Over Under Goals Betting

paddy power under overs market

How does over under betting work?

Over under betting is the perfect way to mix things up when placing your bets. Also known as total bets, over under betting is most commonly applied in football but can be found in several sports.

The principle is pretty straightforward: The punter bets on whether the total number of something is over or under the line set by the bookmaker. The punter does not need to predict the exact number, just whether the total number finishes over or under.

Over under Football betting explained

Often in over under betting the totals come at 0.5 intervals. This ensures the bet produces a result and avoids tied bets. Rather than predict the match result - which is widely considered more difficult – the punter places a bet on a host of different events. The most popular market is predicting the total goals in a match and whether the match will yield under or over a given total set by the bookmakers.

The most popular goal margin from a bookmaker is often set at 2.5 goals. This means that if two or fewer goals are scored, it would be under 2.5 and if three or more goals are scored, it would be over 2.5. The punter doesn’t have to predict the exact number of goals, just whether it will be over or under.

Why choose this method of betting? It adds an extra dimension to what could be a one-sided contest where one team are strong favourites to win and therefore the bookmakers offer underwhelming odds. In this case, the punter could opt for a high-scoring affair with improved odds.

It tends to also be easier to predict on whether a game is likely to be a low or high-scoring affair than to predict the match result. However, the biggest bonus of over under betting is that regardless of the winner – even if the underdog is triumphant – it doesn’t matter. All that matters are the amount of goals scored.

But totals goals is not the only market for over under betting. Bookmakers offer the over under betting on a whole host of markets, including total corners, total number of cards and more – and that’s just in football.

Example of betting on over under selections:

While the concept is simple and straightforward, it can appear a little confusing when decimal points are introduced to total goals. So, it’s best we show an example of how it exactly works:

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund

  • Under 2.5 goals – 15/8
  • Over 2.5 goals – 4/11

If the punter predicts the total number of goals between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund is two or fewer, they would opt for ‘Under 2.5 goals’ at 15/8. If the punter predicts three or more goals, they would receive odds at 4/11.

However, the bookmaker will also provide more markets on total goals, from Under/Over 1.5 goals to Under/Over 4.5 goals. Here is the breakdown of odds for Under/Over 4.5 goals:

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund

  • Under 4.5 goals – 1/4
  • Over 4.5 goals – 13/5

As you can see, the odds are far more generous when the goalposts are moved. This is when a punter should use all the statistics available to determine the most likely outcome. For example, recent form, opponent, line-ups and defensive records will all come into play as the punters make their selections.

A great way to utilise over under betting is to include them in an ACCA, also known as an Accumulator Bet. As oppose to opting for match results in an Accumulator Bet, selecting over unders can drastically increase a punter’s odds.

If you want to add a tad bit more creativity to your betting, using over under betting in Accumulator Bets is certainly a good way to do so and is an extremely popular way of betting in football.

For example, here are the odds for each game to total under 3.5 goals:

  • Monaco v Everton - 2/7
  • RB Leipzig v Galatasaray - 3/4
  • Schalke 04 v Norwich City - 1/2
  • Bath City v Newport City - 1/3

However, if these selections were placed together as an Accumulator Bet odds of 4/1 are offered.

Often bookmakers offer multiples from a single game which might include several over under bets. For example, the offer may state: ‘Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund: Over 3.5 goals, Over 8.5 corners & Under 4.5 cards – 16/1’. Instead of a single bet on a match result, this can add a little more intrigue to a match.

In 55% of Liverpool’s 2018-2019 Premier League games, more than 2.5 goals were scored, while winning 79% of their fixtures. This made the club an extremely popular choice for Match Result & Over 2.5 Goals.

How to bet on over unders on a bookmaker’s website:

Over under betting is fairly prominent on a bookmaker’s website due to its popularity. There are two ways to access over under betting:

Match page: Select a match-up from the list of football fixtures and all the markets will appear. Over under betting tends to appear close to ‘BTTS’ (Both Teams To Score) , with numerous markets listed throughout, including: BTTS & Under/Over and Match Result & Under/Over.

This also tends to be where multiples are offered by bookmakers and the full list of over under bets are listed, such as: total corners and number of cards.

sky bet overs under
Sky Bet under overs markets

The above screenshot displays where Under/Over Goals is listed on Sky Bet. The bookmaker offers odds from 0.5 to 4.5 Under/Over Goal.

sky bet full time result & btts
Sky bet BTTS and under overs markets

A little further down the Sky Bet match page, multiples are offered which include Full Time Result and Under/Over Goals and Both Teams to Score and Under/Over Goals.

Under/Over page: Many bookmakers group the market together with a list of the fixtures. This method is preferred to punters who look to lay an Accumulator Bet and is the most common display from bookmakers, including Paddy Power, bet365 and Betfair. However, this will only show over under bets for total goals and not the variations or multiples.

For many punters, this is the easiest way to view the over under odds from bookmakers.

paddy power under overs market
Paddy Power Under Over Markets

The above graphic illustrates how Paddy Power – and most bookmakers – display the market itself with the games listed below each stipulation e.g. Over/Under 2.5 Goals.

The bet slip on the right indicates each selection for the Accumulator Bet and the odds offered. As shown, the odds offered for a treble is far more attractive – albeit, with more risk – than a single bet. This is what makes ACCAs so popular in over under betting.

Different types of over or under bet

Despite intervals of 0.5 being commonly used, Over/Under goal markets can be seen using whole numbers. When total goals for a match is displayed using whole numbers, the rules vary for pay-outs. For example, if the total number of goals in a match is greater or less than the market total, bets will be paid out as standard. However, if the total number of goals scored in the match is equal the number stipulated, bets will be refunded.

These are better known as ‘full ball’ or ‘on the line’ markets. The difference here compared to the standard 0.5 intervals is that you get your money back if the game finishes exactly on the line. However, lower odds are offered.

The beauty of over under betting is the sheer number of bets available to the punter – and that’s not just in football. Bookmakers offer over under bets on a batsman’s innings in cricket, a golfer’s round or a snooker player’s break. In tennis, this could be based on the number of games/sets won.

But there’s more! Bookmakers provide the chance to up the ante on over under bets by intertwining them with other markets, such as: Match result and BTTS (Both Teams to Score). Over under betting can also be limited to the first or second half of a match.

For example, Sky Bet offered odds of 8/11 for there to be Under 3.5 goals between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. However, for Both Teams to Score and Under 3.5 goals, the odds improve to 11/4. This is much the same when predicting the match result and total goals.

As you can see the combinations are endless - and this is the beauty of over under betting. Whether you want to add a little more to a single match-up with the amount of goals or build up a large Accumulator Bet with a number of different totals, over under betting allows you to do so. It is the pick’n’mix of sports betting.

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