In football the most popular bet is over/under is 2.5 goals, meaning that if the total match goals exceed this number the “over” bet wins and if the goals range from zero to two, the “under” option wins. Some bookmakers call the over/under game totals or totals bet. O/U betting is especially common in football, the NBA, and NFL.
1) What is Over/Under Betting?
Over/Under betting involves the player betting on the number of goals, corners, yellow cards, or other events in a match. The punter doesn’t need to guess the correct number of goals in the match, rather if the final number will be over or under the line set by the bookmaker. There are just two possible outcomes in Over/Under betting, which significantly increases the chances of winning.
A player places a bet of 100 euros on over 11.5 corners in a match. If 12 corners or more are taken, the bet wins and if there are 11 corners or less, the bet loses. Bookmakers offer over-under betting options on a wide variety of sports including football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and boxing.
While most O/U betting options are about the total goals or points of both teams combined, bookmakers sometimes offer Over/Under bets on other statistics and totals, both team and player specific.
Here are some sport-specific examples of how to play the over-under market:
- ● Football: Real Madrid vs. Manchester City Over 3.5. This betting option is for the total number of goals from both Real Madrid and Manchester City in the match. If Real Madrid wins 3-1, bets placed on the over option will win.
- ● NBA betting: Los Angeles Lakers O/U 63,5 total wins for the 2019-2020 season: This betting option is for the total number of wins the Lakers will accumulate over the entire season. If the Lakers end the season 70-12, bets placed on the over option will win.
- ● NFL betting: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers O/U 48.5: This betting option is for the total number of points scored by both the Cowboys and Packers. If the Packers win 30-29 bets placed on the over option win.
2) How to bet on the Over/Under betting market:
Game totals are one of the most popular plays on the sports betting market, so bookmakers spend much time and many resources ensuring they do the proper amount of research before setting their Over/Under numbers. Bookmakers consider many different aspects of each event, including current trend performances, specific in-game lineups, injury histories and weather conditions. Moreover, bookmakers look at past head to head results between competitors for glimpses into what might happen in the future, while also taking into account situational emotions.
Knowing how to bet on the Over/Under betting market comes down to looking at the same information available to bookmakers and drawing reasonable conclusions. As said, by far the most popular goal lines for betting are Over 2.5 goals and Over 3.5 goals. More people prefer to back ‘Over goals’ than ‘Under goals’, even though there is no logic to this, it must be psychologically more appealing to want to see more goals in a game! The other goal lines are relatively easy to understand and are as follows:
- ● Over/ Under 0.5 goals means you want either 1 goal or more (over) or no goals at all (under).
- ● Over/ Under 1.5 goals means you want either 2 goals or more (over) or 1 goal or less (under).
- ● Over/ Under 3.5 goals means you want either 4 goals or more (over) or 3 goals or less (under).
3) What does it mean to push?
Bookmakers usually set Over/Under predictions at halves, meaning the O/U for a particular event would be 2.5 instead of 2 or 3. In situations where bookmakers don’t set predictions that way, which is always at the discretion of the bookmaker, any bet becomes a Push when neither side of the O/U option wins the bet.
For example, if the Juventus vs. Barcelona Over/Under is set by the bookmaker at 3 and the game ends with Juventus beating Barca 3-0 (or any other score totalling 3 goals exactly), the game is a Push and all bets are void.
Examples of these include:
- ● Over 2.0 goals
- ● Over 4.0 goals
- ● Under 3.0 goals
The difference here is that you get your money back if the game finishes exactly on the line. The downside is that lower odds are on offer. Here are some examples:
- ● If you bet on over 3.0 goals and the game finishes 2-1, you will receive a refund.
- ● If you bet on over 3.0 goals and the game finishes 3-1, you win.
- ● If you bet on over 3.0 goals and the game finishes 2-0, you lose.
- ● If you bet on under 3.0 goals and the game finishes 3-0, you will receive a refund.
- ● If you bet on under 3.0 goals and the game finishes 2-0, you win.
- ● If you bet on under 3.0 goals and the game finishes 3-1, you lose.
The advantage of this ‘full goal’ betting is that you can get better odds than a straight forward Over 2.5 goal betting, but avoid the frustration of falling one goal short of your target. Many punters find this psychologically reassuring.
4) Quarter ball betting: The most complicated form of goal-line betting is the ‘quarter ball’ line. The best way to understand this form of betting is to think of it as two half bets.
Typical quarter ball bets:
- ● Over 2.75 goals
- ● Over 2.25 goals
The over 2.75 goals bet is best seen as half of an over 2.5 goals bet and half of an over 3.0 goals bet. If the score is 2-1, you win with the over 2.5 goals part, but only get a refund with the over 3.0 goals part. The advantage of this sort of bet is that you get slightly better odds than a straight over 2.5 goal bet, with some insurance if you don’t exceed three goals.
The over 2.25 goals bet is best seen as half an over 2.5 goals bet and half an over 2.0 goals bet. If the score is 2-0, you lose with the over 2.5 goals part, but get a refund with the over 2.0 goals part. The advantage of this sort of bet is that you get slightly better odds than betting on over 1.5 goals and slightly better odds than betting on over 2.00 goals, with some insurance if you finish exactly on your target.
Does Overtime count in Over/Under?
Bookmakers set Over/Under for the totals from events meaning sports that go into overtime situations aren’t settled until the game or event is complete. For example, if the Real Madrid vs. Manchester City O/U is 2.5 and the game is 1-1 at 90 minutes, but Real score a penalty in extra time to win 2-1, any punter who placed a bet on over would win the bet.
5) What do Over/Under Asian bets mean?
The more complicated Over/Under 2.25 bet. To better comprehend it, you can think of it as placing two bets, one on over/under 2 and another on over/under 2.5. Betting on an under 2.25 for a football match means:
- ● If the match ends with less than 2 goals (none or one) the bet is won entirely
- ● If the match ends with exactly 2 goals, half of the sum will be given back to you, while the other half will be won, multiplied accordingly with the odds.
- ● If the match ends with 3 or more goals, you lose your bet entirely.
On the contrary, an over 2.25 bet placed on a match where less than two goals were scored, will be entirely lost. In case more than 3 goals are scored the bet is won and if the match has exactly 2 goals, half of the sum will be reimbursed and the other half lost.
6) Can I bet on Over/Under In-Play (Live betting)?
Yes, these markets are commonly available for most of a match. Towards the end of a game, expect In-Play on Over/Under Goals to be taken down as the prospect of many more goals being scored becomes less likely.
Expect a bookmaker to offer several lines when it comes to Over/Under markets and you may also be able to bet on Over/Under for the first and second half. There is also the chance to Cash Out where you can decide to come away with a profit when sitting in a strong position.
For example, you might bet on Over 2.5 Goals and the game is 1-1 with thirty minutes left to play. So you would need one more goal to be scored in order to profit, although there could be a chance to make some money without having to wait for that final goal to be scored.
In addition to Over/Under, several bookmakers also give you the chance to bet on Exact Goals where you can bet on the specific number of goals scored in a game. You can literally choose whether there will be 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or more goals, this is a chance to access bigger odds than a two-way market.