Placing an Over/Under bet may not be as popular as a Moneyline wager or engaging with prop markets, but it has its place and it probably warrants a bit more attention. We are constantly scrutinizing the best operators, and therefore, at the likes of BetMGM and Unibet, you can expect to find an Over/Under section for most sports.
For those who like to indulge in online sports betting, the Over/Under section is rather unheralded and it could be a new avenue for more experienced bettors. In this in-depth guide, we will help you get to grips with the Over/Under market and show you what you should look out for.
What is an Over/Under Bet?
It’s important to note here that you don’t get confused with the principle of point spreads. Whereas point spreads revolve around the idea of who wins the game and by many points, the Over/Under bet, in a nutshell, is essentially the final combined score. So, whether you are an ice hockey, NBA, or soccer fan, the Over/Under section is available at the best online sports betting operators.
Ideally, if you think a particular game will be high scoring, then you could back the Over section, however, this will be outlined in the next part of this guide with some practical examples.
Reading Over/Under Bets
With most US sportsbooks, odds will be presented in American format, where a plus sign (+) will denote the underdog, while the favorite will have a minus sign (-) attached.
For those who want to know how to bet on the Over/Under markets, examples are helpful. If we use NBA as our primary Over/Under bet example, games tend to be quite high scoring. If the LA Clippers were taking on the LA Lakers, then a sportsbook might list odds as such:
- Over 226.5 (+140)
- Under 226.5 (-110)
In this case, there might be more value in backing the Under section as it is unlikely that 227 points or more will be scored. If you are a casual fan, you would probably want to see plenty of field goals and dunks!
If we move on to soccer, there are normally fewer goals. So, if the New York Red Bulls were facing Chicago Fire in a regular-season MLS match, you may encounter the following odds.
- Over 2.5 goals (+160)
- Under 2.5 goals (-110)
Here, the Over 2.5 goals section could be more worthwhile especially if there has been a flurry of goals scored between the two sides in previous meetings. Sometimes, it is about being astute, but patterns and trends from past games may influence your thinking here.
Factoring in Overtime into the Over/Under Section
Most Over/Under sections at leading sportsbooks will take into account Overtime. With most sports, Overtime can play a huge role in determining the number of goals or points scored.
In NBA, there are plenty of games where Overtime is required as a team may recover well in the final quarter and pull back a deficit. Or in soccer, you can get a goalless draw and so Overtime is needed to separate the two sides, otherwise, it could go to penalties.
Always check that the sportsbook you wish to play at, includes Overtime in the Over/Under section, but this isn’t something you should sweat over.
What to consider with Over/Under Betting?
There are a few things you may want to consider when tackling the Over/Under market, so we have identified three strategies you should adopt to get the most out of this section:
- Do your homework – Make sure you do research in advance of a game and be up-to-date with the latest news, surrounding key injuries to players or head-to-head records.
- Fade the public – Sometimes, the public can be suckered into going big on the Over section, but you should cut out the noise and trust your instincts here.
- Read up as much as possible – Similar in many respects to the first point, always read up as much as possible from expert tipsters and see what is being said so that you are armed with key information before making a wager.
Over/Under Betting – Final Thoughts
The Over/Under market carries some risk, but it can be very rewarding and you can make some tidy profits. As always, we suggest that you play at the best sportsbooks. This market is quite straightforward to understand, and maybe, you might be more inclined to try this section before looking at point spreads.
Frequently Asked QuestionsAbout Over/Under Betting
What is an Over/Under bet?
An Over/Under bet assesses the total number of goals or points scored in a match. So, if you saw odds for Over 4.5 goals display for a soccer game, and you wagered on that, then there would need to be five goals or more scored to return a successful betting slip.
How do you read Over/Under bets?
Over/under bets will usually be displayed in American odds, where the higher total may have a plus sign, as it may be unlikely if a score total will be surpassed. Sometimes, there can be value in betting on the lower total.
Do Over/Under bets include Overtime?
Yes, Over/Under bets will generally include Overtime and this will be stipulated by your chosen sportsbook you intend to play at.
What sports can you use an Over/Under bet for?
You can use Over/Under bets on many sports, but the most popular sports for Over/Under bets are NFL, NBA, soccer, and ice hockey.