When you place a bet on the Over/Under (totals) market in a game, you may be betting on corners or cards in a football match, the number of tries in a rugby match, the number of sixes in a cricket match or the number of games and sets in a tennis match.
Most commonly this market may be used for total goals in football, total points in rugby and run, game and set totals in tennis and cricket. When you place a bet on the total goals, points, runs, sets or games, in considers the game as a whole.
For example, it doesn't matter if you bet on there being Over 3.5 goals in a game between team a and team b. It can finish 4-0 to team a, or 2-2, or 1-3. Quite how you reach the required goal total doesn't matter as long as you get there.
Pros of the Over/Under bet type
- Any betting market will command a better return with some proper research, and this is a market that is very, very easy to research, which makes it a good market to use.
- There are fewer factors outside of your control that can affect a goals bet as opposed to the riskier match markets. Whilst an own goal may kill you off elsewhere, it could make your day here.
Cons of betting with Over/Under
- There are outside elements that can affect this bet type (though this could be factored in potentially). Weather is one that should be well researched, as a wet pitch and blustery conditions can lead to a lack of goals. Red cards, however, are completely out of your control.
- There is a much bigger margin involved with this market. Given there are only two outcomes and usually decent odds. The risk is great to the bookmaker, so the margins are high to ensure they cover themselve..
What is the Over/Under bet type?
The Over/Under totals market involves predicting the total number of goals or points scored during the course of a Football or Ice Hockey game or the number of points scored in Rugby, Basketball, Netball, Volleyball or American Football. It can also involve betting on how many runs there will be in a game of Baseball or Cricket.
Whichever sport you are betting on, there are two options for each game. You can bet on the total to go over, or the total to go under. Below is a quick glossary of what these terms mean to help you better understand the market.
- Total: The total is the number of points, goals or runs deemed most probable in a game. This expectancy is set by the bookmakers and reached using history, statistics and other methods of analysis.
- Over: This refers to one option in the betting market where you are betting on there being more goals, points or runs than your chosen betting goal line. For example, if a total is set at 3.5 goals and you bet Over on this number, you'll need more than 3.5, meaning the minimum number of goals you need is four.
- Under: This is where you bet on there being fewer goals than your chosen line. This market works the same as the above but in reverse. If the line is 3.5 goals and you bet Under, you need fewer than 3.5 goals, meaning a maximum of three goals can be scored for your bet to win.
All main sports typically offer the option to bet on the total number of points, goals or runs scored in a full length game. Some of these only consider regulation time such as football (soccer), which means that only goals scored in regulation time (90 minutes plus injury time) will count towards the bet, and extra time doesn't count.
US Sports such as Baseball, Basketball and American Football consider the overtime period, but only if you bet on the market that specifies it includes overtime. It's important to know that and be mindful, as some do offer the option just to bet on this outcome within regulation time and higher odds and higher risk.
Who uses the Over/Under betting market?
Where football betting is concerned, betting on the goal totals market itself is perhaps not more popular with casual punters than it is a professional bettor, but there are many variations of the market that take center stage for those weekend accumulators. One variation that provides greater odds is both teams and over/under 2.5 or 3.5 goals, or backing a team to win and there being over/under 2.5 goals. Those are still markets that may be utilised by a professional bettor, but the nature of those markets and their odds lend themselves more to the casuals, whilst a professional bettor is more likely to work with the stricter over/under goals market.
There aren't too many variations of the totals market where US Sports is concerned and with fewer match market options there, a total bet is popular with both casual and professional bettors. A professional's use may vary in that they'd stick to single bets, whereas a casual bettor may look to parlay or add totals to a multiple or system bet. Saying that, there are things such as Over/Under (First 5 innings) with baseball, or total points per quarter in basketball
After Asian Handicap, 12 moneyline or 1x2 (depending on the sport you're betting on) it has to be said that total betting is one of the staples of sports betting.
It's a great option for professional bettors that really puts the bookmakers at risk. High margins can sometimes be a bit of an issue, but it's a market that can be exploited to achieve a higher win percentage than the bookies would like.
Casual punters probably stand a better chance with this market than any other when it comes to multiples use, and there are some really attractive and fun variations such as the both teams to score and goals total combination.
Got the hang of the different bet types? See how successful tipsters make their mark by exploring our betting strategy guides.