What Does Over/Under Totals Mean in Sports Betting?
Are you new to totals betting, and stuck wondering "what is over/under betting?" Essentially, over/under bets do not consider who scores points, but how many of them are scored in total. Because of that, you'll hear them called "totals" bets, since they refer to point totals, not margin of victory or results.
What is Over/Under in Kansas?
On each game, you'll be able to bet either over or under a predetermined point total and both options will have odds depending on how likely it is. Simply put, you're betting on whether you think more or less than X amount of total points will be scored.
In every case, the Kansas mobile sportsbook sets a point total and assigns odds to the two possible outcomes:
- The total points scored in the game will be over that set number
- The total points scored in the game will be under that set number
You then choose which side you like and place a bet on it. With that being said, you can also bet on more specific totals, like how many points will be scored in a quarter, half, or period. In addition, sometimes totals will work like spread bets, with the odds on both sides set to -110, whereas other times the odds will reflect one outcome being significantly more likely than the other.
Over/Under Bet Example
Let's use an example to further explain how to place a totals bet. If the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the Arizona Cardinals, you might see that your sportsbook is offering an over/under of 33.5 points, with both over and under-priced at -100. Remember, over/under bets are interested in the combined point total of both teams, so the bet hinges on the question of whether more than a combined total of 33.5 points will be scored throughout the game.
If you bet the over, the game must see 34 or more points for your bet to win. If you bet the under, the game must have 33 or fewer points. In either case, the odds are set to -110, which means that you need to bet $110 to make a profit of $100 (or, put otherwise, that you make a profit of 91 cents on each dollar that you stake).
In this case, you think that both teams' defenses have looked strong lately, so you decide to bet $50 on the under. Sure enough, only 30 points are scored in the game. 30 is less than 33.5, meaning the under was correct, and your bet returns $95.45 (your $50 stake, plus $45.45 in profit).
How Are Total Bets Used in Kansas Sports Betting?
There are a few reasons that you might want to place a total bet rather than a moneyline or spread bet. Beginner bettors might be enticed by the simplicity of this bet — no need to worry about things like the margin of victory, just whether the total number of points scored will be higher or lower.
They also give you some leeway, since you can bet on how you think the game will go (a defensive battle, an all-out free-for-all, etc.) even if you aren't sure who you think will win. It can also be fun from an entertainment perspective, since you don't have to have a dog in the fight, and you can just cheer for both teams to score points or not.
Finally, there's a good chance that you'll be able to find Kansas sportsbook promotions that will give you the chance to place special risk-free bets on lines including over/under bets. That means if your bet misses, you get your stake refunded in free bets. You also might see over/under bets with boosted odds, or other fun promotions.
How to Read Over/Under Betting Lines in Kansas
Over/under sports betting is pretty much the same regardless of which sport it is you're betting on. With that being said, some things are worth thinking about when you bet over/under since the strategy is slightly different depending on your sport of choice.
Here's what you should keep in mind when placing a total bet on each of your favorites.
NFL and Football Betting
The NFL is the most popular league for sports betting nationwide and there are plenty of sports bettors eager to bet on the NFL over/under lines. The strategy for NFL total betting typically hinges on how teams' offense and defense match up against each other. Let's say that the Kansas City Chiefs score most of their points from throwing touchdowns.
For example, if they're up against the Buffalo Bills, who you notice are leading the league in sacks and concede mainly running touchdowns. Because of this, you might expect the game to be lower scoring, and bet the under. Typically, NFL totals use over/under figures in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, depending on how high-scoring the relevant teams' games tend to be.
Over/Under Betting: NBA
When betting the NBA over/under, you should know that scores are often very high, and you will frequently see that the over/under is somewhere in the 200s. You might see an over/under for an Oklahoma City Thunder game of 221.5, which means that you're betting on whether there will be 222 or more or 221 or fewer points scored in the game. As you may have noticed already, oddsmakers frequently set totals to values ending in -.5. There are no half points in sports, so this just means that the oddsmakers have chosen to make it impossible that the final score lands smack-dab on the total they set (as this would result in a tie).
Over/Under Betting: MLB
The MLB over/under usually sits quite low, somewhere in the vicinity of 6 to 12 runs. When you bet baseball totals, it's important to pay attention to a few key details. Look at the starting pitchers, for instance. You should also pay attention to the anticipated batting order since that will certainly impact how many runs are scored. For example, there might be an over/under of 9 on a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros. If you take the over and the final score is 7-3 (10 runs total), your bet cashes.
Over/Under Betting: NHL
Totals betting on professional hockey can be very tricky since the games are fairly low-scoring. And if the losing team pulls their goalie late, your bet can disintegrate in no time. In the NHL, you'll often see over/under lines set at 4.5, 5, and 5.5. There is never much margin for error since there are very frequently 4 to 6 goals in a game.
If you want to bet on a game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Chicago Blackhawks for example, try looking into how many goals their respective games have been seeing in the recent past. But NHL total betting is difficult, so you'll need a bit of luck.
Over/Under Betting: College Basketball
With blowouts, comebacks, and other variants, NCAA basketball is a fun (if slightly challenging) market for total betting. Look out for potential mismatches that could impact the scoring, along with the results of any recent meetings between the two schools.
If the Kansas Jayhawks are playing Baylor, you might also look at how each of those teams has been performing, and how their major pieces stack up against each other. Also, don't forget that NCAAB games are much lower scoring than NBA games, with the over/under frequently hovering in and around the 60s.
Over/Under Payout in Kansas
Before you make an over/under bet, it's a good idea to understand how total bets payout. In this section, we'll explain how the money works when it comes to betting on total point tallies.
Minus Odds (-)
In sports betting, minus odds are assigned to the favored outcome. If one team is much more likely to win, or if one side of the over/under is more likely to be correct, you'll see that the three-digit number next to the bet displays with a minus sign, e.g. -150.
Minus odds mean that when you make a successful bet, your profit is less than your stake. With odds of -150, if you want to make a profit of $100, you'll need to stake $150. Similarly, if you win your $100 bet at odds of -150, you profit $66.67, for a total return of $167.67.
Plus Odds (+)
Whenever there's an underdog or a less favored side of the over/under, you'll see plus odds. Plus odds mean that if your bet wins, you'll earn more in profit than you staked in the first place.
If you stake $100 at +150, your bet would return $150 in profit, plus your $100 stake back, for a return of $250. If the odds are even — this will display as +100, EVEN, or PK — then your bet has neither plus nor minus odds, and the bet will return precisely what you wagered.
If the over/under ties — in other words, the total points scored in the game equals the over/under exactly — you end up with what's called a "push."
For instance, if the over/under in an MLB game was 8, and the score was 5-3. In the case that the bet pushes, sportsbooks like FanDuel Kansas will simply refund what you wagered. Typically, sportsbooks will avoid this possibility by setting the over/under to a half point — like 7.5 — rather than a whole number like 8.
Over/Under Prop Bets in Kansas
There's more to over/under lines than just betting on how many runs or points will be scored in the game. You can also bet an over/under prop bet on a total that isn't directly related to the overall score. This might include a bet on the total number of points in a given half, or a bet on the total number of yards rather than points.
Over/Under Parlays for KS Bettors
Parlays are an enduringly popular way in which bettors win big in return for comparatively small stakes. There is absolutely nothing to stop you combining over/under wagers on a collection of games, or as part of a parlay of different forms of bet, in an attempt to win serious money.
Over/Under Totals Betting Strategy in Kansas
There are a few strategic points to consider when betting the over/under. First, you're going to want to consider team statistics, trends, and analytics (the more information you have, the better equipped you are). Also, note that most bettors prefer betting the over rather than the under since it's more fun to cheer for points. Since this can influence the line, you can often find value betting the under!
Does Over/Under Include Overtime?
Be sure to verify the rules at the sportsbook you are using, but usually yes. Most books do include overtime in the regular score. That means OT is usually a big win for over bettors.
Defensive and Offensive Trends
Bookmakers take all kinds of statistics into account when setting their totals, so bettors should consider these when making their picks. If a high-scoring team like the Kansas City Chiefs are playing another high-scoring team, the total is going to be on the higher side. You may think the bookies are overestimating based on the quality of the teams and therefore bet the under.
Always factor in the pace of the scoring in the game when making over/under bets, especially if you're live betting. In NFL and NBA games especially, there are bound to be times where teams are scoring more, and then other times when teams dig in, play conservatively, and the game slows down. A big first half doesn't mean a big second half, so keep that in mind when betting totals.
Betting lines aren't static. If players bet heavily on one side of an over/under, the line will move to correct the imbalance. They'll make the side everyone is betting on less appealing, and the side nobody is betting on more appealing. That can be in your favor since one side of the over/under now has better odds than the bookmakers originally intended, and you can take advantage of that.
How the Over/Under is Determined
Bookmakers consider all sorts of things when setting the over/under. They take into account the offensive and defensive histories of each team, plenty of statistical analysis, and an in-depth review of the teams' previous matchups. They also consider the likely lineups, how individual players have been doing, and if any injuries might factor in. Operators might even factor in the weather if the sport is played outdoors.
Get Started Over/Under Betting in Kansas
Now that you've read up on the fundamentals of over/under betting, you are just about prepared to start using a betting site to place over/under wagers. You understand what kinds of totals you can bet, how the odds work, and the basics of totals strategy across multiple sports. Sign up with a sportsbook of your choice today to get started.
Over/Under Betting in Kansas FAQ
In this case, the bet "pushes" and the stakes are returned. Typically, sportsbooks will set the over/under to decimal to avoid this possibility. But in the event that your bet pushes, the operator will always return the full price of your bet.
Payouts will vary since they depend on what the line is. Plus money odds generate a payout that is higher than your stake, whereas minus money odds generate a payout that is less than your stake.
Yes, you can. Either with other totals or with different bets, even including other bets from the same game. Rules may vary from book to book in Kansas, but in general, bettors in the state can definitely parlay over/under bets
Every Kansas sportsbook site is different, so check the rules of your bet, but typically the answer is yes. Just be sure to check the rules and regulations your book of choice.
There's no one right answer to this question. Most people like cheering for points, so they bet the over, meaning there can sometimes be better odds on the under. But sportsbooks account for this, so it's not always going to work out.
Julian Miller is a betting analyst for BetKansas.com. He's an accomplished writer who uses his expertise to provide up-to-date analysis of the Kansas online sports and gambling industry.Miller is an authoritative voice in the Kansas sports betting space, providing trustworthy information on the top Kansas sportsbooks, betting apps, and promo codes for Kansas sports bettors. He is a one-stop shop for all things related to sports betting in Kansas.