An over/under bet is a wager where the bettor chooses whether the actual combined point total will be higher or lower than the total projected by sportsbooks. The projected point total differs between different oddsmakers and will often shift in the days leading up to a game depending on team factors and betting trends.
Along with point spread and moneyline bets, the over/under wager is one of the most common bets available on every online sportsbook. Below we’ll explain how over/under or point total bets work in different sports and how to get an edge on the sportsbooks.
Point Total Bets
In virtually every team sport, oddsmakers predict a point total and bettors can bet on whether the actual combined point total between the two teams will be “over” or “under” that number.
For example, if a Rams vs. Chargers game has a total set at 49.5 points, you can bet on whether the final combined total will be 50 and higher or 49 and lower. The over and under will each come with their own moneyline, usually -110, so a $110 bet would win you $100. If the point total is set at 49, and the final total is 49, then it’s a push and your money is refunded.
This works the same for the NBA, MLB, and NHL. You can wager whether the final Warriors vs. Cavaliers score will be over or under 220 points, whether the Yankees vs. Red Sox game will be over or under 7.5 runs, and whether the Kings vs. Blackhawks game will be over or under 5 goals.
How to Bet on Point Totals
There is a lot to consider when betting on point totals. The winner and loser don’t matter but it’s important to consider factors like offensive vs. defensive matchups, team momentum, weather factors, injuries, and even the timing of the game.
Many online sportsbooks will also allow you to make in-game over/under bets, which means you will see constantly changing odds based on game factors that may make point total bets more or less appealing in real time. You can also make bets on point totals for single quarters, periods, or halves.
You can also make an over/under bet in various other betting types, like futures bets and prop bets. With a futures bet, you can bet on whether a quarterback will throw over or under 5,000 yards, whether a pitcher will have over or under 300 strikeouts, and whether a player will hit over or under 250 three-pointers. You can also make prop bets on individual games, like whether a running back will rush for over or under 150 yards, whether a batter will hit over or under 2 home runs, and whether a player will score over or under 30 points.