Over and Under Betting Complete Guide | LeoVegas

Over-Under Betting Guide

There's no hiding it, sports betting can be a tricky topic to approach as a beginner. Sure, you might know who you'd like to wager on (or what outcome), but finding the exact market does sometimes mean a lesson in terminology - and nobody wants that.

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At LeoVegas, we're happy to share a bit of our knowledge to make sports betting easier to understand. So, today, we're going to tackle something that might seem a little opaque to begin with: namely, over-under betting.

Understanding the Basics of Over-Under Betting

Firstly, over-under betting is nowhere near as complex as its moniker suggests, so let’s get started with the basics. All you’re going to do is guess whether a statistic from a match will be higher (over) or lower (under) than a value given by the bookmaker. In a soccer match, this value might be 1.5 Total Goals. You simply need to decide whether more or fewer than 1.5 goals will be scored by both teams combined.

How do you actually make an over-under bet? On the LeoVegas website, you only need to sign into your account (or make one) and navigate to our sports betting page. Then, click on the sport you’re interested in wagering on. You’ll now be able to choose a match-up from the list. Click through to the Selected Markets page and pick your over-under bet. For example, in the Canadian Football League, these options include Total Points, among other things.

Exploring the Mechanics of Over-Under Betting

Defining Over-Under Betting Odds and Formats

Pick a sport. We're going to continue with the CFL.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are going to play the BC Lions in a regular CFL match. The sportsbooks give the pairing a 50 in over-under betting. In most cases, this means that the oddsmakers believe a grand total of 50 points will be scored in the Roughriders/Lions game, inclusive of both teams' tally.

Your job is to guess whether the outcome will be over or under 50.

In real life, the Roughriders actually won 34-29 against the Lions in Game Week 11, giving us a total of 63 points (34+29) for the purposes of over-under betting. If you predicted over 50, you would've won your bet. If you opted for under 50, well, you wouldn't have been so lucky.

Calculating Potential Payouts: A Closer Look

If you've ever placed a sports bet before, you'll already have a good understanding of how odds work in over-under markets because, basically, they're the same. Each market has a probability value attached to every outcome you can wager on.

Using the example of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. the Toronto Argonauts on the LeoVegas website, an Over 47.5 Total Points bet has odds of 1.85. Oddly enough, Under 47.5 Total Points also has odds of 1.85.

To work out your potential winnings from this bet, simply multiply your stake by the odds. A $10 bet with odds of 1.85 returns $18.5 if it succeeds. Note that you will always get your stake back on a winning wager.

Key Factors Influencing Over-Under Betting Outcomes

This is where a bit of sports knowledge comes in handy. Returning to our conversation about the Lions and the Roughriders, any insights into a team’s form, line-up, injuries, set-pieces, discipline, etc., can help you make an informed decision about that final over-under value.

For example, if you know that the Roughriders are currently weak in attack due to an injured player, you might expect the overall total to be lower than the bookmakers’ prediction of 50 as a consequence.

Then again, if both Saskatchewan and BC have been pushing thirty points in their last few games, it might make more sense to predict a high-scoring game — unless, of course, one of the franchises has a defense to match their strength going forward.

It’s these statistical battles that provide the backbone of good over-under predictions. Of course, as this market is essentially a 50/50 wager, you could just toss a coin too (in the NFL, it works out at 51% under, on average).

How you inform your betting strategies is totally up to you.

Over-Under Betting in Different Sports

Over-Under Betting in Football: Strategies and Considerations

Total Points is by far the most common over-under market in football. You'll want to check out the standings, team reports, offensive/defensive stats, home/away performance and the power rankings for this one.

Basketball: Fast-Paced Action and Over-Under Betting Opportunities

Basketball has a heap of over-under possibilities to consider, such as rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. As with football, performance at home and on the road is a factor - and a packed schedule makes injuries a risk.

Baseball: Pitching Duels and Offensive Explosions

Keep an eye on the starting pitchers in baseball, as these can keep over-under values in the single digits. Heavy hitters can keep numbers high. You might want to check out team performance in the presence of particular umpires too.

Soccer: Defensive Tactics and Goal-scoring Probabilities

One of the more interesting over-under markets in soccer is yellow cards, which can lead the bettor down a rabbit hole of player discipline. Defensive teams may also drive the value up for corners and, with it, their opponents’ efforts on goal.

Strategies for Successful Over-Under Betting

Analysing Team and Player Statistics

As we’ve already hinted at, just about every statistic can be useful in determining whether you’ll go over or under the sportsbook’s value. It’s wise to watch the betting line during the week before the game, as bookmakers may alter their odds in response to relevant news reports.

The Role of Weather Conditions and Venues in Over-Under Betting

This is an interesting area that predominantly has an influence on baseball and football wagering. In the former case, pitch dimensions can determine whether a ballpark is friendlier to hitters or pitchers. There are 45ft between the largest and smallest outfields in the MLB.

Be wary of strategies placing emphasis on weather conditions in the NFL. It rarely affects scoring. Winds over 15mph may lower over-under values, while high altitudes in Colorado can do the opposite, regardless of the sport.

Trend Analysis and Historical Performance

Otherwise known as form, historical performance is one of the first places that over-under betters look for tips. A franchise posting frequent wins is often expected to produce more of the same - but be wary of the fixture list. Has the team faced anybody of note yet?

You can also use trend analysis for predicting points/goal scorers and, as mentioned, yellow or red cards.

Over-Under Betting vs. Other Betting Strategies

Moneyline Betting vs. Over-Under Betting

Moneyline is similar to over-under betting because it (usually) only has two possible outcomes. It's a bet on whether something will win or lose. Put another way, it's what most people think of when they hear the word "betting". Over/under is a guess at a numerical value.

Spreads and Over-Under Betting

A point spread is loosely defined as a number that makes two teams more even. It's a handicap. So, an underdog might be given a "spread" of +2.5, while the favourite gets the opposite, -2.5. The favourite has to win by a value of more than 2.5 for the bet to pay out.

Spread betting is one of the more complicated types of wagering you'll encounter on your journey.

Over-Under Betting FAQ

What is the basic concept of over-under betting?

An over/under wager is a prediction of the value of a particular stat in a sports game. The sportsbook will give a starting value (such as 3 goals scored in a soccer game) and then the bettor makes a guess if it will be higher or lower than that at the end of the event.

How are over-under odds determined?

The bookmaker or sportsbook decides their own over-under odds. These are informed by things like a team's recent performance, the quality of opposition, injuries, and hundreds of other data points.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in over-under betting?

Poring over statistics isn't everybody's idea of a good time, but even the most meagre effort at analysis can improve your chances of winning a bet. Make sure you know why you're making a particular wager, and don't ignore dynamic factors like weather and/or ground conditions.

Can over-under betting be applied to live betting?

As over-under betting is based on game outcomes, it's most commonly associated with pre-match wagering.

Is over-under betting suitable for all types of sports?

Yes. The exception would be a sport that doesn't use points to describe the outcome - and we can't think of any of those right now.

Is over 0.5 a good bet?

Yes. This wager simply requires a total of one goal to be scored in the game. However, the odds and potential winnings are likely to be low.

What does under 1.5 mean?

An over-under of 1.5 indicates that only 0 or 1 point (assists, goals, etc.) can win the bet. Anything higher is a loss for the bettor.

Learn more about sports betting in our guides