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Over/Under Betting: A Simple Yet Glorious Sports Betting Adventure

If we ask you to choose a few universal languages, what would your picks be? Music will certainly be one of them. And a lot of you will agree that sports is another. From North America to South America to Africa to Asia, everywhere you go, you’ll find the same craze about sports. Interestingly, the same goes for sports betting!

In the mid-1990s, the betting industry started to migrate online. It initially started with casino games but it was only a matter of time before operators started putting out online bookmakers. As Canada has always been kind to sports betting, it was one of the first jurisdictions to adapt to online betting.

But the history of betting is not our area of discussion for this guide. Rather, we plan to focus on over/under bets. If you’re not aware, it’s one of the 3 major bet types you can find in online bookmakers. The other 2 are outright/moneyline and points spread betting.

The Best Online Bookmakers with Over/Under Betting

Over/under betting is very commonly found all over the world. The same goes for Canada. So, the list of betting sites that offer this bet is quite long. That’s one of the reasons our experts have filtered through even more drastically to present you with only the best sites.

What is Over-Under Betting?

If you break down the title of the bet, you get 2 individual terms. “Over” and “under”. It means you can only place your money on “over” or “under” at a time. But over or under what?

Well, for the most part, the match score. Every sport that follows a scoring system is eligible for over/under betting. This is exciting news for sports enthusiasts because pretty much all sports under the sun have scoring systems. The only exceptions include horse races, greyhound races, and motorsports.

The journey of over/under betting starts with you choosing the sport that you want to bet on. It might be football, ice hockey, volleyball, or any other sport that your chosen online betting site is offering.

After you click on the match listing, you’ll find the complete list of markets offered by the operator. One of them will be “over/under”. It may also be labelled as “O/U” or “total”. Now, when it says total, it simply means that you’re betting on the total score of the match. We’ll discuss more on it in the section where we list other variations of over/under betting.

For both over and under outcomes, the bookmaker will project separate odds. You can only add either over or under on your bet slip for a particular match.

If you pick over, it means you believe the final score of the match will go “over” what the bookmaker is projecting. And the opposite is true for “under”.

One of the highlights of this bet is that it doesn’t require you to favor any particular team. You can support either. The parameter that ultimately determines the fate of your bet is the final score.

This means you don’t necessarily have to wait for your favourite team to play a match. Every match you find on the betting site will have O/U markets and you can go for all of them.

Are Over/Under Bets Worth Your Time?

That’s a good question. The bet surely seems unique but is it worth your time? To answer that question, we’ll first have to go over the advantages this bet brings to the table. After that, you’ll be able to decide on your own whether it’s worth your time or not.

Simple to Understand

You either bet over or under the bookmaker’s score prediction. That’s all there to it in terms of understanding the bet. Compared to points spread or handicap betting, over/under is not nearly as complicated.

It means bettors from all experience levels can participate in this market. You can be an absolute newcomer with zero betting experience in Canada and still win this bet!

You Get to be Neutral

For the most part, you’re always favoring one team or another. If it’s an individual sport like tennis or golf, you’re still favoring one player over the others. Even if the odds are saying otherwise, it doesn’t sit right to bet on the opponent, right?

Thankfully, over/under betting doesn’t require you to pick favourites. You can not care about either of the teams or players and still place an O/U bet. There are not many markets that can claim the same.

Widely Available

Once you master how to place an over/under bet, you won’t have to jump from betting site to betting site to find this market. It’s simply because this is just as common as moneyline bets and every online betting site in Canada offers it. Sure, the odds will be different from brand to brand but you get an abundance of choices.

Easy to Predict

Well, we might be stretching it a little thin here but over/under markets are relatively easy to predict. Imagine 2 football giants facing each other. It means both goalkeepers are extremely skilled and the defense will create a wall for the strikers. So, it’s safe to say that the “under” outcome is more likely to happen.

Similarly, if there’s a skill discrepancy between the teams, chances are the over market will take precedence. It’s simply because the stronger team will rip through the opponent’s defense and score at least a few goals.

Tips to Maximise Your Advantage

Betting on over/under markets surely sounds very simple. And they are very simple. However, it doesn’t mean that you can blindly put money on a market and expect to come out victorious. There are certain elements of preparation and understanding of the bet before you can expect to win.

Do You Homework on the Teams

Sports betting comes with more winning potential when compared to casino games. In casino games, you may win once every 10 rounds. Sometimes, even more! It’s simply because those games are completely based on luck.

However, sports betting is not. You have a lot more control over the parameters. But if you don’t utilise the opportunity, your odds don’t get any better than the casino games. And all of it starts with research.

To predict whether the final score of a match will go over or remain under the prediction of the bookmaker, you need to predict how each of the teams will perform. So, you need to look into the team management, previous results, player statistics, and lots of other areas.

Only when you put in the hours for research, can you accurately gauge whether the bookmaker’s prediction is correct or not.

The Weather Plays a Vital Role

Sure, you can research all the previous results and put all your confidence in the star players. But the weather during the match time has the power to disrupt everything. What if the player you’re riding on doesn’t play in rain? Or, what if they don’t perform as well when it’s scorching hot outside?

That’s why you need to factor in the weather in your research. We understand it’s a lot like shooting darts in the dark but you’ll need to put in the extra effort if you want this edge over regular punters.

It’s crucial because the bookmaker might be predicting a high score. And that’s the most likely outcome anyways so “over” is the favourite market among all punters. But deep down, you know that the score will be as high if it starts raining. If you put your money on “under” going against the tide, you can rack up a lot in winnings!

The Defense Matters

We don’t blame you if it sounds counterintuitive to popular belief. The whole idea behind over/under betting is how much the teams can score, right? So, you should ideally be focusing on the offense.

Well, not necessarily. The stronger the teams, the more intense defense they’ll put up. That’s one of the reasons high-voltage matches get lower overall scores. What we’re trying to establish here is that you need to primarily look into the defense power of each team during your research.

If you’re properly doing the research, you should start noticing patterns. If you can get your hands on statistics for the same pair, you increase the likelihood of getting accurate insights. How the defenders perform against offenders can tell you a lot about the final score of the game.

Don’t Forget Live Betting

As we said, tightly paired matches usually favor the “under” outcome. However, if either of the teams manages to find a hole in the defense wall, the dynamic of the match can change very quickly. And if you’re only going for pre-match bets where you’ve locked the odds before the match started, you have nothing to do but see your money washing away.

That’s where live betting shines. In simple words, live betting lets you bet on matches that are “live”. It means you can add bets to the bet slip on the go. This way, even if the match dynamic changes, you can put a few more selections to your bet slip to recoup potential losses.

Over-Under/Under-Over Example

Everything's better with examples, right? We’ve covered all the theories behind over/under bets in detail but we’re yet to share any examples with you. Keep in mind that the same example goes for under/over betting too as both markets refer to the same outcome.

Let’s set up the parameters first. What sport do you want to go for? Football? Ice Hockey?

Our vote goes with ice hockey as it’s the most popular sport in Canada. For the tournament, let’s go with an NHL match where 7 teams from Canada participate every season.

A match between Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames is projecting -115 and +170 odds respectively. It means the Toronto Maple Leafs is the favourite team. But these odds for the moneyline, which is not our target in this guide.

Rather, we’re going for the over/under market. The odds here are -125 and -117 respectively. As you can see, there’s no favourite between the over and the under. Also, the odds are pretty close which means both outcomes are possible.

Now, if you don’t know how to read American odds, let us help. -125 means you can win a C$100 profit by wagering C$125 on the market. It’s as simple as that. You’re free to scale it however you want.

Let’s say the odds are offered on the prediction that the match will have 6 goals. So, the odds are for over 6 and under 6.

You might be wondering what happens if the score is exactly 6. Well, in that case, the bet is voided and all participants get their money back. Some online bookmakers put up impossible numbers like 6.5 so that the bet is not voided.

Let’s get back to our example. If you place your money on “over” at -125 odds and the final score of the match is 7, 8, or any other value over 6. You win. Against your C$125 wager, you’ll receive a C$100 profit and you’ll take home a C$225 payout.

And if your money is on “under” at -117 odds and you win, you take home a C$217 payout. If you don’t win the bet, you lose the entire wager.

Variations of the Market

Up until this point, we’ve only covered the “total” outcome of a match. The over and under odds are projected based on the total score. But it’s not the only possible variation of this bet. So, let’s go over the other possible ones.

Total 1

If you see fields like “Total 1” or something along the line, it means the odds are for the total score of the home team instead of the final score of the match. If you can bet over or under the total score by both teams, you can surely do the same for individual teams, right?

Total 2

This is exactly the same as Total 1. Only this time, the odds for the away team. It’s referring to what the score of the away team would be at the end of the match.

Half Time Total

Instead of the full-time score for a match, this market projects the odds for the half-time score. These are not individual scores for either of the teams. Rather, it’s the collective total at the end of halftime. If it’s soccer, it’s after 45 minutes. If it’s hockey, it’s after 20 minutes.

Over/Under X.Y and Both Teams to Score

If we find this market on an online betting site in Canada, we immediately fall in love with it! It’s one of those markets that not every bookmaker offers.

In the header, we’ve essentially included 2 markets. You can replace the “X.Y” portion with any fractional number usually found on sportsbooks. The catch here is that both teams have to score for this market to work.

Bonuses You Can Enjoy While Betting on Over/Under

No discussion about online betting is complete unless we go over the bonuses. There’s no way to decline the fact that bonuses are one of the major attractions of online sports betting in Canada. So, let us line up the most common bonuses you may find in online betting sites that offer over/under markets.

Deposit Match Welcome Bonus

The most common bonus format in the iGaming industry. You deposit a certain amount, and the operator matches it as a bonus. You essentially double your bankroll. If you see a “100% on first deposit”, don’t forget to claim the bonus after you fund your account.

All Kinds of Free Bets

Free bets are exclusive to the sports betting industry. These are betting credits that you can activate on your bet slip. The idea is to bet with the free bets instead of spending money from your account. For the most part, you don’t get the stake back. Rather, you only get to keep the profit.

There are plenty of variations to free bets. We have a very interesting guide completely dedicated to free bets that you can read on this very website.

Odds Boosts/Enhanced Odds

All your winnings are directly tied to the odds offered at the events. Boosted odds simply mean that you win more than you’re supposed to. If you’re betting on a market that comes under the umbrella of this promotion, you can boost your winnings by a fair margin.

Specific Sports Bonuses

Throughout the year, online betting sites in Canada offer unique bonuses for particular sports. It might be for a tennis Grand Slam event, a football tournament, the Ryder Cup in Golf, and anything else you can think of. All you have to do is keep your eyes open on the promotions page to get your hands on the best offers.

Pros & Cons of Over/Under Betting

We’re almost at the end of our guide. Before we part ways, let’s sum up the pros and cons of over/under betting.


  • Easy to understand
  • Consistent winning potential
  • Widely available across all online bookmakers
  • All sports with a scoring system are eligible
  • Lets the punters bet bias-free


  • Needs intense research to predict the accurate outcome
  • Not as exciting as moneylines
  • The bookmaker gets an edge over the punters

Alternatives to Over/Under

While over/under betting is one of our favourite ways to approach online sports betting in Canada, it’s not necessary for you to agree with us. So, we figured you might be interested in some other types of betting. Let us list the best alternatives to over/under for you.

Arbitrage Betting

For most advanced punters, arbitrage betting is a valid option. For these bets, you need to sign up for 2 different bookmakers. The idea here is to place opposing bets on the same match to eliminate the possibility of a total loss. And if you can dial in the right proportion of odds discrepancy, you can keep making consistent profits.

We have a dedicated guide on arbitrage betting that you can check out on the website. It’s one of the best alternatives to over/under in our opinion.

System Betting

System bets are unique combinations of selections that bookmakers offer. While these might be a little harder to understand for new punters, they come with massive winning possibilities. So, if you’re in the market for a viable alternative to over/under betting, look into system betting.

Some popular examples of system bets are Trixie, Yankee, Canadian, Heinz, Super Heinz, Goliath, and so on. The primary idea behind system bets is adding many selections to the bet slip taken from a multitude of events.

Accumulator Betting

Accumulator betting and system betting are somewhat similar. The difference is that in accumulator betting, you get to choose your own selections and events. In Canada, when you include at least 3 selections in a single bet, it’s considered an accumulator. It’s more commonly known as parlay betting.


What does over under mean in betting?

In sports betting, over/under or over-under means betting on the combined final score by both teams in a match, predicted by the bookmaker. You get to judge whether the bookmaker is correct or not by placing your money on over or under.

Is over under a good bet?

Over under is an excellent bet in our opinion. Primarily because the odds are very closely projected for these bets and you’re less likely to lose if you understand the sport.

What does over under 1.5 mean in betting?

Over under 1.5 means the over market wins if the score is over 1 (it can be goals, field goals, or any other scoring unit applicable to the sport) and the under market wins if the score is between 0 to 1.

What happens if the over/under is exact?

If the score of the match is exactly what the bookmaker predicted, it’s considered a “push” and the wagers are returned.

Does over under include extra time?

The majority of bookmakers include the extra time in the bet. If a particular sportsbook does not, it’ll mention it in the betting rules section of the website. So, you should always read the rules before you start betting.