Over/Under Betting – An In-Depth Guide

By Alice Soule & others on
Over/under betting, often known as totals betting, is a thrilling way to dig into the statistics of a match. The premise is simple — pick an aspect of the game and bet whether the total will be under or over a set bar.
On this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about this highly specific bet, including the different markets available plus a step-by-step guide. Once you’re up to speed, you can use our site to compare bookmakers and bonuses, sign up, and place your first over/under bet.
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Over/Under Betting Explained

The Basics of Over Under Betting

New to over/under betting? This market offers an incredible amount of depth. Rather than betting on the result or outcome of a sporting event, you’re betting on a particular event occurring a certain number of times. 

Take football, for example — the bookmaker will set a ‘goal line’ and you can bet whether the combined number of goals scored by both teams during the match will be above or below this line. Say the goal line is set at 2.5 and you bet on over. If the final score is 2–1, that’s 3 goals in total and your bet wins. 

But the number of goals or points is just the start. You’ll find a huge range of over/under markets at the best bookies, whether it’s the number of aces in a tennis match or the number of kills in a League of Legends map. Further down the page, we’ll run you through some of the top totals to bet on across a range of sports.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Over Under Betting

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Pros

  • Highly specific – Betting on totals can be highly rewarding if you’re a more analytical bettor and like to look at the numbers.
  • May offer better value – In lopsided matches where there’s a clear favourite, over/under betting might offer more appealing odds.
  • Range of markets – The number of match statistics you can bet on is enormous, especially in the most popular sports like football.
  • Bonus eligibility – You can generally use a free bet to place an over/under, provided it meets any minimum odds requirements.
  • Combine in accas – Some bettors enjoy adding totals into a same-game accumulator. For example, you might bet on Team A to win, Player X to score, and over 2.5 goals scored in total.
const-icon

Cons

  • Can be harder to predict – There’s never a sure thing in betting, and that’s particularly true with totals, which are often harder to call than the outright winner of an event.
  • Risk of losing – All forms of sports betting come with a level of risk. Although that’s part of the fun, be sure to gamble responsibly at all times.
Reading Over/Under Odds

How Over Under Betting Odds Work

When it comes to over/under betting odds, they look just like any other type of market. Take a game of basketball for example — Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers. The sportsbook has set the point line at 237.5, so you might see the following markets:

  • O 237.5, 11/10
  • U 237.5, 11/10

In this instance, both outcomes have odds of 11/10. The numerator, or left number, represents the amount you stand to win from a stake equal to the denominator, the right number. So a winning £10 bet on either outcome would yield £11 in profit, plus your original stake for a total return of £21. 

Some bookies represent odds in a decimal format. For odds of 11/10, that would look like 2.10. To calculate the total return (stake plus profit) on a winning bet, simply multiply the decimal odds by your stake: 2.10 x £10 = £21. 

Over/Under Betting Markets

Popular Sports for Over Under Betting

Totals are available on a huge range of events, with markets tailored to the minutiae of each specific sport. Take a look at some of the options below.

Football

You’ll find the most over/under options in the football betting category, with simple markets like goal line at full or half time, stats like corners and cards, or individual player props like shots on target, fouls, and tackles. 

Basketball

Point line is a hugely popular totals market in basketball. You can also break things down by team and quarter or half. Some bookies get really specific on leagues like the NBA, letting you bet on stats like assists, blocks, steals, rebounds, and three-pointers.

Tennis

Match or player total games are the most popular over/under bets in tennis. You can also bet on the total games in a specific set, and match statistics like number of aces, double faults, breaks of serve, and tie breaks. 

American Football

As with other sports from across the pond, American football presents some fantastic opportunities for over/under betting. Point total is the easiest place to start. But if you really want to get into the weeds, there are loads of player totals to explore. Passing or rushing yards, longest reception, total kicking points, defensive interceptions — it’s heaven if you’re a stickler for the stats. 

Esports

The sometimes weird and wacky world of esports presents some intriguing over/under betting markets. League of Legends, for example, allows you to bet on total kills, towers, dragons, barons, or inhibitors. Or take Valorant, where you can bet on total maps and rounds, or player stats like kills and deaths. A strong knowledge of the esport you’re betting on certainly comes in handy here!

UFC and Boxing

Total rounds won by a fighter is the most prominent over/under market offered at online bookies when it comes to UFC and boxing betting. There may be player totals available, like the number of strikes landed. You can sometimes bet across the entire fight card too, including things like number of KOs or submissions on the night.

Step by Step

Getting Started with Over Under Betting

Betting on totals is easy — just follow these simple steps.

Red Man Magnifying Glass STEP 1
Choose a Bookmaker
Our experts have selected the best bookies in the business to help you find your perfect match. Browse our comparison lists and click through to the full review for more details.
Blue Present Money Card STEP 2
Review Welcome Bonus
Check out the welcome bonus offered to be sure it fits your needs. Don’t forget to read through the T&Cs so there are no nasty surprises.
Blue Sign Up Download Phone STEP 3
Sign Up and Deposit
Click through to the bookie’s homepage using our link, and enter the required information to create your new account. Then, make your first deposit and claim the welcome bonus.
Red Man Playing Games STEP 4
Place Your Bets
To get started with over/unders, simply click on your sport of choice. The totals may be displayed in different places depending on the sport, such as goals/corners/cards in football, or the game lines for American sports. Add the selection to your betslip, enter your stake, and confirm the bet. All that’s left to do is cross your fingers!
Bonus Offers

Over Under Betting Promotions

Once you sign up at one of our recommended bookies, you’ll be able to take advantage of a welcome offer. And once that’s dried up, plenty of sites keep things rolling with ongoing promos for existing bettors. Here’s a quick preview of what you can claim.

Free bets are pretty much what they say on the tin — you’ll get bonus betting credit to use in place of your own cash. While you can’t withdraw free bets, any profit is yours to keep. If you’re new to over/under betting, a free bet is a great way to get your feet wet. 

Some bookmakers hand out odds boosts which can be used to lengthen the price on your chosen over/under bet. Essentially, that means you’ll get a larger payout if your bet goes on to win. Odds boosts are often for specific events only, but you may get a token to apply to a market of your choice.

A money back bet is an offer where your stake is refunded as a free bet if your qualifying bet loses. That makes it a great way to give over/under betting a try. Keep in mind you can’t withdraw the refunded free bet so the usual rules around responsible gambling apply.  

Live Betting

Placing In-Play Over Under Bets

In-play or live betting is an exciting feature offered at most sportsbooks. Here, you can place wagers once an event has already begun. If you’re not sure whether to back over or under, sometimes it’s worth waiting for things to get underway. Then, you can get a sense of how the teams are playing and make a more informed choice.

Of course, the odds will change as the match develops. So if you were planning to bet over on the goal line and players start scoring left, right, and centre, the updated price may not be worth it. As such, there’s always an element of timing to in-play betting if you’re looking for the best value. 

Staying Safe

Responsible Gambling

With any form of gambling, you’re putting your money at risk. While winning can be thrilling, the activity can quickly become addictive. Before you get started with over/under betting, be sure to set a strict budget in accordance with what you can afford and are comfortable losing. 

Need some more tips? Check out our responsible gambling guide, full of expert advice. You can also find plenty of support over at GamCare or BeGambleAware.org — if gambling is affecting you negatively, these sites are excellent places to get help.

Sign Up & Play!

Compare Over Under Betting Sites and Sign Up

Now you’re clued up on how to bet on totals, you’re ready to get started. Here at Compare.bet, our experts have selected the finest bookies around to make your search easy. Explore our full range of betting sites for yourself and click through to our detailed reviews if you need more information. Then, follow our link to sign up and claim your welcome bonus. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is over under betting safe?

Yes, but as with all gambling, there’s a risk you’ll lose money — be sure to bet within your limits and take regular breaks. You should only ever place a bet at a bookmaker licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. All our recommended betting sites meet this requirement, which means they’re beholden to strict standards around fairness, security, and player safety. 

How can I win at over under betting?

There’s no sure way to win at over/under betting — or any type of wager for that matter. That said, you can give yourself a better chance by doing plenty of thorough research before placing your bet. With over/unders, the things to consider will depend on what you’re betting on, but it’s usually wise to take into account recent and historical performance, location, any injuries, or environmental factors like the weather. 

Is it good to bet over under?

It depends on your preferences as a bettor. Some may prefer to bet on an aspect of a game where the final result doesn’t matter. It can also be a good place to find more appealing odds if the standard win markets don’t offer much value. And if you have a keen eye for detail, successfully predicting totals can be a rewarding way to bet. 

What hits more often, over or under?

There’s really no hard rule here. With some sports, bookies set totals so they’re even money, which means there’s a fairly similar chance of either outcome. You might also find alternative over/under totals to bet on, where one outcome will be more likely than the other. It all depends on the sport and who’s playing who — be sure to do your research for the best chance of picking correctly!

The people behind this page

Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check this page:

Alice is an Editor at Compare.bet, having joined the company from Gambling Insider in 2022. She's a dab hand at all things online gambling, from expertise in payment methods to her commitment to responsible gambling promotion. Outside of work, Alice is a huge sports fan who closely follows Arsenal and plays lacrosse in her spare time, to name just a couple of her sporting pursuits.

The following external expert(s) contributed to ensure this page provides maximum value, accuracy and insight:

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James is a betting and casino expert at Compare.bet who specialises in writing and editing in-depth guides and reviews. As well as producing copy for the site, James is instrumental in making tweaks that keep our pages at the cutting edge of gambling comparison.