Over / Under Betting Explained

Over / Under Betting ExplainedWhen it comes to placing bets, most bookmakers have got their odds dialled in to the point that there is often not a huge amount of value to be found. As a result, it is not uncommon for punters to look for something else in the market that offers some value away from the typical bets you might find. One of these is markets is the Over / Under, which literally asks you to choose whether there will be over or under a certain amount of things happening in a sporting event. It is a binary market, which is to say that you’ll either be right or wrong when the result is confirmed.

Imagine watching a football match, for example, and thinking about whether there will be Over or Under 3.5 goals scored. If there are three goals or fewer in total then the Under will have been the winning selection, whilst if there were four goals or more than the Over market will be the winning one. The same thing could be true of aces in a tennis match, say, or tries in a rugby game. Regardless of what you’re betting on, the Over / Under market is one that asks you to figure out how many of something will happen during the course of the event you’re watching.

Over / Under Bets Always Use ‘.5’

Boxing match

When it comes to the Over / Under market, there is no circumstance in which the result could be a draw. That is thanks to the fact that bookmakers add a ‘.5’ into the answers, which is obviously impossible to get in the majority of sports. You can get half a try, half a goal or half an ace, to use the examples from the introduction. You can only get completed ones, so bookies add the ‘.5’ in order to ensure that they don’t have to give anyone their money back. There can be no draw, no push and no circumstance in which you are unsure about whether your bet was a winner or a loser.

The purpose of the ‘.5’ is to ensure that there is only ever one of two possible outcomes to the wager. That is to say, whatever it is that you’ve chosen to bet on will always either be Over or Under the selection that you’ve made. Bookies will usually offer you a selection of different options, with how high they go depending on the sport, the competitors and the typical average. If it’s goals, for example, then you’re unlikely to get more than five or six in a game, so it would be uncommon for them to offer you, say, 10.5. The same kind of thing is true of tries and aces, but there might be more points awarded in a boxing match, for example.

Types of Bet


The exact nature of the Over / Under bet that you’re offered from a bookmaker will depend on the sport that you’re looking to bet on. In football, for example, you will be able to find all of the following as Over / Under wagers, depending on your bookmaker of choice:

  • Goals
  • Corners
  • Cards
  • Throw-Ins
  • Offsides
  • Assists
  • Tackles

That list isn’t exhaustive either. If you can think of something that could be separated by using a ‘.5’, the chances are that there will be an Over / Under market for it. Football is obviously one of the most popular sports in the world, but other sports also have Over / Under markets.

In cricket, for example, you might be able to bet on the Over / Under for how many no-balls there will be or how many Fours or Sixes a match will feature. It is likely you’ll be able to bet on the Over / Under for runs scored by a player, or the number of balls that they’ll face in order to rack up said runs. It is often the case that the Over / Under markets of cricket are most lively during the In-Play betting period of time, simply because of the nature of the game.

If you are a darts fan, you can probably imagine the sort of things that might end up being included in the Over / Under market. How many legs will there be? What is the Over / Under on the number of 180s scored during a match? There are a wealth of difference options in terms of the Over / Under in cricket, so have a look to see which ones are the ones that you think you most understand and then place a bet accordingly. Do not forget that you can do research before placing your bet.

In essence, any sport that has a countable number of things happening can have an Over / Under market. How many rounds will there be in a boxing match? How many punches will be landed in an MMA bout? In tennis, you can place Over / Under wagers on the likes of the total number of points, how many double faults there will be and how many aces one of the players will score or there will be in the match in total. In all cases, bookmakers will look to add that ‘.5’ to the options in order to ensure that there won’t be a push bet scenario but instead a definite decider.

The one thing worth mentioning is that American bookmakers tend to operate the Over / Under slightly differently to British ones. That is largely because American sports tend to use an ‘Over’ line, which will be, say, 46. This allows for a push to occur, which is why British bookies try to avoid it where they can. It is why betting on the Over / Under in the likes of basketball and American football can be a little bit trickier than in other sports, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.