What Is Over/ Under Betting?

January 9, 2018 9 min to read

We like to think of betting as a game for adults.

We aren’t kids anymore and that means that we don’t want to spend our time without benefiting from it.

This is where tactics and betting strategies come in.

However, there are sometimes that the matchup you are presented with may not be so easy to judge so what will you bet on?

Over/Under of course.

But what is over and under betting, you might ask and this is exactly the question we are going to answer today as we take a look at how this betting option applies to each of the major sports and also a few other winning techniques likes these>>

What Is Over/ Under Betting 

What Is Over And Under Betting?

All you want to do is to make some money and what better way to do so than to apply a new betting system in your accumulators.

What is really interesting is that the over/under option often referred to as O/U (from the initial letters).

In its most basic form is about a set number, usually of goals, and you can bet either on under if you believe that the total amount of goals will be smaller than that number or over if you think it will be higher.

However, even though the over/under option mostly applies to professional football games that don’t in any way mean that you will not see it in other games or in other forms.

Where Does The Over And Under Betting Option Apply?

Just like we previously said the over/under betting option applies to many major sports even to some not so well known as others.

We are going to take a look at the majority of them but as we are currently close to the 52nd Super Bowl we would like to kick off with the NFL.

1. Professional Football

When it comes to this sport the king is, was, and will probably always be the NFL.

Although, you should know that when it comes to professional football the over and under the betting system is often referred to as “Totals betting”.

So how does it work?

First of all, you don’t care who wins or who loses as long as you bet on the right O/U option.

An oddsmaker sets a specific Total and you have to choose where to bet under or over it.

Take last year’s Super Bowl for example.

The matchup of the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons ended on a 34-28 in favour of the former.

Even if the game hasn’t gone into OT (over time) and the O/U bet could apply only to the “normal” score chances are most bookmakers would still have to pay out an Over bet.

Tom Brady is to blame for that as he has led the New England Patriots to be the team with the most Over results in the past seven seasons.

Now you may be wondering “Well, then I will make money if I only bet on Over, right?” Not exactly.

Yeah, the Patriots do have one of the best offensive lines but their defence isn’t exactly the best.

That means that if a team has an excellent defensive line and better than average attacking one then the Patriots could easily lose and without even scoring many times either.

So that you can understand better we are going to present you with a simple example:

Let’s say the Total line was 55 goals.

The score ended up being 30-24.

The total amount of goals is therefore 54 so if you have bet Under then congratulations, you win.

If you have bet Over, we are sorry, but you lost, better luck next time.

Now, what would happen if the total was 55 exactly?

That would be a Push and you would get your money back. But because bookmakers don’t want to give you the edge most of the time the Total line will have a .5 in the end like 53.5 for example.

In that case, a 53 or less wins if you picked Under while a 54 or more prevails if you chose Over. What about Over Time though?

Does it count towards the Total line? Well, in the majority of bookmakers it counts. There are some bookmakers (even though very rare) that don’t count Over Time is the Total spread.

Imagine someone to have placed an Under 60.5 bet on the last Super Bowl.

If that person placed his wager on a usual bookmaker he would have lost because the Under option was winning until the OT kicked in. If it didn’t count however he would have won in both cases.

over/under betting for the nfl

2. Soccer

Undeniably, the biggest sport on the planet is soccer.

More than 200 countries in the world have a soccer league and this is why Over and Under betting couldn’t be missing.

When it comes to this sport the rules are pretty much the same.

You bet lower or higher than a specific set total amount of goals and if you guessed right then you win money.

If not, you lose.

Although, soccer is nothing like football as the number of goals in each game is usually anywhere between 0-5 with more rare occasions where this number can be a bit higher or way up but almost always under 10 goals.

This is why the Total line is usually 2.5.

On the other hand, this depends on the country we are talking about when betting on such options.

Leagues like the La Liga (BBVA) in Spain or the Premier League in England have one thing in common.

Find out more about the Premier League here>>

The offensive lines there are way more dangerous than other ones.

The total amount of goals scored in each game are almost always more than 2-3. So in such countries, the Total line would most likely be 3.5 instead of 2.5.

So if you want to make some money one of the better ways to do so is by betting using the over and under betting option in leagues such the ones we previously mentioned. Next up on our list is basketball.

3. Basketball

Kobe! You must have heard that phrase when someone tried throwing a bottle in a garbage can out in the public.

Of course, that phrase refers to Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest athletes to ever play in the NBA.

But apart from great plays, basketball offers some pretty good odds and can prove to be extremely profitable if you know how to use said odds to your advantage that is.

After point spread betting, O/U is the second most popular option in basketball.

There is, however, one thing that we haven’t still mentioned and this is how the actual wager is placed.

The odds are often presented with either a (-) or (+) sign next to them. Usually, the (+) sign will be offered to the underdog while the (-) one to the bet which is more likely to end up winning.

The odds are decided respectively.

For example, in most cases, if the Under offers a -110 odd that means that if you bet 110$ you will win 100$.

If the Over offers a +110 that means that if you bet 100$ you may win 110$. Notice the difference?

The bet more likely to win pays out less than the other.

This is a common thing in betting which can be found in all other betting options as well.

Always, the less likely outcome pays out more.

However, when it comes to betting on Basketball and especially the NBA there is a pretty good reason that the O/U option is so popular. Statistics is that reason.

They play a big role in all major sports but in NBA you are more likely to land on a right prediction that you are to get it wrong if you follow the analytics and wager accordingly.

Many times it is good to take a look at how the two teams going against each other have performed in their previous matchups.

Based on this and their recent performances it will be easier to make the right choice and bet either on Over or Under.

4. Baseball

The MLB is one of the biggest sports leagues in the United States.

Learn how to bet on the MLB here>>

Everybody likes nonstop action and the best place to get that is the baseball field. What is over and under betting when it comes to that sport?

Pretty much the same, as there still is a specific Total line you can either bet under or over.

Many people like this betting option but we actually have a betting tip for you and here it is.

DON’T bet before June. The weather in that period is far less consistent than it is in the summertime.

On top of that, you can’t have a clear insight on how each team or player is going to perform right from the get-go. Wait a bit until the first two months of the season pass and when you have finally formed a clear image then it is time to start betting.

Make sure to check out the various major online bookmakers such as Bovada, Bodog, William Hill, Leo Vegas, and Marathon Bet as these 5 are some of the top ones.

Sometimes the same line will be offered by more than one bookmaker but the odds will be different, maybe on a big level. So make sure that you do some research before placing your bet.

how to bet on the mlb

Various Sports

Just like with every other sport where two teams go head to head the O/U betting option applies as well. That can be Tennis, Hockey, Water Polo, and everything else of that sort.

The rules will sometimes vary.

Just like we previously mentioned the rules that apply in the over and under betting options tend to differ from each bookmaker.

In some cases the Over Time may not apply while in other rarer occasions the Total line may be divided to two parts, one for the halftime and one for the whole game (or the second half) and the bets are placed accordingly.


What is over and under betting? Now you should know the answer to this question as we extensively explained all the possible scenarios and rules you can see in a bookmaker’s odd book.

Remember that the NFL Playoffs already started and it would be a great time to make some extra cash by using the O/U betting option for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Bovada is the best online bookmakers you can use to place your bet because their odds are amazing.

So get out there and start betting.

Author photo


Adam is long time Manchester United fan but admits that he has a few international favourite teams which he looks forward to watching and betting on for international events like the World Cup


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