What Does Over/Under Mean? How To Bet Totals In Kentucky

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane
How to Bet Totals in Kentucky

In sports betting, you can bet on which team is going to win the game. You can also bet on the total points scored in the game, and if you are a fan of points scored in basketball or football, just like in Super Bowl LVI between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, betting totals may be right for you. 

Legal sports betting is coming to Kentucky and sports fans that may be new to gambling, betting totals is a simple wager to get in on the action. Kentucky sports betting will officially go live at retail racetracks on September 7, 2023, with Kentucky sportsbook mobile apps following online on September, 28, 2023, so now is a perfect time to learn everything there is to know about totals betting.

Sportsbooks will likely offer special Kentucky sports betting promos that you can put towards over/under bets across multiple sports.

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Best Choice
Caesars Sports
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BetMGM.com for Ts & Cs. Must be 21+ to wager. KY only. New Customer Offer (If applicable). All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
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Must be 21+ and present in KY. Bonus issued in non-withdrawable bonus bets that expires 30 days after FanDuel accepts its first real money sports wager in KY (β€œGo Live Date”). Unique user identity verification required. Offer ends on the Go Live Date. Restrictions apply. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
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This offer is available to customers residing in Kentucky that sign up from 6:00am ET on August 28, 2023. Must be aged 18+ and fully verified for identity by bet365. To qualify for this offer, sign up during the qualifying sign-up period and receive $10 in Bonus Bets for each touchdown scored in the Lions vs. Packers game, taking place on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The maximum amount of Bonus Bets that can be claimed for this offer is $50. To claim your Bonus Bets, go to the Account menu, choose My Offers and click Claim.

What You Will Learn:

  1. βœ… What does over/under mean?
  2. βœ… Types of over/under totals bets
  3. βœ… Key Factors to Consider in Over/Under Totals Betting
  4. βœ… Advanced Strategies for Over/Under Totals Betting
  5. βœ… Top Sports for Over/Under Totals Betting
  6. ❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What does Over/Under Mean?

Over/Under bets, as known as total bets, is a type of wager where you are betting on whether or not the final score of the event will have more points scored or fewer points scored based on the number the sportsbook makes.

What's more exciting than a high-scoring game? If you are anticipating an NFL game with a ton of offense and minimal defense, you would look to bet on the over. Conversely, if you are watching an MLB game and you expect both pitchers to pitch really well, you'd look for an under bet in that scenario.

 
Must be 21+ and present in KY. Bonus issued in non-withdrawable bonus bets that expires 30 days after FanDuel accepts its first real money sports wager in KY (β€œGo Live Date”). Unique user identity verification required. Offer ends on the Go Live Date. Restrictions apply. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

How is the Over/Under Determined?

There are a wide variety of factors that sportsbooks use to set the line for a total. 

For example, if the two teams in an event have high offensive efficiency metrics and low defensive efficiency metrics, the total will be set higher. In Super Bowl LVI, both the Eagles and the Chiefs had fantastic offenses, and the total was set at 51 points, and the two teams went flying over this total. On the other hand, if the teams are known to be better with defensive efficiency and lack offensive firepower, the total points set by oddsmakers will be lower.

How to Read Over/Under Odds

When you open any KY sportsbook app or head to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, you will see the point spread, the moneyline, and the total points listed for each event. 

For example, you may see a football game listed at Kansas City Chiefs -3, -150 on the moneyline, and O/U 51.5. The 51.5 at the end is the over/under. You then bet if you think there will be more points scored when the game ends or fewer points scored when the game ends.

How to Bet the Over/Under

  1. βœ… Register for the sportsbook of your choice (or multiple sportsbooks πŸ˜‰)
  2. βœ… Navigate to the game that you're interested in betting the total
  3. βœ… Take note of the total points that the bookmaker is giving the game
  4. βœ… Decide if you think the total points scored in this game will go over the number listed for the total points in the game.
  5. βœ… Choose "over" if you believe there will be more points scored and select "under" if you think less points will be scored.

Over/Unders are a very standard bet. All major US sports betting markets have over-under betting, so you can find the sporting event you like and bet over or under. 

What is the Payout on an Over/Under Bet?

The payout of an over/under bet depends on the odds of the bet listed by the sportsbook. Generally, the odds of an over/under bet on most markets is between even money and -120. 

It is probably a safe bet to expect all of the major sportsbooks to offer betting promotions in Kentucky to entice you to register with their sportsbook. Make sure you check the terms and conditions before you wager and maximize your payouts.

More Sports Betting Guides:

Types of Over/Under Totals Bets

Totals bets are a fun and simple way to get in on the action because it is very straightforward. There are a few different types of total bets to consider and here's what you need to know. 

Types of Totals Bets

  • ⭐️ Standard Totals Bet
  • ⭐️ Team Totals Bet
  • ⭐️ Alternative Totals Bet
  • ⭐️ Quarter/Period Totals Bet
  • ⭐️ Halftime Totals Bet
  • ⭐️ Prop Totals Bet

Standard Over/Under Totals Betting

Standard over under betting is betting on the total combined score for the entire game. 

For example, if the total is 210 for the Knicks and Celtics game, you can either bet that there will be more than 210 points scored or fewer than 210 points scored. If you bet over and the combined score is over 210, you have a winning bet. If it is under that total, unfortunately, you have a losing bet.

Team Over/Under Totals Betting

Team totals bets are a submarket of totals bets where you wager on the score of only one team. 

For example, in the Knicks/Celtics game, with a standard total of 210, the Knicks team total may only be 105. If you think the Knicks only can score more than 105 points, take the over, and if you do not, take the under.

Alternative Over/Under Totals Betting

Another form of a total bet is the alternative total bet market. These exist for team total bets and standard total bets. In these scenarios, you can choose to make the total higher or lower than the standard bet by either increasing or decreasing the odds. 

For example, if you think the Celtics/Knicks game should only have a total of 205, you can bet under 206 for plus money instead of 210 -110. Conversely, if you think 210 is sharp but you want action, you can take under 215 for -200 odds.

 
BetMGM.com for Ts & Cs. Must be 21+ to wager. KY only. New Customer Offer (If applicable). All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Quarter or Period Over/Under Totals Betting

There are total bet markets open for each individual inning, quarter, or period. You do not have to only look at the full game total. 

For example, you can bet on the Knicks to score over 25 points in the first quarter or if there will be a run scored in the first inning of the Yankees/Blue Jays game. These markets are generally less efficient, but they are also harder to quantify.

Halftime Over/Under Totals Betting

Just like there are quarter totals bets and full-game totals bets, you can bet on the total points scored for just one half of play. The first-half total will always be offered before the game, and the second-half total will go live during halftime, and those lines are generally less efficient. 

For example, you can bet on the Buffalo Bills to score 21 first-half points, then when the game reaches its halftime, you will see a market for the Buffalo Bills' second-half points as well.

Prop Over/Under Totals Betting

Prop bets are offered by most sportsbooks, and they are a bet type where you can wager on if a player will go over or under certain statistics in a game. For example, you can bet on either the over or the under for passing yards for Patrick Mahomes. You can even wager a prop bet on if the time of the national anthem at the Super Bowl will go shorter or longer than a predetermined time.

More Sports Betting Guides:

Key Factors to Consider in Over/Under Totals Betting

When looking to dive into over under betting, there are a wide variety of factors to consider. Below is a list of some key factors that may or may not impact how a sportsbook makes the total and how you should evaluate betting totals.

Key Totals Betting Factors

  • βœ… Team Offense and Defense
  • βœ… Injuries and Absences
  • βœ… Recent Performance
  • βœ… Historical Matchups
  • βœ… Weather Conditions

Team Offense and Defense

When looking at over under betting, the first thing to consider is how good or bad each team is on offense and on defense. However, sportsbooks know this information, too, so it is hard to find an edge by simply looking at basic defensive and offensive statistics. 

For example, if the Bears and Commanders are the lowest-scoring offenses in football with two of the best defenses in football, you would expect a low-scoring game. So would the sportsbooks, so if the total is set at 38 when the average total combined score in an NFL game is 46, there is probably not an edge at the number 38.

Injuries and Absences

Beating the sportsbook to information about unknown injuries or unexpected absences is a fantastic way to get an edge betting on totals. 

For example, if you see that Travis Kelce is not going to play, you could look to be another Chiefs receiver over on receiving yards because his targets need to be redistributed to other players. Say you read that Joe Burrow is dealing with a foot injury, and you know the Bengals' backup QB is not as good. You may look to bet the Bengals team total points under or the final score under based on this news. However, it is important that you beat the market to this news. If the total already dropped from 48 to 41, the under bet may not be in play anymore.

 
Must be 21+ and present in KY. Bonus issued in non-withdrawable bonus bets that expires 30 days after FanDuel accepts its first real money sports wager in KY (β€œGo Live Date”). Unique user identity verification required. Offer ends on the Go Live Date. Restrictions apply. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Recent Performance

A common misconception in sports betting is that you can get an edge on the sportsbook by looking at how teams have performed recently. While these things should be considered by you, they are also considered by the sportsbook, so this information is already priced into the line, and there is no edge there. 

For example, if two baseball teams are averaging three runs a game over the last week, the two starting pitchers are averaging two earned runs a game, and the total is eight runs, the under bet should be in play, right? No. We are going over how there are multitudes of other metrics to consider when over under betting, so simply using how a team is playing lately is not as indicative of how they are going to play in that event as it would seem.

Historical Matchups

Another common misconception is historical matchups are a great tool to use when evaluating bets. However, this is untrue. 

For example, say two individual teams play each other infrequently, and the last three times they played, the score went under the total. Say one of these teams has a new head coach or quarterback - does the fact that the last three times they played the game went under matter? No, of course not. Even if there is not a major change in head coach or an important position, every event is its own individual entity, and there are many factors to consider that carry more weight than historical trends/matchup data.

Weather Conditions

In baseball and football betting, the weather is a major factor in betting the total. 

For example, if the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Stadium, you should certainly take a look at betting the under on the Cubs game that day. In football, heavy winds and snow affect the passing game, so you should certainly consider betting the total points scored under or betting the passing yards player props under as well.

More Sports Betting Guides:

Advanced Strategies for Over/Under Totals Betting

We just went over some basic things to consider when evaluating total bets, but what about some more advanced strategies to consider? Let's take a look at those as well.

Totals Bet Advanced Strategy 

  • πŸ† Analyze Line Movement
  • πŸ† Identify Value
  • πŸ† Find In-Play Betting Edges
  • πŸ† Consider Betting against the Public
  • πŸ† Utilize Advanced Metrics
 
This offer is available to customers residing in Kentucky that sign up from 6:00am ET on August 28, 2023. Must be aged 18+ and fully verified for identity by bet365. To qualify for this offer, sign up during the qualifying sign-up period and receive $10 in Bonus Bets for each touchdown scored in the Lions vs. Packers game, taking place on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The maximum amount of Bonus Bets that can be claimed for this offer is $50. To claim your Bonus Bets, go to the Account menu, choose My Offers and click Claim.

Line Movement Analysis

Line movement is one of the most important things to consider in sports betting. The market is the sharpest bettor of them all. If you see an NBA game with a posted total of 200, then an hour before tip-off, the same game has a total of 197.5, that is not an accident. That means sharp bettors placed limit bets on under 200, forcing odds makers to adjust the odds and drop the total. 

If you initially liked the over, and now you see the market has shown you they want the under, I would reevaluate your position on that game and consider not making the bet.

Identifying Value

There are a few ways to identify value in betting totals. For starters, comparing the exact number of points for the total between different sportsbooks is a great way to find value. If FanDuel has the Chiefs/Bengals' total at 50, but DraftKings has 51.5, and you like the under, there is value in betting the total to go under at DraftKings. 

Identifying value is a very broad term with various applications, but the easiest way to do so is by line shopping.

In-Play Betting

In-play betting is a great way to find an edge on total bets. You can use the live betting market to hedge out of a pregame position, or you can identify value in live betting a total that you think is mispriced. 

For example, if you are watching an NCAA basketball game and both teams hit 85% of their shots before the first time out, the live total is going to skyrocket. Are these kids really going to shoot 85% for an entire game? Of course not - that would be an opportunity to live bet the under.

Betting Against the Public

Betting against the public, in theory, is what you want to do. However, determining which side the public is actually on is easier said than done. Social media is a great way to determine this. If your entire Twitter timeline is talking about how the Knicks/Celtics total over 210 is a lock, but a half hour before game time, the total is down to 208, betting the under is probably fading the public. 

With that being said, betting against the public is a matter of perception, and it is hard to truly gauge, so while you want to bet against the public, it is not an exact science.

Utilizing Advanced Metrics

Utilizing advanced metrics is crucial to your success as a bettor. However, these metrics should not be the only thing you use to evaluate how a team plays and how you should make any form of a totals bet. 

For example, sports bettors who follow the NBA need to be aware of advanced metrics like shot efficiency shot quality, the pace of play, etc., but sportsbooks are always aware of these things as well. If you are not aware of these metrics, this is a great place to start, but it is only a starting point.

More Sports Betting Guides:

Top Sports for Over/Under Totals Betting

All sports should be considered when looking to bet on an over/under. If there are runs, points, or goals to be scored, there is a total to be bet on. Here are some of the most popular totals to bet on.

Sports To Bet Totals

  • 🏈 NFL
  • πŸ€ NBA
  • ⚾️ MLB
  • πŸ’ NHL

NFL Totals Betting

Betting on NFL totals is popular and fun, but it is also very intricate. For starters, something you should familiarize yourself with when looking to bet on the total of an NFL game is which final scores are the most common combined score in the NFL and comparing that to the actual number of points set by oddsmakers. In order to be successful in betting on NFL totals, you must consider the range of outcomes possible in such an event. 

For example, just because the two teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy have great offenses does not mean the Super Bowl odds will favor the game going over.

NBA Totals Betting

NBA total bets are a wager on the combined point totals between each team. In order to win a total bet, you need to pick if the final score will go over or under the set total. Total bets are generally popular because it is more fun to watch a higher-scoring game than a lower-scoring game. 

For example, in a game between the Lakers and Warriors, would you rather watch Steph Curry and Lebron James combine for 75 points or 40 points? With that being said, while the former is more fun, it is not always what happens, so betting with your head and not your heart is paramount.

MLB Totals Betting

Being one of the most popular outdoor sports, betting totals in baseball are unique. The weather, the pitchers, the bullpen, and the recent form are all paramount in betting on totals in the MLB. While pitchers' duels can result in very low-scoring games, lots of home runs can result in higher-scoring games. 

Depending on your appetite for baseball, either could be fun to root for.

NHL Totals Betting

Hockey is one of the low-scoring sports, but it can have fireworks occasionally. Betting on hockey totals is betting on if you think there will be more or fewer goals than the listed total. 

In a game between two great goalies, the under is probably the better bet. Conversely, when each team's goalies rank poorly, that could be a good time to look for the over.

Get Started Betting Over/Under Totals in Kentucky

Betting on totals is part of the meat and potatoes that are coming to the Kentucky sports betting plate. As time has gone on, more totals markets have emerged, and it is important to understand what you are betting on and how to make a good bet. 

In order to take better bets on totals markets, be sure to start learning and understanding more about each different bet type and how to do your own proper due diligence. Betting on games to go over or under is a fun way to bet on an event, but make sure you are doing it properly before you dive in.

 

 
BetMGM.com for Ts & Cs. Must be 21+ to wager. KY only. New Customer Offer (If applicable). All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Over/Under Totals FAQs

Author

Eric Pauly
Sports Betting Analyst

Eric Pauly is a betting analyst with BetKentucky.com. He has used more betting apps than most people could name and has become a trusted source in the online sports betting industry. Eric's expert reviews of the top Kentucky sportsbooks are as valuable as they come. He breaks down everything bettors need to know, from the top Kentucky sportsbook promo codes to guides on how to bet in in KY.

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