Over/Under bets (also known as totals) are a type of bet that is based on the final points total of a game in any given sport. For example, these types of bets are placed in sports including football, baseball, and basketball. A bettor places a bet based on whether they think that the score of the game is going to be more or less than the amount set by the oddsmakers. Oddsmakers determine the points totals based on how many points they believe are going to be scored in the game. Betting On Totals Before a bettor places any bet, there are a lot of different things that need to be considered. When it comes to betting on totals, there are a number of different variables that need to be considered before the bet is laid down. For example:
  • The most current offensive and defensive trends of each team of that season
  • The matchup history that may (or may not) exist between the two teams
  • The environment, city, or stadium in which the teams will be playing in
  • Any injuries that may be plaguing a team and the player
For the sake of explanation and example, we will use the example of the Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles. An oddsmaker may set the total at 48.5 points for the game. The bettor will have to decide whether they believe that the score will add up to more than 48 or less than 49. For example, if the score ends up 27-20, the game will have fallen under the total set by the oddsmaker. The Betting Line Every game that has an over/under set for it, has a betting line. This is the information that the oddsmaker makes available to the bettors to help them make their decision on their bets. Most betting lines are set as the over/under -110, but the oddsmaker can adjust this line if they deem it necessary to do so. Here is an example of betting lines:
  • 48.5 over -110- This means that the bettor will have to lay down $110 in order to win $100 if they bet that the points total will be more than 48
  • 48.5 under +105- This means that the bettor will have to bet $105 to win $100 if they bet that the points total will be less than 49
One of the things that can make an over/under bet very interesting is overtime. It doesn’t matter if a game goes into overtime or not, the over/under remains the same. The over/under is set for the outcome regardless of whether there is an overtime period or not. It is one of those things that is an under bettor’s worst nightmare and an over bettor’s dream. What Is A Push? There are times when the over/under is an even number and doesn’t have a .5 on it, like 48. This is a situation that many bettors who like to bet on the over/under prefer to bet on. It is a popular line to bet on. A push happens when the point total is set to one of those even numbers and the game that the line is set for hits that exact amount. Like if the score of the Dallas vs Philadelphia game ends at 28-20. This is called a push. When this happens, bettors are returned their money, and no one makes anything off of that particular game, not even the oddsmaker. Some bettors like to bet on these types of games because it comes with an added safety net for their bets.