Over/under betting is a popular way for sports bettors to place wagers on sporting events without having to predict which teams will win. Instead of taking moneyline or point spread bets, you can take over/under bets.

So, what is over/under in betting? And, what is the best betting strategy? Stay tuned to find out.

What is an Over/Under Bet, and How Does It Work?

An over under bet is one of the easiest bets to place on a sporting event, such as in a baseball game. But before wagering, you need to know the answer to the question, “what is over and under in betting ?” It’ll help you decide whether it’s worth learning how to bet over under in the first place.

So, let’s begin by explaining over/under betting, and the two main types of bets, along with brief breakdowns.

Totals

Over/under betting is also known as total betting. There is a simple reason for this. When you place an over/under bet, you’ll wager on whether a sporting event will go over or under a predetermined point, run, or goal total.

Let’s use an NFL game to provide a quick example. Leading into a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, oddsmakers might set it at 49.5 points.

In this case, you would need to bet on the Jaguars and Dolphins to score over or under 49.5 points. If you bet the over and the game ends with the Dolphins beating the Jaguars 35-21 for a total points scored of 56, you would win your wager. But if you choose under, you would lose your wager.

Prop Bets

For years, over and under betting was mostly restricted to total betting. But recently, prop betting has risen in popularity, and it’s another form of over under betting.

With prop betting, you won’t wager on whether two teams will go over or under a certain number of points, runs, or goals. Instead, you’ll choose whether individual athletes will go over or under the totals set by oddsmakers for different statistical categories.

Let’s once again use betting on an NFL game to illustrate how under over betting works when it comes to props. Before a game between the Jaguars and Dolphins, oddsmakers might come up with a receiving yards prop for Tyreek Hill and set it at 89.5 yards.

You would then need to decide whether to select Hill recording over or under 89.5 receiving yards. If you choose over and Hill catches eight passes for 112 yards, you would win your wager. If you bet the under, you would lose.

Over/Under Betting Key Examples

Now that you know how to answer the question, “what is over/under in betting?” you might want to begin placing these types of bets. But if you’re still confused about under/over betting, we’re here to provide more solid examples to showcase how it works.

NFL Football Over/Under Bet Example

The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on in the U.S. So, even though we just offered up an over/under betting example for the NFL, let’s set you up with at least one more.

The first game of the 2024-25 NFL season will feature the Baltimore Ravens playing the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the 2024 AFC Championship Game, which the Chiefs won 17-10. The option for this football game opened at 46.5 points.

over under betting nfl points example

If you want to opt for this over/under bet, you’ll need to bet either that the Ravens and Chiefs will score over 46.5 points collectively or finish with a total combined score of under 46.5. If you go for the over and the game finishes with the Chiefs winning 28-21, your bet will win since the teams’ total points scored is over 49. If you select under and the same result comes out, your bet will lose.

You can also choose to take a prop bet that will require you to bet on the over or under. If, for example, you take Travis Kelce to record over 70.5 receiving yards, you’ll need him to record at least 71 receiving yards for this to win.

NBA Basketball Over/Under Bet Example

The NFL still reigns supreme as far as sports betting is concerned, but the NBA is quickly turning into one of America’s favorite sports to bet on. For this reason, we want to provide you with an example of betting over under on the NBA.

Imagine the Boston Celtics are playing the Dallas Mavericks, and the market for the game is set at 214.5 points. In this scenario, you would need to bet on both teams scoring over or under 214.5 points collectively.

If you choose the over and the game finishes with the Celtics winning 120-105, your wager would win since the 225 points the two teams combined score would be over 214.5 points. However, you would lose if the Celtics won 99-84 since that would only add up to 183 points.

You could also take an over/under wager by finding a prop bet you like from the Celtics/Mavericks matchup. If, for example, oddsmakers come up with a prop for Jayson Tatum to score over or under 24.5 points, you can decide whether you think the Celtics star will score 25 or more points.

MLB Baseball Over/Under Bet Example

The NFL and NBA probably provide the best under/over betting opportunities. But you can also take these bets in other sports, such as in a baseball game.

Oddsmakers release MLB betting lines with over/under odds included. You can wager on whether both teams will score over or under a certain number of runs.

There aren’t always as many props available for MLB games as for NFL and NBA games, but you can find some. For instance, you can bet on whether Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout will hit over or under 0.5 home runs in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

NHL Hockey Over/Under Bet Example

The NHL has enjoyed a resurgence as of late from a rating perspective, and sports betting likely has at least a little to do with it. Sports bettors like getting the chance to take over/under bets on hockey games.

When the Edmonton Oilers face off against the Florida Panthers, oddsmakers might set it at 5.5 goals. You can wager on whether this game will feature over 5.5 collective goals or not.

You can also take props when betting on an NHL game – for instance, selecting Panthers star Aleksander Barkov recording over or under 2.5 shots on goal.

MLS Soccer Over/Under Bet Example

Ever since Lionel Messi signed with Inter Miami in July 2023, there has been an increased interest in MLS betting. But, not everyone who bets on sports understands how over/under works when wagering on MLS games.

Fortunately, it isn’t all that different from betting on the NHL. When Messi’s Inter Miami team plays against the Philadelphia Union, oddsmakers might set the over/under at 2.5 goals. You can choose both teams to score over or under 2.5 goals.

You can also make props when betting on a soccer game. You might, for example, want to choose Messi to score over 0.5 goals.

Payouts in Over/Under Betting – How Much Can You Win?

In addition to creating over/under bets for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS games, oddsmakers are responsible for setting the odds for them. The odds will determine how much money you could make on the over or under.

More often than not, the odds for over/under bets involving NFL and NBA games will be relatively close to one another. You might get -110 odds when betting on either the over or under for an NFL game. This means you’ll need to bet $110 to win $100 when making NFL and NBA under over wagers.

Other sports don’t always operate like this. Let’s use the MLS example we just mentioned to demonstrate.

In this case, oddsmakers might set the odds for an over 2.5 goals bet at -167 and an under 2.5 goals bet at +150. You would need to bet $167 on over 2.5 goals to win $100, but you would only need to bet $40 on under 2.5 goals to win $100.

BetWhale over under 2.5 goals betting example

How Is the Over/Under Determined?

When oddsmakers generate these markets, they don’t just pull totals out of thin air. They leverage algorithms and their knowledge of the betting market to set an over/under that will attract attention from both sides.

Here are some factors that oddsmakers use to determine these numbers:

  • The offensive and defensive efficiency numbers for teams
  • How fast or slow teams tend to play
  • What role the weather will have in a sporting event

By crunching the numbers and analyzing team and player stats, oddsmakers can generate totals that bring in lots of betting action.

Over/Under Betting Strategy

Many sports bettors appreciate these markets because they allow them to bet on games without worrying about who will win. But if you’re going to begin betting on overs and unders, it helps to have a strong strategy.

For starters, always research sporting events before wagering on them. Look at:

  • How teams fared against each other in the past
  • How many total points scored by both teams during recent games
  • How injuries could impact a contest

From there, you should also take these steps to develop a winning over/under betting strategy:

✅ Check betting lines as early as you can and monitor their movements
✅ Keep an eye on the injury report for a game to check for important injuries
✅ Place bets early to avoid line movement

Even the best strategy for this wager won’t result in you winning 100% of over/under bets, but it’ll help you make more educated bets. You can also receive more expert advice via our free sports betting guide.

The Push

There’s a chance an over/under bet might “push” when a game ends. What does this mean?

A push is essentially a tie. It occurs when you bet on a game to go over or under a certain number, and the final combined score lands right on that number.

If, for instance, you bet on an NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants to go over 49 and it ends with the Giants winning 28-21, the total would land right on 49. It would lead to a push, and you would receive your original bet amount back.

How Do I Place an Over/Under Bet?

Interested in placing an over/under bet? Here are the steps to take to put one in:

  1. Create an account with a crypto betting site if you don’t already have one.
  2. Figure out the sport you want to bet on and head to this sport’s section.
  3. Look for the over/under bets for teams who play this sport.
  4. Select the wager that appeals to you most and research it.
  5. Decide how much to wager on a bet.
  6. Place the bet and click the “Confirm” button.

Over/Under vs. Moneyline and Point Spread

Moneyline bets, point spread bets, and over/under bets are three of the most popular types of sports bets. But they’re all very different upon closer inspection.

A moneyline bet is a wager you put on one team to beat another team, straight up. It’s the easiest kind of sports bet to understand.

A point bet is a wager you put on one team to either beat another team by a certain number of points or lose by under a certain number of points. It’s one of the most exciting ways to bet on sports.

This type of wager you put on two teams to go over or under a total number of points, the run line, goals, etc. Of these three types of sports bets, it’s the only one that isn’t directly tied to which team wins or loses.

Advantages of Over and Under Betting

You’ll discover some benefits when taking part in over and under betting, and here are a few advantages of finding the answer to the question, “What does over/under mean in sports betting?” and putting in over/under bets:

✅ Prevents you from having to root for a certain team to win a game or match
✅ Offers value in specific markets that go under the radar
✅ Adds excitement to games that aren’t all that competitive
✅ Opportunity to profit via a strong opinion without being overly precise

These are just several reasons to give over/under betting a try.

Conclusion on Over/Under Betting

Now that you know the answer to “how does the over/under work in betting?” perhaps you’d like to try your luck with a wager. If so, why not find the latest over/under lines for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS games through the best offshore sportsbooks?

Once choosing a game, do some research and sign up for one of these online sportsbooks to start putting in over/under bets – whether it’s points, goals or runs. It won’t take long to see what has made over/under betting so popular among bettors.

Over/Under Sports Betting FAQs

What Does Over/Under Mean in Betting?

Do Over/Under Bets Include Overtime?

What Does 0.5 Mean in Over/Under Betting?

Why Are Over/Under Bets Also Called Totals?

Can You Parlay Over/Under Bets?

What Happens If the Over/Under Value Is Exact?

Why Do the Totals Change in Over/Under Betting?

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Trevor Jones
Sports Editor

Trevor Jones is an expert in iGaming with a passion for writing about US sports, particularly football and basketball. He is extremely knowledgeable about US gambling regulations and contributes to Sports Casting. He has also contributed to sites like The Grueling Truth and Strafe, among many others. He is an avid sports and betting enthusiast and a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, though he follows all of the major sports leagues.

Get to know Trevor Jones better
Author photo
Trevor Jones Sports Editor

Trevor Jones is an expert in iGaming with a passion for writing about US sports, particularly football and basketball. He is extremely knowledgeable about US gambling regulations and contributes to Sports Casting. He has also contributed to sites like The Grueling Truth and Strafe, among many others. He is an avid sports and betting enthusiast and a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, though he follows all of the major sports leagues.

All posts by Trevor Jones