If you’ve ever tried your luck with online sports betting, chances are you’ve probably come across over/under betting. This bet type appears simple at first glance, as you just have to predict if the total points of a match will be over or under a specific value.

However, like other bet types, its subtle intricacies make an in-depth study both exciting and beneficial for your betting strategies. That’s why we’ve created this guide to over/under betting just for you!

Keep reading for real-life examples, an exploration of the different kinds of over/under bets, and insight into how sportsbooks calculate betting lines.

About Over/Under Bets

Every sports betting event has three essential bet types you should know about. These are moneyline bets, point spreads, and over/under bets, also known as totals. The first two allow you to bet on which team will win the match, whereas over/under is all about the total score of the game.

Essentially, a totals bet allows you to wager on the total amount of points, goals, etc. both teams will score, regardless of which one ends up victorious. As you can imagine, over/under bets are great when you’re not sure which team will win, so you can just bet on the game's action.

For most sporting events, you’ll usually find a single over/under betting line, which is a specific value determined by the sportsbook. Your goal is to predict whether the total score of the game will be higher (over) or lower (under) than that specific value.

If you manage to guess correctly, your bet wins, but if you’re wrong, even by just one point, you lose. In the case of a draw - where the total score is equal to the over/under line - it’s a push, and you receive your original stake back.

Examples of Over/Under Bets

Now that you understand a little more about the basics of over/under betting, let’s go over a few real-life examples. For our first example, we’ll look at an NFL game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.

In this particular game, the over/under betting line is set to 47 total points. For an over bet to win, the game must have a total score of 48 or more points. Conversely, the score needs to be 46 points or less for the under bet to pay out. If the game ends with 47 points, the over/under bet push, and you earn your stake back.

In the second example, we’ll look at a slightly different totals format, usually found in sports like basketball. In an NBA match between the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, the totals betting line is set to 230.5 instead of 230. The “0.5” is used to avoid the push scenario since the over wins with 231 points or more, while the under wins with 230 points or less.

Types of Over/Under Bets

After discussing the necessary details regarding how totals betting works, let’s dive deeper into the different types of over/under bets. Here are the most common types of over/under betting you can find in most sportsbooks:

Match Totals

This over/under bet is by far the most popular among new and veteran sports bettors. As we’ve already discussed, the match total refers to the combined points both teams will score throughout the game, and your job is to find whether the game will go over or under a specific betting line.

A few aspects to consider when choosing between an over and an under bet are the strength of both teams, their mentality, as well as their form. If it’s a derby between two fierce rivals, both teams will likely be more careful. Plus, if a team is defensively oriented, they usually have more under than over games.

Over/Under Team Prop Bets

Apart from totals bets for both teams, there are also certain over/under bets for team prop bets. These team props refer to things that can happen within a game but don’t always influence the actual outcome. An example of this can be how many home runs a team scores or how many rebounds they have.

Team prop bets usually come in the form of an over/under bet with the same rules as the match totals. You get one (or more) specific betting lines and need to bet on the over/under. Depending on the format, over/under bets for team props may or may not push in case of a draw.

Over/Under Player Props

Similarly to team prop bets, there are also player props that mostly come with an over/under format. However, in this case, you’ll most commonly find betting lines with 0.5 to avoid pushing since the numbers can be lower than total points.

A good example is how many three-point shots Stephen Curry will score in a game. The betting line will usually be 3.5 or 4.5, and you’ll rarely come across a 4 to avoid too many pushes. In any case, always consider things like player form and how well the opposing team can adapt to their style of play.

How Is Over/Under Betting Calculated?

While over/under betting may seem simple from a bettor’s perspective, it’s actually much more complicated for sportsbooks. First of all, several factors can affect the over/under betting lines, including what teams are facing off, their overall playstyle and mentality, their performances in recent games, player absences, etc.

Once a sportsbook determines the betting line for the totals of a sporting event, they will usually release it with both the over and under at -110 betting odds. This basically means you’ll need to wager $110 to make a profit of $100. Sometimes, the over or under may be slightly more favored, such as having -120 odds.

Another factor that affects over/under betting significantly is betting action. Once the lines and betting odds are out, skilled sports bettors usually find good value bets for a particular over or under and bet aggressively on it. This usually makes the odds drop to compensate for it, but it can even lead to the line moving up or down a point.

In this case, you should be extra careful before betting, as even a single point difference can change the outcome of your bet significantly.

All in all, over/under betting is definitely one of the top bet types for a reason; it’s pretty simple to understand if you’re a novice, and it can be very intricate to study for expert sports bettors. In fact, some experts keep detailed sheets with all the statistics that may affect over/under bets, so they can make the best decisions for their bets.

👉 If you don’t feel like studying over/under betting thoroughly or just want access to the best betting picks available, have a look at our huge variety of sports betting communities. Find the best sports bettors with years of experience in over/under betting, who are ready to give you their best picks so you can increase your bankroll and profits.

🏆 Check out: The Best Sports Betting Discord Servers [2023]