Sports Betting Term Glossary

Betting Term Glossary

Below you will find over 100 of the most common sports betting terms. The lingo can be overwhelming for novice and experienced investors alike.


Term Definition
Accumulator Where in excess of one wager is consolidated, and achievement is reliant on all determinations winning.
Across the Board A way to bet on a horse to place, show, or win
Action A games wager of any sort. Can likewise allude to the quantity of wagers being put on a specific occasion or line.
AET Soccer truncation for ‘After Extra Time’, the extra time played if the amusement closes in a tie.
Alternate Lines Subsidiaries of standard wagering markets. Illustrations incorporate Alternate Handicaps or Alternate Totals which offer higher or lower spread or aggregates with chances evolving in like manner.
American odds Chances articulation showing return in respect to 100 unit base figure. With cash chances, at whatever point there is a less (- ) you lay that add up to win a hundred dollars, where there is an or more (+) you win that sum for each hundred dollars you wager
Angles Using historical factors from previous events
Arbitrage Backing all selections within a market, across several bookmakers, to exploit the price discrepancies and guarantee a positive return.
Asian Handicap Two-way market that uses a point/goal Handicap to alter perceived bias between two competing teams and also eliminates the possibility of a draw.
ATS (Against the Spread) Taking the spread into account when referring to the outcome of an event. Or, taking the points, instead of betting with the spread, or “laying” points.
Bad Beat When a sports bet fails unexpectedly.
Beard A friend/acquaintance/colleague who places sports bets in an effort to shield the identity of the real bettor.
Betting Exchange A betting site that doesn’t accept bets, but instead matches backers (those betting on odds) with layers (those offering the odds) taking a commission on the winning bets.
Book Short for sportsbook. The establishment that accepts bets, and subsequently pays out winnings. Short
Bookmaker/Bookie Originally referred to the person that would accept bets on behalf of a larger organization. Now, this is just a different colloquialism for sportsbook.
Buck A $100 bet.
Buy (points) When a bettor pays extra to receive a half point or more extra, in his/her favor, on a point spread event.
Chalk The favorite.
Chalk Player A bettor who frequently bets on the favored outcome. They rarely place bets on the underdog.
Circled Game Refers to a game where the betting action is reduced. This usually happens in added games, bad weather, games with lots of injuries, propositions, or halves of games. Often, circled games cannot be included in parlays or teasers. Betting options will be restricted, as will limits.
Closing Line The last available odds offered before a market closes. Bettors who “beat the closing line” have placed a bet offering a superior return to the final odds offered; consistently beating the closing line is a sign of a successful bettor.
Commission The cost of placing a bet calculated by summing the implied probability and subtracting from 100, the measure of a fair market. In relation to Exchange betting, commission is the charge applied to winning bets, applied as a %.
Cover Winning a bet on the point spread, covering the required amount of points.
Dead Heat When two horses finish in a tie.
Dime $1,000.00
Dime Line A line where the “juice” or “vigorish” is 10%.
Dog Short for “underdog”
Dog Player A bettor who mostly bets on the underdog.
Dollar $100.00
Double Action A sports bet that is processed if the precedent bet wins, ties, or cancels.
Double Bet A bet that is twice the size of what the bettor normally wagers.
Drift When odds lengthen, implying a decreased likelihood of the event occurring; odds are said to have drifted or are “on the drift”.
Each-way A bet that comprises two independent bets, one for the selection winning and one for the selection placing e.g 2nd or 3rd. Place conditions vary in relation to the number of participants. Mostly commonly, but not exclusively, used in horse and greyhound racing.
Edge Any advantage a bettor has in sports betting.
Even Money When neither side of an outcome lays any odds, or any “juice.”
Exotic A bet other than a straight bet (moneyline, spread, totals) or a parlay bet. Also referred to as “prop” or “propositional” bets.
Exposure The largest amount of money a sports book stands to lose on a game.
Favorite The team/outcome that is expected to win. Odds will always reflect the favorite.
Fifty Cents $50.00
Figure The amount a bettor owes to their sportsbook, or the amount the sportsbook owes to a bettor.
Final Four The four remaining teams in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.
First Half Bet A bet placed on the winner of the first half of an NBA game.
Futures Bets placed on an event/outcome taking place at some point in the future. For example, if one was to bet on the prospective winner of the NBA championship at the start of the season.
Getting Down Placing a bet.
Grand Salami The cumulative total of goals scored in all the hockey games taking place on one day. The over/under is a frequently available betting option for the grand salami.
Half-A-Dollar $50.00
Handicapper Someone who rates, bets, and studies sporting events in order to predict future outcomes.
Handicapping An effort for a bettor to predict the outcome of an event/futures bet. Frequently involves data mining.
Hedging Placing wager on the opposite side of an outcome in order to minimize losses, or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.
Hook A half point added to the spread or totals, in order to make sure that there are no ties.
Hot Game A game that is seeing a lot of action on one side because of handicappers.
If Bet Multiple bets which are conditional on a sequence of outcomes.
Juice The commission that a bookmaker receives on bets. The juice is reflected in available odds.
Kelly Criterion Popular betting method which suggests that stake should be proportional to the perceived edge.
Laying the Points Betting on the favorite by giving up points.
Laying the Price Betting the favorite by laying money odds.
Layoff A money bet placed by a book, at another bookmaker, in order to reduce its monetary liability.
Limit The highest amount a bookmaker will accept for a bet.
Lines An alternate term for odds.
Linemaker The person who works at a bookmaker, who is responsible for establishing betting lines. Also known as an “oddsmaker.”
Listed Pitchers A baseball bet that will only be fulfilled if both schedule pitchers actually start. If they do not, the bet is canceled.
Lock A sure thing.
Longshot The outcome perceived to be highly unlikely.
Margin The implied amount of placing a bet set by the bookmaker. Bookmakers inflate the perceived likelihood of an event – as represented in their odds – suggesting it is more likely than underlying probability.
Middle To win a bet on both sides of the same event. Placing a bet on the underdog at one point spread, and the favorite at a different point spread, and then winning both sides.
Moneyline Betting on the outright winner of an event. No pointspread is involved.
Move the Line When a bettor pays a fee to get half a point (or more) in either direction on a point spread.
Nickel $500.00
Nickel Line A line at a sportsbook where the “juice” is 5% instead of the regular 10%.
No Action A wager in which money is neither lost or won.
Odds The likelihood of an event taking placing assigned by a sportsbook, indicated in numbers form. Odds are expressed with fractions, decimals, or through the American style.
Off the Board A game or outcome that a sportsbook will not accept a bet on.
Outlaw Line The earliest line on an event offered. Often an overnight line that only a small group of bettors are allowed to bet on.
Over/Under Betting either above, or below, the combined point total of two teams during a game.
Parlay Any bet in which at least two outcomes must succeed for the bettor to win. In a parlay, all selections must be correct in order to receive a payout on a parlay.
Pick ‘em A game in which neither team is favored.
Pointspread When a sportsbook predicts the scoring differential between two opponents.
Press Betting a larger amount than usual.
Price The odds, line, or point spread.
Prop Bet Known as a proposition bet, these special bets offered by sportsbooks on the outcome of various events. Can take the form of unique events within sporting events, politics, and entertainment. An example of a prop bet would be the winner of the opening coin toss at the Superbowl.
Puckline A nickname for the goal spread a sportsbook assigns to a hockey game.
Public Money The influence of bets from recreational bettors normally on the favorite, and struck close to post time
Puppy The underdog.
Push A tie. There is neither a winner or a loser for wagering purposes.
Rollover The amount bettors must wager before their bonus money can be withdrawn. It is always expressed as a multiple of either the bonus amount or the amount of the bonus + your deposit.
Round Robin A bet involving three or more teams in 2-team parlays.
Run Down All of the lines available for a specific date, sport, or time.
Runline A nickname referring to the run spread on a baseball event.
Runner A friend, acquaintance, or colleague who places bets for another person.
Scouts A person who waits for what he or she perceives to be highly favourable odds.
Sharp A highly calculating, professional sports bettor.
Sides Refers to both the underdog and the favorite.
Spread Short for “point spread”
Square A novice sports bettor, someone who bets with their heart instead of their head.
Steam When the line starts to move rapidly.
Store A sports betting establishment.
Straight Bet Wagering on one single team.
Straight up Winning a game, disregarding any spread.
Systems Using trends from the past to calculate future outcome.
Taking the Points Betting the underdog and its advantage in the point spread
Taking the Price Betting the underdog and accepting the money odds.
Teaser A special type of parlay in which the bettor is allowed to modify the point spread or total of each individual event. The price of “teasing” is in lower payoffs.
Ticket A sports bet.
Total The total number of points, runs, or goals, scored during one particular game.
Totals Bet A type of propositional bet
Trends Using historical trends to predict future outcomes of sporting events.
Underdog The team with lower odds of winning the game. Also known as the “dog.”
Value Getting the best available odds on a bet. Also known as the best edge possible.
Vigorish The bookmakers’ commission on a bet. Also referred to as the “vig.” Also known as the “juice.”
Wise Guy A well-informed or knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.