Sports Betting Terms
Action – A bet or wager.
Against the spread – The result of a game including the point spread.
Backdoor – A losing bet managing to barely cover the spread at the end of the game
Bad Beat – A bet that looks like the bettor is going to win but doesn’t.
Book (Sportsbook) – A place where someone can bet on the outcome of sporting events.
Buck – A $100 bet.
Buy it up – Adding ½ a point to a spread. Example: From 2.5 to 3, 3 to 3.5.
Chalk – The favorite.
Consensus – Percentage of the betting public on each side of a game. Some bettors will bet against the “public money” (whichever team more bettors have placed their bets on).
Cover – A win against the point spread.
Dime – A bet of one thousand dollars
Dog – The team Sportsbooks predict will lose the game
Dollar – A bet of one hundred dollars
Edge – A bettor’s advantage.
Even (Even Money) – You will double your bet in a win.
Favorite – The team linesmakers favor to win the game.
Future bets – A high upside bet on events that will happen further in the future – Example: Win World Series, Make Playoffs, Win Division, Win Conference.
Handle – The total amount of money wagered on something.
Handicapping – The research and analysis that goes into deciding what or who to bet.
Hedging – Betting opposite of a previous bet to guarantee yourself some sort of profit. This typically happens at halftime.
Hook – A half-point in the spread
In-game wagers – Bets made after a game started.
Juice – A % of the bet the sports bettor pays the Sportsbook.
Limit – The maximum a Sportsbook permits you to bet on a single event.
Linesmaker – Someone who set the opening line on a game.
Lock – Sorry. This isn’t real. There is no such thing.
Long Shot – A large underdog with a high return to the sports bettor to win
Moneyline bet – A bet made if a team will win or lose outright with no point spread.
Nickel – A five-hundred dollar bet
Oddsmaker – Someone who sets the opening line on a game.
Off the Board – A game that no bets can be placed on
Over – A prediction total points scored in the game will go over the set line
Parlay – A bet that requires you to choose and win multiple games for a higher payout. You lose the bet if any of the games you choose lose.
Pick’em – A game without a declared favorite or underdog.
Point spread – Margin of victory or defeat set by oddsmakers to ensure a win. Favorites must win by more than the margin to win. Underdogs must lose by less than the margin to win.
Puckline – This spread is specific to Major League Baseball. The favorite has to win by more than 1 run to cover and the underdog has to lose by less than 2 runs to cover.
Prop bets – A bet on anything that happens in an event that is not the points spread or total points scored.
Push – This results in your bet being refunded to you in full.
Runline – This spread is specific to Major League Baseball. The favorite has to win by more than 1 run to cover and the underdog has to lose by less than 2 runs to cover.
Sharp – A smart professional sports bettor.
Steam – High volume of bets causes the betting line to move in one direction.
Taking the points – Betting an underdog against the spread.
Teaser – A bet that requires you to choose and win multiple games for a higher payout and gives you a set amount of points in the direction you choose. You lose the bet if any of the games you choose lose.
Total bet (over/under) – A bet on the combined number of points scored by both teams in a game, including overtime/extra innings.
Under – Predicting the total points scored in the game will be less than the
Underdog – The team Sportsbooks predict will lose the game
Wager – Betting a sum of money on the outcome of an event