Sports Betting Terms | Complete Glossary [Guide]

Legal sports betting is growing rapidly in the US. Bettors are eagerly waiting to place a few sawbucks on the first NFL game, tonight’s Yankees games, or the Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup. Maybe this whole thing of sports betting is new to your. TheLines has you covered.

This article will provide some insight into the terms used in sports betting.

Accumulator – This is similar in concept to a parlay, as it involves multiple bets in one wager. To win the wager, each bet must win. If an accumulator loses one leg, the wager is lost.

Alternate Lines-All sportsbooks offer points spreads (lines) on sporting events. Different point spreads (or alternates) may be offered by different sportsbooks that offer different odds for the exact same game. These offer bettors more choices to place wagers on specific games.

American Odds – American odds are displayed differently from the rest of the globe. In the USA, moneyline odds are displayed as +/- a number. The same odds may be displayed with a decimal or fraction outside the US. Example: Yankees +400 American odds are 5.0 or 4/1. If the wager is successful, the bettor will take home the same amount.

Arbitrage – This strategy is where you place a bet on every outcome of an event in order to make a profit regardless of who wins. This can be done best with futures or moneyline wagers in the US. It will typically take place across multiple sportsbooks.

Asian Handicap is a way to wager on soccer, where the “handicapped” team is the favourite. This type of betting originated in Asia.

Backdoor Cover – This is a term that refers to a team that covers a late-game point spread. The late cover team may not have any effect on the final result, but it may affect the wager.

Banker – A European wager that is similar to the round robin in the US, a banker. To make different “accumulator (parlay), bets, different teams can be placed in a “system wager”.

Bankroll – The total amount of money that a betor must have in order to place wagers.

Beard – A person who bets on another person’s inability to know.

Betting Exchange – A platform that allows people to wager against each other instead of against a book. An exchange operator receives a small percentage from winning wagers. This market is often regarded as the most efficient for sports betting.

Betting Unit – A betting unit refers to the amount of a typical bet. Different bankroll sizes may be available to betting operators. A unit allows them to share the amount of their wagers without having to give away any dollar amounts. A high roller may have a wager size of $10,000, while a low roller might wager a wager size of $20.

Bonus – Many reasons sportsbooks offer financial bonuses to their customers include: Signup bonuses are the best way to encourage bettors to use certain sportsbooks.

Chalk – The term used to describe the team that is the favorite at an event. This is usually a large favorite team or player. The chalk is by a wide margin the winner.

Circle Game – A sportsbook will circle a game if the betting limits are lower than normal. This is most common in situations where there’s a questionable injured before a game. This can also occur if there is a possibility of bad weather or a trade rumor.

Opening Line – This refers to the opening point spread for a game.

Closing Line – This is the place where the point spread begins when the game starts.

Closing Line Value – This term is used to determine the value of the lines bettors placed before the last line was available before a game starts.

Consensus is a general agreement on something. Consensus could be the most widely used line or team bet in sports betting.

Contrarian – Betting that is not in line with the popular opinion. Contrarian bettors place wagers when the value is on the opposing opinion.

Dead Heat – This is another way to indicate that there is a tie at the finish line. Sportsbooks have different rules regarding how they will pay for a tie or dead heat.

Decimal Odds: This is a different way of presenting odds than Americans use to. These are sometimes known as “European Odds” because they’re how European sportsbooks list odds. It is much easier for bettors to understand the math than US moneyline odds. Decimal odds can be calculated by simply calculating the amount of each wager x odds.

Dime Line – This is the difference in the moneyline odds payout of the money placed on the favorite and that paid to the underdog. For example, Vegas Golden Knights -125 vs. San Jose Sharks +115. The traditional profit margin for sportsbooks is 10 points (the dime line).

Dog – Short for underdog. This team is unlikely to win.

Double Chance – This term is used mainly for soccer betting in Europe. Double chance wagers give the bettor twice the chances to win a bet. A soccer result can be either a win, loss or tie. Double chance bettors may combine the results of two or more of the three outcomes. This doubles the odds of winning the wager.

Double Pop – This is a European way to say that a betor will place twice the usual amount. This is more commonly known as “doubling up” in the USA.

Early Cash Out – This is a way for bettors settle a wager for a specific dollar amount before the event ends. This is a way for you to lock in a profit even though the wager will ultimately pay less.

Edge – A bettor’s advantage over the sportsbook (or vice versa).

Even Money – A wager which pays the same amount as it was risked. A sportsbook will list an even-money bet as either +100 or –100. There is no vigorish, unlike traditional -110 wagers. Instead of betting $110 to win $100, a bettor can risk $100 to win $100.

Exacta – Choosing horses that will finish first or second in a race. This can be used for competitive sports, but it is rarely offered.

Exotic Wager – These are not your traditional sports bets. Exotic wagers don’t include futures, moneyline or point spread bets on an event. This type of wager is commonly listed in sportsbooks as a prop bet.

Expected value – This calculation is used by a betor to determine if a wager should win over time. A positive expected value (EV), bets that are placed over time, is a great way to win as a sports bettor.

Exposure is the potential loss of money that a sportsbook could incur for a particular event. Sportsbooks could have a lot more exposure (money at stake) if one team wins a championship than another.

First Half – This is a derivative bet that can only be placed on a game that has two halves. The most popular sports for placing a first-half wager are basketball and football. This is sometimes called a “halftime result” in soccer.

Fixed Odds – These are the odds most sports betting customers will see. The odds of winning a bet are fixed once the wager has been placed. They don’t change after that point. Parimutuel betting can cause a change in the odds for horse bettors.

Flat Betting – Simply stated, flat betting is a system in which all bets are equal. The wager amount is not affected by wins or losses. The wager is typically a percentage of the bankroll, but it could also be a fixed dollar amount.

Fractional odds – This is another type of odds that is used primarily in Britain and Ireland. Instead of being listed as a moneyline (500), odds are listed in fractions (1/5) rather than the US sportsbooks’ moneyline.

Grand Salami – A very popular hockey wager, where the wager is for the total number of goals scored in a given day by all teams. Some sportsbooks offer variants for home, away or specific periods of games. You may find a similar bet at some sportsbooks for Major League Baseball runs.

Handicapper – A person who analyses sports events to predict which team or player will win.

Handle – This is the amount that a sportsbook takes from bets. This can be broken down by region, sport, casino, and many other factors.

Hedge – Sports bettors use hedge to reduce or guarantee the loss of a wager.

Home Field – This is the court, rink, or field where one team plays. Where one team plays its game.

Hook – A way to say half a point. A team might be a 3.5-point underdog. This could be called “three and the hook.”

Joint Favorite: When two people are chosen to be the favorite for an event. This is most commonly used in England.

Kelly Criterion is a popular strategy to manage a bankroll. It allows a bettor to minimize losses and maximize the winnings.

Layoff – A bookmaker who reduces the chance of losing bets by placing a wager with another sportsbook. This is usually when there is excessive wagering on one side of the game, and the bookie or sportsbook want to reduce potential losses.

The Listed Pitcher – A baseball bet that only activates if the pitcher is listed as the starting pitcher. A bettor may place a wager on “action” if the pitcher is not important. This wager will occur regardless of the player who starts the game.

Live betting – Place a bet on an event or game while it is happening. This is also called In Play wagering.

Lock – This is another way to say that a player or team will win easily. (Note: This may not always be true, regardless of what sports experts or touts might say.

Margin – A wager in which a bettor picks a team to win by a certain number of points, regardless of the spread. The Oakland Raiders would win by 10-14 points over the Los Angeles Chargers, for example. For a win, the Raiders must win by 11, 12 or 13 points. A win by 10 or more points is considered a push.

Martingale System: A system that allows bettors to double the amount of a wager after losing. This system is suitable for both sports and other types of gambling, such as. blackjack).

Mid/Middle – A sports bet that is positioned on two sides of the same sport is called middling. This gives the bettor multiple chances of winning wagers on the same sport.

Matched Bet – When a bettor takes advantage of free wagers offered by a sportsbook operator in order to increase his potential profit. This technique is popular in legal US sports betting markets where promotional offers are available.

Nickel – Place a $500 wager. A “Dime” wager is $1,000.

A novelty bet is a wager placed on an event that is not related to sports with a betting site. You could bet on the Oscars in New Jersey. These types of bets are more popular internationally.

The odds-on favorite – A team or individual is highly favored to win an event or game. These odds often pay much less than the amount they have wagered.

Off the Board – A sportsbook that stops accepting wagers on a participant or event will remove their game odds from its betting board. This is often due to injury or uncertainty.

Public Betting Percentage (or the percentage of bets that are placed by the general public)

Puck Line – This is a spread of points based on the goals that were scored in a hockey match. Because there are so few goals, the base puck line for a hockey game is usually plus/minus 1.5. Sportsbooks may offer a different puck line that has more or less goals.

Puppy – This is another way to describe a team as an underdog in a match.

Push – A point spread wager that lands exactly at the line provided by the sportsbook. Push – The bettor gets their money back if they push. The New York Jets are 14 points ahead of the New England Patriots. If they win by exactly fourteen points, the wager pushes the wagerer and the original wager is refunded.

Player Props – A prop bet on a player’s performance during a game is called a player prop. What player, for example, will score the most points in a football match?

Power Ranking – Also known as Power Rating – A ranking score is created for each team to allow a handicapper, bettor or sportsbook to create a point spread. To find the best possible bets, handicappers with experience compare their points spreads with a book.

Reduced juice – A sportsbook that lowers the vig for a particular game. A sportsbook may offer -105 instead of -110 for a particular game. If the wager wins, the juice is reduced and a betor can take home more.

Reverse Line Movement is when a line or point spread moves in a different direction than the money wagered.

ROI – Return on Investment is an acronym that stands for Return on Investment. You can calculate the ROI of a sports bet by simply adding (Gain From Investment – Cost Of Investment) to your Cost of Investment.

Round Robin – This is a wager in which you place multiple parlay bets simultaneously.

Run Line – A point spread for baseball games that is determined by the number of runs scored. Because there are so many runs in baseball, the run line is usually plus/minus 1.5. Sportsbooks may offer a different run line that has more or less runs.

Runner – Someone who places bets at a betting site for another person. This person could also be called a “beard”.

Sharp Money – The money wagered by sports betting operators. Professional bettors often place large wagers that are considered sharp money. Not all large wagers can be considered to be sharp.

Square – Casual and recreational sports betting. This person bets on sports as a hobby. These bettors are not respected as highly by the sportsbook operators.

Steam – When the odds of a participant or game changing because of money wagered is called steam. Some bettors “follow the money” and “chase steam”, believing that the bettors are able to predict what the outcome will be.

Straight Up – A team’s win or loss at an event. The point spread doesn’t affect the winner or loser.

Take the Points: When a betor places a wager against an underdog, they are taking the points offered to them by the sportsbook.

Take the Price – Similar to taking the points. This is where a betor pays the price for a game offered at the sportsbook. The moneyline bet involves placing a wager on the underdog.

Tissue price – This is the initial odds offered by a betting site. This is the most fair price for a bet.

TKO – Abbreviation of a Technical Knockout (boxing)

Totals – Bettors will select the total number of points, runs, goals, or other numbers.

Tout – A person selling or giving away picks in sports betting.

True Odds – True odds are the actual odds that an event will occur. This is also known as the moneyline or point spread in sports betting.

Wire-toWire – A wager that a team leads at each quarter or for a certain number of quarters. These bets are very popular in basketball.


Last Updated on October 11, 2021

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