Betting 101: Over/Under Wagers
Wagering on the over/under point total of a sporting event is a popular way to increase the appeal of a game in which bettors may have little or no rooting interest. Over/under odds can typically be found in newspapers and other publications alongside the point spread and money line for straight win/loss bets, and understanding how they work can be an easy way to make money betting on sports
When two teams are scheduled to meet, legal online UK sportsbooks conduct extensive research on both teams’ current strength of play as well as their history, trends, playing style and a long list of other factors that determines a team’s capacity to perform on game day. Taking these various aspects into account, the bookmakers make an informed guess for the combined score of the game from both teams, and from here the bettor decides whether the total score will be “over” or “under” the listed prediction.
Over/under odds can be used in any sport that keeps defined scoring from points in basketball to goals in soccer or hockey, and this type of bet is frequently applied to team or player-based prop wagers that focus on such stats such as a total number of shots on goal taken by a team during a game or the total number of points scored by a given player in a predetermined length of time.
Another way over/under bets can be used is within a game. Bookmakers will frequently turn out different over/under totals for the game as it progresses, for example a separate over/under wager for the second half of a football match. Bets on in-game events are extremely popular with online gamblers, who can take advantage of up to the minute knowledge when making these wagers.
The payout for an over/under bet can be seen inside the parentheses near the score prediction, and payouts for an over/under wager can vary slightly based on bettor action but typically stay relatively even on both sides of the bet. If there is no number listed, the wager pays out at even money unless otherwise indicated.
Factors that can significantly imbalance the payout from the bet include extremely heavy action on one side of the wager or a low-scoring sport where the total score from both teams is extraordinarily unlikely to pass a certain range and so bookmakers must encourage even betting by making a less likely option more lucrative.