What is an over/under bet?
With over/under bets you bet on whether a certain number is surpassed or undercut. In this context more factors can be worth considering. The over/under bet on the total number of goals in football is definitely the best known form from this betting family. Usually the respective bookmaker provides a couple of numbers for one match and the sports bettor can then choose from this pool, which number will finally be surpassed or undercut. As you can see you always have a theoretical winning chance of 50% with this betting form. Here a usual example for better understanding: Let's take the Champions League match SSC Napoli versus Manchester City - the numbers refer to the number of goals in the match in this case:
More than 0,5 (odds 1,02) | Less than 0,5 (odds 10,50)
More than 1,5 (odds 1,15) | Less than 1,5 (odds 5,00)
More than 2,5 (odds 1,45) | Less than 2,5 (odds 2,60)
More than 3,5 (odds 2,05) | Less than 3,5 (odds 1,70)
More than 4,5 (odds 3,30) | Less than 4,5 (odds 1,30)
Bookmakers choose uneven numbers, because it's the only way to guarantee an unambiguous result. In our example we deal with two teams that are very strong offensively. Therefore you count with a couple of goals, but you expect Man City to act rather defensively at first, since they play away from home - and Napoli will also try to be stable on defense. You are also sure, that at least two goals will be scored and that you can count with a maximum of three goals. Therefore you choose an over/under bet fewer than 3,5 with good odds of 1,70. If there are really three or fewer goals scored in this match the bet is won. With stakes of 10 Euros you would receive 17 Euros in this case. With more than 3 goals the bet is lost. There are also more over/under bet versions that refer to the number of goals - you have a couple of options to choose from here too. Since they work according to the same principle as the afore mentioned example, they are not separately specified. These would be further options:
Number of goals 1st half
Number of goals 2nd half
Number of goals 1st half Team 1 | Team 2
Number of goals 2nd half Team 1 | Team 2
You can also find over/under bets in other sports of course. Among those sports are American football, basketball or tennis. They work according to the example above with the exception of not betting on the number of goals, but on the total number of points in football or basketball or on the number of played games in tennis. Here is another example for the tennis match Roger Federer versus Alexander Zverev: It's important to know how many sets need to be won in this duel. In this case it's two.
Total number of games in 1st set
More than 8,5 | Odds 1,20
Fewer than 8,5 | Odds 6,70
Total number of games in match
More than 25,5 | Odds 2,10
Fewer than 25,5 | Odds 1,60
What kind of over/under strategies are there?
One thing ahead: Over/under bets are similarly popular with beginners and professional sports bettors. Since they are 2-way bets, the risk is low, while the betting odds are quite respectable at the same time. In theory the chances for success are 50:50. You still shouldn't place bets out of the blue - the winning chances on paper shouldn't be mistaken with the probability of a positive result! You should definitely gather the most important information first. How is the current form of the respective teams? How did the recent direct duels end? Which goal average do the teams have? - a look at the rankings can always be helpful. How does the roster look - are there injured players or are players suspended? Can you make out differences between home and away matches? Teams often struggle to score goals on foreign turf. These factors and considerations should all go into your decision making process before placing a bet. Since there are different kinds of over/under bets, you can also follow different strategic considerations and tactics, that we want to present in the following. Let's stick with the classic of the over/under betting family: The bet on the number of goals.
Number of goals: consider average numbers
Let's dare a look into the statistic books: In the past two seasons there were 2,83 and 2,87 goals scored per match in the German Bundesliga. It looks pretty similar in the English Premier League, where in 2016/2017 2,80 goals were scored per match. Therefore we have a first orientation point regarding over/under bets. This doesn't mean that your winning chances are automatically higher, if you decide on betting on "more than 2,5". In the greater part of football matches two or three goals are being scored. But: In almost 50% of all football matches fewer than 2,5 goals are scored! The average numbers are most of the time being raised by a few matches with a great number of goals! Therefore statistics should always only be a kind of orientation for you.
Over/under long term bets
Of course there are also over/under bets in the field of long term bets. Many betting providers offer bets on the total number of points or goals of the certain teams before the league season kicks off or a competition like World Cup or EURO qualification start. Over/under long term bets can look as follows:
Will Eintracht Frankfurt score more or less than 45,5 points in the 2017/2018 season?
Will Germany score more or less than 25,5 goals in the World Cup qualification?
Such betting tips naturally need a certain foresight - it's important to gather information about transfer news or the draw beforehand. The right intuition and a portion of luck also play an important role, which means that you always have to count with a factor of uncertainty with long term bets that should never be underestimated. Additionally you need to have some patience, since you can't make quick money with such bets. On the other hand the betting odds are often pretty good.
Other over/under football bets
Apart from the number of goals you can theoretically place bets on every countable parameter. Among those are the number of yellow or red cards, corners, goal scorers or goals of certain players. The offer differs from event to event as well as from bookmaker to bookmaker. Just like with the discussed classic over/under bet it's always an advantage to gather important information and current news beforehand. While tips on the number of corners - independent of the betting odds - usually resemble a game of pure chance, you can get more relevant information regarding the total number of cards. Derbies in particular are often prone to a flood of cards. The referee also plays an important role in this regard. There are referees that like to show cards and such that hardly give them. Your bookies know this too of course and they will react accordingly. Nevertheless you can be one step ahead of certain betting providers with your considerations.
Asian over/under bets
This sophisticated version combines the two formats over/under and Asian handicap. The basic principle of Asian handicap is quickly explained: You have the additional option of cash back - this means that you can win back your betting stakes and you exit with zero. With over/under bets this option looks as follows: While the "normal" version always takes odd numbers, Asian handicap bets can also be placed over/under 3,0 goals for example. Following example: You place the betting tip over 3,0 for the match Manchester United versus Arsenal London. If fewer than three goals are being scored in this match, the bet is lost - if both teams together score more than three goals the bet is won. So far so good. In addition there is the following scenario: With exactly three goals you get back your total betting stakes. So you can already relax at a score of 1:2 or 3:0. With the cash back option the betting odds are usually a bit lower compared to usual over/under bets.
Over/under live bets
Over/under bets are particularly popular in connection with live bets. The market for live bets has been growing drastically over the last couple of years - so it's no surprise that the betting offer (goals, cards, corners etc.) and the quality of betting odds in the field of over/under bets are rising. With live bets it pays off to look for this betting form, since the odds in this field are very lucrative. With a good nose you can make good profits.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of over/under bets?
An advantage for all tactic foxes: Over/under are very versatile. On the one hand there are numerous versions like bets on the number of different variables like goals, cards, goal scorers, corners or penalty shots, on the other hand you can combine over/under bets greatly with other betting forms and use it in different formats, whether it's long term bets, Asian handicap or live bets. They are usually 2-way bets and therefore your winning chances are accordingly high, they amount to 50%. If you invest some time, you will definitely find lucrative betting odds. One advantage of this betting form clearly is the fact that you don't need to know the result of a certain match in order to win the bet. A good nose for the course of the match is often enough. It's often enough to have the correct tendency - for example whether many or few goals are being scored. The betting offer in this field is respectably too - it's growing steadily. Disadvantage: The betting odds for "likely" results are often very low and the risk factor is still pretty high, independent of how much information you gather beforehand. You can never rely 100% on average numbers and statistics. They may predict a trend, but they are not significant on a case-by-case basis. The theory is often turned upside down in practice.
Can over/under bets be combined with each other?
Of course it's possible to place a couple of sport bets from the field of over/under bets as a combination bet. What's not possible, is to combine both outcomes of one single event with each other, because betting providers logically don't allow that. To bet on both outcomes only makes sense, if you find betting odds of more than 2,00 for the same betting event at two different betting providers. Then you should strike - a profit, even if it is a small one, is a sure thing then!