When people first start betting with a sports bookmaker, they generally lean towards the more basic markets, such as the outcome of a game. Yet there are many other markets – such as the over/under – that are designed to offer choice to the bettor, as well as a more comprehensive outlook on the way a particular game will play out.
An over/under bet refers to a wager that’s placed on a specific number of key events occurring over the course of a game. This is often the total number of goals, points or touchdowns scored by both teams during the game. It’s also commonly referred to as ‘betting on the total’.
Prior to the match, an over/under line will be set, and it’s down to the bettor to predict whether the total will exceed the amount or fall short. The line itself will usually be listed in decimal form – over/under 2.5, for example. The extra ‘half point’ ensures that the betting market does not result in a push outcome (a draw) so that, whatever the outcome, you can only win or lose.
For instance, if the over/under of total goals in an ice hockey game is set at 5.5 then both teams will have to score at least a combined six goals for the over bet to cash in. If both teams score five goals or fewer then the under bet will cash in.
If the line was set at 2.0 and the total number of goals scored was exactly two, this is neither over or under the total and the bet will subsequently be classed as void.
Over/under betting markets offer a useful alternative for many reasons. It could be that two high-scoring teams are very evenly matched in terms of ability, making the final result of the match hard to determine. In this instance, we may assume there’s a greater likelihood that plenty of goals or points will be scored between the teams, rather than being able to pick an outright winner.
Beyond the total score in a game, over/under betting can also be used to determine a number of other statistics, depending on the sport:
Basketball – Total number of points in a quarter, assists, blocks, steals etc.
Baseball – Total number of RBIs, strikeouts, stolen bases etc.
Football – Total number of down conversions, field goal percentage, rushing yards etc.
If you’re thinking about betting the over/under line then it definitely pays to do plenty of research into the form of the particular team or players you will be betting on. The average goals/points scored over the course of the season is a good indication of scoring potential, although you may also choose to look at the previous head-to-head results between the two teams. This might reveal some interesting insights, such as 75% of the previous ten meetings have produced over 5.5 goals, for example. That might make the over bet a stronger prospect in the upcoming game.
Remember that the vast majority of over/under betting markets only offer two possible results: a win or a loss. Most bookmakers will generally give themselves a higher edge on one of the outcomes in order to mitigate the risk of losing, so it’s not uncommon to see a slight variance between the over and under odds.
As bookmakers continue to expand their markets, there are more over/under options to choose from than ever before. No doubt we’ll see even more imaginative markets popping up in years to come – it always pays to keep an eye out!
With so many sports bookmakers now available to choose between, deciding which specific bookie you should place an over/under bet with can often prove to be quite a challenge. OddsChecker makes the task a little easier, comparing odds, bonuses and offers from a huge range of bookmakers across all sports and events.
It's always a good idea to shop around for the best odds before placing a bet on the under/over. This is the only way to ensure that you'll receive the maximum return if your bet is successful. Our website makes it as easy as possible to compare and contrast different bookmakers, games and individual markets. We've just added a user-friendly menu navigation and search function, so you can quickly search and find the games or events you're looking for. It's also completely free to use!
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