Betting Terms For Dummies

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Sports betting lingo can be bewildering, especially to those new to the world of sports betting. Sometimes it can feel like it is an entirely different language. The more you bet, the more terms you will need to know. I’ve got you covered – and here is a glossary of the most commonly used terms, concepts and strategies to help improve your betting knowledge. 

Action – A bet or wager of any kind.

Against the Spread – The result of a game that involves a point spread.

Bad Beat – A bet that looks like the bettor will win but doesn’t.

Banker -The bet selection that is extremely likely to win. 

Bankroll -The available funds you have to bet with.

Book (Sportsbook) – A place where someone can bet on the outcome of various sporting events.

Chalk – The favorite in a game.

Consensus – Percentage of the betting public on each side of a game. Some bettors will bet against the “public money” (whichever side more bettors have placed their bets on). 

Cover – The betting outcome on a point spread bet. For a favorite to cover, it must win by a number higher than the spread. An underdog can cover by losing by a number less than the spread or by winning the game outright.

Early Price – Odds offered in advance. 

Edge – The advantage a bettor has before the bet has been placed.

Favorite – The favoured to win.  

Fractional Odds – Odds written as a fraction, the most common betting format in the UK. These odds show the profit you stand to win excluding your state, e.g. £10 stake at 3/1 would win you £30 plus your £10 stake back.

Future Bets – A bet on events that will happen further in the future e.g: who will win a division or who will win a championship well in advance.

Handle – the total amount of money wagered on a game. 

Handicapping – Researching sports statistics to pick the winner.  

Hedging – Betting the opposite to a previous bet to guarantee a win and a guaranteed profit . 

Hook – A half point on spread. 

Key Numbers – This represents the most common margins of defeat, and is used frequently in football where many games end with one team winning by a multiple of three or seven.

In-Game-Wagers – Bets made after a game has started. This is widely also known as ‘live betting‘.

Juice – A commission book’s win on each bet.

Limit -The maximum amount a sportsbook will allow on a single bet. 

Lines – Another term for the odds.

Lock – A sure bet. 

Long Shot – A large underdog.

Middle – This occurs when you bet on both sides of a game and have an opportunity to win both bets. For example if you bet on Team A +10.5 and Team B -7.5, you win both bets if Team B wins by 8-10 points.

Moneyline bet – A bet made if a team will win or lose outright with no point spread.

Off the Board – A game bettors can no longer wager on.. 

Over – The combined score of two teams is more than what the sportsbook set.

Parlay – A bet that combines multiple games for a higher payout. The more games, the higher the risk but the greater the payout. In order for the parlay to win, each game must win or push (tie). If any of the games lose, the entire wager loses.

Pick’em – A game with no favourite or underdog 

Point Spread – The margin of victory set by oddsmakers to attract action on both the favourite and the underdog. A favourite must win by a number higher than the point spread to cover, while an underdog can cover by losing by a number less than the spread or by winning the game outright.

Prop Bet – A bet on something other than the outcome of a game. Common prop bets include an over/under on points scored, passing yards, or strikeouts by an individual player.

Push – When neither team covers the spread (the actual margin of victory lands exactly on the spread), no one wins the bet and all wagers are refunded.

Runner –  An individual who places a bet on behalf of another person.

Sharp (Wiseguy) – A professional sports bettor.

Steam – A quick change on a line due to heavy wagering.

Taking the Points – Betting on an underdog against the spread.

Teaser – Similar to parlays, teasers involve multiple wagers combined into one but offer a much lower payout in exchange for extra points added to the spread.

Total Bet (over/under) – A bet on the combined number of points scored by both teams in a game, including overtime/extra innings.

Under – The combined score of two teams is less than what the sportsbook set the total at.

Underdog (Dog) – The side that is not favored to win the game or match.

Wager – A bet placed at a sportsbook.

If you’re interested in harnessing low latency odds data or enlightening yourself with betting insights, we’ve got you covered!