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What are Over/Under Bets in Sports Betting?

Over/Under Bets Will playing both sides give you a better chance at coming out on top? Find out now through this comprehensive guide on over/under betting.
Alicia Butler
Author:
Alicia Butler
Updated:
13 October 2021
Table of Contents

    Will playing both sides give you a better chance at coming out on top? Find out now through this comprehensive guide on over/under betting.

    What Are Over/Under Bets?

    An over/under bet is fairly self-explanatory: the bettor places a bet “over” or “under” what the sportsbook predicts the combined score number of both teams will be by the end of the game. As these bets are meant to predict the total score of both teams added together, they are also sometimes referred to as “total” bets.

    That’s the short answer of what over/under sports betting entails, though it would be a misnomer to say that that’s exclusively what they entail. If you’re a newbie bettor who’s curious about getting in on the action, then browse this guide to find out everything you need to know about over/under betting.

    How Do Over/Under Bets Work?

    Yes, over/under bets entail betting on the “over” or “under” of a game’s final score between both teams, but that’s not all there is to them. Over/under betting is often popular with higher scoring sports like basketball and football. Most sportsbooks (though not all) will predetermine similar odds for both the over and under.

    For example, imagine a hypothetical NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. If the sportsbook pre-set the total at 175, then both teams would need a minimum final score between 87-88 (or higher) for gamblers who bet on the over to win. Likewise, if the final game score adds up to anything below 175, then every player who bet on the under would win their payout.

    One common appeal to betting the over/under here is that there’s still potential for bettors to win, regardless of who the winner of the actual game is. As long as the final score adds up to anything above the over or anything below the under, depending on which way you bet, you get to take home the house’s winnings.

    There are two approaches over/under bettors can take to wagering on a game, but most bettors, surprisingly or not so surprisingly, are known to prefer betting on the over, with statistics and researchers affirming so. There are two reasons why one may prefer betting on the over rather than the under:

    1. There is infinite potential to exceed the over, whereas the under is obviously capped under the sportsbook’s predetermined point total.
    2. Most fans would prefer to root for a higher-scoring game than a lower-scoring one.

    Think about it. The fictional example game we used came down to a very close, contentious, down-to-the-wire high score. It’s a much more exciting, tense, suspenseful, and entertaining fan experience to root for high-scoring games akin to that example, rather than lower-scoring games where neither team gains much ground.

    Most fans don’t want to be viewed as boring buzzkills rooting for anticlimactic games, especially if they’re betting and/or rooting for the game alongside their friends or loved ones. That’s why they may be more inclined to bet on the over rather than the under, but regardless of whether they lean over or under, over/under bets remain a popular gambling staple, offered by most popular offline and online sportsbooks in the US.

    How Do Over/Under Bets Payout?

    Over/Under bets commonly payout with -110 vig (vigorish) odds on both sides of the spectrum. This means that for every $100 you hope to win from your wager, you must put $110 on the line, whether you’re betting on the over or the under. Per dollar, this equates to 91 cents for every 100 cents gambled in your wager.

    That’s the most universal and most common rule of thumb by which sportsbooks abide. However, some sportsbooks may be inclined to bend the vig in a somewhat less neutral direction. For instance, they might be aware that more bettors and sports fans are inclined to bet on the over, so to make more money, they may skew the vig in a direction that encourages bettors to wager on the over.

    Conversely, the house may be aware that the under is a bet most bettors are less inclined to take. So, with that in mind, the sportsbook might skew the vig in a way that incentivizes bettors to wager on the riskier, less popular (albeit in this scenario, more rewarding) gamble.

    How Do Over/Under Bets Work In UFC?

    If you’re more inclined toward individualistic sports, lower scoring sports, less team-minded sports, or combat sports, then you might be curious how over/under bets would work in this context. Well, using mixed martial arts and boxing as examples, the over/under in this context will be based on how many rounds the fight will last, irrespective of whom actually wins or loses the fight.

    Although that’s a different over/under barometer than the one used by most sportsbooks for team sports betting, most fans will still be more inclined toward betting on the over. Quick first-round knockouts, tap outs, or TKOs can be an impressive thing to behold, but they still aren’t quite as memorable a fan experience as long, unpredictable, drag-out brawls.

    After all, wouldn’t you prefer to watch a pay-per-view where the main event lasted for nearly the full contest (5 rounds in UFC, 12 rounds in professional boxing) as opposed to a quick, first-round decision? Moreover, these quick decisions aren’t a very common occurrence in neither MMA nor boxing: as reported by the New York Post, KOs/TKOs occur in only roughly 50 percent of professional boxing matches, and around roughly 30 percent of professional MMA fights.

    How To Find The Best Online Sportsbooks

    But whether or not you want to over/under bet on team sports or combat sports, you’re going to want to know the best online sportsbooks that are available in your State. Currently, 13 states and Washington D.C. all offer online sportsbooks, and that number is only expected to keep expanding as the country’s online legal gambling market keeps expanding:


    Caesars Sportsbook

    FanDuel Sportsbook

    PointsBet Sportsbook

    BetMGM Sportsbook

    BetRivers

    WynnBet

    Unibet Sportsbook

    Fubo Sportsbook

    Golden Nugget Online

    Borgata Sportsbook

    DraftKings Sportsbook

    888 Sport

    Sugarhouse Casino

    Fox Bet Sportsbook

    BetAmerica Sportsbook

    Tipico Sportsbook

    The Score Sportsbook

    SI Sportsbook

    Betway

    Betfred Sports

    Bet365


    If you want to know how to reap the most benefits out of these online gambling platforms, then OddsSeeker is the place to be.

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