Over/Unders and Prop Bets in Sports

Jeff Perkins
3 min readSep 12, 2018


Originally posted on 21stfinance.com

In today’s lesson on sports betting, we are going to be talking about two very important bets that can be placed during games. One of these bets is a staple of many gamblers repertoire, while the other bet is mostly considered to place for fun and entertainment purposes. Over/under bets are the second most commonly placed bet behind spread bets, and prop bets are wide-ranging in the sports they cover, and entertainment value.

Over/Under bets:

Over/under bets are the second most commonly placed bet behind spreads, and nearly every gambler will take advantage of them from time to time. An over/under bet is a wager on the total number of points, runs, or goals that are scored in a game. Obviously the number can vary depending on the sport that is being played, but also the teams and their playing styles. Consider the following example below.

In an NBA game, the Houston Rockets are facing off against the Golden State Warriors. When it comes to the lines for this game, a person may see something like this.

Houston vs Golden State (-3)

O/U +/- 215

This line for the over/under is set at 215, which means that you can place a bet on whether the total score for the game (combined points) will be greater than or lower than 215. Considering that Houston and Golden State are two very offensive teams, it is important to do your research and see if 215 is a good pick for your needs.

The payouts for these bets is generally the same as spread bets, so you will mainly see -105,-110, and -115 types of payouts.

Prop Bets:

Prop bets are one of the most entertaining bets that a gambler can play, and they are generally very popular in major sporting events. The Super Bowl, for example, has hundreds of different prop bets every year that can be very entertaining to play.

A prop bet is generally one that is placed on different aspects of the game not related to spreads, over/under and who ends up winning the game. Different examples of prop bets are dependent upon the sport being played, and many times have nothing to do with the actual game. There are prop bets that are based around players stats, the outcome of a coin toss, and if the combined final score is odd or even.

In the Super Bowl you will see many different bets that deal with the external events of the big game. In Super Bowl LII, a person could place prop bets on Super Bowl MVP, over/under on the total time of the national anthem, the color of Justin Timberlake’s shoes during the halftime show, and numerous other things.

When it comes to prop bets, there is generally a lot of luck to be considered, but in many cases it is important to see trends. In props where it is a coin toss, or the even/odd total score outcome, you are generally taking a shot in the dark. For these types of bets, you will also see -105, -110, or -115 types of payouts. In other prop bets, like super bowl MVP, the oddsmakers will change the odds depending upon the favorites for that award. In Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady and Nick Foles were the top two favorites due to the fact that quarterbacks generally win the award more often.

Prop bets are mainly used for entertainment purposes, and I don’t consider them a sustainable way of winning in sports betting long term.

Over/under and prop bets are two more important bets that can be placed during various sporting events. With a knowledge of these two bets, one can enhance their gambling experience even more.

Happy gambling!




Jeff Perkins

I enjoy sports, gambling, finance, and things that affect young people.