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GLOSSARY AND BETTING TERMS

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Accumulator
Used mostly in European markets, this is the same as a parlay , with multiple bets tied together for a larger payout. All bets in the accumulator must win to pay out.

Across the Board
Wagering on a horse to win, place and show.

Action
A bet.

Agent
A person that places customers into a sportsbook for a commission.

Alternative line
A different point spread point spread or total from the standard line with adjusted vig to reflect the risk of that line.


American odds
Also known as moneyline odds or US odds, American odds display in hundreds and thousands with a plus (+) or minus (-) to reflect the Favorite /underdog and expected return. If a team is listed as a 5/1 underdog, they would be shown as +500 in American Odds. Convert odds using our odds converter tool


Arbitrage
A strategy that involves betting on both sides of a wager at different odds – most often at different sportsbooks – to guarantee a profit regardless of result.


Asian handicap
Seen in soccer betting and created due to the abundance of matches that end in a draw, Asian handicaps are set in full, half, and even quarter-goal increments and must win by a certain number of goals.


ATS
An acronym for “Against the Spread,” often used when citing a team’s record against the point spread in football or basketball.

B

Backdoor cover
A last-second cover due to a late score at the end of the game.


Bad beat
An improbable betting loss that usually happens late in the game.


Bankroll
A determined amount of money used for betting.


Bankroll management
A strategy around the size of bets and how those bets are placed. Also known as money management.


Beard
A person who makes bets for someone else. Also known as a runner.


Betting exchange
A place in which bettors wager against each other and set their own odds rather than bet against the book. The exchange takes a small percentage of those bets as an operating cost.


Bitcoin
A popular cryptocurrency used by many online sportsbooks and celebrated for its transfer speed, lack of regulations, and anonymity.


Bonus
A prize or promotion offered by a sportsbook to entice new sign-ups, deposits, or increase action on a certain game or market. These often come with stipulations and rules.


Book/Bookie/Bookmaker
A person who takes bets.


Buying points
Adding points to a point spread or total, which comes with adjusted vig to match the risk.

C

Cash out
Withdraw your winnings from a sportsbook.

Chalk
The betting favorite.

Chalk eater
A person who bets only favorites.

Chasing/Chase
Trying to recoup money lost by erratically and rashly betting or increasing wager size.

Circle/Circle game
A game where the betting limits are lowered, usually due to injuries, weather, or other uncertainties.

Closing line
The final set of odds for an event before sportsbooks take it off the board for betting.

Consensus
The more popular side of a bet. The Covers Consensus shows the percentage of bets placed on one side.

Contrarian
Someone who bets against public opinion, consensus percentages, or the popular option.

Correlated parlay
A parlay in which the bets involved are connected in some way, such as parlaying a big favorite to cover and betting Over the total, knowing that the team will need to score a lot to cover the spread.

Cover
A team winning against the spread. Often referred to as “covering the spread”.

Cross-sport prop
A prop bet that includes results from two different sports. Most often bet during big events such as the Super Bowl.

D

Decimal odds
Sometimes referred to as European odds , these are displayed in decimal numbers such as 1.91. Decimal odds show the full return (win plus original wager) for a $1 bet. Convert odds using our odds converter tool

Degenerate
A compulsive gambler.

Dime
In betting terms, $1,000.

Dime line
Used when describing American odds with a 10-cent difference between the two lines. Viewed in dollar and cents, -115/+105 is looked at as $1.15/$1.05 – a 10 cent difference.

Draw
Tie game or match, most often a betting option in soccer and combat sports.
Decimal odds

Double action
A bet which is conditional on the success of a preceding bet.

Double bet
Where a bettor plays twice the amount of a usual bet, normally in reaction to a perceived ‘good thing’. Also known as “double pop” or “doubling up”.

Double result
A conditional bet that combines the result at half-time with the result at full-time.

Double-header
Two high-profile games played close to each other on the same day.

Drift
When odds lengthen, implying a decreased likelihood of the event occurring; odds are said to have drifted or are “on the drift”.

E

Early cash out
An online sportsbook option to collect partial winnings before a bet has officially been decided.


Edge
The advantage a bettor may perceive to have over the book.


European odds
Sometimes referred to as decimal odds, these are displayed in decimal numbers such as 1.91. European odds show the full return (win plus original wager) for a $1 bet. Convert odds using our odds converter tool


Even money
A wager on which a side lays no juice or vigorish.


Exacta
A horse racing bet in which you pick the two horses to finish first and second.


Exotic
Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay. Also referred to as a proposition or prop.


Expected value (EV)
A measurement for expected wins or losses over the long term. Positive Expected Value (+EV) will provide long-term profits. Negative Expected Value (-EV) will provide long-term losses.


Exposure
The maximum amount of money a sportsbook stands to lose on a game. Also known as liability.

F

Favourite 
The selection that the markets sees as the most probable winner of a given event. The quoted odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favoured.

First half bet
A bet on the outcome of the first half of a game only.

First/last goal scorer
A bet on the specific scorer of the first or the last goal/try in a given game.

Fixed-odds betting
The type of betting offered by traditional bookmakers with odds fixed at the time the bet is struck, as opposed to other formats where odds/return is fluid.

Fractional odds
Odds expression (most commonly used in the UK) which presents odds in a fractional format.

Future
Odds for the winner of a specific future event often posted far in advance of it occurring. Examples include the EPL winner, Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, or the NBA Championship this is called a Future bet.

G

Getting down
Placing a bet.

Giving the points
Betting the favorite.

Grand salami
An Over/Under bet based on the collective points, goals, or runs scored for all the games on a day’s schedule.

H

Halftime line
A set of odds released at the half of a game based solely on the second-half result. Also known as a second-half line.


Handicapper
A person who studies factors such as statistics, injuries, weather, and news to predict the outcome of games.


Handle
The total amount of money wagered at a sportsbook, either overall, on a certain sport, or on a single game.


Heater
A winning streak.


Hedge
Wagering on the opposite side of an existing bet to guarantee a profit, regardless of the result.


High roller
A bettor that wagers large sums of money.


Hold
The amount of money the sportsbook wins after they pay out winning bets.


Home-field/Home-court advantage
A perceived point value in the spread favoring the host team. Home-field advantage in football is often perceived as three points or a field goal.


Hook
The half-point (.5) in point spreads. Betting with the hook eliminates the chances of a push

I

In-play
Betting markets that constantly adjust during an event, allowing you to bet on a game while it’s being played live.


In the money
A horse racing term for a horse that finishes first, second, or third (win, place, show).


If bet
Multiple bets which are conditional on a sequence of outcomes.

J

Joint favourite
One of two selections priced as favourite.

Juice
The implied cost 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.

K

Kelly Criterion
Popular staking method which suggests that stake should be proportional to the perceived edge.

L

Laying the price/points
Playing a favorite.


Layoff
Money bet by a sportsbook with another bookmaker to reduce its liability.


Liability
The amount of money the sportsbooks stands to lose on a particular side of a bet. Also known as exposure.


Limit
The maximum amount of money accepted for one bet.


Line movement
Adjustments made to the betting odds by a sportsbook, based on the handle, liability, injuries, trades, weather, and other influencing factors.


Linemaker
Someone who sets the betting odds. Also known as an oddsmaker.


Lines
The odds of a game (also referred to as price).


Live betting
Also known as in-play/in-game/in-running. Betting on an event as it happens.


Live odds
Odds markets that constantly adjust during an event.


Lock
Used to describe an easy winner or a can’t-lose bet.


Long shot
A bet with a small win probability.

M

Margin 
The implied cost 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.

Match bet
A bet that focuses on the performance of two variables against each other within an event (e.g. which of two horses will finish first).

Middle
A situation where you win on both sides of the same bet by exploiting odds/points movements/discrepancies over time.

Money Line
A bet on the outcome of a match/game. One of three basic bet types.

Multiple 
A combination of dependant bets offering proportionately higher returns, often using standardised permutations:

Double – 1 bet covering two co-dependant selections

Treble – 1 bets covering three co-dependant selections

Trixie – 4 bets covering limited permutations of three selections (1 treble, 3 doubles)

Patent – 7 bets covering all permutations of three selections (1 treble, 3 doubles, 3 singles)

Yankie – 11 bets covering limited permutations of four selections (1 four-timer, 4 trebles, 6 doubles)

Lucky 15 – 15 bets covering all permutations of four selections (1 four-timer, 4 trebles, 6 doubles, 4 singles)

Lucky 31 – 31 bets covering all permutations of five selections (5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-timers and a five-timer)

Bets covering permutations of higher numbers of selections exist such as Canadian (5), Heinz (6), Super Heinz (7), Goliath (8)

MVP
Bets placed on an individual player to be the Most Valuable Player over a season or series throughout a competition (typically basketball and the NBA).

Matchup page
A detailed page with stats and information comparing two sides of a game for handicapping purposes..

Middle/Middling
Betting both sides of a game at different price with the hope of winning both wagers. Example: If a bettor played Chicago (-4) and Los Angeles (+6) and Chicago won by five points, the result would land in the middle of those two spreads and the bettor would win both bets.

Money management
A system or set of rules bettors follow when it comes to the bet size, total amount risked, and how their money will be divided between certain types of bets. Also known as bankroll management.

Moneyline
A moneyline bet is a wager on the outright winner with odds based on a team’s chances of winning.

Moose
An extremely bad last-second loss.

Mush
A bettor who is bad luck.

N

Nap
The best bet of the day. From the card game Napoleon in which the “nap” is the best hand.


Newbie/Noob
A person who is new to sports betting.


Nickel
In betting terms, $500


Novelty odds
Betting markets on non-sporting events, such as Oscars, TV, or pop culture.

O

Odds 
A representation of the perceived frequency of an event derived from the underlying probability which enables betting.

Odds format
Different international conventions that have been developed to represent odds.

Where a coin-toss has 50% probability for heads there are three common ways to represent the odds of the event:

Europe (Decimal) – 2.0

UK (Fractions) – Evens (or 1/1, or even money)

US (American) – +100; a (+) indicates the amount that would be won for every 100 bet placed. (-) indicates how much must be bet to win 100.

Odds on favourite
A horse, team, or individual where the odds imply a chance of greater than 50%.

Oddsmaker 
Person responsible for setting the lines/odds at a bookmaker.

Off the board
A game on which the bookmaker will not accept bets.

Outright betting (see also Ante-post, Future, Special)

Placing a bet on the winner of an entire competition, instead of a single match (e.g. the World Cup or the EPL).

Over
Bet on whether the total of any given variable will be over the mark set by a bookmaker. One of three basic bet types.

Overbroke
Term to describe when the betting percentage of a market is less than 100% and therefore providing an advantage to the bettor and the opposite to the bookmaker.

Overround
Term to describe when the betting percentage of a market is above 100% and therefore providing an advantage to the bookmaker and the opposite to the bettor.

P

Parlay 
Where more than one bet is combined, the odds accumulated and success is dependent on all selections winning.

Payout
The return on a winning bet.

Pick ’em
When there is a zero Handicap and neither team is favoured. Also called a “pick” in sports betting terms.

Points Spread
The measure of perceived difference in the abilities of participants in a given event as illustrated in the Handicap/Spread market.

The favourite is always indicated by a minus sign (e.g. -8.5pts) and the underdog by a plus sign (e.g.+8.5pts).

For betting purposes, the outcome of the game is determined by taking the actual game score and finding the difference between the scores of the two teams playing (called the points spread or just the “spread”).

Power-ranking
System of ratings based on historical data which is used by bettors for predictive purposes.

Price
Another term for odds, line or points spread.

Prop (Proposition) bet
A derivative bet on events within a match or game (e.g. first goal scorer, or time of first yellow card).

Public money
The influence of bets from recreational punters normally on the favourite, and struck close to post time.

Push 
When the contest ends with no winner or loser for betting purposes and stakes are refunded.

Q

Quarter bet

A bet on the outcome of one specific quarter of a game only.

R

Reduced juice
Often a promotion by sportsbooks offering shorter vig than the standard -110 flat rate, such as -105 per side.


Reverse line movement
When there are more bets on one side, but the line is moving in the opposite direction, indicating that more money is wagered on the other side.


ROI (Return on Investment)
Measurement for gain/loss on an investment relative to the amount invested.


Rotation number
The rotation number is an ID number assigned to each betting option available.


Round robin
A single ticket that consists of more than one parlay.


Run line
The run line is baseball’s version of the point spread. Usually set at 1.5 runs.


Runner
One who places bets for another. Also known as a beard.

S

Scalping
Exploiting price/bonus discrepancies between various bookmakers for profit.

Second half bet (see also First half, Quarter bet)

A bet on the outcome of the second half of a game only.

Sell (points) (see also Buy points)

Decreasing a point spread advantage in exchange for increased odds.

Sharp
A sophisticated or professional bettor.

SP
Abbreviation for “starting price”, which is the official odds returned in UK horse racing/greyhound racing.

Special
Any bet outside of the three basic types or their derivatives (Money Line/1×2, Handicap/Spread, Total).

Split-ball handicap
Where a Handicap bet is split into two separate bets one at each handicap level provided by the bookmaker, whether it is on Asian Handicaps or Totals etc.

Sportsbook 
Another name for a Bookmaker.

Spread
The predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sportsbook.

Spread betting
An alternative to fixed odds betting where a Spread is offered on the outcome of an event and a bettor decides whether the outcome will be higher or lower. The loss or return is the multiple of their unit stake X the difference between the result and the Spread taken.

Square
A betting novice or amateur.

Stake
The amount of money a bettor risks on a specific bet.

Staking method
Method of calculating the appropriate amount of money to place on a bet for consistent profit making as part of a betting strategy.

Steam
When odds move rapidly due to a large volume of bets over a short period of time. Most “steam games” do not necessarily reflect objective circumstances, but can often reflect herd instinct or inherent biases toward favoured teams.

Straight bet
A bet on the outcome of one of the three basic bet types.

T

Taking the points
Betting on the underdog and receiving the advantage of the positive Point Spread.

Teaser
A special type of sports parlay which offers adjusted point spreads or totals for the constituent bets. The cost of the adjusted Spreads/Totals (Teasing) is reflected in the odds

Ticket
A sports bet, historically confirmed by a physical ticket, but still applied to online bets.

Tie
A bet in which no money is lost nor won because there wasn’t a positive outcome for the purposes of the bet.

Tip
A betting prediction provided by someone with perceived knowledge of the event/competitors.

Tipster
Someone who provides tips.

Tissue price
Guide price which is only a very tentative guesstimate and likely to quickly change.

Total
The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game. One of the three basic bet types. Bets can be placed on whether the Total will be higher or lower than the number set by the bookmaker.

Totals bet
Where the bettor speculates that the total score by both teams/players in a game will be more or less than the level posted by the bookmaker.

Tout

Someone who sells betting tips.

True odds

The true reflection of the underlying probability of an event to which a bookmaker will add their margin.

U

Under
Betting below the projected total.


Underdog
The team or person expected to lose.


Underlay
A situation in which the odds on a game favor the house, rather than the bettor. Opposite of overlay.

V

Value
Betting at odds that represent a lower chance than the underlying probability and therefore offer ‘value’ to the bettor in terms of increased potential profit.


Vig/Vigorish
The vig/vigorish is an amount of commission kept by the house. Also called juice.

W

Wager
A bet.


Welch
Not pay out a bet.


Wise guy
A savvy or professional bettor. Also known as a sharp or smart money.

X

X-sport prop
A prop bet that includes results from two different sports. Most often bet during big events like the Super Bowl. Also known as a cross-sport prop.

Y

Yankee tax
An additional buffer that oddsmakers add when setting odds for popular or public teams, knowing that those teams will draw a lot of action. Named after the New York Yankees.

Z

Zebras
Referees.

Do you have any suggestions for additional sports betting terms?let us know

FAQS

Hedging is a strategy that bettors use to reduce their risk of losing money. It involves placing bets on both sides of a game.

A teaser bet is a type of parlay bet where the bettor can move the point spreads or over/unders in their favor by giving up some of the potential payout.

A point spread is a number that bookmakers assign to a game to level the playing field and make the odds more even.

A moneyline bet is a bet on the winner of a game, without the point spread. TheFor negative American odds: (100 / -American odds) + 1 = Decimal odds.

You can always use our odds calculator is you find it confusing

A parlay bet is a combination of bets that must all win in order for the bettor to win.For decimal odds between 1.01 and 1.99: -100 / (Decimal odds – 1) = American odds

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