Over/Under (Total)

Over/Under, sometimes called "Total," is a common wager type that can be placed on almost any team sporting event. The concept involves a fixed total, and has the bettor determining whether the number of points tallied in an event will exceed or fall short of that total.

Unlike spread or money line bets, the over/under proposition is not concerned with selecting a winning side. Instead, this type of wager is solely concerned with the collective numerical output of the combined participants.

An Example of an Over/Under Wager

Let’s look at an example of a standard over/under bet using decimal odds.

 

Spread

Total

Money Line

L.A. Lakers

+17.5

1.90

Over 228.5

1.90

Win

18.00

G.S. Warriors

-17.5

1.90

Under 228.5

1.90

Win

1.012

In this scenario, the over/under total is set at 228.5 total points. Over bets pay off if the two teams combine to score 229 points or more, while the under pays off if the teams score 228 points or less. The winner of the game has no bearing whatsoever on the success of the over-under wager.

If the over/under total is set as a whole number – for example, 228 points, as opposed to 228.5 points – and the total number of points scored in the game equals that exact number, a refund is given to both over and under wagers. Neither wager wins outright.

Some sportsbooks allow users to handicap their own over/under line, but the default line is always set to create relatively similar odds for both the over and under selection. The odds are not always equal as in the example above. Sometimes, especially for sports with lower scoring totals, like baseball or hockey, the over may pay 1.80 vs. 2.00 for the under, or vice versa. 

A consideration to make when wagering on an over/under line is that overtime / extra time / extra innings do count toward the over/under total. If, for example, you place an over bet on a baseball game that features a total line of 8.5 runs, and the score is 4-4, you are guaranteed to win your over proposition. Because the game cannot end as a tied result, at least one more run must be scored before the game concludes, meaning the minimum run total for the game will be nine.