What is Over/Under Betting? – Guide for Beginners
18 July 2019
In sports betting there are many betting terms which are not easy to understand for a person who has never bet before.
It’s very complex and almost impossible for a bettor who has just discovered betting/online betting not to encounter difficulties.
To make it easier, we have written a guide that will explain betting terms and make them more understandable for the less experienced bettor.
In this article we will explain what Over/Under betting is and how it works, so new bettors can get the most from it when betting.
What is Over/Under Betting?
Over/Under betting, also known as totals betting, is where the bettor will place a bet that a sporting event will have either over or under a set limit for different occurrences. This can be goals in a football match, points in a basketball game, or even number of birdies in a golf tournament.
This type of betting is the second most popular form of wagering there is, behind the match result or moneyline market, and offers people the chance to win without the need to predict who will win a certain sporting event.
For example, a football match between two teams close together in the league table and who have similar form statistics can be hard to predict. There’s always the possibility of a draw but if both sides draw a low percentage of their matches it isn’t a smart move to back the game finishing level. There will likely be a winner but the bettor cannot decide who it will be.
Instead of placing a high risk wager in the match result market it makes sense to look for an alternative market, which will increase your chance of making a profit. It also decreases the amount of research required before the event. This is why the over/under market is so popular.
The bettor can research stats such as goals scored, goals conceded, average number of goals scored in matches involving both teams recently, and even number of goals in previous meetings. This will allow you to work out roughly how many goals should be expected in the next match between the two.
Most over/under markets for football in the United Kingdom have a set number of 2.5, so you will bet on whether you think there will be more or less than 2.5 goals. But, there are alternative over/under markets available with most online betting sites that change that set number. This can be anything from 0.5 up to 6.5 and the betting odds are altered to reflect the probability of that number of goals being scored.
Research for Over/Under Betting
As mentioned above, it doesn’t matter which team has the better winning record or who the betting favourites are to win. All that matters is the statistics for goals scored and conceded.
The best way to work out an average is by looking at the hosts home record for goals scored and conceded and the same for the visitors away stats.
The home team has scored 13 goals and conceded 11 in their last ten home matches, whereas the away team has netted 14 and conceded 17 in their last ten games on the road. So, we need to do a couple of calculations.
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First, we add the number of home team goals scored to the number of away team goals conceded.
• 13 + 17 = 30
Then, we divide this by the total number of matches, which is 20.
• 30 / 20 = 1.5
So, 1.5 is the expected number of goals the home team should score.
We then repeat the process for the visitors, which gives them a goal expectancy of 1.25.
Adding the home teams expected number of goals to the away teams will give us an expected number of goals for the match.
• 1.5 + 1.25 = 2.75
These stats show, using recent statistics, that there is expected to be more than 2.5 goals scored in this match but it isn’t really a match goals expectancy that would fill us with a lot of confidence.
Perhaps though we would be more inclined to place a wager by using an alternative market such as over 1.5 goals.
Doing this research can allow us to work out which matches are worth betting on and which ones have far too much risk compared to the reward on offer. Although you need to be aware that these stats can be misleading, so you must look further into them to see if they represent a true average.
By this, we mean that if a teams goals scored and conceded are evenly spread out it is a true average we will gain by doing these calculations. If the home team who had scored 13 in ten games had netted six of those in one match, we then go to stats of seven scored in nine games. This drastically alters the average and the expected number of goals.
There are a couple of alternatives.
You can look at the percentage of games involving these teams that has had over 2.5 goals. If the home team has a percentage of say 76% and the away team has 53%, this shows that over 2.5 goals should be a good bet here. But, you may want to bet under the 2.5 or leave the match well alone if the percentages are low.
Looking at head to head stats can also help bettors make improved decisions for this market. By adding up the number of goals scored in previous meetings, we can work out an average and determine if games between the two sides are generally high scoring affairs.
Using the results of all three of these methods together will give us the best chance of finding the right bets for the over/under market.
Types of Over/Under Betting
Obviously, the types of bets available for over/under betting are sport specific but as we have been talking about football here we will stick with it.
The over/under number of goals in a match is the most popular market for this type of bet with football, but alternatives include:
• Half time over/under
• Number of corners
• Booking points
• Team to score over/under
• Player/Team shots on target over/under
As mentioned, this is just for football and other sports will offer different alternative markets.
Different betting companies will offer different but some you may find include:
• Number of wickets for a bowler in cricket
• Number of boundaries in a cricket match
• Number of 100+ check out shots in darts
• Number of century breaks in snooker
• Number of knock downs in a boxing match
• Number of Birdies in a golf tournament
• Number of aces in a tennis match
Several Ways to Win
As you can see, over/under markets are plentiful and offer bettors several alternative ways of making a profit from sports betting.
Remember, it is important to bet responsibly regardless of the market you are betting on and always adopt an analytical approach before placing a wager. Effective research and analysis can give you the information you require to make informed betting decisions, and using this information can help you make a tidy profit from betting on over/under markets.
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