What is over and under in football betting is a question we frequently get asked. The terms under and over refer to the two possible outcomes in a variety of goals markets that are available for most football matches from most bookmakers. The bookies will set the market at an agreed number of goals and you can bet on whether there will be under that many goals or over that many goals.
What Are Total Goals Over/Under Markets?
Bookmakers offer a variety of popular betting markets for most matches in the world’s biggest leagues, such as the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the German Bundesliga, and Ligue 1. One of the most popular markets is the total goals over/under markets.
Bookmakers tend to set a variety of thresholds, starting at 0.5 goals and increasing to as high as 8.5 goals. In between those, of course, you have 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, and 7.5 goals. You can pick any of those thresholds and bet whether you think there will be over or under that many goals.
Normally, over/under 2.5 goals is the threshold at which the prices either side are the closest to each other. However, this will depend on how the two teams normally perform. Two low-scoring teams may be more closely paired in the over/under 1.5 goals market, while high-scoring teams may be more closely matched in the over/under 3.5 goals market.
Examples Of Total Goals Over/Under Goals Markets
Let’s use a hypothetical match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge as the basis for our total goals over/under examples.
Both teams are both capable of scoring goals, and their combined matches average 2.7 goals a game. The bookmaker price-up over 2.5 goals as the slight favourite at odds of 7/10 (1.70), with under 2.5 goals available at 5/4 (2.25).
If you bet £10 on over 2.5 goals at 7/10, your return will be £17 (£7 winnings + £10 stake)
If you bet £10 on under 2.5 goals at 5/4, your return will be £22.50 (£12.50 winnings + £10 stake)
These odds may not sound too exciting, but many professional football punters make a long-term profit by regularly picking winners at these kinds of odds.
If you want bigger odds, then you need to take a bigger chance on there being less or more goals in the game and betting on a different threshold.
For example, the odds for under 1.5 goals in the Chelsea Liverpool match would, typically, be around 7/2 (4.50), with over 1.5 goals being just 1/5 (1.20)
But if you think there might be four goals or more, you could bet on there being more than 3.5 goals, for which you would probably get around 7/4 (2.75), while under 3.5 goals would be just 1/2 (1.50).
If you think the game might end 0-0, you could bet on over/under 0.5 goals at 12/1 (13.00). If you think the match could be a real goal fest, typical prices may be over 4.5 goals 4/1 (5.00), over 5.5 goals 9/1 (10.00), over 6.5 goals 20/1 (21.00), over 7.5 goals 50/1 (51.00), and over 8.5 goals 100/1 (101.00).
Should I Bet On Total Goals Over/Under Markets?
The outright winner markets are still the most popular football betting markets, but how often do you look at a match and think it’s impossible to pick the winner. This is when you should consider exploring other football markets such as the total goals over/under markets.
Let’s say you check back through Chelsea vs Liverpool head-to-heads and discover that in the last six seasons, Chelsea have won two of their home games against Liverpool, Liverpool have won two, and there have been two draws. Unless you’ve got a big reason to think that one side has a significant advantage this time, betting on the outright winner market is fraught with potential pitfalls.
But imagine you look at the scores of those six matches and discover that there have been over 2.5 goals in four of those six matches. Now that’s an angle you might want to exploit by betting on the over/under 2.5 goals market.
Are There Any Other Types Of Over/Under Markets?
Yes, there are other varieties of over/under markets on football betting. Another popular over/under market in football is match result and total over/under goals. These bookies again set thresholds for these markets, with a typical example being 2.5 goals, but each market has six different outcomes.
Using the Chelsea vs Liverpool match, you could have Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals, Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals, Liverpool to win and under 2.5 goals, Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals, a draw and under 2.5 goals, and a draw and over 2.5 goals. Odds will vary according to how well matched the two teams are but the rewards for picking this type of double result are rewarding.
The other popular over/under market is both teams to score and total goals over/under. Using the 2.5 goals threshold as the example, you would have four possible outcomes. These would be: yes and over 2.5 goals; yes and under 2.5 goals; no and over 2.5 goals; and no and over 2.5 goals.
How Do I Know Which Over/Under Markets To Bet On?
The key to being a successful over/under punter is to always find the value. That means finding bets that you fancy but only betting when the odds are bigger than you expected.
Let’s use the last six season’s hypothetical statistics for Chelsea vs Liverpool. In four of those matches, there have been over 2.5 goals. That suggests if you bet on over 2.5 goals, you’d need to be right 2 out of every three times to break-even.
But if you placed bets on three games in which the bookies were willing to offer 7/10 about that there being over 2.5 goals, and that was the result in two games, you would make a profit.
That’s because your three bets would cost you a total of £30 but, as you would get £17 back for each of your winning bets, your total return would be £34. That £4 profit does not sound much but it does represent a significant 13.33% return on investment, massively more than any banks or building societies are paying.
Of course, you can continue to invest week in week out and you only need to win £4 eight times to more than double your investment. Also, professional football punters bet in much bigger stakes so, while there return on investment may be the same, their profits are much higher.
How Do I Pick Winners In Over/Under Football Betting?
Like in any form of betting, if you’re going to pick your own winners, you need to spend a lot of time studying statistics and form. You need to be able to analyse this form and apply your findings by picking the best markets to bet in. This is true of all football betting, including over/under betting.
Sometimes, it’s also not enough to simply apply statistics such as in our hypothetical Chelsea vs Liverpool example. You also need to consider how teams may have changed since they last played. That may include managerial changes, injuries, or an upturn or downturn in form. This information may add weight to your theory to place a bet or discourage you.
What Do I Do if I’m Rubbish At Picking Football Winners?
If picking football winners isn’t one of your best skills, but you’d still love to make a profit on football, Betting Gods will be happy to help. You can follow our free football tips from our professional punters and other key members of our Betting Gods team.
Our professional football tipsters also offer their subscription services at very reasonable monthly rates. Subscribing to your favourite football tipsters means you’ll get full access to all their tips. You’ll also be given advice about staking and using a betting bank.
We hope that’s answered your question, what is over and under in football betting. If you’d like more advice about football betting, feel free to check out all the free-to-read articles on the Betting Gods blog. Happy punting!