Betting on totals adds excitement to the game, and it’s a great way to maximize value. Over/Under Betting involves betting on how many points will be scored, and it’s more complex than simply picking the winner of the game.
What Is an Over/Under Bet?
The sportsbook will set a total based on how many points will be scored in a game. A common NBA basketball line is set around 220 points, so bettors need to decide if there will be less (under) or more (over) points.
An over/under wager requires bettors to pick either under or over on the total points, runs, or goals set by bookmakers.
It’s a simple concept at first glance, but there are varying factors into deciding what line is produced by bookmakers. Teams don’t necessarily need to score a lot of points, runs, or goals to win a game.
Therefore, bookmakers need to determine the style of game, the teams involved, and also aspects such as weather conditions, type of field, and many more.
Taking the over or under religiously can result in a small profit. For example, during the 2021-22 NBA season, 17 of the 30 teams had a higher Over percentage, but the margins were small. Therefore, it’s best for bettors to do their homework and find the ideal situation to place an Over/Under Bet.
Factors to Consider with Over/Under Bets
There are many factors involved with picking the winner of an over/under wager. The more important factor with outdoor sports, such as NFL and soccer, is weather conditions.
+ Teams aren’t going to score as many points or goals when it’s raining or windy. Softer conditions make for a more defensive game, so that needs to be taken into account.
+ It pays to check weather forecasts in advance, and sometimes you can beat the bookmakers to the punch. Locking in a totals line before it moves due to weather conditions is the ideal time to strike.
+ Injuries also play a big part in bookmakers setting the line. If a notable player is missing from the lineup, expect the over/under betting line to be lower. Even with only a doubt regarding a player not being able to suit up, sportsbooks could post a slightly lower line.
+ If it’s a late omission, the line will change instantly, so keeping an eye on injury reports is vital when it comes to betting on totals.
+ Some teams are better at going either under or over the line. Bettors will see betting trends emerge throughout the season, which gives you an idea of which teams are hitting the under or over.
+ Western Conference NBA teams often have higher over/under lines because they’re not known for playing defense. It’s similar in the NFL when teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots meet.
+ They’re high-scoring teams, so bettors should expect a higher line. However, just because they’re high-powered offenses, it doesn’t guarantee the over hitting. Bettors need to look how often NFL teams will run the ball and take time off the clock.
+ It’s often not as simple as betting on which team will win the game. However, there are value lines posted every day, so the opportunity to win big is there.
Pros vs Cons
+ Betting on over/under markets gives bettors an alternative option to betting on moneyline and points spread markets.
+ Same-game parlays can include totals.
+ They provide bettors with value lines.
+ Bet on individual teams to perform better or worse than expected by bookmakers.
+ The weather can change after you place your wager. Once you accept your bet, there’s no going back.
+ If you bet on the over and the game result is out of question, teams don’t always want to score more points.
Over/Under Betting Examples
Below are three examples of what over/under betting markets look like. Bettors can bet on full game, half and quarter totals, so there are plenty of options for a single-game wager.
NFL Over/Under Betting markets look as follows:
+ Kansas City Chiefs 46½ -110o
+ New England Patriots 46½ -110u
If you want to bet on the over 46½ points, click on -110o (over). If you want to bet on the under, click -110u (under).
There are also team totals, which would be made up of two numbers equaling or coming close to the overall total. For example, the Chiefs would be 26½ and the Patriots 20½.
In soccer or NHL, the total is much lower. There is less variance in betting on soccer or ice hockey, which can make it slightly harder to predict.
Bookmakers often set totals around 2-5 goals, so the margin of error is lower than NFL and NBA. The soccer over/under market looks as follows:
+ Manchester United 2½ -120o
+ Real Madrid 2½ +100u
Bettors can also bet on individual player props, wager on how many points, rebounds, touchdowns, goals, and on everything else in between.
+ Bam Adebayo rebounds 10½ -110o
+ Bam Adebayo rebounds 10½ -110u
Betting on over/under markets adds to the fun of wagering on sports. There are some bettors who solely bet totals, which makes it a popular option, and it’s another way to find value when betting on your favorite game.
Bookmakers often list value lines, so pick your value spots and go with them.