbook B would be the better option for betting totals on over. Regularly finding the best potential payout odds will boost your chances of success over a season.

The lines can also be different. For example, Sportsbook A might offer -110 on over 42.5 points and -110 on under 42.5 points. Meanwhile, Sportsbook B might offer -110 on over 42 points and -110 on under 42 points.

In that case, Sportsbook A would be a good option for betting under, and Sportsbook B would make sense for betting over.

Focus on the Defenses

Many bettors obsess about the offensive qualities of each team when considering over/under wagers. After all, the offensive players generally have the most glamorous roles on your favorite team.

However, you neglect the defensive teams at your peril. Make sure you pay equal attention to the defensive strengths of each team and resist the temptation to blindly bet on the over, as the under generally pays off slightly more than half of the time on many sports.

Factor in the Weather Conditions and Injuries

It is vital to arm yourself with the latest injury news before gambling over/under on upcoming games. Failing to do so can destroy your bankroll.

We often hear bettors talking about an over/under bet that failed because they did not realize that a key player was missing. For example, imagine you bet over on a Lakers game only to learn too late that LeBron James was injured.

Weather patterns can also impact this form of betting on a single game. This is especially true of baseball. Try to source accurate, local weather reports close to game time, focusing on the wind speeds before placing bets.

Multiple Lines Should be Taken Advantage of Whenever Possible

Sharp bettors spot opportunities to seize upon line movements and gain an edge. For example, imagine the opening line is 47.5 points. That suggests the oddsmakers, who are highly skilled, anticipate either 47 or 48 points. You decide to bet on over 47.5 points.

The betting lines then move due to public wagering patterns, and the total points line ends up at 49.5 points. At that point, you might decide to bet on under 49.5 points. That means both of your bets will pay out if 48 or 49 points are scored in the game. This tactic is known as middling.

You will be presented with a huge volume of betting trends and stats in the build-up to a big game. The best sports bettors can cut through it, pick out the useful stats and ignore everything else. For example, head-to-head stats between two NFL teams are useless if they have not played one another for three years, as the rosters will have changed. Identify useful stats and make your over/under plays accordingly.

You can also stay on top of betting trends to find opportunities to fade the public. In the example we used above, the total points line started at 47.5 points, but it then moved to 49.5 points due to public sentiment. However, nothing had changed in terms of the defensive and offensive strengths of the teams.

At that point, fading the public by betting under 49.5 points could be a good idea, as you are getting far better terms than the opening line provided.

Understanding Over-Under Payouts

When you add an over or under pick to your betslip, you can type in your bet amount, and the slip will tell you the potential payout. You can use our free calculators to confirm it is correct if you like.

If your prediction is correct, the best online sportsbooks will credit your account balance with your winnings quickly after the game. You can then submit a withdrawal request.

Payout speeds vary depending on the method you select and the sportsbook you use. You can receive same-day crypto payouts at leading sports gambling providers like Bovada and BetOnline.

Frequently Asked Questions About Over-Under Betting

What happens when the over/under score is exact?

Your bet will be graded as a push if the total points scored in the game land on the precise over/under line provided by the sportsbook, and you will be refunded. Some sportsbooks set total points lines such as 47.5 or 48.5 to avoid a potential push.

Does over/under betting include any scoring made during overtime?

Over/under betting will normally include scoring made during overtime. At the vast majority of sportsbooks, that is the case for popular sports such as football, basketball and hockey. One exception is soccer, where bets are typically graded after 90 minutes of game time.

Can you bet both the over and the under on the same game?

You can bet both the over and the under on the same game. However, the sportsbooks take a house edge on their over/under lines, so you would be guaranteed to incur a loss if you immediately bet on both the over and the under on the same game.

How do oddsmakers set the lines for over/under bets on a game?

Oddsmakers at online betting sites set the over/under lines on a game after conducting a detailed statistical analysis of both teams. They will examine how many points, goals or runs are typically scored when either team plays, and focus on their relative strengths and weaknesses.

What is a 3-way total when it comes to sports betting?

This means that you can bet on over, under or the exact total points paying off. Instead of betting over/under 42 points and having it result in a push if 42 points are scored, there would be three potential outcomes:

• Over 42 points
• Exactly 42 points
• Under 42 points

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