What Does Over Under Mean?

You’ve probably seen this sign before: Over Under. What does it mean? It’s simple. In the world of sports betting, this phrase has become a shorthand for “against the spread.” An “over/under” bet is a wager on the total number of points that will be scored in an upcoming game. You can’t go wrong with the over/under—it’s one of the most popular sports betting options.

Here’s why: It’s simple to understand. You’re either betting that the under will score more points than the over or vice versa. If you choose the over, you’re committing to the fact that the total will be higher than the number of points you’ve been assigned. If you choose the under, you’re basically saying that the total will be lower than what you’ve been assigned. The amount you stake on either side of the bet determines how much you’ll win or lose, as follows:

  • If the over/under is set at $100 and you stake $10, you’ll win $90 if the total is at least 210 points
  • If the over/under is set at 200 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $80 if the total is at least 200 points
  • If the over/under is set at 180 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $70 if the total is at least 180 points
  • If the over/under is set at 160 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $60 if the total is at least 160 points
  • If the over/under is set at 140 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $50 if the total is at least 140 points
  • If the over/under is set at 120 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $40 if the total is at least 120 points
  • If the over/under is set at 100 points and you stake $10, you’ll win $30 if the total is at least 100 points

There’s also a time component to the over/under. Typically, the odds for an over/under will be set at even money for the first half of the game and then change to favor the team with the lower total. This is particularly beneficial if you’re betting on a game that will last the entire duration. For example, if you’re betting on the Miami Heat vs. the New York Knicks, setting the over/under at a total of 200 points will make much more sense than setting it at 180 points because there’s more opportunity to win big if the game goes over the allotted time frame. The longer the game, the more likely it is that the over/under will in fact be exceeded—and that’s when you want to be betting!

As exciting as the NBA season is, it’s no secret that the regular season is a tad bit bland. Between the slow motion, deliberate pace of the games and the fact that most of them come with a predictably low scoring margin, there’s just not a whole lot of excitement surrounding the regular season. Fortunately, with the expansion of props offered at sportsbooks, the excitement of the NBA playoffs has been infused into the proceedings. Some of the more exciting props include:

Over Under 2.5 Assists

In case you were wondering, the correct term for this particular prop is ‘assists’ and it’s found on the rosters of the NBA, WNBA, and the NCAA. As the name implies, this is the total number of assists—per game—that a player will amass in the playoffs. As a general rule of thumb, the more playoff games needed to determine a champion, the more assists will be generated. Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule. In the 2019 NBA Playoffs so far, there have been four games with over 2.5 assists per contest and the average amount of assists per game is 3.75. It’s safe to assume that the upcoming games will keep this trend going.

Most 3-Pointers

Yes, this year’s NBA 3-point shooting contest is being touted as one of the greatest tournaments in NBA history. From the beginning, the event was designed to be a tribute to the art of shooting three-pointers. The name itself is a mouthful and it stands for ‘most three-pointers made.’ Naturally, this was inspired by the fact that the majority of the shots fall within the arc defined by the three-point line. The contest consists of six games, four of which will be played between April and June and the last two in July. The first round pits the lowest-seeded team against the highest-seeded team and the winners will then face off in the semi-finals. In the 2019 NBA Playoffs to date, the Chicago Bulls lead the way with an average of 11.3 made three-pointers per game and the Los Angeles Lakers are not far behind with 10.5. Naturally, much of this can be attributed to the fact that the season is at an advanced stage and the game’s pace has been quickened. Nonetheless, things will likely come to a screeching halt once the playoffs enter its second and final phase.

Free Throws

Another exciting prop that you can bet on is the free-throw contest. Like the 3-point shooting tournament, the name itself is pretty self-explanatory: it’s free throws. This is the total number of free throws—per game—that a player will sink during the playoffs. Naturally, this is a bet that’s largely dependent on the fact that the season is in its second half and the teams are getting into their stride. From March on, there will be a marked increase in the number of free throws made—often by outstanding players who are determined to end the season on a high note. Free throws have been won by the team that scores the most points off of them in four of the last five years and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this trend continues.

Most Offensive Rebounding

What’s interesting about this prop is that, while it’s often associated with slam-dunks and athletic feats, there’s actually a much simpler explanation for why it’s popular: It’s because most offensive rebounds happen in the paint. In other words, the team that out-rebounds its opponent in the most games will win this prop. So far in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder have rebounded the ball effectively the highest percentage of any team during the regular season. Naturally, this is mostly due to the fact that they play a high-paced game. In the final month of the regular season, this will most likely come to a screeching halt as the teams play for spot in the NBA Finals.

With the 2019 NBA Playoffs upon us, there are a variety of intriguing props that you can bet on. Naturally, much will depend on your personal preference and the books you frequent, but it’s always fun to go against the spread and see what happens.