Over and Under in Sports Betting

Aizat Chew
April 3, 2024
under over

Today, many bookmakers operate in the online betting market, trying to attract players’ attention by offering different types of bets. However, the most popular among experienced bettors (although newcomers are close behind) are bets such as Over and Under or Total Over and Total Under. What is this type of wager, what are its peculiarities, and why should you try the total in your betting strategy? You can find answers to these and other questions in our new article.

What is an Over/Under bet?

Total bets or totals are sports bets in which a player has to guess the number of goals, points, or other events that become decisive in a match. Accordingly, the total can be over (denoted as TO) or under (TU, respectively) than the selected number.

For example, when it comes to soccer, a player can determine whether a player/team will score more or less goals during the match. If the total is 3.5, then:

  • Three or fewer goals scored in the game will equal the Under bet.
  • Four or more goals – the total will be the “Over” bet.

Accordingly, if a team scored four goals, but a bettor placed the Under bet, their wager would lose.

In addition to bets on soccer, totals are available in other sports, such as hockey or basketball. In this case, the player uses the number of goals scored or balls thrown as a numerical indicator. At the same time, bettors can choose both individual and/or team totals, depending on the sport.

What are the different types of totals?

Most bookmakers offer players three types of totals. However, more advanced ones (mostly market leaders) allow placing the following bets:

  • Total total – a bet that focuses on the performance indicator and considers the achievements of both game participants (athletes or teams). Therefore, the bettor must make an accurate forecast, as any goal/point by an athlete/team can lead to a loss for the bettor.
  • Individual total – a bet in which only one participant is responsible for the outcome. That is, the performance of either a particular athlete or a team is considered. Thus, this bet type is safer. For example, with a total of under than 4, a 3:2 result in a soccer match will be a winning outcome (only one team’s performance is considered).
  • Asian total – a bet where numerical indicators are expressed with tenths (2.5) and hundredths (2.25/2.75). The calculation scheme depends on the selected indicator. For example, a total of over 2.5 (in soccer) means that a player or team must score more than three goals.
  • European total – a bet in which the number of goals or points in an event that can be only integers. The European total differs from the Asian one in that it is possible to return the entire bet amount if the exact number of goals specified by the bookmaker is scored.
  • Three-way total (or “3way”) is a bet type with the option to choose the “total is equal” bet. In this case, you can use only exact numbers (without fractions).
  • Even and odd totals – a bet type that some players consider separate, while others believe it is a fake sports bet. Nevertheless, some bookmakers allow bettors to predict whether the number of actions will be even or odd.

The way of calculating winnings changes depending on which type of total the player opts for. You should be especially careful with Asian totals, which have certain peculiarities and are suitable for experienced bettors.

What are the features of Over/Under bets?

Having familiarized yourself with the types of Over/Under bets, it is worth highlighting the key characteristics of these wagers:

  • Totals focus on the total number of events that will take place in a match. For example, it can be the number of goals in a soccer match or the number of points in a basketball game.
  • In total bets, players can choose whether the number of events will be more or less than a certain number set by the bookmaker. For example, a “Total over 2.5 goals” bet wins if three or more goals are scored in the match.
  • Totals can have fixed or variable odds, depending on the probability of a particular outcome. The less likely an event is to happen, the higher the odds for an Over/Under bet.

Thus, Over/Under bets attract players with their simplicity and the ability to predict the outcome, regardless of the win or loss of a team or participant.

What are the pros and cons of total bets?

We have already mentioned that totals are extremely widespread in betting. Based on the above features of Over/Under bets, we have prepared a table with the advantages and disadvantages of this bet type.

Traditionally, let’s start with the benefits of totals:

SimplicityTotals are easy to understand and use. Players can simply* predict the outcome. *There may be some difficulties with Asian totals at first.
VarietyTotals are available for many sports, such as soccer, basketball, tennis, hockey, etc.
Total and individual outcomeBettors can choose which goals/points to consider in a bet. The individual total is safer for beginners, as it does not consider the opponents’ goals or points.

The drawbacks of totals may include the following:

Limited variability of betsPlayers have a choice only between “over” or “under” (in three-way totals, there is an option to bet “equal”), which may reduce their interest in this bet type.
Dependence on accuracyThe success of a total bet depends heavily on how accurately a player can predict the number of events.
Emotional choiceDue to its simplicity, many players neglect analysis and may place bets on emotions. In this case, “Over/Under” bets become losing bets.

Total betting is a versatile and effective way to bet on sports that suits both beginners and experienced players who use particular strategies for this betting type. Therefore, it is unsurprising that this bet type is popular among players. However, to use totals successfully, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the strategy of placing bets – it will be the subject of a separate article on our blog.

Which bookmakers offer Under/Over bets?

I recommend 20bet. You can find my review and registration link here.

Other types of bets

If you are interested in other types of bets, please refer to the other articles.

  1. Goal No Goal Betting – what does it mean?
  2. Handicap betting: meaning and use


  • What does total mean in sports betting?

    In sports betting, the total predicts the number of events (goals, points, or other outcomes) during a sports match. Players bet on a specific result: whether this number of events will be higher or lower than a specified value.

  • What is the difference between total over and total under?

    The difference between the over and under is that when betting on the Over, a player assumes that the number of events will exceed a specified value. Accordingly, when betting on the Under, the number of events is believed to be less than the specified value.

  • What types of totals do bookmakers offer?

    Depending on the chosen bookmaker and sports, these total types are available: total, individual, Asian, European, three-way, and even or odd total. You can learn more about these bet types in our article.

  • How to choose the most profitable total for sports betting?

    To select the most profitable total bet, it is essential to analyze the statistics of players/teams, and the match context, and choose the appropriate total type. Even though this bet type is quite simple, it requires attention and restraint from the bettor. Emotional bets will not bring victory.

Author Aizat Chew

My name is Aizat Chew. I specialize in sports betting and frequently share insights on my website regarding gambling companies, wagering strategies, and online casinos. I have prepared a guide to the world of gambling. Thanks to my enthusiasm and expertise, I strive to offer readers up-to-date details and top-notch recommendations.