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Over/Under Betting Explained

Over Under Betting

The online sports betting industry has introduced a plethora of new bets as soon as bookies moved online. The exciting new stakes are usually derivatives of the 3 main types of sports bets – moneylines, point spreads, and totals. The latter is widely known as over/under bets, perfectly representing the idea of this type of wagering.

Over/under is one of the most straightforward bets you can place at online bookies these days. However, it requires a little bit of knowledge beforehand. If you want to learn how to read O/U bets and what over/under betting represents, this guide is for you.

What Does Over/Under Mean in Betting?

Overs and unders represent a set of odds on which you bet if the combined score of both teams goes over or under the imaginary line set by the bookie. To explain over/under in sports betting, we can use a Super Bowl example. Vegas bookies often set the line at 46.0 for the total points scored in the game. You can bet over or under that number which allows you to win without picking the team to win.

If you believe that the totals will go over the line, you put your money on the over bet. Conversely, you wager under if you think the point totals are going under the line. It’s a simple way to bet on a game without including the winner, which can often be tricky in tight matches like the Super Bowl.

How to Place Over/Under Bet

Placing a bet in the O/U market is easy by itself. Before you make a deposit and place the wager, though, you need to decide if the collective score goes over or under the bookie’s totals. You also need to learn to read moneylines, since over/under odds are shown in moneyline format. That part is simple – the favorite is always displayed with a -, while the underdog has a + in front of the odds.

Now that it’s out of the way, total betting is within reach. Online bookmakers nowadays have made it easy to place wagers on any market. For O/U, you need to click on the odds next to the line. You bet on over if you think the collective score will be higher than the line. If you think it’ll go below it, you bet under.

It’s not complicated to wager in this market at all. The bookie itself sets the betting line and will be displayed way before the match even begins.

Reading Over/Under Betting Odds

Learning how to read over/under odds is not rocket science. We already mentioned that they’re displayed in moneylines, unless you go for O/U in goal betting. Moneylines are relatively easy to read, while when it comes to totals in goal wagering, you’ll see lines (for example) on over 2.5 goals, under 1.5 goals, and similar.

The O/U market is available for all major and popular sports. You’ll find over/under lines for the NBA, MLB, and the NFL, as well as in many other sports markets.

NBA Over/Under

Betting on totals in the NBA is not as popular as spreads, but it’s still a great option. Let’s say you’re betting on a match between the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. The bookie has set the line at 200 with the following odds:

  • Over 210.5 @ -110
  • Under 210.5 @ -110

Don’t let the decimal spot fool you. Bookies often use them, so there’s no chance of the precise total landing on the projected totals. If you’ve learned how to read over/under odds, you know that in this case, you’ll win your bet if the match ends with a total of 211 points or under 210.

NBA betting is quite popular thanks to the vast number of markets and great odds. While point spreads remain the king, O/U betting is another excellent NBA market.

NFL Over/Under

Betting on over/under in the NFL is mostly the same as in the NBA. The only difference is that the total line is noticeably lower, as it’s not a sport that scores highly. The line is usually around 49, with the typical odds being -110.

Betting on over/under is especially popular for the Super Bowl, the most popular televised sports event each year in the USA. Overs and unders are standard for NFL matches at the top American football bookies and a great option for games that are too close to call.

NHL Over/Under

NHL over/under betting allows you to put your wagers on the estimated total number of goals scored by both teams in the game. The betting line for NHL matches is usually between 5 and 8 goals. In general, it’s usually a whole number instead of 5.5 or 6.5 to avoid a push. Most bookies on the web base NHL over/under bets on the totals for the entire game, while some offer odds for periods.

MLB Over/Under

Betting on totals in the MLB is a fun way to stake on the total runs in a game. For example, the line may be set over or under 7.5, which is 8 runs. It goes for the combined number of runs in an MLB match. Doing your homework is essential for getting how to place over/under bets in Major League Baseball. If the teams usually have low-scoring games, betting on under is probably a good idea.

If the opposite happens, go with it.

UFC Over/Under

UFC is not technically a sport based on points like football, basketball, or the NHL. While fighters score points for their performance, the over/under market for this sport is associated with how long the fight lasts. For example, the line may be set at 2, which means you can bet on it going over 2 or under 4 rounds.

The typical betting line is set to a round and a half. With circles going for 5 minutes each, you will win your over bet if fighters last a round and a half. Conversely, you’ll win an under bet if the circle ends before that. Understanding over/under betting in general and how UFC fights work is essential before putting your money on it.

Can Over/Under Be Exact?

Lines in O/U betting can be exact or with a decimal. For example, if the line is set at 45 goals for the Super Bowl and the match ends with 44 total goals, anyone betting on under has won. If the score lands precisely on the line of 45 (for example, a 23-22 score), it results in a push. Just like in a game of blackjack, a push means that all bets are refunded.

It happens far more often than you think in over/under betting. Of course, it only works for exact numbers, not betting on under 3.5 goals or something similar. With a push, no one loses anything – you get your stake back so you can try better next time.

Do Over/Under Totals Include Overtime?

Almost all sportsbooks offer O/U betting that includes overtime. Of course, it depends on the bookie. If the totals don’t include overtime, a note will state that the lines are for regulation only.

Overtime can be a huge factor and completely changes over/under bets. It can be the turning point you’ve been waiting for on your O/U wager or put you over the line, which will result in a loss. That’s why you should check if your bookie offers totals on regulation only or if it includes overtime.

Over/Under Bet Payouts

The majority of over/under bets have a vig of -110 on both options. It is known as the flat rate. It determines the payouts rate – for every $100 you want to bet, you will have to wager $110. The flat rate is 91 cents per dollar wagered.

In some cases, sportsbooks may decide to adjust the vig on each side. They do so to entice bettors to pour more money on one side. As explained earlier, this is done to even out both sides if the bookie has taken a lot of money on over or under.

Final Words

We hope that our guide explains thoroughly what is over/under in betting. An exciting way to wager on sports matches on the score rather than the match-winner, it’s become pretty popular at football bookies thanks to exciting O/U Super Bowl lines. Bettors in the USA love to bet on under/over lines since it’s easy to get the hang of and often comes with great odds in tow.

We can think of the only over/under betting strategy is doing your homework. You can correctly predict if a match will go over or under the bar with a good betting line. Low-scoring teams or a history of low scores between 2 squads makes it obvious where your money should go. The same goes for betting over.

Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed in sports, so go with your gut from time to time. Regardless of what you pick, you may be in for a solid payout, especially on the big stage like the Super Bowl or NBA Finals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to read over/under betting lines?

    Reading over/under betting lines is easy. For example, in a match with a line of 45 goals, you can bet on the total combined score of that match going either over 45 goals or under that number.

  • How do you calculate over/under?

    To calculate O/U bets, you’ll first need to understand how moneylines work. If you bet on the minus sign odds, for example, -110, it shows that you need to wager $110 to win $100. If you bet on the plus odds, you will win $110 on a $100 bet.

  • What happens if the over/under is exact?

    If the match ends precisely on the line set by the bookmaker, it results in a push. In this case, you don’t win or lose anything – you get your stake back.

  • What do over 1.5 goals mean?

    Over 1.5 goals in a match mean that you will win your bet if the game ends with 2 goals. If it ends with 1 or no goals, you lose your O/U bet. This kind of wager usually applies to full-time football matches.

  • What does under 1.5 mean in football betting?

    It is a popular betting market where you win your bet if 1 or no goals are scored in a match. The .5 decimal eliminates the possibility for a draw or refund.

Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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