Yonit S 2024-03-05T11:06

Totals/Over-Under bets

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In the world of team matchups, we've got three main types of bets: moneyline, spread, and total (sometimes called over/under). While moneyline and spread focus on figuring out the winning squad, the total bet only cares about the scoring action between the teams.

Now, over/under betting covers a bunch of things like counting goals in soccer, tracking corners, touchdowns, passes in a game, steals, rebounds in basketball, nabbing bases in an inning, nailing three-pointers in a quarter—you get the picture.

It all kicks off when the sports pros set a predicted score for both teams before the action starts. When you're checking out the odds for a game, you'll spot terms like total, over/under, or just O/U. There's a specific number in play, like 165 for a college hoops showdown, 3.5 for a football face-off, or 54 for an NFL showdown. That's the over/under line, also known as the total.

Putting your chips on the over means you're banking on both teams tallying more goals, points, or runs than that posted total. On the flip side, an under bet shows you're predicting a total that's less than what's on the board. It's smooth sailing, really!

How Are Totals Made?

Football and basketball totals play out much like point spreads, aiming to draw equal bets on both the over and under sides. The goal for sportsbooks is a balanced financial sheet that secures profits, no matter the final score.

In baseball and hockey, total bets take after money-line odds. Sportsbooks might expect more bets on the over or under for a specific game, but they aim to balance the wagers through adjusted odds. When a sportsbook sets a total for an MLS game at over 2.5 (-150), indicating you need to wager $150 to win $100 for an over bet, the sportsbook anticipates a higher number of over bets. The +125 figure for the under is intended to entice enough under bets to cover potential losses if the game surpasses the total.

Sportsbooks also know that games usually attract more over bets than under bets. People generally favor betting on more scoring than defending, no matter the sport. As a result, totals tend to slightly lean towards the over side, particularly in football.

Reading Over/Under Bets Betting Odds

The bookie sets the Over/Under score, and you decide whether the total score will go higher or lower. Trust me, Over/Under bets are the straightforward, no-fuss option amidst the betting world.

Picture a Champions League Match with an Over/Under set at 3.5. If you pick "over," any combined score of 4 goals or beyond brings in the win. But hey, if it ends with a 3-nil score or anything below that line, consider the bet lost.

Now, when the Over/Under line doesn't have decimals and the final score perfectly matches the bookies' guess, it's a tie. Everyone gets their money back, no harm done. Oh, and don't sweat it—understanding over/under odds is as breezy as grasping the usual odds.

Different OVER UNDER betting markets

Like I earlier mentioned, Over/Under betting goes beyond simply predicting the total score of a game. There are other markets according to scenarios that gamblers can stake on. Let's explore some of them.

Betting Market


Team Totals

Predict total points/goals scored by a specific team.

Quarter/Half Totals

Break total score into quarters/halves. Bet on points scored within certain timeframes.

Player Points/Goals

Wager on total points/goals by individual players. Insights into player form and historical data will be of help here.

Alternative Totals

Choose from adjusted lines with corresponding odds. Tailor bets to your own score expectation.

Period Totals

Predict points/goals scored in designated periods.

Grand Total (Accum.)        

Predict combined score of multiple games. That's a strategic combo of different matchups.

Potential Outcomes of Total and Over/Under Bets

Oddsmakers lay out two types of totals: those with whole numbers (like 9 runs in baseball or 47 points in American Football) and those with decimals (think 4.5 goals in soccer or 210.5 points in basketball).

Now, if an Over/Under bet comes with a decimal, you'll get a clear outcome. But, when the total on your betting slip is a whole number, it's possible that things end in a tie.

Imagine a 48-point Over/Under for an NFL game. If the game closes at 26-22, the bet results in a "push." In such a case, the bettor's money is given right back.

Oh, and here's the twist: Over/Under bets can also result in a push (with refunds) if a game/event gets canceled or postponed, or simply doesn't wrap up. Different sportsbooks have their own rules on what counts as a completed event for each sport. They also have guidelines about whether a bet remains live if it's rescheduled for later.

For instance, if a baseball game gets rained out and rescheduled, your wagers usually get refunded. However, betting on a boxing match that's postponed for a couple of months might keep your ticket active.

Aside from the possible outcome of a push, a total bet can either be Over or Under. So, if for instance you realized that Newcastle and West Ham are set to fight it out on the pitch in an EPL matchup, you might decide to opt for an O/U bet. It doesn't have to be the scoreline totals. You could examine how much the two teams press offensively and attempt to put the ball at the back of the net. That may be very influential in knowing how often the ball will be parried away from the goalpost to a safe haven or how often there could be deflections. It'll be a good opportunity to try your hand at Corners Over/Under bet. So, if totals for corners is set at 9.5, you can easily wager on an Over. And since the O/U is in decimals, there's no way there'll be an 'exact number.' The number of corners taken in the game will either be above or below the totals.

How is the Over/Under determined?

Oddsmakers dive deep into various factors when they set the Over/Under total, going beyond the basic stats of the teams involved, like their offensive and defensive prowess.

In outdoor sports like football and baseball, weather, especially windy conditions, can really shake up scoring. Oddsmakers also factor in lineup compositions, injuries, coaching strategies, past performances at home and away, and the game schedule. These bits and pieces are crunched by computer models to predict an anticipated total.

Once the markets open, the betting marketplace enters the scene, but it starts small. As game day approaches and more info comes in—be it weather updates or injury reports—the total shifts its stance.

Interestingly, the amount of moolah bet on the Over or Under plays a role too. If cash is flowing towards the Over, sportsbooks might nudge up the total to woo Under bets. And if more folks are banking on the Under, sportsbooks might trim down the total to lure bets on the Over.

What is the payout on an Over/Under bet? How Much Do You Make on an Over/Under Bet?

For most Over/Under bets, you'll often see odds of -110 for both the Over and the Under. This is what they call a flat rate. if you want to win $100, you need to put down $110. In simpler terms, if you bet $100, you'll get $91 in return.

Now and then, sportsbooks tweak the odds on the Over/Under to attract more bets on a particular side. Imagine a scenario where a sportsbook gets a lot of action on the Over 2.5 (-110) but not much on the Under 2.5 (-110). In that case, they might change the odds to Over 2.5 (-120)/Under 2.5 (+105).

This adjustment gives the Under a sweeter payout, making it appealing for bettors, and it balances the bets on both sides of the Over/Under. This clever move guarantees a profit for the sportsbook, regardless of how the game unfolds.

Over/Under Examples

Imagine Strasbourg facing off against Stuttgarts. The bookmaker's goal line is set at 3.5. You're thinking the total score from both teams won't surpass that number. So, you place an Under bet.

Strasbourg takes the game with a score of 2-1, making the total points 3. Although it's very close to 3.5, it's still under that line. In a nutshell, the winning bet is Under, and you pocket some nice winnings.

Now, consider a game like Denver Nuggets versus Los Angeles Lakers. The sportsbook pins the points total at 207.5. Your gut says this clash will be high-scoring, so you put down an Over bet.

Sadly, the final score ends up being Denver Nuggets 89 - 104 Los Angeles Lakers. The total points tally at 193. This means the winning bet is actually Under, and you needed at least 15 more points to come in.

Moving on to the Saints-Vikings NFL showdown with an over/under set at 58. If the teams muster up 59 or more points, the over bet wins. But if they hit 57 or fewer points, it's an "under" victory for under bettors. And if it lands right on the magic number 58, it's a push, and everyone gets their bets back.

Let's say you wagered on a Denver Broncos matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers with totals of 62 points.


Final Score


Over 62

Broncos 28, Steelers 31


Over 62

Broncos 26, Steelers 38


Under 62

Broncos 31, Steelers 34


Under 62

Broncos 30,  Steelers 27


Over 62

Broncos 29, Steelers 33


Tips & Strategy Advice

I'm sure you might have at a time fantasized being some kind of psychic who knows everything that hasn't happened yet. But while you still swim in your fantasies, here are some simple strategies to help you make better Over/Under wagers:

  • Check Past Scores: Look at how many points or goals teams have scored before. Teams that often score a lot are better for Over bets, while teams struggling to score are good for Under bets.
  • Choose Bookmakers Wisely: Find sportsbooks that offer different betting options. More choices mean better chances to win. Look for odds that suit you.
  • Attack vs. Defense: Pick teams that either score a lot or concede a lot. High-scoring teams with weak defense are ideal for Over bets. Also, when strong attacking teams play against weak defenders, you have better odds of a winning bet.
  • Use Bonuses: Some bookmakers offer free bets and bonuses. You can use these to bet on both Over and Under outcomes. This way, you can win no matter the result.


By now, you're well-informed about over/under bets. If you find joy in watching sports and want to add an extra flesh of fun, wagering on totals is perfect for you. Instead of worrying about the winning team, your focus will be on the points or goals scored.

You might not be an expert yet. But with this guide, you've got what it takes to become one. While Over/Under is easy to understand, doing well and pocketing some cool cash will require research.  No doubt, when you put in your time and effort to study, it will pay off in the end.

Just see it as a fancy way to say Over/Under. It is a wager placed on the combined score.
Well, 3-way bets don't pop up a lot when it comes to totals. You'll usually spot them in soccer's Win Bets. In Moneylines, you're not only betting on each team winning but also on the game ending in a draw.
Basketball, football (soccer), American football, baseball, table tennis, lawn tennis, cricket, and rugby are a few of the many sports that offer totals market.
In most cases, Over/Under bets cover overtime, unless the sportsbook says otherwise.