Over/Under betting is one of the simplest types of betting out there; any novice can understand it. It is also one of the most popular NFL bets to make, which means the experts like it too. Want to hide a lack of expertise in your choice of bet? Choose the Over/Under option.
It is also called Totals betting. The theory behind it goes something like this: the sportsbook makes a decision or a prediction about how many total points will be scored in any given game. They put the number on the betting docket and you can make a choice about whether you think the game will come in under their total prediction or over.
Here is an example. Let us pretend the sportsbook says the game on Monday night will have a total score of 35.5. If you bet over, you win your bet for any total that is 36 and up. If you bet under, you win with a total that is anything below 35, including 35 itself. Below is an example of what an Over/Under bet typically looks like:
Detroit Lions vs. The Baltimore Ravens
Over 35.5 (-110)
Under 35.5 (-110)
The odds of the game are listed in American odds notation in the parentheses and are the most common odds listed with Over/Under betting; though it is possible to see the odds change slightly before kick-of; the later you place the bet, the more accurate the odds will be. You should also know that while decimal Over/Under numbers are common, they are not always the case. You could also see an Over/Under total prediction of 35, 45 or 46—whole numbers. If that is the situation, similar rules apply for winning the bet–with one exception. Let us say the total is 45. If the game is 46 or up, you win with an over bet. If the game is 44 or under, you win with an under bet. If the game comes out to be exactly 45 it is called a push. In the event of a push the money you risked on the bet is refunded to you. You do not win, but you do not lose either – it is also known as a ‘no action’ result or bet.
The last thing to know about Over/Under betting is that some sportsbooks allow you to adjust the total score of a game with the odds changing based on your adjustment. This is called “alternate lines”. If you think the total score is going to be higher than the initial sportsbook prediction, for example, you can make an adjustment, and then place your Over/Under bet. The higher total you picked would have a higher payout than what the sportsbook offered because the odds would be against your bet. Remember, when it comes to betting, the favored bet always pays out less than the underdog bet that fewer people are risking their money on.