An over–under or over/under (O/U) bet is a wager in which a sportsbook will predict a number for a statistic in a given game (usually the combined score of the two teams), and bettors wager that the actual number in the game will be either higher or lower than that number. For example, in Super Bowl XXXIX, most Las Vegas casinos set the over–under for the score of the game at 46.0. A bettor could wager that the combined score of the two teams would be either more than or less than that number. Since the combined score of that game was 45, anyone who had bet on "under" won.
The goal of a sportsbook is to have an equal value of bets on both sides of the over-under. In theory, this means that the manager could set the value at zero and then re-adjust based on either the number of incoming bets and/or events that influence the potential outcome. In practice, the initial value is based on both quantitative (e.g. win–loss record, average points per game, etc.) and anecdotal information (e.g. media reports, injury status of players, etc.).
Though this bet is most commonly made with the combined score of the two teams, many other statistics can be used, including:
- In American football, a player's or team's total rushing yards or attempts, down conversions (first or third), interceptions, completions, field goal percentage, etc.
- In basketball, a player's or team's total assists, blocks, turnovers, steals, etc.
- In baseball, a player's or team's total number of home runs, RBIs, etc.
A variant of over-under betting, known as Under Over, is a dice game played at various festivals. The object of the game is to predict whether the dice will roll to a total of under 7, over 7, or at 7. The game is typically played with 2 wooden dice.
A player typically places a wager on one of three spaces. These spaces are:
- Under 7 (Usually pays 1-1)
- Over 7 (Usually pays 1-1)
- 7 (Usually pays 4-1)
For instance if you bet one dollar on under and the dealer rolls under, you gain a dollar as well as getting your dollar back. If the dealer rolls a seven and you bet on it, you make four dollars. Once all the bets have been placed the attendant closes the betting board with a wire screen and then puts the dice through the chute. Players then get paid accordingly.
One variation of Under Over involves foam dice, two of which are thrown in the middle of the players; in another variation, two balls are thrown into a giant wheel consisting of twelve spaces of numbers ranging from 1-6. No wire fence is used to block the bets in that case.
- Kochan, M. (2013). Secrets of Professional Sports Betting. Cardoza Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-58042-438-7. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
- Williams, L.V.; Siegel, D.S. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Gambling. Oxford Handbooks in Economics Series. OUP USA. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-19-979791-2.
- Fodor's Las Vegas 2015. Full-color Travel Guide. Fodor's Travel Publications. 2014. ISBN 978-0-8041-4300-4.
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