Totals bets, also known as over/under bets, do not focus on the eventual outcome of the match like the money line and point spread do. All you have to do is bet on whether the total score of the match will be OVER a certain number of goals or UNDER a certain number of goals; this is the sum of all goals made in the match, not just one team. So if Arsenal 3 – 1 Manchester United = The total score is 4.
Over under bets have been gaining huge popularity in recent years because all bettors have to do is correctly predict the number of goals in the match and decide if they want to be under or over that number.
An average football game has somewhere between 2.4 to 2.8 goals per match total. In the English Premier League it was approximately 2.62 goals per match for 2014 and in 2013 2.8 per match. La Liga (Spain’s premier football league) it’s 2.58 goals per match by the end of the year 2014.
Oddsmakers usually set the line at 2.5 goals; hence over-under betting is also called 2.5 goals betting.
*Oddmakers set the over/under on odd numbers so there is no push or tie.
Totals, Over/Under bet – Premier League football example
Chelsea is facing Bolton in the third round of the FA Cup at home.
The odds of the game are not dependent on whether Chelsea manages to beat Bolton but how many goals are gonna be scored in the match.
The Oddsmaker has set the line at Over/Under 3.5 goals with the odds of being over 3.5 goals at 2.0 and the odds of the game having fewer than 3.5 goals at 1.1.
Over bet example:
Now if you bet 50£ on Over 3.5 goals then you will win the bet if four or more goals are scored in the match and you’ll lose the bet if only three or less goals are scored in the match.
Under bet example:
Liverpool is facing Manchester United in the finals of the champion’s league.
The Oddsmaker has set the line as Over/Under 2.5 goals.
Let’s look at three separate score lines for this match.
Liverpool 3-2 Manchester United
Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United
If you had bet for Under 2.5 goals then you would lose money if the score line ends Liverpool 3-2 Manchester United.
A Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United score puts you barely on the winner’s side with an Under score of 3.
You will win the bet and get your investment plus the profit back if the score line was Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United.
And if you´ve gone with the Over?
If you had bet on Over 3.5 goals then you would lose money for the final score line of 0-1.
The bet would be also lose if the score line was 2-1, and you will win the bet if the score line was 3-2.
Usually when a team like Manchester City is facing an underdog team like Burnley, bettors tend to bet on Over/Under bets because the chances of a high total score with Manchester City trampling Burnley are high. But oddsmakers know this and will set a hard Over/Under for the bettors.
Like any other betting format such as point spread and money line, Total or Under Over has its own risks, deciding to use it is totally dependent on the comfort of the bettor. Some bettors specialize on scores, other on who will win or lose and others on the players of the match.
Rookie bettors might try beginning their sports betting journey with Over/Under not because it is easy, but because it is simpler to understand than other betting odds.
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