Over/Under Betting Explained

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 4 minutes

A very popular bet type in sports betting (almost as popular as picking the winner of the game) is the Totals Bet, or the Over/Under.

This bet can be about many parts of a game or the full game itself, and as you will see, it gives players a different way to cheer for a game!

Let’s cheer for some points!

How the Over/Under Bet Works

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors NBA over/under betting

So, for a bet on the total, or the over/under, there is a very different line than the line on the game itself.

Let’s look at the line for a typical NBA game, featuring the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers:


  • Golden State -8
  • Cleveland +8


  • o 219.5 (-115)
  • u 219.5 (-110)

So, here we have the Golden State Warriors favored by 8 points, and if you want to bet on the point spread, then you can pick either side of that matchup with the points.

Now, if you are interested in the over/under bet, you will see it on the other end of the line.

Typically, it is listed with the total (in this case 219.5 points) and the over and under odds.

If you want to bet on the total, you are betting that the total score OF BOTH TEAMS will be over or under that number.

Then, once your bet is placed, you simply watch the game and follow the total points!

What’s the Value on an Over/Under Bet?

Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels MLB over/under betting

Whether you are betting on an NBA game total, an NFL game total, an MLB game total, or even how many games there will be in a Wimbledon tennis match, most over/under bets are set at -110 on each side.

But in the case of a game like this, the likelihood of the total going over is better than staying under.

Adding the extra juice is one way a sportsbook can maintain the number but still add risk to the player.

The over/under total adjusts depending on how much is bet on either side or other factors, like injuries.

More Than Just Game Totals?

Travis Kelce Super Bowl 57 touchdown Chiefs Eagles NFL over/under betting

There are other totals you can bet on as well, not just the overall game total!

In most cases, when you select a game, you will see an array of bets on the game.

They can include the over/under numbers for different parts of the game (periods, halves, quarters, etc.).

This is great for someone who has a feeling about an early part of a game but not necessarily the outcome of the entire match.

For example, if you notice a team always does really well in the first quarter or the first half of a game, you would look for their first quarter or first half point total and bet the OVER.

You will also find over/under odds on many of the individuals competing in a particular game.

This is especially true in basketball, where you will find bets available on how many points a player will score.

These bets operate in the same manner as the over/under bets on team performance.

These are called player prop bets and they have become incredibly popular over the last few years.

Rather than relying on the outcome of the game, all you have to focus on is one player and whether they go over or under their total of yards, points, rebounds, etc.

Why Would Players Choose to Make Over/Under Bets?

Marcus Rashford celebration Manchester United soccer over/under betting

There are lots of reasons why someone would bet totals instead of the winner of the game.

First, perhaps it is too tough to pick the winner of a game.

However, a bettor may know that both teams are either offensive or defensive as a unit.

This would give you an edge in determining the total score of the game instead of the winner.

Also, there is the possibility that someone isn’t interested in the outcome of the game, but still wants the thrill of cheering for or against scoring.

In-game betting has had an impact on the over/under betting as well.

With live betting, the over/under of a game total is adjusted as the game goes on, giving gamblers a chance to either hedge their bets, double down or try to middle a bet.

Over/under bets can also be teased by a particular number of points, making it easier for games to make the right side of the number.

However, in teaser bets, you need to bet on more than one game in combination. Check out our page on parlays and teasers for more information on those bets.

The Grand Salami: The Mother of All Over/Under Bets

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs NHL over/under betting

Finally, there is a popular over/under bet that many players love to make in baseball and NHL betting.

It’s called the Grand Salami.

The Grand Salami is the total number of goals or runs scored in the entire day’s worth of action.

This is a lot of fun to play because it keeps all the games in play right until the end.

You can bet on the over or the under for this bet just as you would for each individual game. Not all online sportsbooks offer this bet, so if you are interested, shop around until you find the right book!

The over/under bet really takes sports betting to another level, allowing gamblers to have many more betting options per game. It increases the frequency of the result from just the final outcome of the game or match.