Totals or Over/Under bets are a type of bet in which the bettor chooses whether the total of points, goals or any measurable statistics of a match will be above or below a specific limit. This type of bet is available on soccer, tennis, basketball, or other sports where two teams or individual athletes compete. Due to its nature, the winner of the match in this type of bet does not matter. The only important thing is the number of points scored in the event. Over/Under bets are among the most popular in sports betting and are only behind in the popularity of bets on the winner. That is because they are an excellent alternative when we are not clear about who the winner of an event may be. The most popular Over / Under bet in football is 2.5 goals since it usually has the odds closest to 2. This bet indicates whether more or less than 3 goals will be scored in the match. A decimal figure such as 2.5 is taken so that there is no room for misunderstandings since if 2 goals are scored in the game, you do not reach the limit of 2.5, and if 3 are scored, you exceed it. That is, there is no possibility of return on the bet as in Asian handicap bets. Either you hit the bet or you miss it.
The Totals or over/under is influenced by a variety of factors. Especially in sports such as Tennis, basketball, hockey, and football. Here are a few examples:
The individual or teams pattern of play
Quality of attacks
Quality of defense
Considerations for stadiums and venues (in some sports like baseball)
Other factors could also contribute. They can carry different weights even in sports with the same factors. In most cases, computer simulations weigh these various inputs before outputting a predicted total.
The betting market then takes over, starting with small stakes as soon as the markets open. As more information becomes available, the totals fluctuate or increases as game day approaches. Weather or injuries can provide helpful information.
It frequently takes the form of wagers. Sharp players’ high-limit bets inform the bookie about if they need to adjust their odds. When a respected account places a maximum bet on an over/under, the bookie may react by adjusting the odds in a similar path as the wager. When the match starts, the over/under transitions little by little until it attains its final odds.
This closing odds should be regarded as the betting market’s most forecasting of the expected game outcome.
Reading Over/Under Bets Betting Odds
What you need to know about over/under bets is that it is the total score of both the teams for a match. It makes no difference who wins the game in this case. The scoreline is all that counts. Let’s say Chelsea is playing Barcelona, and the total number of corners is 9.5. It doesn’t mean who won the match; if the two teams total for eight total corners, say with Chelsea winning 5-3, the under 9.5 bet wins. Or, regardless of who wins, if the teams total 10 corners, someone who bet on over 9.5 corners would win.
Different OVER UNDER Betting Markets
Currently, there are various over/under betting markets, and it isn’t just limited to goals. Many bookies have decided to offer Overs and Unders in betting markets like shots, corners, throw-ins, tackles, etc.
However, in all these different event options, Totals or over/under has different betting markets like over/under 0.5, over/under 1.5, over/under 2.5, over/under 3.5, and so on. Just like we explained above with our Chelsea vs. Barcelona Match, if you bet on over 1.5 goals, you’ll need 2 goals to be scored before it is considered a win. This same approach applies to all different over/under betting markets.
Potential Outcomes of Total and Over/Under Bets
The totals or over/under bet has three possible outcomes: win, lose, or tie.
Win: Either by one goal, 5 goals, or somewhere in between or beyond, bettors win if they correctly predict whether a match will go over or under a decimal set by the bookmaker.
Lose: Bettors lose when they choose the wrong total for a game offered by the sportsbook. In that case, the sportsbook wins.
Push: There are times when a sportsbook’s “flat” point total (that is, a whole number with no decimal point) is equal to the total number of points in the game. This is known as a push, and when it occurs, bettors are given their entire stake back.
How is the Over/Under Determined?
A stake for total or over/under is a bet in which a game bookie will predict a statistic for a match (usually a total score for both teams), and bettors stake that the game’s actual score will be above or below that predicted statistic.
The odds of the over/under or total, beyond the basic offensive and defensive statistics of the teams involved, are considered by many factors.
In sports such as football and baseball, weather can significantly affect an outdoor game outcome, with the wind as the most impactful condition. Matchday team, lineups, team injuries, coaching tactics, previous results, and timing are also measured when over/under odds are set.
Also, you can decide the sum of the money bet on the Over or the Under. Bookmakers could increase the total amount to entice betting in the under if more money is spent on the over.
What is the payout on an Over/Under bet? How Much Do You Make on an Over/Under Bet?
Most totals or over/under wagers have an Over/Under vigor of -110. They are also referred to as a flat rate. This means that you would stake 110 dollars for every $100 win, or 91 cents for every 1 dollar you have betted.
Bookies sometimes tweak the vig on the Total or Over/Under to attract additional bets on one side, as mentioned above. On the Over 53 (110) and on the Under 53 (-110), when a bookie has taken lots of money, it may change the vig to more over 53 (-115)/Under 53 (-105).
Bookies doing this assigns the Under a better payout (95 cents for each 1 Dollar bet in Under particularly in comparison to 87 cents for every 1 $ bet in Over) and leads a lot of Under bets which balances the money bet on both sides and makes sure that the bookie gets a profit, no matter the result.
Examples of Over / Under bets can be many. As we have commented previously, you can not only bet on the goals of a football match. You can bet on the total number of corners, the total number of yellow cards, the total points from a basketball game, the total number of games from a tennis game, etc. Look at these examples:
Bet Under 2.5 goals in Getafe – Osasuna: Here, you are betting that 2 goals or less will be scored in the match. It does not matter if they are from one team or the other. We are talking about the total of goals in the game.
Bet Under 210.5 points in the game between Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs: If less than 211 points are scored in the game, you win the bet. As you can see, it is the combined score of both teams.
Bet less than 28.5 games on the match between Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem: If the number of games in the match is less than 29, you win the bet.
Why are decimals used? Using decimals in these types of bets is done to eliminate the option of a void bet. Suppose the match goal limits were Over / Under 1,2 or 3 goals. Betting that more than 3 goals will be scored and exactly 3 are scored could result in a void bet. Using decimals, there is no doubt possible.
Over / Under bets are recommended when you are not clear about the winner of a match, but nevertheless, you have more confidence in the final score of a match. Many times the winner is decided by details, strange situations, or arbitration decisions.
On the other hand, the scoring statistics of teams or players are more stable over time and are less subject to fluctuations. It is a simple matter of calculating the average points of those teams or players in a specific range of dates.
Naturally, taking the average does not guarantee in any case that the bets are correct, but if a team scores 1 goal per game on average in a sample of 20 games, it is very rare that it scores 3 if it faces a direct rival of a similar level.
In these types of matches, it is convenient to bet on Over / Under 2.5 goals since it is easier to hit in that market than the winner or final result, which can be 1-0, 0-1, or tie at 0 for any small detail.
The most important data to take into account are:
The Average Score Of The Team Or Player: The greater the range of dates chosen, the greater the reliability of our forecast. It is not a good idea to go overboard and look for results from 10 years ago, but a sample of the last 10 games can be very useful. This applies to football or basketball teams, tennis players, or any other sport capable of accepting Over / Under bets.
Average Points Conceded By The Team Or Player: There are also “reception” statistics just as there are scoring statistics. If a team has a bad defense or a tennis player allows many breakpoints to his opponent, that will be reflected in the match’s final score. Take this into account when making a bet of this type.
Current Form: This applies to all types of bets, not only the Over/Under, but if a team has casualties or an individual player of the sport that is not going through its best moment, it must be considered at the time of placing your bet. Find out about injured, cautioned players and recent statistics. Is there a scoring crisis? Is the team a back sneak? Everything counts to get it right.
With all the details of the bets of Totals or Over/Under are, how they work, and other values, you can now apply to the bets. Know that other sports, with other types of points, also have markets with these values.
In the end, they are identical rules. Just adapt to the number of points that may differ, and you will have the same bet type. Now, put your luck at stake and cash in a little!
Frequently asked questions
Is It Best to Bet on Totals or Over/Under as a New Bettor?
Yes. This type of bet is one of those we propose newbies to start betting on. With the over/under, win and spread bets are also good if you wish to use more than a type of bet. If you are a newbie, we suggest avoiding more advanced bets such as parlays until you understand the most basic bets.
What amount must I bet on a total or over/under bet?
There’s no simple answer here that consistently works for everyone. A variety of factors will determine the amount you should bet on any total bet. Examples are the size of your betting budget, your risk level, and your understanding of the sport on which you bet.
What happens if a match goes into extra time?
Totals and over/under, like Moneyline, account for the total final score of the game (90 mins full time if football). Anytime a sporting match goes into extra time, overtime, extra innings, etc., the points scored in the additional periods will not be factored into the final calculation on the totals wager unless stated otherwise by the bookie.
Benson Chikezie is a Nigerian-based writer with many years of experience in the sports betting industry. He is a digital marketer by profession. Benson has written many sports related contents for various websites.
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