It’s always a good idea to increase your arsenal of bet types as you get more experienced with sports betting. One of those bet types is over/under bets, which are also known as totals. It can be quite confusing at face value when you see these sorts of bets but actually, over/under bets are quite simple and applied with the right analysis & betting strategy in place, they can be a very effective way to make a profit.
What are Over/Under Bets?
When it comes to learning about Over/Under bets, you must know the basics of betting, we suggest only looking into over/under bets yourself if you have covered all the beginner parts of betting and are ready to learn, take some loss and improve at the beginning, now with that being said.
Over/under bets, AKA totals, are based on various in-game occurrences. So they’re not a simple Yes or No bet, but instead, there is a number set on bookmaker websites, where you need to make an educated decision whether the outcome will be higher or lower than the number specified.
For example, let’s take Goals. if the bookmaker offers odds of 10/11 on under 2.5 goals being scored and evens on more than 2.5 goals being scored. If you bet on the match producing over 2.5 goals and the final score of the match is 2-1 to Manchester United – a total of 3 goals, your bet wins and you’ll be paid out at 10/11.
The margins for over/under bets are most commonly presented as decimal values. The over/under totals are set at 0.5 intervals to ensure that a bet will produce a result. In other words, the total number of goals scored in a match will always be over or under the specified margin.
This avoids ‘tied’ bets that would basically not produce any result on the bet. For example, if the over/under goals total was 2, and 2 goals were scored in the match, the bet would be unable to produce a result as the goal total is equal to the over/under margin rather than above or below it.
If you’ve been on a bookmakers website or app before, you’ve most likely seen over/under bets with a decimal for this reason, so you’ll typically get 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and so on, this can go up to larger numbers depending on the in-game occurrence/event and sport.
What does over/under 0.5 goals mean?
Over 0.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing 1 or more goals. There’s a good chance of an over 0.5 goals bet winning, but it will typically pay out at low odds, though this depends on the match and the teams playing.
The opposite of Over 0.5 goals would be Under 0.5 goals.
Under 0.5 goals betting is a bet on a match being scoreless. A bet on under 0.5 goals should be reserved for matches with very strong defences and weak attacks or high-pressure matches like the World Cup final that tend to produce low scores.
If you think there will be more goals than 1 or there will be 1 goal, you might then consider placing a 1.5 over/under bet for a higher return on your stake.
What does over/under 1.5 goals mean?
Over 1.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing 2 or more goals. When you bet on over 1.5 goals you are betting on a match producing at least 2 goals, which is a statistically likely outcome that will usually payout.
Under 1.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing a single goal or no goal at all. A bet on under 1.5 goals is usually used when two evenly matched teams with strong defences or weaker attacks play each other, and you expect the match to result in a goalless draw or one team to win by scoring a single goal.
And the list could go on, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5…
Why not just bet an under 6.5 goals?
So if you are thinking about these types of bets and understanding it a little more, it is highly likely that two teams would never score 7 or more goals meaning the under 6.5 goals would be a very safe bet, however, the reason why you wouldn’t want to do this is because the bet is almost a guaranteed win that the payout will be incredibly low if you win that it wouldn’t really be worth the time or the stake.
Therefore you want to choose a much more risky bet which will have high odds, the 1.5 and 2.5 will obviously be more unpredictable as a lot can happen in a game. Higher risking bets will come along with higher odds & more profit but at a lower chance of happening.
Sidenote: Don’t treat high odds bets as “fun bets”. You will never win. And by that, we don’t mean that you won’t get lucky sometimes, only that in the long run you will lose a significant portion of your money. Big odds bets require much more discipline and study than any other bets you have ever placed before. Don’t lose control after a few bad picks and try to make up with hasty bets. Also after some big wins don’t consider yourself unbeatable and start overextending. What you need to do is to make a plan and stick with it in the long run.
For the sake of keeping this guide as simple as possible, we’re going to be focusing solely on Football. It’s the perfect sport for over/under bets as it has a ton of in-game occurrences and to be honest, anything could happen…
That said, let’s check out the most popular Football based Over/Under bets!
- Goals are the most popular Over/Under bet for Football since they’re the main part of the game, incredibly easy to track and there is a ton of research and analytics on goal predictions. There are also tons of options for Goal Over/Under bets, such as first-half goals, overall goals, second-half goals, make sure you do your research on the different options before placing your bet as they’re not all the same!
- Yellow cards are quite popular too and are easy to track, there are plenty of analytic websites where you can do your research on the likelihood of over/under outcomes for 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and so on, depending on the players, teams and league.
- Corners are essential set pieces, and physically powerful teams heavily rely on them. It’s quite challenging to make a long-term success with corner totals, but it’s doable. With a ton of stats crawling, corner totals can become your go-to bet type for quick returns but as a beginner, we suggest choosing the top two options first before diving into too many!
- Offsides is an Over/Under bet that isn’t that popular compared to the three options we’ve listed here but it is still something to know you have an option for, personally I find offside Over/Under a massive gamble, but there are still tons of analytics on them with percentage outcomes of certain Over/Under outcomes.
Understanding Over/Under Bets
The great thing about Over/Under bets is that they’re quite flexible and dynamic compared to a simple win, lose a bet, you can still win money regardless of the outcome of the game, who cares which team is winning when you’re betting on Yellow Card Over/Under bets, in a way, you’re betting on the overall flow and feel of the game, can you feel a certain pressure from a team and think they’ll be Yellow Cards thrown out, then Over/Under Bets are the perfect bet for you, or maybe you know both teams are aggressive with weak defences, it doesn’t matter who wins, you could make a profit betting on an Over 4.5 Bet, that is what makes Over/Under Bets great, you are betting on certain in-game occurrences that affect the game but aren’t reflecting who is going to win or lose.
But remember you will still need to assess both teams, players & their past matches, track records, how often they get fouled & so on.
Additionally, you’ll also have to keep track of their injuries, fatigue levels, and team morale. Factors such as these can significantly influence the overall performance of a given team and impact your over/under bets.
Mastering over/under bets requires a lot of hard work and even more analysis than a standard bet so keep this in mind and get subscribed to some good analysis websites to save you time.
Don’t overlook Defensive/Offensive Stats
Whether you are thinking of betting on total goals, yellow cards, corners, or anything else, the first thing on your bucket has to be extensive research, maybe even before you feel like giving it a punt. As with everything else in the world of football betting, there is a lot of numbers and analysis behind everything, including the odds the bookies make, so don’t overlook these stats.
When it comes to total goals for example, which is your basic Over/Under Bet, the first thing you should be looking at is the team performance, the defence and offence of each team, to develop an outcome of how the overall pace of the game will be.
For example, you could calculate the median number of goals in their last five matches for each team, and then also calculate the number of shots for those goals to develop a likeliness of a goal, if they’re making shots that are off-target, it is most likely that there won’t be that many goals in this game too. Sure, the opposite could happen but you want to make sure your decision is based on education and as predictable as possible.
However, if those shot takers are not in the team for this specific event, then you’ll be looking at the player stats for the new team formation, how they perform and so on, and as suggested before, check the injury list, when they last played incase of fatigue and everything else player-related which you can typically get on a stats site.
What else factors the pace of a game?
Let’s say there isn’t much tension in a matchup or winning/losing doesn’t affect them substantially or there is no title on the line, if so, the game is just for fun and the players won’t be performing 100% on a game that isn’t incredibly important. Compare that to something like Group Stage playoffs with crucial matches that determine which team will go home and which team will advance to the next stage, there is a lot on the line and so you can expect top-performing players to keep performing well.
Additionally, high profile matches, those featuring title contestants, are often underwhelming as far as goals are concerned typically, so take that into consideration, the top teams typically have a great defence, so there is a very low chance of high goals.
It doesn’t happen in every game, but it’s still the case more often than not. In such contests, teams take extra defensive measures and don’t focus their gameplay solely on the attacking end. In other words, be cautious when betting Over on high profile matches.
Make sure all stats point towards a high-scoring match. Otherwise, you might be better off with an under bet or skipping the game altogether.
Another obvious factor that can affect the pace of a game is weather conditions. Too much rain can affect certain Over/Under options and you’ll need to understand the trends and general rules. Too much rain can be detrimental to teams who pass play a lot, if the pitch is full of water, the ball can’t travel as far as a dry pitch, this will affect control in the midfield.
Additionally, overly hot weather, results in players getting fatigued much earlier than usual. We’re talking about both defenders and attackers. Typically, matches played in extreme heat often result in less energetic performances, so keep an eye on matches in hotter climates like the World Cup being in Qatar next year.
If you want to increase your chances of winning over/under wagers, you have to take into account situations such as these. Extreme weather conditions, match importance, competition stage, and defensive/offensive records.
As far as over/under strategy goes, there’s no one size fits all kind of deal. It all depends on the amount of time and money you’re willing to dedicate to betting, and your current knowledge about the league, competition, and sport you’re going to bet on.
There’s another, unfortunately popular, totals variation that doesn’t allow you to choose between over and under. Instead, it allows you to choose either odd or even.
Even though they might seem entertaining to follow, they could end up costing you a ton of nerves, and even worse, a ton of money.