A wager based on the number of COMBINED points/runs/goals scored in a game. A bettor must choose "over" (whether more points will be scored) or "under" (fewer total points scored) than the assigned number for that game.
Kansas City and Pittsburgh have a total of 9.5 runs scored in a baseball game. If you select the over, the combined score must equal 10 or greater for winning wager (9-4, 8-2, 6-5, etc.) If you select the under, the final score, including any extra innings played, must be nine or fewer. (5-3, 7-0, 4-1, etc.) Over/under wagers are also generally made at 11/10 odds (risking $11 to profit $10).
What are the key factors for over/under bets?
Before making an Over/Under bet, you’ll need to decide if the collective score will be more or less than the oddsmakers’ total and if you should make the bet now or later because the Over/Under might change.
Here are some key factors to consider when betting totals:
1. Focus on defenses
Sure, when betting on the total score, it makes sense to factor in the offensive firepower. But just as important is assessing each defense. Bettors will want to research the team vs. team defensive matchup as well as individual matchups. If there is a mismatch, that could lead to more points or goals being scored.
2. Pay attention to the weather
This is especially important in football, but weather can be a big deal when betting on totals. If conditions are bad due to rain, snow or wind, then that could lead to a lower scoring game. If condition are near perfect, then the over might be the better bet. Make sure to look at those weather reports before betting a total!
3. Pace of play and coaching tendencies
Other factors include the speed at which either team tends to play. If you have a game where teams are playing up-tempo, then expect more plays and thus more opportunities to score points. If a coach prefers to run the ball and control clock, then there likely won't be as many points scored. As you bet more often on totals, you will start to learn such tendencies.
What is the set total is a whole number?
Total betting lines are always moving, which means that they can fall on a whole number. This brings a push in play, which is when you don’t win or lose your bet because the score ends up falling right on the number.
For example, the Chiefs are traveling to the Chargers and the total is set at 54. If the final score ends up being 30-24, that would be considered a push since all points scored equal 54. The sportsbook you wagered with would refund your bet no matter if you selected UNDER or OVER in this matchup.
As such, some bettors may feel there is a greater advantage betting on totals with a solid number instead of with a .5 as it provides an extra safety net to avoid losing your wager entirely.
What if the game goes to Overtime?
Your bet does not change if the game goes to Overtime. Over/Under betting is just like any other bet where you are looking at the final score, whether the game ends in regulation or multiple overtimes.
With the extra time, the over tends to have a better chance if the game goes beyond regulation while the under is generally hurt by OT.