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How does over/under betting work?

When it comes to sports betting, there are a lot of different options available. Some of these options can offer better odds, but the conditions you need to meet in order to win can be tricky to understand.

One of the most popular types of bets, especially in sports, is over/under betting. In this guide, we explore this form of bet comprehensively. We look at examples of over/under bets, the sports that you can place these bets on, and look specifically at Premier League football.

Let’s dive in.

What is an over/under bet?

An over/under bet is something that exists within the world of sports betting. It refers to the odds of whether a statistic in a game will be higher or lower than a certain value.

These types of bets often come in the form of a score of .5, and we’ll look at some examples below. For example, you could back a team to score more than 2.5 goals in a game. This means that the team needs to score three goals or more in order for you to win. If they score two goals, you lose.

Over/under bets are also known as total bets and sometimes are abbreviated to O-U.

Some people prefer this type of bet to others for the simple reason that you’re trying to predict just one statistical outcome of the game, rather than the entire outcome. Sometimes, this can be easier to call.

Examples of over/under bets

Before any game, a bookmaker or betting company will conduct extensive research and offer odds based on that research. In the context of football, one of the most popular sports for over/under betting, markets are usually offered on the likes of:

  • The total number of goals scored by a team or in the match as a whole.
  • The number of corner kicks in a half or game.
  • The total number of yellow cards.
  • The number of goals an individual player may score.

What types of over/under betting can you make on the Premier League?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the first example on the list above. It’s not uncommon for sportsbooks to offer odds on the total number of goals scored, either in a half or in the game as a whole. This will usually come in the form of decimal values such as:

  • Over/under 0.5 goals.
  • Over/under 1.5 goals.
  • Over/under 2.5 goals.
  • Over/under 3.5 goals.

The reason why these figures are set at .5 is because in football, you can’t score half a goal. So, if both teams combined score four goals and you’ve backed over 3.5 total goals, then your bet will succeed. If the game finishes on 2-1, then you would lose your bet.

In terms of the odds offered, the higher the value, the less likely it is to happen – unless both teams going into the game are prolific goal scorers and have very leaky defences.

Odds on the likes of over 0.5 goals will usually be quite poor.

However, you can combine over/under bets to build an accumulator and get better odds. For example, you could back Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Luton Town to all score over 1.5 goals in the Premier League. If each of them bag two goals in their respective matches, your bet will come in.

What sports offer over/under bets?

Over/under betting isn’t just restricted to football but is offered in a broad range of sports. A popular sport that it’s offered in is basketball.

The premise is exactly the same as we’ve outlined above, however, the values and what you can bet on may be a little different. For example, basketball works on a points-based system, with some NBA teams regularly scoring over 120 points per game.

It’s possible to bet on the total number of points that a team may score or the total scored in the overall tie.

The same applies to American football and the likes of the National Football League (NFL). Over/under bets are also popular in Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL) and other sports such as rugby, cricket and tennis.

With tennis, you can bet on the likes of the total number of games played or the total number of sets completed. A common example could be over/under 22.5 games. Again, odds for different values could drastically differ.




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