How to Understand the Over and Under Odds in Betting

The over and under odds are used in gaming for measuring the amount of winning and losing in relation to the amount of betting. When you place a bet on an NFL game, for example, you are typically placing a bet on whether the game’s total points will be more or less than the betting line. If you bet on Arizona, you are implying that you think the total points scored by the home team will be more or less than the betting line. If the total points are more than the line, you win. If they are less than the line, you lose. It’s that simple.

The over and under are two ways of measuring the same concept, but they have different applications. Typically, the over odds are used in sportsbooks or online casinos to measure expected wins versus losses. The under odds are usually found in horse or dog racing where they are used to determine the exact odds for each horse or dog. In other words, if you bet on horse B, you are getting B+1 for a win, or B-1 for a loss.

What Is an Over Odd?

Odds are simply the chances of a particular event occurring. If you bet on the Cubs in the World Series and they win the championship, your winnings will be based on the bet you made. If you bet on them in the regular season and they make the playoffs, you are still eligible to win. It’s when you place a wager on a team you don’t support that you run into problems. For example, if you bet on the Red Sox in the World Series and they win, you will still be paid the full amount you originally placed on the bet. There is no tax on winnings from wagering in sports, but there is a tax on winnings from wagering in other countries.

If you look at a football or basketball betting line, you will see the over and under mentioned next to each other. This is a shorthand way of saying that the total points in the game will be more or less than the betting line. You don’t have to understand probability or statistical analysis to know what these numbers mean. Just know that if the under is greater than the over, you are betting on the plus side of the equation and if the over is greater than the under, you are betting on the minus side. In most cases, the under will be greater than the over so you should always check to see which is which.

The over and under odds can be confusing when you first encounter them, but once you begin to understand how they work, they are actually quite simple. When you have a clear picture of what these numbers mean, you will be able to make better informed wagers and maximize your winnings. If you want to learn more, here are some great books that would be worth adding to your reading list:

Understanding Probability

If you are looking to really understand betting, then you need to start by reading up on probability. There are four basic concepts that every gambler should understand:

  • The Law of Large Numbers: This states that the more times you place a wager, the more you will learn about what is going on in the game. If you place 100 bets over the course of 20 years, you will know more about games than if you placed a single bet. This is because there is a law of large numbers that says the more data you have, the more you will learn.
  • The Law of Small Numbers: This is similar to the law of large numbers, but it applies to small samples. If you bet on three games this year and all three of the games went in your favor, you would still win the bet. The Law of Small Numbers allows you to gain more knowledge from smaller samples.
  • The Law of Small Samples: This is similar to the law of large numbers, but it only applies to individual outcomes and not to the entire sample. So if you bet on three straight NFL games and won each time, you would still win the bet, but you wouldn’t know whether or not this was a fluke.
  • Corner Cases: These are bets that you make because you think the results will be highly unusual. For example, you might think that the Cubs will win the World Series because they are in the highly unlikely event of a three-way tie for the division title. In these situations, you are taking a huge risk because you think the odds are against you, but you might also end up being right. Sometimes these bets pay off and sometimes they don’t, but you cannot determine this without taking the risk. For this reason, most casinos and sportsbooks will not allow these types of bets because they are too risky.

These four laws are the foundation of probability and they can help you make better informed decisions when placing wagers. You should also understand what is meant by the word probability. Many people think that when you place a wager that the result will be either way or something in between. While this may be true for a few specific bets, in general, the odds will lie somewhere in between the over and under odds. For example, if you backed the underdogs in the Super Bowl, you might win or lose, but the odds would most probably be somewhere in between. This is because there is a degree of uncertainty attached to every prediction, no matter how accurate you might be.

The History of Odds

If you really want to understand the origin of the over and under odds, then you need to look no further than the history books. Betting has been around since ancient times and the first casinos were actually built in the shape of a triangle, which is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. In the 1800s, bookmakers got together to form the Professional Footballers’ Association in order to advocate for player’s rights and the collection of betting data for statistical analysis. Since that time, football and other sports have used odds to determine the results of games.

While the modern day meanings of the over and under odds may be a bit difficult to grasp, once you have a basic understanding of what they are and how they work, everything else will fall into place.