The complete guide for Totals/Over-Under

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The complete guide for Totals/Over-Under

Totals/Over-Under Intro

Totals/Over-Under is probably one of the most played bet type amongst a fleet of others. The reason is not far-fetched. As opposed to the straight win option, the over-under option relies more on the total number of goals scored in a game to define the bet. In this guide, we will be looking at Over-under bets holistically, whilst taking on important subtopics to help you understand how the over-under betting works.

As exciting as this market may look on paper, one needs proper understanding of what to put in mind or you might end up firing blanks. Let’s go straight into more info proper.

What is Totals/Over-Under?

Over-Under bets are bet types where the bettor is expected to predict the combined number of goals in a game. The bookie will set a number and you are expected to predict that the number of goals in the game will be above or below that number.

How are Totals Made?

Totals are as simple as they come. They require a great deal of scrutiny and factors considered before the bookies finally come out with their odds. There are a whole lot of factors considered by the bookie before setting their Totals. Some of these factors are:

Form of the teams

Here, the bookie wants to figure out the answers to different questions like: Are both teams attacking or defensive teams? Is one team an Underdog while the other a Favourite? What’s their previous goal-scoring records like? For instance, you can’t expect so much odds from the over market when a top tier Dutch side like Ajax take on FC Emmem. Why is this? It’s simply because the gulf in quality between both sides is rather large and Ajax would be naturally expected to win and score goals.


Yes, something as simple as the weather could affect the outcome of a match a great deal because the weather could tell greatly on the players’ performance.

Competitive nature of the game

The competitive nature of the game could help the bookie decide whether there’d be more goals in a match or not. Of course matches in competitions tend to have fewer goals compared to friendly matches, because the teams seem to have a lot to lose.

The bookies also want to make profit so they want to ensure whatever odd they set is in their favour. In essence, the aforementioned factors will be carefully considered before setting the odds for the Totals.

Reading Over/Under Bets Betting Odds

Reading over/under betting odds is not exactly rocket science. It is as simple as it could be. You just have to understand what the over benchmark represents. Once you do that, it gets easy from there.

Let’s say you want to place a bet on a Premier League game that there’d be at least two goals in the match, the option you will need to look out for is the Over 1.5 option. Under the 1.5 option, in this case, would mean that you are predicting the match to end with one or fewer goals.

Different Over and Under Betting Markets

Let’s look at the common Over and Under Totals offered.

Over/Under 0.5

Here, the bettor is looking out for at least one goal if the bet placed is over 0.5. However, if the bet placed is under 0.5, then the bettor is looking out for no goal in the match.

Over/Under 1.5

Here the bettor is looking out for at least a total of two goals to win an over 1.5 bet. On the other hand, if the bet placed is under 1.5, the bettor is looking out for just one goal or less in the match.

Over/Under 2.25

If the bet placed is over 2.25, the bettor expects the game to end at over three goals to win. If the total number of goals in the match is exactly two, the bettor wins half of the bet. On the other hand, an under 2.25 bet implies that the bettor expects to have one or less goals total in the match to win. If the goals are three or above in the match, the bet is recorded as a loss. If the match ends with exactly two goals, then the bettor wins half of the bet and is paid half of the expected winnings.

Over/Under 2.5

This is like the Over/Under 2.25, where two goals or more implies that the over 1.5 bet is valid while two goals or less implies that the Under 2.5 bet is valid. Anything below or above that simply equates to a loss. The bettor doesn’t get to get half of the winnings if the match ends at exactly two goals.

Over/Under 3.5

In this case, an over 3.5 bet will be marked as a win bet if the number of total goals in the match is from four goals and above. Any score below that equally translates to a loss. An under 3.5 bet simply implies that the bettor expects the match to end with three or less goals for the bet to be recorded as a win.

Over/Under 4.5

Here, if the bet placed is on over 4.5 goals, this essentially translates the bettor is looking out for the match to end with at least 5 goals. While the under 4.5 implies the bettor is looking out for the match to end with 4 goals or less.

Over/Under 5.5

Over 5.5 is commonly the highest over option provided by most sportsbooks. If a bettor places an over 5.5 bet, then there is an expectation that the match will end with six or more goals. On the other hand, if the bettor places a bet on under 5.5, then the bettor expects the match to end with five or less goals.

The image below shows how the over/under bets are arranged in a sportsbook.

how the over under bets are arranged in a sportsbook

What is the payout of an over/under bet?

The payout of an over/under bet is not a constant for all types of under or over bets. The payout is greatly determined by the odds set by the bookmaker for the over/under type and also, the stake amount. The least likely over/under option to happen gets a larger odd compared to others. For example, under 1.5 will definitely have a higher odd than over 1.5. When you consider both options by the probability of the outcome coming through, it makes sense why the under 1.5 tends to have a higher odd.

Over and Under Examples

For instance, let’s say you place a bet on an over 1.5 option at 1.4 odds. To calculate your winnings, all you have to do is stake x odds = winnings. In any case, where you are betting on an over/under option like over/under 2.25, your winnings gets halved if the final outcome of the match ends up to be two goals.

Tips and Strategy Advice

A bettor without a plan is one who is bound to have a long losing streak. With sports betting, contrary to what most people think, only few things are left to chance. To maintain a satisfactory level of winning, you need to be more prudent and pay attention to the little details. Here we will be dishing out some helpful tips that will come in handy as you go about betting on over and under totals.

  • Study the Form

The form of the teams is the most important when trying to stake on over/under bets. It is hard for two low performing teams to score more goals to make an Over 2.5 bet valid for instance. If the form of the team is good enough, you could consider some over options. However, if both are struggling teams, then you may want to consider the under bets.

  • Head to Head

History is very important to help predict the future accurately. If both teams have played several times before, you could watch the trend of the outcomes for all the times they have played together. Doing that will give you a better insight on what to stake on. Sometimes, a certain team usually has that one team they struggle to beat regardless of their form.

  • Analyze the type of match

Is the match a competition or a friendly match? How important is the match? As earlier said, it is common to find less goals in more important matches. This is simply because the teams tend to be more defense conscious. So, figuring out the importance of the match goes a long way in predicting whether there will be more or less goals in the match.

  • Analyze the league

Different leagues have their goal-scoring differences. You can’t compare the goal-scoring potentials of an English premier league team to that of a Championship side. The difference would be definitely glaring. Coming down to Africa, the NPFL and PSL are notoriously known to be low-scoring and going with the over-market in such games could be risky than normal.

  • Study individual team goal stats

Is the team a goal scoring team? Are they bound of hoarding goals? When you can clearly answer those questions, it gets easier to predict the outcome of the game.

  • Wait for the Line-Ups

Sometimes, you already know the form of the team and their goal records, but a minor change as not using a particular goal scorer in the match or even the formation used could totally change the outcome of the match. So, there is no point rushing, wait for the release of the line-ups and see if the line-ups fit the option you have in mind.

  • Lookout for Injuries

An injury to key players of a team could affect the goal scoring potentials of the team. So ensure to do thorough checks about the fitness of your team players to decide if it’s best to wager on that game or not.


 Over/Under Totals is one very interesting bet type that has gained global acceptance amongst bettors in a short time.

Given how straightforward the bet type is, it makes sense why it would be favored amongst many. It is exciting to know that the bet type only depends on the total number of goals scored in the match.

The odds of the over/under option could be large or small, it basically just depends on the probability of that over/under type coming through.

The bettor is advised to do their findings before placing any bet on an over/under option. While winning is not totally assured, being privy to certain information would help make better betting choices.


What bookie have the best over or under odds?

It is hard to narrow down the bookie that offers the best over and under odds, considering that it’s a close competition amongst a bunch. However, top sites like and Bet365 have over time built a reputation of offering mouthwatering odds. So you won’t go wrong with them.

What happens if the over/under is exact?

For example, if you place a bet on a total over 1.5 goals and the final outcome of the match was one goal, the bet is lost. The only case where you still get to have some of your winnings even if the score is exact is when betting over/under 2.25 and the final number of the goals the match ended at two goals.

Can the over or under bet be found on all sportsbooks?

This option is like the win options, so you can be sure to find it almost on every sportsbook. The availability of a particular option is dependent on the traction it gets and as we already know, the over or under bet is a favourite amongst bettor across the globe.

Are the over or under bets profitable?

Yes, they can be very profitable. The profitability of the bet type is dependent on the amount of odds marked on the bet type and also the possibility of that bet option coming through.

What happens if the game goes overtime?

Whether the game goes overtime doesn’t really affect your bet. By soccer betting standards especially, the bet is decided after fulltime (90 minutes). Any goal after the fulltime doesn’t count. So if you had played a match under 1.5 and the fulltime score was 1-0, your bet is valid even if a goal is scored in overtime.

How many sports offer total over-under bets?

The truth is over/under bets aren’t only restricted to football games alone. Other sports like basketball, rugby, tennis, American football, etc. As a matter of fact virtually all sports include over or under bets. So long as the bookie feels that there can be a line for an over or under bet for that sport, they will provide it.

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