Over Under Betting

Here at Bet Station, we have created a guide explaining the over under bet. The over under bet remains one of the most popular choices amongst sports betting players for several reasons. Arguably, the most important reason being you don’t need to guess which team will win. Instead, you are predicting whether the total score of a game will be higher or lower than a certain amount.

Before we get into anything too technical, how can you spot an over under bet at an online sportsbook? The best online sportsbooks will display three types of bets next to most sports while you are browsing. These wagers include the moneyline, spread betting, and the over under. It’s not uncommon for the sports betting site to abbreviate this type of bet to just O/U.

At FanDuel, they refer to an over under bet as a total. This is because you are wagering on the total in a specific game. If you were to bet on baseball, you would wager on the total runs scored by both teams. This is the same for hockey and basketball, except it will involve the total goals or points scored. There are other types of over under bets that we will explain in greater detail below, with some examples. Although it might seem complicated, the over under bet is one of the most straightforward and yet exciting in the world of online sports betting.

What Does Over Under Mean in Betting?

The over under is a simple type of bet that typically involves predicting the total score of a game. This was a popular wager during Super Bowl 2022, as it had above-average returns. Depending on the sportsbook you joined, you could bet on whether the total points scored in this game were more or less than 48. It proved to be a successful bet, as the Rams scored 23 and the Bengals managed 20, leaving a combined total of 43 points scored. We can’t say the same for fans that made a spread bet for the Rams to win. They needed to win the game by four or more points for that wager to payout.

For over under betting, it does not matter which team scores more, as the bet applies to the combined score of both teams. This is important to remember as they usually assign the “Over” to whichever team appears first, usually the visitors, and “Under” to the home team. In the NHL game between the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens, FanDuel gave an over score of 6.5 to the Jets. This does not mean the Jets have to score seven or more goals to win, it means the score of both teams must equal seven or more.

The over or under bet usually has a whole number or a decimal with the letter O or U next to it. This denotes the score, points, runs, or goals needed for the bet to win. Underneath this number will usually be a three-digit number with a plus or minus beforehand. The + is for the underdog and the – is for the favorite. This applies to anyone using the American system for odds calculation. It will look different if you use fractions or decimals.

How Does Over Under Work

The over under bet works a lot like the iconic card game Higher or Lower. The aim is to predict whether you think the final score of a game will be higher or lower than the number the sportsbook provides. This number can vary depending on several factors but is usually quite consistent for the same sports. For example, in the MLB, sportsbooks offer an over under score of anything between eight and ten runs. For the sake of contrast, the NBA’s over under margin can range between 200 and 250. These ranges are consistent across multiple sports betting sites, giving you a good idea of what an average scoreline is across several sports.

The aim is to look at the selected number and predict whether you think the scoreline is going to be higher or lower. If the sportsbook has a number that has a decimal place, for example, 220.5, then there can be no push (no tie or draw). If the sportsbook offers a whole number, then if the final score is exactly that number, your bet becomes a push and nobody wins.

The bet is a popular choice amongst players as it requires far less accuracy than other wagers. You don’t need to predict who will win the game or by how great a margin. Instead, you only need to hope that the players either have an off day finishing below the scoreline. Or, you need the forwards to be in fine form and take the total score above and beyond what you need. It’s also a great wager as you can win if the teams draw, which is rarely the case with sports-related wagers.

A screenshot from Caesars Sportsbook showing another over under bet, this time in the NBA

How to Bet Over Under

If you want to place an over under bet, what do you need to do? Most sportsbooks have the three most popular bets readily available on the homepage. These three bets include the moneyline, the spread, and the over under. This is not the guide to explain the differences between these wagers; just know they are the most common choices for players.

If for whatever reason, they do not display the over under wager as one of the three default options, you can find it by clicking on the game you wish to bet on. Most sports will have an over under bet for the total score line, others allow you to place the wager in other ways. One example is soccer, where only a few major sportsbook gives you the option of an over under as a default bet. Instead, they offer you the over under bet, otherwise known as totals in some sportsbooks, for each team or half.

Some of the best sportsbooks, like FanDuel, can offer you a variety of over under bets on the total scoreline. They give you better odds if you are precise with your prediction, or if the outcome is unlikely. Being able to choose your bet from a range of options is quite common. The best sportsbooks allow you to choose over under bets for the total scoreline of the game, the total score for one period, or the score of one team.

How to Win Over and Under Bet

Sorry to disappoint, but there is no guaranteed way to win an over under bet every time. However, we can give you some advice to help you save some money and hopefully even win some! The first tip is to only bet on the teams/sports you know. Over under bets are guesses, but they usually depend on points, goals, or runs. Therefore, you will have a good chance of guessing correctly if you know the sport or team you are betting on.

This second tip is like our first one, but it has almost certainly saved us the most money over our betting career; do your research. The best sports betting sites have detailed stats about the teams that are about to face off. Here you can find critical information, such as what their past results have been, where they are in the league, etc. On top of doing this, try to search up the teams themselves. See who is playing, do they have any injuries, and are they in good form? Questions like these are easy to answer about the teams or sports you follow, but you might find out about a surprise injury and save yourself the bet.

Our third tip involves maximizing your bet by examining the various wagers offered at the sportsbook. Although you can pick the over under offered on the main page, the odds you can find are even better inside the game page. This is where you can be more precise with your prediction for better returns. Just as a quick example, it was -112 for under 228.5 on the FanDuel Sportsbook, but it would be -114 if you browsed the same game parlay section.

Over Under Bet Examples

Now that you have a good idea of what to expect from the over under bet, it’s time for some examples. Below, we will list multiple over under bets for different sports, hopefully giving you an idea of what to expect when you place a wager. We can’t list every single type of wager. Instead, we will just give you an idea of how varied and exciting these wagers can be.

NBA Over Under Wager Example

Let’s say you wanted to place an over under bet on the NBA. Specifically, you want to bet on the combined score of the game. The Los Angeles Clippers were at the Minnesota Timberwolves and PointsBet was offering -115 for over 229.5 points scored and -105 for anything under. In this situation, the minus symbol means you need to wager either $115 or $105 to win $100 in profit. You don’t have to bet as much as $100, you can stake however little you want and the sportsbook will tell you how much you could win. In this example, a $10 bet would give you around $8.75 profit if you bet on over 229.5 points and $9.50 profit if you selected under.

NFL Over Under Bet Example

Just like the NBA, you can make an over under bet on each NFL game based on the combined score of both teams. So, let’s give an example of another type of over under bet you can make before the start of a new season. Every year, the NFL has a huge draft where each team has the opportunity to sign players who graduated high school at least three years ago. You can bet on some of the major names in the draft and whether they get drafted higher or lower than the number chosen by the sportsbook.

A screenshot of the FanDuel sportsbook and NFL Player Draft Position

FanDuel gave the over under bet to several players in the 2022 NFL Draft, one of which is Aidan Hutchinson. They gave him an over score of 1.5 with +182, or an under score of 1.5 with -250 as the odds. This means it is extremely likely that Hutchinson will be the first pick of the draft. As if you wager on the under, you will need to bet $250 to win $100 in profit. There are many other types of over under bets in the NFL, all of which follow a similar pattern.

NHL Over Under Bet

The NHL is another fantastic sport for totals betting, as there are several over under bets you can place. They include the total goals scored in a game, the number of goals scored in a period, or the total goals scored by one team. The odds of over under bets can vary depending on how accurate you are with your predictions. For example, in the NHL game between St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, BetMGM gives the over under score of six goals, with -110 as the odds for both. If you were to bet precisely on the number of goals in regular time, BetMGM gives six goals +400 and seven goals +525. Meaning for every $100 you bet, you could see $400 and $525 profit. It is harder to get the exact number of goals, but if you had a hunch, it pays to be more specific.

MLB Over Under Example

Once again, you can place an over under bet on the total runs scored in an MLB game, but there are other total bets to enjoy as well. At Betway, you can make use of an exciting type of over under wager called a 3-way; no we didn’t make this up. The total runs 3-way bet at Betway allows you to predict whether there will be over a certain number of runs scored, under, or an exact amount.

For example, in the game between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, Betway offers you a traditional over under with 9.5 runs, +110 for over, and -130 for under. Using the 3-way bet, if you wanted to predict exactly nine runs, they give a whopping +775. The over odds for this bet are slightly worse, only giving +100, but the under nine runs improve to +110. Why do these odds vary so drastically? Removing the decimal place means that there can’t be a tie, known as a push. At the end of the game, if you make a wager with a decimal, you would have either won or lost.

What are the Over Under Odds?

If you are new to the world of online sports betting, you might have noticed some sites display the odds as fractions, others as decimals, and a majority use pluses and minuses. Although these are drastically different looking, they all equate to the same or similar amounts. Probably the easiest to understand is the American system with pluses and minuses, then decimals, and fractions are by far the hardest. So, when you sign up for the best sports betting sites, make sure they offer odds in your preferred format.

Although the American odds system is simpler, it is still not clear exactly what the pluses and minuses mean. If you were to look at a spread bet, they use both symbols for the odds and the spread. In the over under bet type, they only use these symbols for the odds. A minus should immediately tell you that this bet will award less than what you stake. So, if you see a wager with -250, you will need to stake $250 to win $100 in profit. Anything with a plus means you will win this much if you bet $100. If you took up a bet with +250, then you would expect to see this much in profit, plus your hundred bucks back.

As we have mentioned above, if you join the very best sports betting sites, you will find better odds if you are more specific with your wager. However, if you are new to sports betting, then it might be safer to stick to the lower returns in the hope they are right.

When to Use the Over Under Bet?

Although the best sportsbooks give you a lot of bets to choose from, they can make life more difficult for the casual player. How do you know what bets to place and when? Well, while we wish we could sit on your shoulder and give advice as you add wagers to your bet slip, that will not happen anytime soon. Instead, we can just give you some pointers to help you choose the over under for the right occasion.

  • Check the team’s form: Although form is not a reliable indicator of how well a team will play, it’s a good place to start. If a team traditionally hardly registers any points on the scoreboard, then odds are you can expect a low-scoring game. However, a low-scoring game would also require a good defense. So, if it’s a team with a poor defense and a low-scoring attack, will the opposition score enough to win your bet? If both teams are high-scoring, what are the odds their defenses crumble into a goal-fest? When in doubt, play it safe!
  • Examine other wagers: In the 2022 Super Bowl, the spread bet would have let you down, but the over under was well below what the sportsbooks predicted. They had an over under total of 48 for most sports betting sites, and the final score was 43. The spread was four points, and the Rams won by three. This means the sportsbooks expected a close scoring game with approx 24 points each. Check out the history of the Super Bowl and you’ll see how rarely that happens.

If you enjoy this type of betting, PointsBet can pay you more for these types of results. Check out our PointsBet review for more details about PointsBetting.

An over under bet from the PointsBet sportsbook

What Does Under 1.5 Mean in Betting?

If you look at any sportsbook, you will probably see a bunch of numbers, some decimals, some with pluses, and others with minuses; but what does it all mean? Well, there is no one answer to rule them all, but we can help shed some light on the matter. In the over under bet type, when you see something like 1.5 or 220.5, what does it mean? It means there is no way for the bet to end as a push; where the better does not lose and the house does not win. This is because a team can’t score half a point, leaving the final score above or below the designated number; no draws!

If you see a 1.5 on a spread bet, then it means something similar to the over under. If you were betting on the MLB, and the Red Sox had a +1.5 spread against the Yankees, then the Red Sox must win the game by two or more runs to win the bet. As they can’t score half a run in baseball, your bet will either be right or wrong. This also applies to other sports, such as football, hockey, and basketball.

Why Choose Over Under?

One of the hardest things to do in sports betting is choosing the right wager. Although we have given a couple of tips, there is no concrete guide to follow when placing a bet. Instead, make a judgment call based on the odds, the teams, and whether you can afford to lose whatever you stake. If you are an experienced bettor, then you will know every wager has its day. So why choose the over under?

The over under is the perfect wager for a sporting event where you are not sure who will win. If you know the game is going to be a snooze fest or points galore, then the over under bet is perfect for you. It’s also a useful wager if you have an inclining about how many goals either team will score. You can use the over under to estimate how many points scored in a half or how many scored by a certain team. If you play your cards right, over under bets are an exciting way to bet on sporting events without the need to predict who will win.

Totals and Same Game Parlays

If you join one of the best sports betting sites, they often allow you to place a parlay on one individual match. This is where you can select multiple bets on the same game, combine them into a parlay, and enjoy much higher potential returns than placing each wager as a single. There are some restrictions around what wagers make up a same game parlay, but usually, the totals section has a variety of over and under bets for you to enjoy.

Final Thoughts on Total Bets

If you are looking for a summary of the over under bet, think of it as a scoreline prediction. You can either estimate the total number of goals scored in the game, the number of points scored by one team, or the number of goals in a period. The more specific you are with your prediction, the more you can win. Plus, you can win your bet whether there is a winning team or a draw.

Overall, it is a useful type of wager when creating a same game parlay or if you think a game will be high/low scoring. Typically, major sporting events like the Super Bowl are not as high-scoring as you might think, as usually two relatively evenly matched teams face off. Equally, big sporting events usually mean players are less likely to take risks, which will also reduce the total scoring. If you wager on sporting events, you might not consider the over under bet. However, given most sportsbooks offer a wide range of totals on most sporting events, you can find some good wagers with fantastic odds.

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