In sports betting there’s a saying that floats around. It’s catchy, it’s funny, and it often feels true: Life is too short to bet the under. However, I’m going to look at some statistics and results from the past few years and talk about why life is too short to NOT bet the under!
In the NFL this past season only eight teams hit the over more than 50 percent of the time in their games, and only one hit the over more than 60 percent of the time. The under however hit more than 60 percent of the time for six different teams, and two teams hit the under in 70 percent of the games they played this year.
Obviously the over/under changes depending on who is playing, where they are playing, injuries, and other variables. However, NFL games this year hit 54 percent on the under, which is the highest number since 2017. Also, the Super Bowl under hit. It was set at 48.5 and the final was 43.
In the NHL it’s pretty much a toss-up on under/over. Last year the under hit 50.9 percent of the time, but if you do some research it’s easy to find out what teams to bet the under on.
For example, right now the Tampa Bay Lightning have gone under in four of their last five. This is one of the best teams in the league, but their defense is stellar so they don’t always have to score a ton. Columbus also has had a long streak of hitting the under recently as well. Life is too short to not research your picks.
The NBA also is a toss-up. Last year about 52 percent of overs hit. In addition, 14 teams hit the Over more than 50 percent of the time while only 13 teams hit the under more than 50 percent of the time. However, the NBA is evolving as a league and the amount of total points scored has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and it makes it harder to judge an over/under bet. NBA is the only league where I don’t actively search for under bets.
That being said, there is always value to be found, especially on specific teams. The Cavaliers, Mavericks, Warriors, Pelicans, 76ers, and Celtics all hit the Under close to 60% of the time.
NCAA Men’s Basketball
Unless we’re talking about the very first round of March Madness, then bet the under in Men’s college basketball. The over hit’s roughly 55 percent of the time in the first round of the tournament for somewhat unknown reasons. Some think it’s because of the energy and hype around the first round, others say it has something to do with the amount of preparation each team has before their first game.
I would argue it may have something to do with strict first round officiating; more players being fouled, more bonuses, more free throws. Regardless, apart from this one round of the NCAA tournament, Men’s basketball unders have a slight edge on the overs.
Don’t let anyone tell you life is too short to bet the under, because they’re wrong.