One of the most popular betting markets for sports bettors is the Point Total market, also known as the Over/Under. It is considered one of the three popular betting markets, along with the spread and moneyline.
Unlike the spread or moneyline, the point total market doesn’t rely on which team wins the game. Rather, the point total market is relevant to the total number of points scored between both teams in a game.
This is a great way to bet on a sporting event if undecided on a winner. In a sense, you are rooting for both teams to either score a lot of points or for defenses to dominate the game. Let’s break down how to read the Over/Under, how to bet the Over/under and much more!
Over/Under betting is part of various RYP pools! Check out the different pools you can create with the point total market, or join a public pool for free!
What does Over/Under Mean?
Over/Under means a bettor is deciding whether the total amount of points in a game will go Over or Under a given number. These numbers are called ‘totals’ and are calculated and displayed by the sportsbook.
If the point total for the Rockets vs. Suns game is 210.5, then the set ‘total; is 210.5. This means anyone who bets the Over would need a total of 211 or more points between the Rockets and Suns. Anyone who bets the Under would need to see 210 points or less between both teams in order to win.
Note that the Over/Under is different for each sport, as baseball will feature run totals while hockey and soccer will feature goal totals. Either way, you are betting Over or Under the given total regardless of the sport you are betting on.
How does Over/Under Betting Work?
Just like the spread market, the point total market comes with a moneyline price that is -110 both ways. Here is an example of what a point total would look like with the moneyline attached.
Over 210.5 (-110)
Under 210.5 (-110)
It will cost Over bettors $110 to win back $100, just as it would cost Under bettors $110 to win back $100 as well. This is no different than spread betting or moneyline betting.
Tips to Start Winning Over/Under Bets
There are a few tips to consider when betting on the Over or Under in a game. Let’s go through some of the best practices for total betting.
Check Over/Under Records & Trends
The first thing to consider when betting the point total is to check the point total records for both teams. There are various websites that track Over/Under records for teams throughout the season, and it’s important to understand which clubs are on runs.
If Michigan is facing Purdue in football and Michigan is 2-9 on the point total while Purdue is 4-7, it would be wise to take the Under. The record shows that Michigan has gone Under the point total in nine of 11 games, while Purdue has gone Under in seven of 11. The likelihood of their meeting going Under is strong.
However, if Purdue enters the game on a three game Over streak then you might want to consider betting a different market or game.
Check Venue Stats
As websites track betting records for teams, other sites track the same records for venues or arenas. If you are betting on the New York Rangers home game it would be wise to get the betting stats for games played in Madison Square Garden.
If 5.5 goals are scored per game inside Madison Square Garden with an Over/Under record of 10-19-1, then it would be wise for bettors to lean towards Under 6.5 goals.
This tip can also be applied to tennis bettors, as certain players perform better on certain surface styles. If a bettor notices that Naomi Osaka hasn’t lost a set in four straight clay court matches, they might take the game total going Under for her fifth match on a clay court surface.
Check Starting Lineups
This is especially important for both baseball and hockey, as starting pitchers and goalies go a long way in determining if a bettor will go Over or Under in a game. Dominant pitchers such as Jacob deGrom, Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer might see more Under bettors because they tend to produce low run totals.
This is also true for hockey goalies such as Linus Ullmark for the Boston Bruins. If a backup goalie is playing for a hockey team then maybe a bettor might go Over the goal total. Check starting pitchers and their ERAs, along with starting goalies and their GAA are crucial in total betting baseball or hockey.
FAQ About Over/Under Betting
What happens if the Over/Under is exact?
If the Over/Under happens to be exactly what the total given is then the bet is considered a ‘push’ or a tie. When this happens, nobody wins or loses. The bettor gets their money back and it’s as if the wager never even occurred.
Do Over/Under bets include overtime?
This depends on the sport, but most of the time the answer is yes. Over bettors love overtime, because it means more points can be scored. If a hockey goal total is 6.5 and the game ends at 3-3 in regulation, the Over is guaranteed to hit.
For soccer this is not the case, as everything in soccer is based on 90 minutes of regulation time unless otherwise stated. So if the goal total for a soccer match is 2.5 and the end result is 1-1, then the Under hits even if the game goes into extra time or a shootout.
What is a 3-way total bet?
A three-way total bet takes the draw into consideration, just as explained with soccer goal totals. In a three-way total bet, the total is based strictly on the outcome of the game after regulation time. It doesn’t count any points or goals scored in overtime. This is popular in soccer and hockey the most, and is typically used for Over/Under bettors looking for more value.
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