Essential Guide to Understanding Betting Line Over/Under

Over and Under Betting Guide

When making a sports bet, there is a whole range of different types available. One that you may have come across is the over/under bet.

It's one of the most popular, along with spread betting. Below, we give everything you need to know to understand how this betting type works for different sports and how to place a wager.

What Does Over/Under Mean?

When you bet on a game, there are several options available other than simply choosing a winner or loser. One of these is the over/under bet.

This is a wager that a given statistic in a game will be over or under the amount agreed by the bookmaker. The most common of the chosen statistics is the combined score of both teams, though other variations exist.

For example, imagine you are placing a soccer bet. Brazil is playing New Zealand. Brazil will likely be the favourite, so betting on them won't bring up very favourable odds. Instead, you decide to place an over/under bet, which involves predicting how many goals will be scored in the game.

You decide that five goals will be scored. The bookmaker sets the over/under amount, known as the total, as four goals. Brazil scores four, and New Zealand scores one, so you win the bet. In over/under bets, if you equal the amount set by the bookmaker, then it is a push. Here, all stakes are returned, and it is as if the bet never took place.

How Are Odds Calculated in Over/Under Betting?

There are different methods and ways in which over/under-betting odds are calculated.

Generally, it depends if you are using American-style money line odds or decimal odds.

US-style odds are always based on a $100 bet. The underdog will have a + sign next to it and a number, which shows the amount you will win for every $100 wagered. The favourites will have a – sign next to them, showing how much you need to bet to win $100.

How the bookmaker calculates these odds is complex and mathematical. However, it will consider several factors, as well as the offence and defensive records of the two teams playing.

How to Place Over/Under Bets?

The first step is to decide if you think the combined score of both teams will be over or under the amount set by the bookmaker. If you dislike the odds for either, you may wish to wait a while, as these odds are prone to change in the run-up to games.

You will find that most bookmakers will use a decimal point when setting over/under totals. This ensures that the result is either a win or a loss. Remember that if the total is not decimal and does land exactly on the over/under, it is most likely a push result.

If you look at the betting, you will often see a number with the abbreviation O/U next to the team. This is the betting line over under total. It could be 140 for a basketball game, five for a soccer game, and so on. That is the total that you can decide to bet over or under. Next to this, you will see the given odds, which show the odds and profit you will make for a win.

How Over/Under Betting Works in Different Sports?

For most sports, over/under-betting follows the same format. However, others have variations unique to their rules and play. The main sports are listed below.


With rugby, the over/under bet works in much the same way as other sports. The most common bet is to predict the number of points both the winning and losing teams make combined.

These can come from a try, conversion, penalty kick, or any other form of point scoring. You aim to decide if the total number of points is over or under the combined total.

American Football

In the US, over under betting on American football is also known as NFL Total betting. You will see the two team names listed, one with OV and one with UN next to them. The total over/under score will then be next to this, followed by betting totals that have a – and + next to them.

The – figure shows the favoured position. If you bet the stated amount, you will get a $100 profit if the bet comes in. With the + bet, you need to stake $100 to make the amount in profit.


This is an extremely popular basketball bet, just lagging behind the point spread bet. It's also very simple to bet on.

It will have the name of the competing teams and tell you the over/under numbers next to each. A – or + figure will then be next to this, allowing you to work out the odds. You are betting on the combined totals for each team.


The most popular over/under bet in soccer is the number of goals scored. However, there are many other variations, such as the tally of yellow and red cards, corners, and other set pieces.

The total amount will be set by the bookmaker, and you must decide if it will be over or under that amount. Most games will only do this to the end of the full-time whistle, so in tournament games that go into extra time, the added play will not count.


Tennis over/under betting is also referred to as total game betting. As scoring is extremely high in tennis, over/under scores are bet on the number of games played.

Each set has a maximum of 13 games within it unless it is a specific Grand Slam event. Generally, even matches in men's games will have a total of 23.5 to 24.5 and 20.5 to 21.5 in women's.


When over under betting on cricket, the total will refer to the number of runs in a match. This is the combined total of both teams. However, other popular bets include the total wickets a bowler takes or the number of runs attained by an individual batter.


Baseball follows the same format, with a bet being made if the final combined total is over or under the given total. However, unlike other sports, many added factors can influence the results, which you must consider.

For example, many baseball grounds with higher elevations have increased scoring rates. Ones with smaller-sized closed fences provide more opportunities for home runs.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Over/Under Betting?

Most over/under bets only have two outcomes, which are a win or a loss. This gives you a 50% chance of winning a bet. Also, both teams are adding to your success. It doesn't matter who makes tries or scores goals, as long as they happen.

This can add enjoyment to games in which you have little investment in one team winning or losing. They are also a great way to add some more incentives in combined bets.

The downside is that if you have a high-scoring sport, it's hard to predict. You need to look at the offensive and defensive records of teams along with their form, to have any hope of getting predictions right. All it takes is an injury or change in tactics, and you could lose the bet.

Over and Under Betting FAQ

How Much Do You Win on an Over/Under Bet?

This depends on the odds calculated by the bookmaker. They will have a total score of which you must decide whether to wager over or under. Next to this will be the odds that determine the outcome.

What Does Total Mean in Betting?

A total is another name for the betting line over/under. This is an amount set by the bookmaker. When placing an over/under bet, you have to decide to wager above or below this total.

Does Over/Under Bets Include Overtime?

For most sports, an over/under bet will include overtime. It will go on until the end of the game. However, this may not apply in games like soccer, which may have extra time to play in tournaments. You should check with your bookmaker.

What Does Over/Under 1.5 Mean in Betting?

The 1.5 is a total for the over/under bet. You can choose to bet under this amount or over it, usually for the combined score of both teams and players in the game. The .5 is used so the bet cannot end in a tie, as the score must be over or under this amount.

What Is a Push in Over/Under Betting?

A push is when an over/under bet ends in a tie. In this instance, the stake is returned to the person making a bet, no money is won, and it is as if the bet never happened. To avoid this, many bookmakers will provide a total that has a decimal point in it. This ensures that a result has to occur.