Over/Under Betting Explained

Let’s take a look at over/under betting. Punters have never enjoyed access to more betting markets than they do today. Need proof? Simply log on to the website of any leading bookmaker – such as Bet365 – and access the football section of the site. From there you will find an impressive list of leagues and competitions from around the world, including Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Champions League and World Cup. You can bet on the winner of these cups in the antepost list, giving you a long-term interest, or proceed to the matches added to each tournament.

Once you have decided upon your league – Premier League, for example – you simply click the link to open an array of relevant fixtures, either those taking place today or tomorrow, or games with prices scheduled for the future. You can look ahead to your favourite team’s next fixture, or jump into the cup final betting after the semi-final stage has been fully decided.

Now this is when it all gets very interesting. When accessing football>league>fixture you’ll see just how many markets are attached to each game. There are more than 200 possibilities open to you here, covering everything from the main markets to Asian Lines, Cards, Corners, Goals, Half, Player, Specials and Minutes. Recent developments have even seen bookmakers add a bet builder feature, allowing you to combine many bets in an accumulator from the same game, such as match winner, total goals, first goal scorer and total corners.

Research Pays

This all helps make betting more interesting and the increased number of markets works delightfully well with live sporting events, such as football. Prepare for the match by doing your research, pouring over results, form, goal scorers, head-to-head results, squad news and team gossip.

It’s then time to work through the mountain of possible bets, sniffing out the value and looking for a bet that best matches your research. If both teams have scored in each of the last five meetings of rival sides in the league, it could be worthwhile backing both to score again, either in a super single or as part of your accumulators.

If you go through the same procedure for four or more games you could use what you’ve learned to build a big priced multiple, such as an accumulator. Add four or more selections from the match winner markets, both to score, anytime goal scorer, or whatever catches your eye, club them together for an acca and for one stake you’ll get an interest across many different games.

The new Bet Builder, available at Bet365, allows backers to combine different bets from the same match, often called a same game multi. This makes watching live football a thrilling betting experience as you’ll find yourself cheering shots, passes, corners, cards, goals and lots more. It’s the latest craze to hit the industry and it has caught the imagination of punters who are rushing to make profit from the build a bet feature.

More Ways to Win

Another bet that is particularly exciting, whether applied to football or other sports, is the over/under betting market and this is one that also helps boost your enjoyment of sports shown live on TV. A high-scoring football match is thrilling, even more so when you profit from the occasion. A low-scoring match isn’t quite as exciting, unless, of course, you’ve predicted a slow afternoon in front of goal and profit from the drought while others are left bored with the play. More ways to bet means more ways to win if you are shrewd enough and looking in the right places.

Over/under betting can be applied to many different markets, but the most exciting of them is when bet against goals scored in a single match. The marks are placed at different numbers by different bookmakers and the prices reflect how likely traders think it’ll happen. The most popular mark is over/under 2.5 goals. That may seem strange to less experienced punters when first coming into contact with this bet.

How can you get 2.5 goals in a game? Many backers are creatures of comfort and like to stick to what they know, so may be frightened off before they even give the bet a chance. But, if taking the time to research, it’s certainly not complicated and is, in fact, easy to explain.

No Frustrating Draws

If the mark is set at 2.5 goals, the punter is challenged with betting on whether there will be less or more than 2.5 total goals scored in the game. So, two goals, such as a 2-0 win or 1-1 draw, would be settled as under 2.5 goals, as there has been two goals, so you fail by the 0.5 goal that’s put there on purpose to avoid draws. Punters hate losing to a tied bet and that would be the case if the mark was set at over/under 2 goals and the final score gave exactly two goals.

If you bet on over 2.5 goals and there are three goals in the game, for example a 2-1 win either way, your bet will be settled as a winner and you’ll squeeze through by the 0.5 point. Three goals is more than 2.5, of course, and it really is that simple. If the mark was set at over three goals and it was 2-1 to the home team, you’d drop your stake and be left frustrated.

Now we understand where the decimal places come from, we can really get into this bet and aim to beat the bookies using it. Search the past five or 10 meetings and come up with an average on goals scored. Then compare that to 2.5 and you’ll get an answer as to whether you should be on over or under. How the stats and form sit will often have a say in what the price will be in this market.

Example

Let’s look at an example over an over/under 2.5 goals bet. We’ll take a Premier League tie between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday 17 March, a fixture that was shown live on Sky Sports.

The previous game that season ended in a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge and that was the second meeting in-a-row where the blue teams of Liverpool and London ended 0-0. We already have something to look at. Going back a bit further and three of the last four has seen at least one team fail to find the net, while three of four have produced two goals or fewer.

That stat leapt off the page at followers of the trends and persuaded many to back under 2.5 goals at 10/11 with Bet365. The fact over 2.5 goals was also 10/11 at Bet365 was significant as, for the same odds, you had the backing of the stats and that was a major confidence boost to those with their money down.

You’re not limited to 2.5 goals either and, if the stats had said something different and been a bit less convincing, you could’ve moved the line up a bit for more of a safety net. In the Everton v Chelsea game, you could’ve moved the line down to over/under 1.5 goals, over priced 3/10 at Bet365. Under is a tougher nut to crack, but the rewards are bigger with the same firm sending out a chunky 5/2.

Move the line to suit, bookmakers offering everything from over/under 0.5 to 8.5. The latter doesn’t get used too often, as you may expect, FA Cup ties between Premier League sides and lower league opposition better suited to that bet.

Variants

There are many variants to the over/under style of betting, allowing backers to push their luck in search of a bigger pay-out, or minimalize the risk posed to their stake money, especially when building stacked accumulators.

As well as total goals over/under, there’s also match result and total goals. This is a trickier test, as you might imagine, as you are tasked with predicting the total number of goals in the game, over/under 2.5, for example, as well as which side will win the match. So, sticking with Everton v Chelsea, you could play under 2.5 and Chelsea to win at 17/5 with Ladbrokes.

That keeps you in line with the low-scoring trend but you’re having your stake down on Chelsea improving on their last two efforts vs The Toffees to nick a narrow win. This bet will see you paid out if The Blues better their hosts by a score of 1-0 or 2-0. A 0-0 and your bet’s as loser, as it would be with a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, or indeed a 2-1 win for either team. Again, you can move the line and play match winner and over/under 1.5, 3.5 or 4.5, picking the one that best suited your prediction as well as the bet offering a price you could work with.

BTTS and Over/Under

Another similar bet is both teams to score and over/under goals. Now, that’s also tricky as if you think both teams will score you are already looking at two goals or more. Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score gives you the option of another tight match but with one side nicking a winner, or even a high-scoring game. Ladbrokes had that bet at 5/4. Those expecting another 0-0 but wary of the fact one team could score a winner could lump their funds on under 2.5 and no at 29/20 with Ladbrokes.

Other Sports

Over and under betting doesn’t just work with goals and it isn’t just an option open to football backers. This type of bet can be applied to all number of sports and one of our particular favourites was to put it to good use in boxing.

A perfect example of how this could be done was with former world champion Wladimir Klitchko. The German-based fighter ruled the top division with an iron grip and finished his career with a jaw-dropping 77% knockout average, his record completed at 64 wins against five defeats and no draws. Of his wins, no less than 53 came by knockout and that convinced casual punters and boxing fans to bet on him to win by KO/TKO in every fight.

Research is All

Those who got greedy but didn’t put in the effort to study 6ft 6inch Dr Steelhammer’s form would go for the bigger price about him winning early, usually in the first five rounds. Although he did often knock opponents out, that bet was settled as a loser on many occasions as he liked to take fights into the middle and later rounds. Klitschko had been knocked out himself four times, so he wasn’t the gung-ho, all-action type his CV would have you believe.

That’s when doing your research and playing the over/under betting market came into play. Each of Wlad’s last three fights went at least 11 rounds. He beat Bryant Jennings on points, before losing on points to Tyson Fury and being stopped in 11 by Anthony Joshua in his farewell contest. Backing over 7.5 rounds was often a safe bet with Klitschko, while there was money to be made pushing your luck a bit further and shooting for over 9.5 or 10.5. Many boxing bouts are often seen as 50/50 match-ups, especially at the top level, so going for over/under rounds could see you profit without having to take sides in the fight winner market.

Over/Under FAQs

What sports offer over/under betting?

Over/under betting is most popular with football betting and applies to the number of goals scored in a single match, but it can also be used on other sports, including tennis, darts and boxing.

What if it’s a draw?

Many of the most popular bookmakers offer over/under goals at 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 etc, so this eliminates the chance of a draw. Some firms do offer three-way betting, over/under/exactly. With this market you can bet on a game to produce under three goals, over three goals or exactly three goals. The chance of a draw leads to a better price for each selection.

What’s over/under corners?

You can bet on the number of corners to be taken in a match and the line will be set at over or under a certain number. Again, there will be a 0.5 option added, such as over/under 12.5 corners to take away the chance of a draw.

Don’t forget to read up about other betting basics, such as In-Play betting, Cash-Out, Accas, Asian Handicap and more in our betting basics guide.