What Is Over/Under In Sports Betting

The sports betting market is dynamic. With the introduction of sportsbooks in Canada, information on popular sports bets is crucial. Apart from the regular moneyline and point spread bets, the over/under bets are the most popular. In this guide, we will explore the over/under betting in Canada.

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What Is Over/Under Betting?

The first step towards totals betting is understanding what over/under means. In simple terms, it is betting on whether the points earned or goals scored during a match exceed the number set or not. If you bet on exceeds, then your wager is an over. For an underbet, the goals or points earned fall short of the sportsbooks, indicating odds.

Bookmakers in Canada set a specific number, for example, 53. Canucks who believe that players will score more, i.e., 54 and above, bet on over, and you win. If you believe the goals will be less than 53, i.e., 52 and below, bet on under, and you win.

In a tie, for instance, your bet on the over and under is 53, a team scores 37 -16, a total of 53, then the chance is a push. A player receives the amount you wagered back. 

Over/Under Betting Explained

To learn more about over/under betting, here is an example of NHL betting odds.



San Jose Sharks vs. Florida Panthers

Over 7 (-110)

Under 7 (-110)

The bookmaker set the over/under odds for the match between the Florida Panthers and the San Jose Sharks by 7 points. Therefore, if the score for both teams is 4 – 2, the underbet wins, but if it is 5-3, the overbet wins.

The amount to bet is dependent on your desired amount. For instance, if planning to collect CA$100 in wins, you have to wager CA$110. The extra amount is to accommodate the juice or Vig, the amount a sportsbook charges to provide you with the betting service. The charge in most cases is 10%. But this can change depending on the team and other factors leading up to and during the match.

How to Bet the Over/Under

After a look at the Vig and the betting odds, here is another example. This will help you understand how to bet on different sports.

NHL Over/Under Betting

San Jose Sharks Vs. Florida Panthers

Over 7 (+105)

Under 7 (-125)

The totals for this match are at 7 points or goals. However, the Vig is different at +105 and -125. 

The difference is mainly due to the volatility of these two teams, and the number of points earned can exceed or reduce without notice.

Also, maybe players favor one side of the wager (under), and the bookmaker is trying to entice players to the overbet or vice versa.

If your win amount is still C$100, you may need to wager C$125 on the under bet but C$105 on the over.

NBA Over/Under Betting

Over/Under Betting Explained

To learn how to bet on totals, you must look at the popular sports in America, both north and south. Basketball remains a favorite amongst Canadian players. Thus, bookmakers in Canada provide you with the latest over/under bets.

In this example, betting is set at 239.5 points, meaning the over must be 240 points to win, while the under should be 239 points to win. Since the Vig is the same at -110, you only need to wager C$110 to win C$ 100. Such an over/under betting eliminates the chance of a push, where the bet lands on the projected number. In this instance, there is a guarantee of a win or a loss for Canucks looking to wager on the NBA match.

What Is the Payout on an Over/Under Bet?

Once you bet, the next step is to determine the payouts to expect. With sportsbooks, the amount you win depends on the bookmakers’ Vig or juice and the amount you wager. For instance:

Over/under bets of -110 for each is a regular occurrence. Thus, if you wager C$110, you get C$100 back in wins. If you are counting per C$1 wagered, you get back C$0.91 in payouts.

In another example, the over/under bets are (-120) and (+100) on the under. The juice indicates that the sportsbook is leaning on the overbet as a more likely outcome.

Canucks may have to pay more for a single wager with every C$1 payout; one must wager C$1.2.To get C$100 in payouts, players must wager C$120 for the overbet. 

How Is the Over/Under Determined?

Learning how to bet on sports is the easy part. Betting on a specific odd is the difficult step. The main reason is that many factors go into play when bookmakers determine over/under sports bets. These include:

  • Weather: Heavy rains or strong winds can reduce the team’s performance

  • Injuries or Omissions: Injuries on key players or omissions from participating in the match also have an impact on the performances of the teams

  • Previous game statistics: The team's performances in other matches before the current odds are set to determine how high the odds go. For instance, before the 2017 NBA season, the totals were 190, but as of the 2020 season, the totals were 245. Although, the number did drop in the 2016 to 2017 season to 210.6.

Over/Under Betting Tips & Strategies

Before taking on over/under bets, one must consider the various team features and aspects that may affect performance. These include:

  • Injuries resulting in players being sidelined, especially significant players like quarterbacks in American football

  • Team's position in the ranking system for defense and offense

  • The field on which the match is to take place is the team's home field or away

Checking on all these factors will help you strategize and create a winning bet on the points or goals scored in a match.


Over/under betting includes points earned by teams during overtime. For instance, 40-20 outcomes with 10 more points on overtime mean the overall total is 70. If your over/under bets were 65, then you win the bet. The same applies to points earned during half-time. Some sportsbooks offer over/under wagers for half-time. You can choose which wager to make after considering all the available options. 

Prop Betting

Canucks can also bet on individuals or teams accommodating over/under wagers. For instance, a stake of an individual player on how many points or scores one will have at the end of the match or season. 

Betting sites offer several prop betting opportunities. During the hockey season, some prop bets may include goals, assists, points, or shots taken against the goalkeepers. 

In NBA, prop bets include passes, rebounds or points, and many more. 

During the MLB, prop bets may include the pitcher's strikeouts, hits, home runs, and many more.


When betting on over and under, what do 0.5 bets mean?

A 0.5 bet means that the player must bet on the exact number of points or goals to get a win. For instance, a wager on the player hitting the home runs means the player must hit the home run at 0.5.

Do Canucks get to bet on live over/under wagers?

Yes, all sportsbooks in Canada offer live betting on all sports. You can stream the match and bet on your select total bet on any ongoing matches.

What does betting on a team total mean? 

This wager considers only a single team in an ongoing or upcoming match. The bet looks at the number of points a single team accumulates during the game of the whole gaming season.

Is there a winning strategy when betting on over/under?

Reviewing past statistics, studying the weather for the day, or checking on team injuries/ omissions, are betting strategies that increase the chances of getting a win. However, none of the strategies offer a sure win in any way. 

Do over/under bets result in a draw/tie?

The wagers can result in a tie if the number you wager on is the same as that projected by the bookmaker. For instance, if you bet on 51 same as the bookmaker projection, and the results of the game fall on this projected number. 

What happens with a tie in an over/under bet?

Drawing the same number as projections results in a Push. The bookmaker refunds or returns your bet amount to your bookmakers' accounts. You can use the amount to wager on a different match or choose an extra wager. 


Over/under bets are simple to make, yet, the results are volatile or dynamic. One match differs from the other, and so, are the team dynamics. Learn the strategies and how to make an over/under bet before joining a sportsbooks.