What Does Over Under Mean in Sports Betting?

It happens all the time. You’re watching the game, enjoying the entertainment value of the game, and then all of a sudden, you realize the game hasn’t started yet and you’ve missed the announcement of the over/under for that particular game. What is over/under in sports betting, you ask? Glad you asked. Let’s find out. 

What Is The Over Under Formula All About?

Think of a baseball game that you’ve seen or followed. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably seen some kind of over/under betting for baseball. In a nutshell, over/under bets are simply bets placed on the total number of runs that will be scored by both teams in a particular game. For example, if a baseball game is started at 10:00 a.m. with the underdogs winning by more than two runs, people who took the over/under wager will be satisfied. In that case, the over/under for that game would be 10 runs.

Baseball is one of the most popular sports for over/under betting because there is so much variance in the number of runs that are scored each game. When people think of baseball, they usually think of a game that was close or went into extra innings. In those types of games, there is often a lot of scoring and there is a lot of room for error. So, as a bettor, you can’t go wrong with baseball. It’s one of the easiest sports to get into over/under wagering.

How Do You Figure The Over Under?

While most people think of baseball when they hear the term over/under, the over/under wagering can be applied to any sport. In fact, it can be used for any type of betting where there is an element of chance involved. For example, if you bet on a game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and you’re feeling lucky, you could place a $2 over/under wager on the total number of runs scored in that game. If the over/under is 8 runs, you’d win your $2 back plus $4 if the game ended up scoring fewer than 8 runs. So, in that particular example, you’d have a net loss of $6.

In many sports, there is a general feeling that the over/under is set too high. Especially in NFL football, where the over/under is usually set too high. Because of that, there is a lot of potential for making money on the under side of an over/under wager. Just look at the 2016 NFL season. Last year, there were 23 games that went over the total number of points scored. In those cases, bettors who laid the over/under wager lost money. However, in only nine cases, did the underdogs manage to cover the point spread and win the game outright. In other words, there was a lot of money to be made on the under side of an over/under wager in the 2016 NFL season alone. (Check out the betting odds here.) That’s not all there is to betting on the under side of an over/under wager, either. Depending on the matchup, there is also the possibility of hitting a massive winning streak or going on a massive losing streak. In the latter case, it’s usually not the individual games that cause the loss of money. Instead, it’s the accumulation of the individual game losses that result in a bigger loss overall.

How Do I Make Money On The Over/Under?

If you’re looking to make money off the over/under, there are a few different ways. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume that you’re a smart sports bettor who is looking to make money using more than one strategy. That being said, here are a few ways that you can make money on the over/under.

Use Psychology.

One of the simplest ways to make money on the over/under is to use psychology. Many smart bettors look at games from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on the surface numbers, they try to analyze the patterns that emerge from the game. Sometimes that means focusing on the underdogs or the home team, and sometimes it means looking at how the favored team performs in certain situations. For example, if there is a running game in a football game and the spread is small, bettors will often bet on the underdogs simply because they’re used to seeing those dogs run all the time. So, even though the math might point to the favorites in this particular situation, the smart bettor will turn to the dogs in the hope of tapping into that innate ability to run the ball.

Look At Special Opportuities.

As mentioned above, there is a lot of variance in the number of runs that will be scored in any given game. One of the best things that can happen to a sports bettor is to see a game that is close for a long time. In other words, a lot of action and a lot of points scored. In that case, the smart bettor will look for opportunities to make money because he knows that eventually, one team is going to score and the other team is going to stop scoring. So, even though there is a lot of uncertainty, there is also an opportunity for profit. For example, there is a team that is 3-point favorites in a basketball game and the total number of points is set at 200. If you look at the history of the teams, you’ll notice that the spread has been steadily rising and that the line has been moving closer together. In other words, it’s a perfect situation for an over/under bettor. He just needs to look for the right team to back. In this particular case, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks because, historically, they have been great underdogs and they’ve covered the spread more often than not when the total points are set at 200 or less. (Note: This is also true for games played in other sports.)

Look At The Trends.

When a sports betting market opens, the lines are set and the over/under is announced. However, sometimes the line moves after the game has ended. That happens when bettors realize that a game was more important to the outcome of the overall league standings than the game itself was. In those cases, the smart bettor will look at the previous game’s result and apply it to this one. For example, if the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals by 4 points and the lines for the two teams are now set at 3.5 for this game, it’s safe to assume that the Steelers will continue their hot streak and cover the spread again. In other words, the smart bettor will look at the trends and not at the line to back his team.

When Did The Over/Under Formula Come About?

The over/under betting formula was first used in the 1800s back when there was no NFL. Instead, there was only Major League Baseball, and the popular game then was the horse race. Back then, people would often bet on the favorite horse instead of the outcome of the game. For example, if a horse named Warbonnet was 4-to-1 odds, a person would wager $4 on Warbonnet to win the race. If he loses, it’s just $1 back. So, in that particular case, the bettor would lose $3 but it would be worth it because he backed the winning horse. 

In the late 1800s, people began to see the value in handicapping and analyzing games before the fact. That meant that instead of waiting until the end of the game to see who won, people could look at all the statistics and figures beforehand. One of the best books that is full of great tips and tricks for handicapping sports is the 1952 work, Inside Horse Racing, by William N. Scott. If you’re a serious sports bettor, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It’s a great primer for handicapping and analyzing games.

As mentioned above, over/under betting was originally developed for baseball. However, it was only used in that sport for a couple of years. In the early 1900s, football took over as the dominant sport in the United States. People began to see the value in analyzing and predicting the results of football games. That is how the over/under revolutionized football and how it continues to this day.

Which Games Are Most Popular For The Over/Under?

As mentioned above, in many sports, there is a lot of variance in the number of points scored. In other words, some games are going to be high-scoring affairs while others are going to be low-scoring affairs. When that happens, it creates an opportunity for the smart bettor. So, even though there is a lot of uncertainty, there is also the possibility of profiting from it.