Over/Under (Total): More Specific Bet Type

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The Over/Under (Total) allows you place a bet on the overall combined score of the two teams for a game.


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Brian Christopher at a sports betting kiosk

Aside from the more straightforward Moneyline and Spreads bets, here’s an additional option for betting that can be connected to the outcome of the game. But instead of picking the game’s winner, you’re betting on how high (or low) the total score (added up between the two teams) will get. This is called the over/under.

In this sort of wager, you’ll see an “O” or a “U” – “O” meaning Over and “U” meaning Under. If you bet the Over, your bet is that the total number of points scored on that game by BOTH teams will exceed the number presented, whereas the Under is that the game will fall short.

The column labeled total on this BetMGM screenshot shows the Over/Under wager options.

Let’s say that number is 45. If you bet the Over, you’re betting the game will see a combined score between the two teams will be at least 46 points; the Under would mean 44 points or less. If the exact number of 45 is scored, it’s deemed a push and bets are refunded.

The odds here would be similar to spreads, in that there’s a built in edge for the sportsbook, but otherwise it will pay near even money, such as -110. These numbers will differ a bit at times when sportsbooks are trying to entice more bets on a certain side, to ensure balance between the two sides of the coin (to reduce the risk of losing money, and increase the certainty of making money on this particular round of betting).

This particular type of bet requires a bit more know-how, as you need to understand what the expected amount of points scored by each team would be and why, so you can make a more informed decision on how to wager. But the overall idea is still pretty straightforward and understandable once you know how to read the data!


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