If you are looking for one of the most popular betting markets provided by sportsbooks, look no further than the over/under betting market.

Over/under betting is a wager on the total number of points for a sporting event. There are different over/under bets that can be made and numerous markets are offered. For example, you may make an over/under bet on total goals in a football match, total cards, total corners, and much more.

Football isn't the only sport in which you can place an over/under bet. American football, basketball, cricket, and other top class sports have over/under markets offered by leading bookmakers.

In this article, we will explore over/under betting and total bets.

What is over/under?

An over/under bet is also known as a totals bet. Traditionally, the over/under bet is a total in a sporting event of the combined score of both teams. The score total is set by the bookmaker based on how it expects the match to unfold.

A bettor needs to select if the combined score of both teams will be over or under the bookmaker's set total.

An over/under sports bet can only be successful if you predict the combined score of both teams in a sporting event. You must select a final score that is higher or lower than the total set by the bookmaker.

For example, if Manchester City play Fulham in the Premier League, you may expect this game to be high scoring. Therefore, you would want to wager on a high total of goals being scored.

The bookmaker sets the goal total at 3.5 goals with over at 4/5 and the under at 2/1. Since Man City are a high scoring team and Fulham's defence is weak, you bet the over, placing £100 on over 3.5 goals at odds of 4/5. A winning bet would provide you with a £180 payout and profit of £80.

The game finishes with Manchester City winning 4-1. The total goal number is 5, which is higher than 3.5 goals, which means you win the bet.

What outcomes do you bet over/under on?

In the total goals market, you are simply betting on the total number of goals or points scored in a sporting event. You either want the outcome to be higher or lower than the set number of points scored the bookmakers list.

Depending on the sport, bookmakers will offer you a number of total points or goals to wager on. For example, for a football match, a sportsbook would offer an over/under betting total market with multiple goal totals such as 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and more.

Bookmakers may only offer one over/under betting total for sports such as basketball, cricket, or American football. Bookies are less generous on giving over/under markets for these sports due to them being higher scoring than football.

How do over/under bets work?

Over/under betting is one of the simplest betting market available from online sportsbooks. Along with the 1x2 bet and both teams to score, the over/under goals market is one of the most popular markets.

For an over/under bet to be successful, you will need to successfully pick fewer points scored or more points scored than the figure set by the bookmaker. For example, if the points total for an NBA game between the Bucks and Hawks is set at 205.5, then you must decide whether the final score will be higher or lower than that figure.

If you select higher, then the Bucks and Hawks must score more points combined than 205.5 for the bet to win. A bet on the under means the teams must combine for fewer points than 205.5 for the bet to win.

Why are the outcomes in decimals?

Sportsbooks strategically place the over/under total as a decimal to prevent a push from occurring. What is a push? A push occurs when a game finishes with the exact points scored as the over/under total. When a push occurs, the book refunds your stake and there is no winner or loser. It is like a draw in sports betting.

For example, if a sportsbook offers an over/under betting total of 2 goals in a match between Chelsea and Brentford and the game finishes with exactly two goals, then the bet is considered a push. Your money is returned and it is as if the bet never occurred.

By providing the outcome as a decimal, there is no chance for a push to occur. For example, using Chelsea and Brentford once more, a sportsbook offers a goals total of 2.5 goals. There cannot be exactly 2.5 goals in the match, therefore, the final score will either be over or under 2.5 goals.

Over/under Example

Let's look at another over/under bet example.

This time, Newcastle United and Arsenal are set to play in the Premier League at St. James' Park. Bookmakers have set the over/under goal total at 2.5.

  • Newcastle United vs. Arsenal
  • 2.5 goals
  • Over 10/11
  • Under 21/20

You expect this to be a high scoring game between two teams with strong attacks. In addition, Arsenal are missing a key defender and will play a back up centre-back from the start. You wager £100 on the over at odds of 10/11. If the bet wins, you will receive a payout of £190 with £90 of that being a profit.

The match doesn't go as you had expected. Arsenal end up scoring in the final minutes to win 1-0. The goal total is under 2.5 goals, which means your bet loses.

Is over/under different for every sport?

The over/under is similar for most sports. You may find that bookmakers do not offer as many over/under markets for a specific sport. For example, for NCAA college football and NFL football, bookies only provide one over/under total score market.

You only have the option to bet on one score for the over/under. This is due to sports such as American football, basketball, and baseball being more high scoring than football.

In addition, bookmakers may offer some sports in whole numbers rather than decimal. For example, if the LA Rams and Buffalo Bills are playing in the NFL, the over/under may be set at 52.0. If this is the case, a push could occur.

Over/under In Football

The over/under bet in football is one of the three most popular for punters. You have the option of betting the over/under on the full time score, halftime score, or the second half score.

There are also markets to bet on how many goals a specific team will score in the half or game. Along with goals, bookies give you the chance to bet on the over/under for yellow cards, corners, and shots on target.

The great thing about the over/under bet in football is that you can exploit a market and get high value odds from an overlooked over/under market. You may find a niche in the over/under corners market when a specific team plays.

Over/Under Betting NFL

An NFL game will have the over/under set as a whole number. This creates the opportunity for the game to end in a push.

Over/under betting for American football works just like it does for football. However, the games are oftentimes higher scoring. This means that only one over/under total figure is given by the sportsbook.

For example, if the Kansas City Chiefs and LA Rams play in the Super Bowl, bookies may offer you an over/under of 52.0 points. The teams' combined score must be either over or under 52.0 for your bet to win.

Unlike football, you won't find as many over/under markets. Typically, bookies only provide a market for the total score.

Types of over/under bets

There are different types of over/under bets you can make on football. This gives you the opportunity to specialise in a certain market and exploit it.

Football has a variety of over/under bets including:

  • Total goals
  • Total goals first half
  • Total goals second half
  • Total cards
  • Total goals for a team
  • Total corners

In the NBA/NFL/College Football

  • Total points
  • Total props

The total props market is one of the most exciting available. Bookies will give you a propr bet on a player or team. For example, if the Golden State Warriors play the LA Lakes, the over/under on LeBron James to score three point shots is 4.5. You can either take the over or under on this bet.

Cricket, tennis, rugby, and other sports provide markets on the over/under. If you want to find a great over/under betting market, just explore your favourite sportsbook.

Over/Under Accumulators

Over/under is a great bet to add to an accumulator. In fact, plenty of sports bettors make up an entire accumulator using over/under markets.

By predicting a team's total number of points scored or the combined total score of a game, you can create an Acca with plenty of value. For a small stake, you could win a large profit.


The over/under betting market is one of the most popular offered by bookies. The over/under bet is easy to make. Simply decide whether a sporting event will have a higher or lower combined score than the figure offered by bookies. If you correctly predict the total points of the sporting event, then your bet wins.

The over/under bet is offered by sportsbooks for a number of sporting events from football to basketball to cricket. For some sports, especially football, you have the chance to wager on a variety of over/under markets including total goals, cards, corners, and more. The variety and simplicity of the over/under market make it a popular choice with sports bettors.