Download the App Image

Do Games Go Over or Under More Often in Sports Betting?

Do Games Go Over or Under More Often in Sports Betting? article feature image
Credit:

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.

If games went over or under much more often than the other, sports betting would be easy, wouldn’t it?

The betting market is pretty good at creating accurate totals to split both sides 50/50.

But in most sports, games do go under slightly more often. It’s not enough to beat the vig and be blindly profitable, though.

Here are over/under betting records for six major American sports in their last five seasons. It includes both the regular season and playoffs, but not the preseason.

Data is based on closing lines from Pinnacle in our Bet Labs database.

Over/Under Results Last 5 Seasons

Records listed as overs, unders, then pushes. Updated July 6, 2022.

Sport O/U Record Under Win %
NFL 644-700-11 52.1%
NBA 3506-3471-84 49.7%
NHL 3565-3575-450 50.1%
MLB 5639-5827-549 50.8%
NCAAF 1910-2045-54 51.7%
NCAAB 11187-11229-283 50.1%

It’s human nature to root for points and offensive success instead of rooting for offensive ineptitude. So the betting market tends to price totals slightly too high.

Your bet is also never technically dead when you bet an over — there’s always a chance the game goes to overtime, or there’s a flurry of late scoring to push it over.

The NBA is the only sport over the last five years to have more overs than unders.

But what about historically? Sports change, and totals change along with them.

The average NBA total was 220.4 in 2021.

In 2010, the average total was 199.

Here’s the over/under record for each sport since 2005.

Totals Since 2005

Records listed as overs, unders, then pushes. Updated July 6, 2022.

Sport O/U Record Under Win %
NFL 2490-2524-79 50.3%
NBA 11132-11244-292 50.3%
NHL 9705-10207-1620 51.3%
MLB 19486-20091-1970 50.8%
NCAAF 6537-6745-171 50.8%
NCAAB 30969-31288-773 50.3%

How would you rate this article?