moneyline betting

Football Over Under Betting

Over Under Betting Explained

As you progress in your journey as a football bettor, there will be times when you realize that betting the point spread is not the best wager to make on a game. Often times, stout defenses, poor weather and running-based offensive teams make Over Under betting the best option.

[ Legal sportsbooks such as NFL betting partners FanDuel and Draft Kings also provide video tutorials of how to bet OVER UNDERs and lost those odds for every game ]

What is Over Under Betting in football?

When you bet over unders (all known as NFL totals betting), you don’t care about who wins – you only care about the number of points scored in the game. The football odds makers will set a ‘total’ that bettors must decide whether they think the final score will be OVER that number or UNDER that number. Take a peek at the example below in a fictional game between the Packers and Bears.

Green Bay Packers OV 46.5, -120
Chicago Bears UN 46.5, +100

In this case, the total is 46.5 points. Your job as a bettor is to bet UNDER 46.5 if you think the combined score will be 46 or less and to bet OVER if you think the combined score will 47 or higher.

Imagine the final score is 31-17 for Green Bay – those 48 points are OVER 46.5 so your OVER bet is a winner. If the game is a defensive battle won 17-13 by the Bears, those 30 points are well UNDER 46.5 so you UNDER bet would win.

The -120 and +100 values you will see on football betting menus relate to the ‘price’ of each bet. (You can read more about moneylines or to read up on football betting terminology as well here at

The -120 value on the OVER 46.5 indicates that OVER is the favored position at the sportsbook. Therefore, you have to risk a little more money to bet UNDER. If you are a $100 per game bettor, it means you would risk $120 (-120) in order to turn a $100 profit. Because the UNDER is the underdog position at the book, you risk a little less for the same payout. In this case, you would bet just $100 for the chance to make a $100 profit.

When is betting Over Unders a good idea?

In football betting, you are looking for an edge against the sportsbook – some small factor or stat or trend that helps you get a little bit better value and odds on your wager. In Over Under betting, that can be numerous factors:

– Are both teams running-based offenses? Why does this matter? Two reasons. First, ground games chew up a lot of time on the clock. Second, running the ball doesn’t get you up and down the field as quickly as passing the ball. So in theory, games with running attacks will see slightly lower totals.

– Is weather a factor? Everyone has watched football games where rain or snow or high winds or extreme cold have an impact on how well teams perform. Often these factors will work to push an Over Under number lower.

– Are defenses tough? This just makes sense that stout defenses will be harder to score on than sloppy defenses.

Can you bet Over Under in props?

You sure can and daily fantasy bettors have made a living betting player-based Over Unders for years. For example, all sportsbooks will offer player props on every game such as:

Patrick Mahomes passing yards
OVER 367.5
UNDER 367.5

Or rushing yards per player or combined rushing yards by both teams in a game. You can even bet Over Under on number of turnovers or first downs or most other outcomes in a particular game.

Can you bet Over Unders per quarter or by half?

Most sportsbooks will offer first quarter totals and spreads. Some teams and players have more meaningful and reliable betting trends based on slow starts or big finishes, so this form of betting offers great potential as well.