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Betting.net / Betting Guide / What Does an Over Under Bet Mean? Over Under Betting Explained 2023

What Does an Over Under Bet Mean? Over Under Betting Explained 2023

Last Updated on January 26, 2023
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox

This strategy is going to help you achieve the most out of your over under betting!

Looking to discover all there is to know about over under betting online? Betting.net can guide you on your exciting journey. Not only will we tell you how does over under betting work at its most basic level, we’ll also get further into the topic.

With the right know-how and experience, anyone can do well with their over under bets. That’s why we’ll provide you with our best betting strategies for over and under markets. Read on below to discover the tutorials and tips as we take you on the tour.

Over under betting – key points

  • Sometimes referred to as “totals betting”
  • Involves betting over or under the proposed total amount of a certain stat
  • Most commonly used with goals and points
  • Can be used with other total game stats, such as pass completions
  • Involves both teams’ totals
  • Doesn’t require you to pick a winner

Over under betting online – the basics

Over/under markets, sometimes referred to as “totals betting” has been one of the most successful additions to the world of sports wagering. How it works is that the sportsbook provides you with a proposed numerical outcome for a certain stat at the end of a game. You as the bettor can then choose to bet on the outcome being either over or under the proposed amount at the given odds. As with all forms of betting, you need to be above the legal gambling age to participate.

Over under markets are most commonly given on the total points or goals scored at the end of a game. However, you may also come across more niche or alternative over/under markets, such as total throw ins in a soccer game or pass completions in a football game.

Rather than picking a winner and a loser, you’re betting on the overall outcome of a game’s total. This gives you more alternative avenues to explore and potentially more valuable bets. This is especially beneficial when it comes to betting on games that would otherwise be particularly one-sided.

Important: remember that with over unders, you’re betting on the total amount of points/goals scored by both teams cumulatively, not individually.

Over under betting online – example

For our first example of how over under lines work, let’s use a Premier League soccer fixture between Liverpool and Manchester United.

The totals betting line might look a bit something like this:

  • Under 3.5 Goals: -150
  • Over 3.5 Goals: +250

From this example, we can see that under 3.5 goals to be scored is the favorite outcome in the eyes of the bookies, while over 3.5 goals to be scored is the underdog outcome. This is reflected in the odds, with under being shorter and over being longer (you can find betting odds explained in more detail here). Instead of betting on the teams themselves, you’re betting on another outcome that will be determined at the end of the game.

Over under betting online – your questions answered

So we’ve now explained the basics of how over under lines work when it comes to sports bets. We’ve used soccer goals as an example, but it works the same with basketball, football and other sports – just substitute goals for points and the relevant stats.

We are aware that while the basic concept is simple to understand, you may have a couple of questions having read the above. We’ve addressed the most commonly asked questions regarding totals betting for you below.

Why is there a decimal point in the total?

Something odd that you may have noticed in the above example, is that the over under proposed total was 3.5 goals. It is true to say that it’s impossible for a team to score half a goal – however there is a good reason why the toals are displayed as such.

By giving a decimal total that’s impossible to achieve, the sportsbook eliminates the possibility of the exact outcome beaching reached. This keeps the betting process more simple and rules out the over under equivalent of a draw from occurring.

You’ll notice this is generally the same for totals betting in most sports and with most markets. For example, with basketball points total over under markets, you might see a line with over/under 186.5 points.

Can over under bets be exact?

We explained above that, in the majority of cases, the .5 format will be used to avoid the exact number from being hit. However, some betting sites will use round numbers, allowing for the possibility that the exact proposed outcome can be landed on. In this case, neither those betting on over nor under the amount will have their bets paid out.

Am I betting on the total of one team or both?

We did allude to this above, but it’s a point worth stressing as it confuses a lot of new sports bettors. The points total that you are betting on is the total of both teams. The are special markets that involve betting on the total goals scored by one team, but these are more commonly used in a handicap betting – which you can find out more about in our betting guide here at Betting.net.

Do I have to pick a winner?

No, part of the beauty of over under lines is that they offer an alternative to having to pick a winner. While moneyline bets and handicap markets both require you to pick a winner, over under markets give you another route to go down by betting on a different final outcome to the game. Over under bets are particularly popular with punters when offered on a fixture that’s particularly one-sided.

For example, if you’re looking to place a bet on an FA Cup fifth round tie between Manchester City and Cheltenham Town, there’s not going to be much value in backing City – and Cheltnam’s chances of winning are going to be almost zero. Therefore over under markets here off you better odds combined with the realistic prospect of your bet paying out.

Can I only bet on total points or goals scored?

While total points and goals tallies do make up the bulk of the most common over under markets, you will find over under markets related to other stats. These could range from pass completions, to fouls committed or corners conceded.

For beginners, we recommended testing the water using total points or goal tallies. But if you know the sport and the teams/players you’re betting on well, why not go more niche eventually!

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Finding an over under betting strategy for you

Hopefully above, we’ve managed to explain all of the ins and outs of over under bets and how they work when adapted to different sports. The next step is now to devise an over under betting strategy.

Of course, there is no one fixed strategy to implement here, and the approach you take depends largely on the sport and/or the teams you’re betting on. Below, we’ve taken a look at the different types of sports and teams you need consider when devising your over under betting strategy.

Over under betting – high and low scoring sports

The approach you take to totals betting differs depending on the type of sport that you’re betting on. Additionally, this also affects the odds and potential payouts as set by the bookies, as well as the implied probability of the outcome happening.

This is a type of betting that relies on numbers and statistics, most commonly with regards to points and goals scored. Therefore the most effective and basic strategy is to divide sports into two categories – high scoring and low scoring. We’ve provided you with the details of how to approach both types of sports below.

High scoring sports

With sports such as basketball, NFL football and rugby, the points tallies tend to be pretty high. With such sports, the points tallies tend to commonly be up in the double or triple digits. This means that the odds on the over under markets aren’t going to vary too much regardless of who’s playing.

This is especially true of basketball – even with two more defensive minded teams playing, the total points tally is very likely to be in and around the 180 mark. Therefore from low ranking games in the Basketball League of Serbia, to high profile NBA playoff matches, you’re going to find similar lines with similar odds.

Low scoring games

With low scoring games, such as hockey and soccer, your approach needs to be a lot more tactful. These such sports generally have single figure total scorelines, meaning that your knowledge of the teams and their tactics comes into play a lot more. This will also be reflected in the odds – and means that they can vary drastically on the totals between different games.

For example, if two defensive minded soccer teams are playing, such as Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, then you’re going to get very long odds on a 3.5 goals scored market. With two attack minded teams, you would see the same with a 1.5 total goals market.

As a result, your knowledge of the sport, the leagues and the teams is a lot more crucial when it comes to betting low scoring teams. However, get it right and you could land a bigger payout than when betting over under on higher scoring sports.

Over under betting online – top tips

Before we wrap things up here, we’d like to leave you with a couple of top tips and common mistakes to avoid when it comes to betting on over under lines.

Focus on the defenses as well as the scorers

A common mistake people make is to focus on just one side of a team’s prowess – usually their attacking talents. We are talking about total goals or points here, and defenses are just as key to that total as attackers. Always remember to look at both the defense and attack in equal measure. For sports like soccer and hockey, key starts to look for are average goals scored vs clean sheets or shutouts.

Know the coach tactics of both teams

If you listen to the TV pundits, you’ll often find certain teams labelled as “attack minded” or as being “more defensive”. However you can’t take this at face value for every single fixture – you need to take a look at the coaches tactics and see how the teams might match up.

Look at other factors surrounding the fixtures

A team’s stats and playing style might not paint you the whole picture. You therefore need to look at other factors which could influence the game. The most obvious thing to look at here is of course injuries to key players, especially those who can directly have an effect on points and goals totals. However, other things such as scheduling and the weather could also impact the outcome.

So you’ve learned about our over under betting strategy here today, but we should let you know that we’ve so much more to offer you here at Betting.net. From beginner to advanced levels, we’ve got online betting guides to suit all manner of punter. And the buck doesn’t stop with sports betting explained either – you’ll also find online casino betting guides, poker strategies and more!

Over under betting online – the conclusion

And so we’ve almost reached the end of our latest betting guide here at Betting.net. Before we leave you to go ahead and make use of our over under strategies, we’d like to leave you with some final words of advice. Firstly, remember to look at what type of sport you’re betting on. Secondly, make sure there’s value in your bet and lastly, always stick to betting on sports and teams that you know quite well.

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Over under betting FAQ

❓ What is an over under in betting?

Over under betting markets offer punters an alternative to the traditional betting method of picking a winner. Instead, you bet on stats. Find out more in our guide here at Betting.net.

📌 What happens if over under is exact?

This depends on the bookies’ policy and some bookies will even have a measure in place to prevent this from happening. Discover how here at Betting.net.

💸 Is it better to bet over or under?

That depends on the sports and teams that you are choosing to be on. The best thing to do ahead of any type of sports bet is to get up to speed on your sports. You can benefit from reading our guide sports betting explained.

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