Sports Betting 102 - Sports Betting Terms
Action - A wager or bet of any kind; having action means having a bet.
Against the Spread (ATS) - To bet against the spread is to make a wager that will be decided by adding points to one team or the other after the game is played.
Agent - A middleman who places players into a sports book for a commission.
Arbitrage - An arbitrage is a combination of bets so that if one bet loses another wins. There is an implication of having an edge, at no or low risk. The second bet hedges the first.
Back Door Cover - Meaningless points scored to cover the spread, by a team that is likely to lose
Bad Beat - A tough loss, e.g., when unwanted points are scored against your wager in the dying seconds of an event, or your horse loses by a nose, after leading all the way.
Book - A sports book or betting establishment that sets odds and accepts wagers on the outcome of sporting events.
Bookie (Bookmaker) - A person, house or organization that takes players' bets.
Bonus whore - A player who opens an account in an online sports book, poker room, or casino in order to get a bonus with no intention of playing long-term.
Chalk - The favored team, side, contestant or horse in a sports event.
Cover - To win against the spread.
A Dime - The sum of $1,000.00.
Dime Line - Less than the standard 20-cent line, the "dime line" is sometimes offered in baseball by player friendly sportsbooks. The dime line charges only half the juice of standard football/basketball bets.
Dog - A term for underdog, Alpo or puppy, i.e., the contestant or team that gets the points.
A Dollar - The sum of $100.00.
Edge - The advantage in any wager.
Even Money - A wager where neither side lays any odds, both sides bet $100 to win $100.
Exotic Wager - Action other than a straight wager, e.g., teasers, futures, round robins etc.
Fade - To bet against.
Favorite - The team expected to win.
Fixed - A slang term referring to the outcome of a race, contest or game that has been illegally pre-determined.
Futures - A type of wager made, or lines/odds posted, on an event, or outcome, that will be determined sometime in the future, e.g., betting during the season on which team will win the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Championship or Stanley Cup etc.
Handicapper - A person who analyzes, studies and rates sporting events.
Hedge - To bet the opposite of an original bet to offset the possible loss on the original action.
Hook - A half point added to football and basketball point spreads, as in 3.5 or 3 and a hook. Bettors "buying the hook", are paying extra odds to move the spread by an extra ½ point.
Hooked - The loss of a wager by exactly a half point.
Juice - The amount charged by the bookmaker for taking bets.
Lay the Points - a wager on a favorite in a point spread event.
Lay the Price - a wager on a favorite in a money line event.
Line - Refers to the listed odds, points, money line or point spread for any given event.
Linemaker - the person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines for an event.
Longshot - An extreme underdog.
Middle - Winning both sides of the same betting proposition. Placing a wager on the favorite team at -2 1/2 with one sportsbook, then taking +3 1/2 with another sportsbook. When the game ends up with the favorite winning by exactly 3 points, the player has middled the game. Middling is a favorite betting method of wise guys.
Money Line - Odds strictly on the straight-up game outcome with no consideration for a point spread.
Neutral Sites - The site of a sporting event where neither team has home-field advantage.
Newspaper Line - The lines that appear in various daily newspapers.
A Nickel - A $500.00 wager.
Odds - The likelihood of an outcome occurring, stated in number form.
Oddsmaker - Same as the linesmaker, i.e. the person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines for an event.
Overlay - The odds of a wager are higher than they should be, and tend to favor the player rather than the house.
Over/Under Bet- Over/Under is a bet on the combined scores or total points scored by both teams in a game.
Parlay - A bet on two or more teams, or outcomes, in no particular order, where all selections must win for the player to be successful. All teams wagered on in a parlay must win to ensure a payoff.
Parlay Card - A set of sides, totals, and prop bets printed on a card. The numbers on the parlay card apply only to bets on the card and could be different from bets listed on the board. You will need to select at least three bets if you want to play the card.
Past Performance - an accurate record of the performance of specific teams, horses or contestants when participating in sports events similar to those scheduled.
Past Post - A bet made after a sporting event has started. Term originated from "post time" for horse racing.
Pick or Pick'em - a game where no team, or betting option, is favorite.
Point Spread (or Spread) - Used to even the odds of a particular sporting event. Each team has points either added to its score, or subtracted from its score, to determine if the bet is a winner.
Power Ratings - Numbers that handicappers assign to teams to estimate how likely one team is to beat the other.
Press - To wager a greater amount than usual.
Price - The money line odds or point spread on the favorite of a sports event.
Proposition Bet - A wager on a specific aspect of an event such as the number of field goals, free throws, etc., that will be made.
Public Money - The money that the public is betting on or action coming from unsophisticated bettors or squares. Public bettors possess no special information, but rather bet based upon information available in newspapers and TV preview shows.
Push - A tie between the player and the sportsbook where the final score of a game is exactly the same as the point spread, or the total points (combined scores of both teams). This bet has no action.
Revenge Game - A team playing an opponent who beat the team in their previous matchup - therefore the team would like to "revenge" the loss.
Rundown - A line (or spread) update.
Run Line - A line used when wagering on baseball. The line adds 1.5 runs to the underdog and subtracts 1.5 runs from the favorite.
Runner - A messenger player who places a bet for another.
Scalper - One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds, from book to book, by wagering both sides of the same game at different set prices.
Scout - A person who studies the performance and potential of teams, horses or contestants, in or out of play, and reports the pertinent findings to handicapper(s).
Sharp Bettor - A player who has an edge due to his superior knowledge.
Side - To bet on a single team to win a game against the spread (ATS).
Smart Money - Money wagered on a side by knowledgeable handicappers.
Soft Line - A wagering line that is not current with the true posted line, that is, a line that has been adjusted, or moved, as a result of action, but does not reflect the true line as posted.
Sportsbook - A person or company that accepts bets.
Spread- An abbreviated form of point spread.
Square - An unsophisticated player.
Stake - money used to wager on the success or failure of a particular event.
Straight Up - Winning on the scoreboard without any regard to the point spread.
Straight Wager - A single straightforward wager on a selected side, or over/under. The team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager.
Sucker Bet - A wager that overwhelmingly favors the bookmaker or house.
Syndicate - A group of people making a combined effort to win money betting sports.
Take the Points - A bet on the underdog so that the bettor "takes the points" in the point spread.
Tapped Out - a condition experienced by players who are broke (busted).
Teaser - A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in favor of the player.
Ten Cent Line - The money line difference (10 cents) between what a player bets with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog.
Toke - A tip or gratuity.
Total - The total is a number set by the sportsbook for total points to be scored by both teams during a game.
Tout - Tout - A person who either sells or gives away his selections on games, races or contests.
Trend - Using past game results to predict future results.
Twenty Cent Line - The money line difference (20 cents) between what a player bets with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog. These odds are worse than the 10 cent line.
Underdog - The team, side or contestant in any given event considered to be the least likely to win.
Underlay - The odds of a particular wagering proposition are lower than they should be, that is, they favor the house.
Upset - A straight-up win for an underdog against a favored opponent.
Value - Getting the best odds on a proposition, the highest possible edge.
The Vig - The sportsbook's commission (same as the Juice).
Wise Guy - A well-informed, knowledgeable, and successful sports handicapper or player.
Top of Page