Learn How To Make Smart Baseball Over/Under Bets

Betting the Over/Under in the MLB is wagering on the total combined score of both teams at the end of the game. Get some MLB Over/Under betting tips with this guide.

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2022 8:29 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
an Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (left) tags San Diego Padres shortstop baseman C.J. Abrams (right) out after being caught in a rundown attempting to steal second base during the third inning at Petco Park.
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Baseball Over/Unders are one of the most popular – and simple – ways to wager on MLB action and offer an excellent alternative for when you aren’t sure which team to bet on.

Over/Unders – also known as totals – set a projected combined number of runs scored for a game, and you bet on whether the final score will go Over or Under that projected total.

If you’re new to betting MLB totals, we show you how to make smarter baseball bets on MLB totals.

How does Over/Under work in baseball

The game is in the name. Baseball Over/Under odds set a projected number of combined runs scored by the two teams in a single game. From there, bettors wager on whether the final score will go Over or Under that projected run total.

Over/Unders also have a cost attached to the bet, also known as juice or vig. The majority of totals will have a flat -110 rate attached to them, which means for every $1.10 you risk, you can win $1.00 or $110 to win $100.

The table below shows the Over/Under total set at 7.5 runs with both sides priced at -110 juice. If the game finished with a final score of 5-3 (a combined total of eight runs), those that bet the Over 7.5 runs would win their wagers, and the Under 7.5 would lose.

Result Odds
Over 7.5 -110
Under 7.5 -110

Baseball Over/Under betting strategy

Beyond measuring up each team’s offensive output and current form, here are some fundamental baseball Over/Under betting strategies to help you make the most of your MLB total wagers:

Get the best number Get the best number

Whether you’re betting baseball Over/Unders or any other MLB market, you want to get the best odds for your opinion. If you like the Over 7.5 runs, you can use Covers’ MLB odds comparison page to view Over/Under totals for the biggest and best sportsbooks in your region and find the best odds for your bet.

Injury reports Injury reports

Scan the Covers’ MLB injury reports and see if any key lineup members are sitting out. Key bats can shake up the order and hurt the protection around certain batters when a standout hitter is missing.

Batters at the top of the order would significantly impact the scoring output as they are usually the most consistent hitters and see the most at-bats in a game.

Watch the weather Watch the weather

When handicapping MLB totals, you should always watch the skies ahead of outdoor games. Wind speed and direction are the most significant factors to consider when betting baseball Over/Unders, and you can see daily detailed weather reports for every major league venue.

Ballparks like Wrigley Field in Chicago and Yankee Stadium in New York can significantly influence the outcome depending on the wind’s strength and direction.

Understand umpires Understand umpires

One of the most undervalued influences on baseball totals is who is behind home plate. Umpires have ranging strike zones, as some are more liberal with strikes, benefitting the pitcher, while others have a small strike zone and favor the hitter.

Dig into Covers’ exclusive MLB umpire stats to find the best Over and Under umps in the majors.

Start with pitching Start with pitching

Like most baseball odds, it begins and ends with the starting pitchers. Oddsmakers put more weight into the matchup between starters when setting their Over/Under totals, and so should you.

Use Covers’ famous MLB matchup pages to dig into the pitchers’ current form, righty/lefty splits, and past performance against that foe to grasp how the starters will perform.

Baseball Over/Under FAQs

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