“Over under sideways down
When will it end?”
— The Yardbirds
Pick a number.
That’s pretty much what the classic over/under sports bet (also called a total) amounts to. You choose whether the game will end with both teams’ scores totaling above X number of points or totaling below that same number.
The listing for a Super Bowl over/under bet for this Sunday’s game might look like this in Caesar’s mobile app or DraftKings app:
- Over 43.5 (-110)
- Under 43.5 (-110)
If the Los Angeles Rams score 36 points and the Cincinnati Bengals score 10 points — or vice versa — “over” bettors win and “under” bettors lose.
As of Feb. 3, the points total for Super Bowl LVI was set at 48.5, the lowest in the last five years. The odds were -110 for both teams.
Brobible.com calls the over/under bet “one of the simplest sports betting plays out there.”
“Push.” It good.
“Ah,” you say. “But what if the over/under were presented this way:
- Over 43 (-110)
- Under 43 (+110)
… and the Bengals scored 22 while the Rams scored 21, so the total comes out to 43. What happens then?”
In that case, the result is called a “Push” and the sportsbook you placed the bet with refunds the amount of your bet regardless of whether you wagered “over” or “under.”
This doesn’t happen often since sportsbooks tend to set betting totals as ending with a “.5” rather than a whole number.
Variables of varying value
A bettor might want to consider some variables when making a Super Bowl over/under bet.
- The Rams and the Bengals have faced off 14 times before, with the Bengals winning eight of those matchups.
- In the playoffs of this NFL season, the Rams averaged 28 points and the Bengals averaged 24 points. The two teams’ points-per-game averages for the regular season came in at 27.1.
DraftKings has pointed out that games played by each of this week’s Super Bowl contenders have come in at over the projected Big Game total in 20 games this season. The Rams at slightly over 49 points, Bengals at 46.7 points.
Still, the site considers the “under” as “not a bad bet at all.”
According to oddsshark.com, other variables to consider may include:
- Weather/temperature (Forecast temp for L.A. on Sunday was 86 degrees as of Feb. 8)
Other over/under bets
For example, how many times total will the two teams switch possession of the ball in Super Bowl LVI? Well, the over/under for turnovers in the upcoming Big Game is set at 2.5.
Both the Rams and the Bengals averaged two turnovers per game in the postseason.
Highs and lows of the over/under
The lowest over/under happened in the Super Bowl LIV of 2019 when the New England Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3.
Super Bowl XXIX saw the highest Super Bowl over/under when the San Diego Chargers lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26.
No over/under got set for the first Super Bowl, but the over/under for Super Bowls II through LV? 27-27. So not much help there…
Where to bet on the Super Bowl in Louisiana
Recent past months have opened a lot of doors for Louisianans interested in betting on the Super Bowl in one way or another.
Currently, sports bettors can do so in person at 13 casinos, commercial and tribal. And just in time for the Big Game, mobile sports betting has entered the field in 55 parishes.
The American Gaming Association has forecast that over $7.6 billion will be bet on the Super Bowl. Forty-five million new Super Bowl bettors this year can wager in newly licensed states, including Louisiana. According to the pressofatlanticcity.com, unfortunately, the Super Bowl is:
“one of the most perilous times of year for people with a gambling problem.”
Football fans can catch Super Bowl LVI at Los Angeles’s SoFi stadium this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC.