Author Guarantor: Pimploy Sinakorn
Created: 20/10/2023 - 15:15
Last updated: 20/10/2023 - 08:52

What Does Over/Under Mean in Betting?

The Over/Under betting, often referred to as a total bet, is a wager on the combined number of points, goals, or runs scored in a game by both teams. The bet isn’t concerned about who wins the match but rather the total score at the end. Bookmakers set a predicted total, and bettors wager whether the actual total will be over or under that number.

The Over/Under betting is a wager on the combined number of points, goals, or runs scored in a game by both teams. (Source: Freepik)

Over/under bet example:

  • Match: Manchester United vs. Chelsea
  • Date: 10th September 2023
  • Venue: Old Trafford

The bookmaker sets the Over/Under line for total goals scored in the match at 2.5 goals.

As a bettor, you have the following options:

  • Bet the Over: You believe there will be 3 or more goals in the match.
  • Bet the Under: You believe there will be 2 or fewer goals in the match.

Your Over/Under prediction:

  • Manchester United has been on a goal-scoring spree lately, averaging 2.5 goals per game in their last 6 matches.
  • Chelsea, however, has a stout defense, only allowing an average of 0.5 goals per game in their last 6 outings.
  • The previous encounter between the two teams earlier in the season ended in a 2-1 victory for Manchester United, a total of 3 goals.

Considering the stats and the previous encounter, you feel the game could be a high-scoring affair, so you decide to bet the Over.

Match outcome: Manchester United 2 - 2 Chelsea

The match ends with a total of 4 goals scored, which is over the set 2.5 goals mark. Since you bet the Over, your bet is a winner!

Outcome: Manchester United 0 - 0 Chelsea

A goalless draw means no goals were scored at all. This outcome is also under the 2.5 goals threshold, so "Under" bets are winners. Those who bet "Over" would be left disappointed.

Outcome: Manchester United 2 - 1 Chelsea

The match has 3 goals in total, which is over the 2.5 goals mark. This means those who bet "Over" would celebrate, especially if the deciding goal came in late, adding to the drama. Bettors who chose "Under" would lose.

Outcome: Manchester United 1 - 1 Chelsea

With a total of 2 goals scored, this result falls under the 2.5 goals threshold. It's an example of a balanced game where both teams found the net, but the total goals remained below the Over/Under mark. "Under" bettors would win, while "Over" bettors would lose.

Outcome: Manchester United 4 - 0 Chelsea

Here, Manchester United dominates and scores 4 goals. The total number of goals is well over the 2.5 goals mark, making the "Over" bettors happy. Those who chose "Under" would lose their bet.

Over/Under Betting Breakdown and Examples in Other Sports

In essence, Over/Under betting is about predicting the flow and rhythm of the game. Some games are high-scoring affairs, while others are defensive battles. Knowing team tendencies, current form, and matchups can provide an edge in this type of betting.

Over/Under betting is about predicting the flow and rhythm of the game. (Source: Freepik)

How to Bet the Over/Under

Betting the Over/Under requires a keen understanding of the game, the teams involved, and other influencing factors. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Research: Understand both teams' recent form. Look for trends in scoring, defensive capabilities, and how teams fare at home or away.
  • Injuries/Suspensions: Player absences can heavily influence a game's total score.
  • Weather Conditions: In outdoor sports, weather can play a huge role. For instance, windy or wet conditions can reduce scoring in football.
  • Historical Matchups: Some teams have a history of playing high or low-scoring games against each other.

NBA Over/Under and Example

The totals here can range widely based on the teams playing. However, a common range for NBA games would be somewhere between 200 and 230 total points. Out of these, lines like Over/Under 215.5 or 220.5 points often attract significant attention due to the average scoring nature of many NBA games.

Example: The Los Angeles Lakers are playing the Golden State Warriors, and the Over/Under is set at 225.5. Considering both teams' offensive prowess and recent form, you might opt for the "Over". If the game ends 115-114, with a total of 229 points, the "Over" wins.

MLB Over/Under and Example

Hockey is another sport where scores tend to be lower. Common totals for betting might be Over/Under 5.5 or 6.5 goals.

Example: The New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox with an Over/Under set at 9.5 runs. Knowing that both teams have strong batting lineups, you bet "Over". The game concludes with a score of 6-5, totaling 11 runs, so the "Over" bet wins.

NFL Over/Under and Example

Depending on the offensive and defensive strengths of the teams playing, common Over/Under betting lines in football might be set anywhere from the low 40s to the mid-50s in terms of total points. Over/Under 47.5 is a relatively common line, but this can fluctuate significantly.

Example: The New England Patriots are up against the Kansas City Chiefs, with an Over/Under of 47.5. Given the offensive capabilities of both teams, you opt for "Over". The game ends 28-24, a total of 52 points, so an "Over" bet is successful.

What is the Payout on an Over/Under Bet?

The payout for an Over/Under bet is generally close to even money, especially when the Over/Under is set close to what bookmakers believe will be the final total.

However, like all odds, it can vary based on several factors:

  • Bookmaker's Margin: Each bookmaker will have a margin built into its odds, which ensures they make a profit.
  • Public Perception: If many bettors are leaning heavily toward one side, bookmakers might adjust the odds to balance their liability.
  • Late News: Last-minute injuries or other unexpected news can shift the odds.

Typically, you might see odds like -110 or -105 for both Over and Under, meaning you'd bet $110 to win $100 or $105 to win $100, respectively. Always shop around, as different bookies might offer slightly different odds, enhancing your potential returns or reducing your risks.

Example Payout on an Over/Under Bet

  • Event: NBA Match
  • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
  • Bookmaker's Over/Under Line: 215.5 total points

Now, let's assume the bookmaker offers the following odds:

  • Over 215.5 Points: -110
  • Under 215.5 Points: -105

Here's a breakdown:

  • The "-110" for "Over" means you need to wager $110 to potentially win $100.
  • The "-105" for "Under" means you'd need to wager $105 to potentially win $100.

Your Analysis: You believe it will be a high-scoring game due to the offensive prowess of both teams, so you decide to place a bet on the "Over". You wager $220.

Match Outcome:

Los Angeles Lakers 110 - 108 Boston Celtics

The combined score is 218, which is over the 215.5 set line.

Your Payout:

Given that you won your bet, you'd get back your original stake plus your winnings. The calculation for your potential return would be:

Potential Return = Stake + (Stake / Odds)

In this instance:

  • Potential Return = $220 + ($220 / 1.10)
  • Potential Return = $220 + $200
  • Potential Return = $420

Thus, you would receive $420, which includes your $220 stake and $200 in winnings.

This example demonstrates the mechanics of the Over/Under betting market, its potential payout, and how bettors can calculate their returns based on the odds provided by the bookmaker.

All Types of Over/Under Bets 

The Over/Under system provides a dynamic way to bet on sports. By understanding team strengths, strategies, and recent form, bettors can make informed predictions on whether matches will be high-scoring affairs or tight, low-scoring contests.

The Over/Under system provides a dynamic way to bet on sports. (Source: Freepik)

While 2.5 and 3.5 are standard, bookmakers offer various other thresholds such as 0.5, and 4.5, each suitable for different kinds of matches.

Under/Over 2.5

In football, one of the most common Over/Under markets revolves around the number of goals scored during a match is Over/Under 2.5.

This means you're betting that there will be 3 or more goals in total.


In a hypothetical Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool:

  • Your bet: Over 2.5 goals
  • Outcome: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
  • Result: You win the bet. Why? Because the combined total goals (3) exceeded 2.5.

Under 2.5 Goals:

Conversely, betting under 2.5 goals means you expect 2 goals or fewer in the match.

Example: In a La Liga showdown between Barcelona and Real Madrid:

  • Your bet: Under 2.5 goals
  • Outcome: Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
  • Result: You win the bet since the total goal (1) is less than 2.5.

Under/Over 3.5 

Under/Over 3.5 is another popular category, especially when two high-scoring teams face off.

Over 3.5 Goals

You're wagering that the match will produce 4 or more goals in total. That’s called over 3.5 Goals. 

Example: Imagine a Serie A derby between Inter Milan and AC Milan:

  • Your bet: Over 3.5 goals
  • Outcome: Inter Milan 2-2 AC Milan
  • Result: You win. The total goals (4) have crossed the 3.5 mark.

Under 3.5 Goals

This bet implies you believe there will be 3 or fewer goals during the game.

Example: In a Bundesliga thriller between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund:

  • Your bet: Under 3.5 goals
  • Outcome: Bayern Munich 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
  • Result: Victory for you. With only 2 goals, it's under the 3.5 goal threshold.

Over/Under 4.5

Example: A Champions League goal-fest between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain:

  • Your bet: Over 4.5 goals
  • Outcome: Manchester City 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain
  • Result: Your bet hits the mark. The match produced 5 goals, which is more than 4.5.

Under 0.5 Goals

A bold bet, suggesting no goals will be scored. Suitable for matches with exceptionally strong defenses or high stakes where neither side wants to risk much.


A World Cup Qualifier with two defensively notorious teams:

  • Your bet: Under 0.5 goals
  • Outcome: Team A 0-0 Team B
  • Result: Spot on! The match ended without a goal, staying under the 0.5 threshold.

Under/Over Betting FAQs

Q1: Why are there decimal points in Over/Under, like 2.5 goals?

Decimals (e.g., 2.5 goals) ensure a clear outcome. Without decimals, if you bet on Over 2 goals and exactly 2 goals are scored, the result would be a tie (or "push"). Decimals eliminate this ambiguity, so you either win or lose.

Q2: Can Over/Under bets end in a draw?

Not if they're set with a half-point decimal (e.g., 2.5 or 3.5). Such decimals ensure a clear Over or Under result. However, whole numbers (e.g., 2 or 3) can result in a push if the outcome matches the set number.

Q3: Can I bet Over/Under on other sports beyond football (soccer)?

Absolutely! Over/Under bets are popular in many sports, including basketball (NBA over under), American football (NFL over/under), baseball (MLB over/under), and hockey (NHL over/under). The specifics vary by sport, like points in basketball and runs in baseball.

Q4: How are Over/Under lines determined?

Bookmakers set these lines based on numerous factors, including team form, historical data, player injuries, and other situational variables.

Q5: Is Over/Under betting only for full-time results?

Yes. Most Over/Under bets apply to full-time results unless specified otherwise. However, some bookmakers may offer Over/Under bets for halves or specific periods.

Q6: How do I know which Over/Under bet is right for me?

Research is crucial. Analyze team performance, recent form, head-to-head stats, and any other pertinent data. Over time, with experience, you'll develop an intuition for identifying value in Over/Under lines.

Q7: Are Over/Under bets profitable?

Like all forms of betting, profitability hinges on your research, understanding of the game, and decision-making. There's no guaranteed winning strategy, but informed bettors tend to have better success rates.

Q8: What happens to my bet if a match is postponed or abandoned?

Usually, if a game is postponed or abandoned and not played within a stipulated time frame (often 24-48 hours), most bookmakers will void the bet, and your stake will be returned.

Q9: Can I place multiple Over/Under bets in an accumulator?

Yes, many bookmakers allow you to include several Over/Under selections in an accumulator bet.

These are general answers, and specific rules can vary depending on the bookmaker or betting platform. Always check the specific terms and conditions of the bookmaker you're using.

Published: 20 October 2023 15:15
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