Soccer over/under betting explained

Betting on soccer over/unders online is as simple as it sounds. All you need to do is select whether you think there will be more (over) or fewer (under) goals during a match than the number the sportsbook puts up.

Manchester City forward Erling Haaland. © Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK


Soccer over/under key takeaways

  • A soccer over/under bet (sometimes called a 'total bet') is a wager on the total number of goals scored in a game.

  • The winner of the game is irrelevant. For this wager, all that we care about in the number of combined goals from the two teams involved.

What is soccer over/under betting?

You may think a match is going to be very close, so picking a winner is tricky. But you’re sure, based on the offensive and defensive records of each side, that there will be plenty of goals. A sportsbook sets the total number of goals for a match. It can be or other events – cards, for example – but by far the most popular is goals. You then decide if there will be more or fewer than that number and place your bet.

If a sportsbook sets a total of 2.5 and we think there will be at least three goals scored, we bet the over. If we think there will be less, then we bet the under. Events such as corners, yellow cards and even the total shirt numbers of the goalscorers can also be markets of soccer over/unders betting. Over/unders can be as easy as the moneyline . But unlike moneyline betting, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, all that counts is how many times something happens. It’s also simple to add your soccer over/unders online into a parlay that combines several bets into one.

Soccer over/under explained

Betting the total in a soccer game has lots of appeal. Having a particular opinion on a team's offense or defense, and, crucially, how those compare to their opponents, can making betting on an over or under more attractive than the outcome of the same game.

Like any bet, it is about finding value. Often, casual or inexperienced bettors want to cheer for goals, and so bet the over. It makes betting the under in games potentially more worthwhile. This is particularly the case when it comes to high profile games, and those televised live, where more casual bets are being placed. As with any bet, bear in mind that different sportsbooks will offer different odds for the same bet, so it's worth shopping around if possible.

Team and individual players' form is key when making a bet on an over or under, but there are a myriad of factors to consider. Where is the game being played? What stage of a competition is it - will nerves be a factor? What is the weather forecast? There are plenty of data points that can be studied.

Soccer over /under bets can sometimes allow you to be more precise. You may not think a team is good enough to win, but you like their striker, think that they will score, and affect the total, even if their team loses the game.

How to place a soccer over/under bet

You can get the hang of soccer over/unders betting online really quickly. Check out the number a sportsbook has put up for the total goals in a match; this is usually 2.5.

The total in an over/under bet nearly always ends in .5 to ensure a result either way – there is no such thing as half a goal in soccer!

The market will look like this:

Total Goals2.5

Based on the odds shown above, if you feel this will be a high-scoring game, you bet the “over” and will have to stake $110 to win $100.

If you believe there will be no more than two goals, bet the “under” and again a $110 bet will win you $100.

Remember, $110 is just a standard indicator, you can bet any amount you like. Check out our Odds Calculator to see how much you would win based on your stake.

© Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
© Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

What do plus and minus odds mean?

American odds display a number, with either a plus sign (+), or a minus sign (-), preceding it. If there is a minus, then it is the favorite, whereas the plus indicates the underdog. A plus sign (+) means that you will receive winnings that are greater than your original stake, and a minus less.

If we place $100 on a winning bet at +110, will return $110 of profit and your original $100 stake ($210 in total). These bets lose more than they win. For odds of -110, we need to place $110 to win back $100 dollars on top of our stake.

Odds of +110 have an implied winning probability of 47.6%, but it is likely that the books have estimated the true chance at around 46% and include a small amount of ‘vig’ or ‘juice’ (how sportsbooks make their money).

A working knowledge of the odds is useful, but you can use the OnlineBetting bet calculator . to check on potential winnings. You can also convert American odds to fractional odds, or decimal odds (popular in the UK and Europe).

Why bet the soccer over/under vs moneyline?

In a soccer match, the moneyline has a maximum of three possible outcomes to wager on. In a match between Manchester United and Liverpool they are: a win for Manchester United, a win for Liverpool, or a tie.

In the same game, there are plenty of different over /under wagers available. The standard is over or under 2.5 goals. But most sportsbooks will offer markets over/under 0.5 goals. 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, often up to around 9.5 and above (even though it's very uncommon).

Our wager doesn't even if have to be the entire game, we could choose just the first or second half, or just the goals scored by Liverpool, not the combined total.

The important thing is that the outcome of the game simply doesn't matter. Wagering on the total amount of goals scored in a match means we can ignore who wins (to some extent – goals scored may affect how the game is played).

Another thing to consider is that your bet can win long before the game is over, and it can't be taken away from you. In a moneyline bet, you may wager on team, who lead 2-1 for most of the game, but who concede a last minute equaliser, ruining your bet. If you had bet over 2.5 goals, and exactly the same set of circumstances occur, you would have won your bet as soon as the game's third goal was scored and already be collecting your winnings.

Neither bet is better or worse than the other. Both require a bit of research, but there is profit to be made.

Soccer over/under FAQs

How do you bet the over/under in soccer?
Is it better to bet the over or under?
What happens if the over/under is exact?
Do over/unders include extra time?

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