Sports Betting 101: What does it mean to bet an over/under on a game or prop bet

The over/under, or “total,” is the second most popular bet on the board for sports games behind the point spread. Usually the over/under refers to the total points, runs or goals scored in a game.

The concept is pretty simple: Will the game’s total points go over the posted total, or stay under? As a better, it’s your choice to choose one based on knowledge, or by buying personalized service selections that will help you make the best decision.

Example of How Over/Under Works

For example, if the New England Patriots are playing the Green Bay Packers, the over/under could be set by the sportsbook at 43.5. If you bet the over and both teams score 44 points or more — a 24-20 Packers victory, let’s say — you win the bet.

Example of How Over/Under Works

Betting the over/under is a strange experience if all you’re used to is rooting for one team.

If you take the over, you’re rooting for both teams to score. When the Milwaukee Bucks have the ball you’re hoping they hit it a basket, and then when the New York Knicks take possession, you immediately switch allegiances and hope they score. It’s easy to see why this can be a fun bet.

Most recreational bettors take the over. If you think rooting for each team to score every time they have possession is weird, try taking the under and rooting against teams to score for an entire game. There’s something inherently strange about rooting for nothing but missed baskets or turnovers in the red zone.

But, taking the under is usually a worthwhile bet because generally those in control of making the odds know that most people are more likely to take the over and shade the line that way. Betting the under can just be riskier but the payout can be larger!

Wait, There’s More!

There’s a lot more to know about the over/under action than just point totals. Many prop bets use over/unders as well.

A very popular bet is on whether a team will go over or under a posted win total. If you bet the Pittsburgh Steelers to go over 9.5 wins and they go 10-6, cash that ticket and you’ll see more money in your pocket!

Many single-game prop bets are over/under bets too. For example, a big football game will often have bets available on whether a quarterback or receiver will have over or under a posted yardage total. And then you can spend three hours tracking a wide receiver who has 60 yards when you’re holding a ticket for over 62.5. There are also season-long prop bets for things like Aaron Rodgers’ passing yards.

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