Sports Betting Glossary

You've decided to get into sports betting in a big way, so it's important that as you walk the walk, you learn how to talk the talk. No doubt you've heard plenty of words and terminology associated with sports wagering. Maybe there's some of those words and terms that you are already aware of the meaning and how they relate to the sports-betting industry. Then again, maybe there's some terms that you are uncertain about, or that you've never heard uttered before getting into the game. Well, we're here to help.

Talking The Talk

What follows is an extensive glossary of sports betting terms. Read on and find out how much you know . . . or should we say, how much you are in the know.

Across The Board: Horse racing jargon for a wager in which you are betting the horse to win, place or show in a specific race.

Accumulator: A wager in which you have bet on several outcomes, and all must be correct for you to cash a winning ticket.

Action: Slang term for holding a live betting slip on a sporting event.

Against The Spread: When you place a bet against the point spread in a game.

Arbitrage: A situation in which the odds on availability for a single betting market enable the possibility that you can make more than one wager and guarantee yourself a profitable outcome.

Asian Handicap: A form of spread wagering that as the name suggests, originated in Indonesia and has become a popular method for betting on soccer.

Bad Beat: Losing a bet in a spectacularly unfortunate and unpredictable fashion.

Banker: A wager that is considered to be a mortal lock to turn out a winner.

Bankroll: The amount of money that you have allocated for wagering purposes.

Beard: Someone who conceals their identity and places bet for someone else.

Betting Exchange: A forum that eliminates the need for a bookmaker and allows bettors to square off in wagers against each other.

Bettor: A person who places a bet.

Book: An establishment that accepts wagers.

Bookie: Shortform or slang for a bookmaker.

Bookmaker: A person or professional organization that accepts wagering on sporting events.

BR: Shortform for a bankroll.

Buck: Slang term for a wager valued at $100.

Buy Points: Paying sportsbooks a fee in the form of lower odds to shave or add a half point (and sometimes more) to a bet.

Canadian Line: A form of wagering utilized in hockey that combines the moneyline and point spread.

Chalk: Slang team meaning the favorite in a bet. 

Chalk Players: Gamblers who prefer to place wagers on favorites.

Circled Game: A game in which the bookmaker has placed limited terms on wagering.

Combination Bet: A bet that combines more than one type of wager.

Cover The Spread: A winning wager in which the favorite has successfully bettered the pointspread.

Dead Heat: When two or more horse finished tied for the same position in a race.

Decimal Odds: One of the three main ways to display odds on a game that is employed by a sportsbook.

Degenerate: A frequent gambler who loses most of his bets and wagers recklessly.

Dime: Slang for a $1000 wager.

Dime Line: A betting line with a vigorish of 10 percent.

Dog: Shortform for an underdog.

Dog Player: Someone who prefers to wager on underdogs. 

Dollar: Another slang term for a $100 wager.

Double Action: An if bet that is processed when the precedent bet wins, ties or cancels.

Double Bet: A wager that consists of two separate selections.

Drifting: What it's called when odds begin to lengthen on a game.

Each Way: A two-part wager. You bet to win and also make a second bet to finish in the top three.

Edge: A term that suggests that one side or the other in a wager has an advantage.

Even Money: Odds that will pay you the same as your stake on a winning wager - +100 on the moneyline, 2.00 in decimal odds and 1/1 in fractional odds equates to even money.

Exotic: A non-standard wager. Prop bets in sports and exactas and trifectas in horse racing are examples of exotic bets.

Expected Measure: Calculation of what a wager is likely to win over the long term.

Exposure: The maximum amount of money a sportsbook can lose on a single game.

Favorite: The team or player in a wager that is expected to win the match.

Field: Collection of all possible wagers in a betting market.

Fifty Cents: Slang for a $50 wager.

Figure: The amount owed to or by a sportsbook.

Fin: Slang for a $50 wager.

Final Four: The four remaining teams in the NCAA basketball tournament.

First Half Bet: A bet that covers only action in the first half of a game.

Fixed Odds: Established odds that will not change once a wager is placed.

Form: Chart of recent results.

Fractional Odds: One of the three main forms of odds used by sportsbooks. Most popular in the United Kingdom.

Future Bets: Wagers placed on outcomes that will occur sometime in the future. An example would be betting on the Super Bowl winner prior to the start of the NFL season.

Getting Down: Making sure to play your wager before the event begins.

Grand Salami: A hockey-specific wager in which you bet on how many combined total goals will be scored in all games played that day. You wager on whether the total will go over or under.

Half A Dollar: Slang for a $50 wager.

Halftime Bet: A wager placed on the second half of a game.

Handicap Betting: A type of betting in which a bookmaker will hypothetically add points or goals for the underdog for the purposes of determining the outcome of an event.

Handicapper: An astute bettor who pays attention to trends, injuries and vital statistics in order to make more educated wagers.

Handicapping: The act of assessing a game and seeking to predict its outcome.

Handle: The total amount of money wagered on a specific event or series of events, such as a program of horse racing.

Hedging: Placing opposite wagers against previously played bets in order to limit loss to guarantee profit.

Hook: A half-point element utilized in point spread and total betting that ensures the game won't end in a push.

Hot Game: A game which is drawing significantly more action on one side of the wager.

If Bet: A chain of wagers that carries over as long as the bettor keeps winning.

Implied Probability: The theoretical outcome of an event based on the odds set by a bookmaker.

Juice: The margin or profit built into odds established by a bookmaker.

Lay: The act of accepting a wager.

Laying The Points: Betting the favorite in a point spread game.

Laying The Price: Betting the favorite in a moneyline wager.

Layoff: Money wagered by the house with another sportsbook in order to reduce its liability on a specific game or event.

Lengthening Odds: When the odds on a game are growing higher.

Limit: The largest amount of money a sportsbook will accept on a single wager.

Lines: The odds or point spread offered by a bookmaker.

Linesmaker: Also refer to as an oddsmaker, the person who sets the line on a sporting event.

Listed Pitchers: The pitchers assigned to start in a baseball game. If either pitcher does not start, all bets on that game are off.

Lock: A huge favorite that is expected to win easily.

Long Odds: Also known as high odds, a steep price offered on a longshot.

Longshot: A team or player that is given very little chance to win.

Lump On: Another slang term for placing a bet.

Middle: Seeking to win on both sides of a wager by playing the favorite at one point spread and the underdog at a different point spread.

Moneyline Bet: A wager that is played on the moneyline (+100, -250) of a specific game or match.

Moneyline Odds: One of the three methods sportsbooks use to express odds, this format is most popular in North America.

Moving The Line: Paying a sportsbook to move the odds a half-point in your favor. 

Multiple: Any wager that includes more than one selection.

Nickel: Slang for a $500 wager.

Nickel Line: Any betting line in which the juice or vigorish is five percent.

No Action: A wager that is cancelled and all bets are refunded to the players.

Odds: What determines the payout you would receive on a winning bet.

Odds Against: Odds that are higher than even money, meaning you can win more than you wager.

Odds Compiler: The people who set and change the odds at a sportsbook.

Odds On: Odds that are lower than even money.

Off The Board: When this occurs, a bookmaker is no longer accepting bets on that event.

Opening Line: The first available betting line on a sporting event.

Outsider: A bet that offers a slim chance of a win.

Over: When the amount of goals or points scored in a game exceeds the established betting total.

Overnight Line: The earliest line established by a sportsbook on a game or event. It figures to change quickly, so only a few will get wagers down on it.

Overround: The profit built into their sportsbooks by bookmakers.

Over/Under: Also called the total. A number for the combined final score of an event is established by a sportsbook and you wager on whether the two teams will combine to go over or under that total.

Parlay: A wager including multiple selections, all of which must be successful for a bettor to win.

Payout: Sum of money given by a bookmaker to a punter on a winning wager.

Permutation Betting: A wager that features multiple selections in differing combinations.

Pick 'em: A game without a point spread. It is bet straight up.

Pleaser: A point spread wager that contains multiple selections and in which the spread for every selection is moved against the bettor.

Point spread: A method through which sportsbooks give points to an underdog in order to level the playing field.

Press: A wager that is larger than a normal stake.

Price: Another word for odds.

Pricing The Market: Setting the odds for an event.

Prop (Proposition) Bet: A wager on a specific outcome within an event.

Puckline: A line of +1.5 or -1.5 goals in a hockey game, with specific odds assigned to the favorite and the underdog

Punter: Another name for a bettor.

Puppy: Another name for an underdog.

Push: A tied wager in which the stake is returned to the bettor.

Return: Sum of money earned from a successful wager.

Round Robin: A series of wagers involving three or more teams in two-team parlays.

Run Down: All the lines list for a specific day, sport, or time.

Runline: A line of +1.5 or -1.5 runs in a baseball game, with specific odds assigned to the favorite and the underdog.

Runner: Someone who places bets for another person.

Scouts: People who wait for what they believe will be an ususually strong wager.

Sharp: An experienced, professional bettor.

Short Odds: Another term for low odds.

Shortening Odds: Odds that are getting lower.

Side: The team a bettor wagers on to win and cover against the spread.

Single Action: A wager with just one selection.

Smart Money: Wagers placed by experienced bettors who have access to information not readily available to the general public.

Special: Another name for a prop bet. 

Sportsbook: Where bettors can legally place their wagers.

Spread: The point spread on a game.

Spread Betting: Wagers placed that involve needing to cover or beat a point spread in order to win.

Square: Slang term for a newbie to sports betting, or someone who is a consistently a loser on their wagering.

Stake: The amount of money placed on a bet.

Steam: Description of a significant move in the betting line on an event, normally generated by a substantial wager being placed on it.

Store: Another name for a bookmaking establishment.

Straight Bet: A single wager on one game, or one athlete in single sport competition.

Sucker Bet: Slang for a bad bet that looks to definitely be in favor of the bookmakers.

Taking The Points: When you bet on the underdog against the point spread.

Taking The Price: Betting the underdog in a moneyline wager.

Tapped Out: When a bettor no longer has any funds remaining in their bankroll.

Teaser: A point spread bet involing multiple selections that permits the bettor to adjust the spreads in their favor.

Ticket: A sports betting wager.

Tie: A wager in which no money is lost or won because the final outcome was equal to the points given in the line.

Total: A sportsbook will set a total for points or goals in a game and a bettor wagers on whether the teams involved with go over or under that established total.

Tout: A professional service that offers wagering advice for a fee.

Traders: The person who sets and adjusts the odds in an attempt to keep a book balanced.

Treble: A wager involving three separate entities.

Under: When you wager that the final score of the game will be less than the total estalished by the sportsbook.

Underdog: The team or player in a game that is given the least chance at victory.

Value Bet: A wager in which it appears that the chances of winning are greater than the odds being given.

Vig: Shortform for vigorish.

Vigorish: The profit margin that bookmakers build into the odds they offer. The term originated from the Russian word for winning, vyigrysh.

Wise Guy: Slang for a well-informed or knowledgeable bettor.