Over/under betting is a bet that can be placed on a sporting event whereby a bettor predicts how many times something will happen. The focus is on predicting game variables, as opposed to the actual result.
Traditionally, this will be the number of goals in a football match, the number of runs in a cricket match, the number of points in an American Football match or the total number of sacks or touchdowns an individual player will get.
Bettors can select whether the total number of points or goals scored by a team, individual or by both sides combined will be over or under a specific number - hence the term over/under betting.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona - over 2.5 goals
In order for this bet to be successful, there would need to be a total of at least 3 goals in the fixture between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Two goals or less would result in this bet being unsuccessful.
Juventus vs Roma - under 2.5 goals
There would need to be no more than two goals in the fixture between Juventus and Roma in order for this selection to be successful. Three goals or more would result in this bet being unsuccessful.
What can you bet on with over/under bets?
Although the total number of points or goals is the most traditional over/under bet to place, bettors can place over/under bets on all manner of occurrences in a sporting fixture.
In a football match, a bettor could place an over/under bet on the total number of corners or cards.
In darts, a bettor could place an over/under bet on the number of 180s in a match, while in boxing a bettor could place an over/under bet on how many rounds the fight will last.
How to read over/under betting odds
Over/under bets are often offered in half numbers with a decimal of .5, even though it is impossible to score half a goal or half a run.
By rounding up or down from the figure provided depending on whether you will be betting over or under gives you the maximum or minimum number of occurrences required for your selection to be successful.
For example, for an under 3.5 goals bet to be successful, a maximum of 3 goals can be scored, while for an over 3.5 goals bet to be successful, a minimum of 4 goals must be scored.
Is over/under a good bet to place?
An over/under bet is popular as it does not require a bettor to predict the winner in a fixture. The selection can be successful regardless of the result: it just requires a certain number of goals to be scored.
Additionally, an over/under bet is different from 1x2 related sporting bets, as there are only two outcomes: yes or no. When betting on the full time result in a match, there are three possible outcomes: win, lose or draw. With an over/under bet, a bettor has a 50% chance of being successful, as opposed to just 33.3% when betting on the result.
How to use under/over bets in betting
Research is key when placing an under/over bet. Instead of studying form as you would with a result based bet, study the goals for and against column in the league table.
When placing an over/under bet, using implied probability is a great way to find under/over bets with value.
For example, if bookmakers are offering odds of 2.00 for over 2.5 goals in a clash between Atletico Madrid and Valencia, this would have an implied probability of 50%. However, if you believe that the likelihood of over 2.5 goals is closer to 65% - perhaps due to the form of the Valencia strike force, injuries to Atletico's backline or Atletico's strong scoring record at home - then this would be an over/under bet worth placing.