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Sports Betting Glossary

A
Accumulator
A parlay wager or bet which includes multiple selections bundled together that offers big payouts. All selections must be correct for the bet to win.
Action
A slang term for betting that describes a wager of any kind.
Added Game
A game added to the Las Vegas rotation because there was enough betting interest in it to warrant its inclusion, or it needed to be rescheduled.
Against the Spread (ATS)
Refers to placing a bet on a team or athlete where the outcome will be decided by a point spread.
Alternate Lines
Different (or alternate) point spreads offered by some sportsbooks with odds that are either higher or lower than the main posted line.
Arbitrage
A betting strategy that places bets on both sides of a single matchup, usually at different sportsbooks, to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome.
Asian Handicap
A form of soccer betting which began in Asia that handicaps the better team as the favorite.
B
Backdoor Cover
A term for a team or individual that scores at the end of the game to cover the point spread. A last-second cover often just affects the wager and not the final result of the game.
Bad Beat
A term for losing a bet that seemed a locked to win in an unlucky manner usually in the final seconds of the game.
Banker
A banker bet is a form of Round Robin betting on three or more selections.
Bankroll
A sum of money a bettor has available to place wagers.
Beard
Also known as a runner, this is a person who makes bets for another person who prefers to remain unknown.
Beef
A dispute when a player and bookmaker doesn't agree with the final outcome or situation.
Betting Exchange
A platform that allows people to to bet directly against each other instead of betting against a sportsbook.
Betting Trends
The volume of bets placed at a sportsbook that show the total amount of money wagered on a game.
Betting Unit
The amount of money that a sports bettor will wager that is usually equal to one percent of a bettor's bankroll.
Bonus
An incentive offered by sportsbooks to entice bettors to place wagers on their platforms.
Buck
A slang term for a $100 wager.
Buying Points
A term for paying money to move the point-spread in your favor for a point spread wager.
C
Chalk
A slang term for a team or player that is the favorite in a game by a large margin.
Chalk Eater
A better who prefers to place wagers on the favorites.
Churn
The act of betting and rebetting money. The number of times a bettor turns their bankroll over at any gambling game.
Circle Game
A game where the betting action is limited by the bookmaker due to injuries, weather, or other uncertainties.
Closing Line
The final set of odds or point spread before the event or game begins.
Closing Line Value
A term that refers to the value of a bet relative to where the line closes. It is the price a bettor gets relative to the closing price.
Consensus
A general agreement by a group of people. The popular side of a wager or the amount of bets placed on either side of a game.
Contrarian Betting
Betting against public opinion and placing wagers on games with lopsided betting percentages.
Cover
A term for "covering the spread". A bettor wins the bet when a team beats the point spread. A team that is a 3-point favorite and win by five points has covered the spread.
D
Dead Heat
A term that refers to an outcome where two or more participants are joint winners in an event.
Decimal Odds
One of the three main formats for expressing odds, it is derived from a simple calculation of the amount bet x odds. Bettors calculate how much they can win on a wager by multiplying the amount they bet by the decimal odds given.
Dime Line
A betting line that is used when describing American odds with a 10-cent difference between the two lines.
Dog
A slang term for underdog. The nickname of the team that bookmakers expect to lose the game.
Double Chance
A popular soccer bet in Europe that provides bettors two opportunities to win a wager. A double chance bettor can pick a team to win or draw at adjusted odds.
Double Pop
A bet for twice the size of one's usual wager where bettors decide to risk more than they normal would on a single bet.
Draw
A betting option in soccer and combat sports, the term refers to a tie game or match.
E
Earn
A term indicating Percentage hold.
Edge
A term that describes an advantage bettors have against a sportsbook due to factors that gives them improved odds of winning.
Even (Even Money)
A wager that pays a profit that matches the amount of the bet.
Exacta
A term used in horse racing where bettors place wagers on which horses will finish first and second.
Exotic Wager (Exotic Bet)
A non-standard sports bet that is referred to as a prop bet in a sportsbook.
Expected Value
A measurement of how much a bet is likely to win over the long term.
Exposure
The amount of money a sportsbook actually stands to lose on a game.
Extension
The amount of money a sportsbook risks losing on a game or a race.
F
Favorite
A term that refers to the team bookmakers project to have the best odds of winning the game.
Field
A term describing all possible wagers in a betting market that allows bettors to bet the field.
Figure
The amount that is owed by a bettor or bookmaker.
Firing
A term that refers to a bettor who is betting large sums of money.
First Half
A bet that is placed on the odds of a game solely on the results of the first-half of competition.
Fixed Odds
A term that refers to the odds at the time a bet was placed. The odds do not change and are set once a wager is made.
Flat Betting
A gambling term that refers to a person betting the same amount for every hand they play.
Fractional Odds
A type of odds used mostly in horse racing. The odds are listed as a fraction instead of as a moneyline.
G
Grand Salami
A term that refers to a popular hockey wager where bettors bet on the total number of goals in all of the ice hockey matches for that particular day.
Gross Win
A term that refers to the stakes/wagers placed minus the prizes and payouts but including bonuses.
H
Handicapper
A bettor who studies statistics, injuries, weather, and news in order to predict the winning team or player.
Handicapping
Studying statistics and trends before placing bets to improve your odds of winning.
Handle
The total amount of money a sportsbook take from wagers on a game or event.
Hedging (Hedge)
A strategy where bettors place wagers on both sides of the same bet to guarantee a profit.
Hold
A term that refers to the percentage the sportsbook wins after they pay out winning bets.
Home Field
The field, court, or rink where the host team plays its games.
Home Field Advantage
A perceived advantage the home team receives due to several factors including demographics, familiarity with facility, and the travel effects on the visiting team.
Hook
A term that refers to the half point in point-spreads and totals betting.
Hoops
A slang term that is another name for the game of basketball.
Hot Tip
New and relevant information about an upcoming game or event that the bookmaker does not know yet.
I
In-game Wagers (In-Game Wagering)
The ability to bet on a sporting event after the game has already started and until it ends. Also known as live betting.
J
Joint Favorite
When there are two favorites for an event. This is mostly used in England
Juice
The commission that bookmakers takes on a given bet.
K
Kelly Criterion
A popular bankroll management strategy for a bettor who seeks to limit losses while maximizing the amount won.
Key Numbers
A term referring to the most common margins of the final outcome in football due to its scoring increments of 3, 6, 7, and 10 points.
L
L3, L5, L10
Abbreviations that mean Last Three, Last Five, and Last 10.
Layoff (Layoff bet)
A bet by a bookmaker with the help of another sportsbook to reduce his potential losses and liability.
Limit
The maximum amount of money a sportsbook will allow you to bet on a game.
Lines
A term for the odds or point spread offered by a bookmaker.
Listed Pitcher
A baseball bet that is contingent on the pitchers that are listed to start the game when the bet is placed. The bet is voided and refunded if either pitcher fails to start the game.
Live Betting
Placing a bet on a game that has already started.
Lock
A slang term to describe a wager considered by a bettor as a can't-lose bet.
M
Margin
A form of betting that involves selecting a team to win as well as selecting the correct margin.
Marker
A special credit that allow players at casinos to receive money on the spot.
Martingale System
A betting strategy used in sports and other forms of gambling where bettors double the amount of a bet after losses.
Matched Bet
A betting technique used by individuals to profit from incentives and free bets offered by sportsbooks.
Middle/Middling
A betting strategy that places wagers on both sides of a game at different price with the hope of winning both bets.
Moneyline bet
A straight forward "pick the winner" bet on a person or team without involving a point spread with moneylines.
N
Neutral Site
Arena, court or field where neither side has a home field advantage. For example the Super Bowl most years.
Nickel
A slang term for a $500 bet.
No Action
A bet that is cancelled for various reasons and gets refunded to your account.
Novelty Bet
A term for placing bets with a sportsbook on non-sporting events such as the Oscars.
O
Odds
The numbers used to determine the potential payout of a wager, and the favorite and underdog of a game.
Odds-on Favorite
An overwhelming favorite to win a game that has low odds and pays much less than the amount of the bet.
Oddsmaker (Linemaker)
A person that sets the odds and lines at a sportsbook.
Off the Board
A game that sportsbooks are no longer accepting bets. This is usually due to injuries, weather, and other factors.
Opening Line
The first set of odds posted by a sportsbook for a game or an event.
Over/Under
A popular bet where bettors wager on how many total points will be scored in a game. The bookmaker sets a total and you wager on whether the actual total will be over or under.
Overlay
A situation in which the odds on a game favor the bettor instead of the house.
P
Parlay
A bet containing multiple wagers where all the teams must win for the bettor to be successful. The more bets added to the parlay, the bigger the potential win.
Play Betting
To make a bet after an event has already started.
Player Props
A player prop bet is a wager on an individual player to do something specific during a game. For example, will a certain player will post two hits in a baseball game?
Power Ranking
Experienced handicappers create a point spread and use it to compare with a sportsbook in order to find the best available bets.
Practical Hold Percentage
The amount won by a bookmaker or sportsbook divided by the total amount booked.
Press
A term that describes a bettor who begins wagering a larger than normal stake, generally in an attempt to recoup previous losses.
Proposition bets (prop)
A Prop Bet is a wager that is different from the basic point spread, moneyline, or point total. Bettors bet on a specific outcome in a game such as team stats and player performances.
Public Betting Percentage
This is the percentage of wagers placed by the general betting public.
Public Dog
When betting trends lean heavily toward an underdog.
Public Trends
Betting Percentages showing money and ticket count for games.
Puck Line
A form of a point spread based on the number of goals scored during a hockey game. The favorite is always -1.5 and the underdog +1.5. but sportsbooks might offer an alternative puck line with more or fewer goals scored.
Puppy
A slang term used to say a team is an underdog in a game.
Push
When a point spread bet lands exactly on the line offered by the sportsbook. The bettor doesn't win or lose money and all bets are refunded.
R
Real Time Odds
Real time lines that update immediately as sportsbooks adjust their lines.
Reduced Juice
A term that often describes a promotion when sportsbooks offer a shorter vig on a game, such as -105 per side instead of -110.
Reverse Line Movement
When a line (or point spread) moves differently than the money wagered on the game or event.
ROI
ROI or Return on Investment is a performance measure used to evaluate your return on your investment or stake.
Round Robin
A type of wager that involves breaking the larger bet down into several smaller parlay bets at the same time.
Run Line
A form of a point spread based on the number of runs scored during a baseball game. The favorite is always -1.5 and the underdog +1.5. but sportsbooks might offer an alternative run line with more or fewer runs scored.
Rundown
A line update listing all of the odds on games that are scheduled.
S
Score
A slang term used when a bettor wins a lot of money.
Scratch
A slang term used when a bettor withdraw or cancel.
Sharp (Wiseguy)
A term used to describe a professional sports bettor who bets with discipline and consistency.
Sharp Money
A slang term for bets placed by sharp or professional bettors that a sportsbook operator respects.
Side
A term used to describe the team that a bettor wagers on when placing a bet on the point spread.
Square
A slang term for a novice or recreational sports bettor who usually bets on sports as a hobby.
Steam (Steam Move)
A quick change on a line due to heavy wagering
Straight Bet
A wager on just one team as opposed to a parlay.
Straight Up
A simple bet on one team to win the game outright with no point spread involved.
Sucker Bet
A slang term for a bet with a large house edge and a low chance of winning.
T
Take the Price
Similar to taking the points. This is when a bettor takes the price on a game offered by the sportsbook. The bet is typically wagering a moneyline on the underdog.
Taking the points
A term used when a bettor wagers on the underdog side of a point spread and chooses the underdog to win - or lose by less than the point spread.
Tapped Out
A slang term used when a bettor is out of money.
Teaser
A special type of bet that allows bettors to adjust the point spread in their favor in exchange for a smaller payout.
Tissue Price
The initial set of odds offered by a sportsbook. This price is based on ratings and considered to be the fairest price on a bet.
TKO
Abbreviation for Technical Knockout in combat sports such as Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.
Toss Up
A term used for a game where the line is close to a pick-em and either side is expected to win.
Total bet (over/under)
A wager on the total number of points scored by both teams in a game, including overtime and extra innings.
Tout (Tout Service)
A person or company who sells or gives away sports betting picks on games.
Trend
Short and long-term angles that handicappers and bettors follow or fade in their bets.
Triple Sharp
The sharpest of the sharp (Note: There is no such term as "Double Sharp")
True Odds
True odds are the actual odds of a game taking place and is the most accurate point spread or moneyline.
U
Under
A term used when the combined score of two teams is less than what the sportsbook set.
Underlay
A term used when the chances of a competitor are not true and the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house.
Units
A term used to describe the size of a given bet on a game.
V
Value
A bet where the likelihood of winning is higher than the odds suggest.
vigorish/Vig
Similar to juice, this is the tax the bookmaker earns for handling wagers.
W
Wager
A term used for placing any type of bet. Risking money to try and predict the outcome of a game.
Win Totals
A future wager that allows bettors to handicap the number of victories and losses of a team during the course of a regular season.
Wire-to-Wire
A bet where a team will have the lead after every quarter for the entire game.
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