A-Z Sports Glossary and Terms

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There are currently 167 Terms in this directory

Sports Betting Glossary

From A to Z

A
Acca
A common abbreviation for an accumulator.
Accumulator
Another term for a parlay; is a bet that contains multiple selections. Every selection must come in so the bet can win.
Across the board
A collection of three horse racing bets that cover a horse to show, place, and win.
Action
Any wagering option that a bookmaker offers. A bookmaker will accept action on all posted odds.
Added game
A game that appears on the betting board after the main list has been posted. This is common in college football, where a match is added due to popular demand.
AET odds
After extra time (AET) odds are posted for soccer matches where extra time is added at the end of the match. These are commonly found in cup competitions and are added as live betting options.
Agent
An agent is a person who refers a customer to a sports book. These people are also known as affiliates.
Also ran
A horse, greyhound, or athlete that doesn’t finish in a paid position during a race.
Alternate lines
Odds posted by a bookmaker that are higher or lower than the main line. These are commonly seen with point spreads and game total betting in football and basketball.
American odds
American odds are one of the “big three” odds systems that people use. They use a positive and minus system, such as +300 and -150. A positive number indicates the amount one must bet to win $100, and a negative number indicates the amount one can win if one place a $100 wager.
Ante-post
Futures bets on greyhounds and horse races. These are posted at least one day before the start of a race and are commonly found in Triple Crown races.
Arbing
A common abbreviation for arbitrage betting.
Arbitrage
A betting style where a player is able to bet on all sides of a game to guarantee a profit. This relies on different sportsbooks offering different odds on an event.
Asian Handicap
Most commonly found in soccer, an Asian handicap starts as low as 0.25 goals and goes as high as two goals. These bets eliminate the draw and make a game a two-way bet.
ATS
Against the spread (ATS) odds create equal action on both sides of a game. For example, you can bet on Denver as a -4.5 point favorite against Dallas as a +4.5 underdog.
B
Backdoor cover
When an underdog is losing by more than the point spread and scores meaningless points late on to cover the spread. For example, if Orlando are leading Houston 40-26 with two minutes to go and you’ve bet on Houston at +9, a touchdown in the last couple of minutes will put them inside the point spread.
Bad beat
When a player is on the verge of winning a bet, but an event happens in the last few minutes that causes it to lose. Everyone who bets will experience a bad beat or two throughout their career.
Bankroll
The amount of money set aside specifically for betting. Your bankroll will increase as you win and decrease as you lose bets.
Bankroll management
The act of managing the money you use for betting. This can include setting betting limits, comparing bookmakers for the best odds, and only betting what you can afford to lose.
Beard
A person who makes a bet for a professional bettor to help conceal their identity from betting companies.
Bet
Any wager placed at a sportsbook.
Betting exchange
A platform that facilitates the betting between two people on a sporting event.
Betting strategy
A plan or a method that a bettor uses to try and win their bets. This can include betting certain amounts of money on certain events or thoroughly researching an event before betting on it.
Bettor
A person making a bet.
Book
A common abbreviation for bookmaker or sportsbook.
Bookie
A common abbreviation for a bookmaker.
Bookmaker
A common abbreviation for arbitrage betting.
BR
A common abbreviation for bankroll.
BTTS
Stands for both teams to score and is a betting option for games such as soccer and ice hockey. You can either bet “yes,” meaning you think both teams will score in the game, or “no,” meaning you don’t think both teams will score.
Buy points
An option offered by a sportsbook allows the bettor to increase the point spread for a reduced price. For example, if the point spread is +7.5 at +150, you can buy an extra point to make the point spread +8.5, but the price will decrease to +135.
C
Chalk
A common term for a favorite. A team is considered a “chalk side” if they’re a favorite.
Chalk bettor
A player that usually backs the favorites.
Circled game
A game with a betting limit enforced by the bookmaker. This is usually due to unknown variables such as weather conditions, player injuries, etc.
Closing line
The last betting odds are posted prior to the start of an event.
Co-favorite
Two or more teams/athletes with identical odds to win. Co-favorites are usually found in futures bets.
Commission
Another term for the juice or vigorish that a bookmaker takes on a bet or that a betting exchange takes from your winnings.
Correct score
A betting option where you bet on the exact score of a game. This option is commonly found in soccer.
Cover/Covering the spread
A bet where a favorite wins and the score exceeds that of the point spread. For example, if Chicago were a 10-point favorite over Boston, a 25-12 victory would cover the spread, but a 25-17 win would not.
D
Decimal odds
Decimal odds are one of the “big three” odds systems that people use. It uses a decimal system that shows the return from a $1 bet. For example, if a game has decimal odds of 3.5, a $1 bet would yield a $3.50 return: the $1 original bet, and $2.50 in profit.
Dime Line
A betting line with a 10% vig.
Dog
A common abbreviation for the underdog.
Dog Player
A player who commonly backs the underdogs.
Double action
Another term for an “If bet.” This bet will automatically take the winnings and/or stakes of a previous winning bet and place it on another betting option.
Double bet
A betting amount that is twice that of a bettor’s normal wager.
Double result
A betting option that combines a single game’s half-time score and the full-time score.
Double-header
Two games that are played consecutively on the same day.
Draw
Another term for a tie. If two teams or athletes finish on the same number of points at the end of a game, the contest is considered a draw. Some sports allow you to bet on the draw, such as soccer, where draws are common.
Drift
A term used to describe betting odds that grow longer after the initial line is posted. A money line that has moved from +250 to +260 to +275 is said to have drifted.
E
Each-way
A bet that takes a single amount and splits the wager between a horse finishing first and second. If the horse finishes first, both bets payout, but if the horse finishes second, only one bet pays out.
Edge
Another term for an advantage. This term can be used to describe an advantage had by either a bookmaker or a bettor.
Even money
A bet that returns the exact amount of an original bet. This bet is displayed as +100 in American odds, 2.0 in decimal odds, and 1/1 in fractional odds.
Exotic Bet
Any bet that goes beyond a standard game total, point spread, or money line bet. Many proposition bets or special bets are considered to be exotic bets.
Expected Value
The theoretical value of making a wager if it were to be played out thousands of times. For example, if a bookmaker has a 10% edge on a $100 bet, their expected value from that bet is $10.
Exposure
The amount of money that a bookmaker or bettor stands to lose on a wager.
F
Favorite
A bet that is more likely to happen than not. If you think Kansas is more likely to beat Oakland than Oakland is to beat Kansas, then Kansas is considered the favorite for the match
Field
A term that describes all possible selections in a betting market.
First-half bet
A bet that focuses on the result of the first half of a game. This is a common bet in basketball, football, and soccer.
First/Last/Anytime Scorer
A bet that focuses on the likelihood of a player scoring the first goal, last goal, or any goal during the match. These are commonly found in ice hockey and soccer betting.
Fixed odds
A term used to describe odds that do not move once a bettor has made a wager. If you bet on Pittsburg to win at +250, those odds are fixed. Even if the price moves to +300, the original bet is locked in at +250.
Form
The recent run of results of an athlete or a team. Bettors use this to try and predict the outcome of their next game.
Fractional odds
Fractional odds are one of the “big three” odds systems that people use. It uses a fraction system where the number on the left shows the amount you win, and the number on the right shows your required stake. For example, odds of 7/2 mean you will win $7 from a $2 stake.
Futures bet
A bet that is made on the outcome of an event that will happen in the future. These bets are usually made on the winners of a particular trophy over the course of a season, like the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup.
G
Game total bet
A bet on the total number of points/goals/runs scored in a game. The bookmaker sets a line for the game, and the bettor can choose to bet over or under this amount.
Graded Bet
A bet that has officially been classified once an event has ended. If a bet has been graded as a winner, you receive your stake back plus your winnings; if it has been graded as a push, you receive your stake back, and if it has been graded as a loser, you do not receive anything.
Grand Salami
A bet that covers the total number of points/goals/runs for every game in a specific league on a given day or over a given weekend. If there are ten games on the Premier League schedule for a weekend, a bookmaker may post the total goal line at 29.5, and bettors can choose to bet under or over this line.
H
Half-ball handicap
Betting odds on soccer games where plus or minus 0.5 goals is the point spread. These handicaps turn a three-way bet into a two-way bet.
Half-time bet
A bet is placed on the second half of a game after the first half is finished.
Handicap
Odds set by a sportsbook with the purpose of creating an even betting opportunity. For example, if San Francisco were a heavy favorite over Seattle, the bookmaker could give San Francisco a handicap of 13.5 points. This means that if Seattle loses by less than 13.5 points, the bet will win.
Handicapper
A bettor who researches events and matchups before placing a bet. It’s also used to describe people who post predictions on events.
Handle
A term used to describe the amount of money a sportsbook accepts on a single game.
Hedge
A hedge is a bet made on the opposite side of an original bet to guarantee a return. This can only be done if the original wager is in progress and is close to winning. Hedging guarantees a return in the event of a bad beat.
Holding your own
A term used to describe a break-even stretch – you aren’t losing, but you aren’t winning either.
Home-field advantage
The perceived benefit teams and athletes get from playing in the home stadium/country.
Hook
A half-point/goal added to points spreads and game totals to guarantee that a wager cannot be a push. It is guaranteed that one side will win and another will lose.
I
If bet
A bet that consists of two or more wagers where a bet is made, and in the event of that bet winning, the winnings and/or stake from that bet are placed on another bet. So, if the first bet wins, a second bet is made automatically.
Implied Probability
The theoretical likelihood of an outcome is based on the odds offered by a sportsbook on that event. If the sportsbook offers odds of +100, the implied probability is 50%.
In-play betting
Also known as live betting, in-play betting consists of bets that are made on an event after the event has started.
J
Joint favorite
Another term for a co-favorite is when two or more teams/athletes are posted with identical odds of winning.
Juice
Another term for the vigorish or commission, the juice is the margin sportsbooks build into their odds to guarantee that they make a profit. For example, if they believe the outcome of a game is 50/50, they will not post odds of 2.0 for each side; they will often post odds of 1.90 or 1.85 for either side, giving them either 10% or 15% juice on the bet.
L
Lay
Taking the other side of a bet; e.g., a sportsbook lays bets to its bettors.
Laying points
Making a point spread bet on the favorite.
Laying the price
Making a money line bet on the favorite.
Layoff
When a bookmaker makes a wager with another bookmaker to mitigate the risk of a certain game. If a sportsbook has taken considerable action on one side of the game, it will sometimes need to reduce its exposure by betting on that side with another sportsbook.
Lengthening Odds
Odds that are increasing and offer a higher return rate to the bettor.
Limit
The minimum and maximum amount you can make on a single event as a bettor.
Line
Odds that are posted by a sportsbook.
Linemaker
Another term for a bookmaker is a person or group that sets betting lines.
Listed pitchers
A list of pitchers scheduled to start in upcoming baseball games that regularly appear next to the daily baseball betting odds.
Live betting
Another term for in-play betting; these are bets that can be made on an event after that event has started.
Lock
A term used to describe a bet that is almost certain to win.
Longshot
A term used to describe a bet that has very little chance of winning.
M
Middle
A betting strategy is where you take both sides of an event after the line has changed, with the hopes of winning both bets. For example, if you bet on Tampa at -3.5 on Monday, but by Wednesday, the line has moved to -4.5. Now you can bet on Orlando at +4.5, knowing that at least one bet will win, and if Tamp wins by 4, you win both bets.
Moneyline Bet
A straight-up bet on the winner of an event.
Moneyline Odds
Another term for American odds. They use a positive and minus system, such as +400 and -175. A positive number indicates the amount one must bet to win $100, and a negative number indicates the amount one can win if one were to place a $100 wager.
Moving the line
The act of paying for more points in your favor on a point spread wager; you’re moving the line to where you want to bet it.
Multiple bets
Another term for a parlay. A multiple is a single bet that consists of two or more events on the same ticket. Let’s look at some examples.Double – A single parlay/accumulator bet with two selections.Treble – A single parlay/accumulator bet with three selections.Trixie – A bet of three selections that contain three double bets and one treble bet.Patent – A bet of three selections that contain three single bets, three double bets, and one treble bet.Yankee – A bet of four selections that contains six double bets, four treble bets, and one four-leg parlay.Lucky 15 – A bet of four selections that contain four single bets, six double bets, four treble bets, and one four-leg parlay. Lucky 31 – A bet of five selections that contains five single bets, ten double bets, ten treble bets, five four-leg parlays, and one five-leg parlay.
MVP
The most valuable player for a team during the regular season, playoffs, or marquee match. Betting on the MVP for a season is a popular futures bet.
N
Nap
A bet that a tipster thinks has the best chance of winning.
Nickel
A colloquial term for a $500 bet.
No action
If betting options are canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, any made bets are graded as “no action,” and all stakes are returned to bettors.
Novelty bets
Another term for an exotic bet; a novelty bet is a bet that goes beyond a standard game total, point spread, or money line bet.
O
Odds
A betting line set by a bookmaker indicates the implied probability of an outcome as well as the potential payout.
Odds formats
Different ways of displaying odds. The three most common odds formats are American (+100), fractional (1/1), and decimal (2.0).
Odds on favorite
A team or athlete is considered such a favorite that their odds are less than even money.
Odds shopping
The act of comparing the odds for the same event on different sportsbooks to find the best price.
Oddsmaker
Another term for a bookmaker or sportsbook; is a person or group that sets betting lines.
Off the board
Often shortened to OTB, this refers to games displayed on a sportsbook that do not have odds attached to them. A significant event, such as a sudden change in weather or an injury to a key player, may cause this to happen.
Opening Line
The initial odds set by a bookmaker for a sporting event.
Outright betting
The act of predicting the overall winner of a tournament/competition.
Outsider
Another term for a long shot is a bet that has a small chance of winning.
Over
The opposite of an under bet; this bet takes the “over” line of a game total bet. For example, if the game total for the Heat against the Lakers is 225.5, you would bet the over if you think there will be more than 225.5 points.
Over/Under
A bet on the total number of something (e.g., goals/points/assists) happening in an event. The sportsbook will post a total, and you can bet on whether the final total will be over or under that number.
P
Parlay
Another term for an accumulator; is a bet that contains multiple selections. Every selection must come in so the bet can win.
Parlay banker
The selection in a parlay or accumulator with the highest chance of winning to which other selections are added. Usually, this selection will be an odds-on favorite, and more speculative games are added to increase the odds.
Payout
The amount a bettor will receive from a winning wager. At most sportsbooks, the original wager is included in the payout.
Pick’em
A bet with the same odds on both sides. For example, Salt Lake City (-115) vs. Reno (-115) would be considered a pick’em wager.
Point Spread
Similar to a handicap, these are odds that are designed to level the playing field between teams with varying skill levels. An underdog will be given a head start with a positive point spread, and the favorite will start with a deficit using a negative point spread. If you bet on the underdog, your bet will win if they lose within their point spread. For example, if you bet on Chicago with a point spread of +8.5, but they lose the game 25-20, your bet will still win.
Post time
The scheduled start time of a horse/greyhound race.
Power rankings
A ranking system that takes in a variety of criteria to grade teams within a league from best to worst.
Price
Another term for the odds set by a bookmaker.
Proposition bet
Often called a prop bet, a proposition bet is another term for an exotic bet or novelty bet; these are bets that go beyond a standard game total, point spread, or money line bet, such as a bet on who will win the coin toss.
Proxy
A group or individual that makes bets on behalf of another person. The term is often used for people who make bets on behalf of people who don’t have access to a certain sportsbook, such as Las Vegas residents making bets for non-residents.
Public money
The amount of money that the majority of people are betting on a certain side of a bet. For example, if 70% of bets made in the Nashville vs. Atlanta game are on Nashville, then you would say that the public money is on Nashville.
Puck line
Another term for point spread pricing, specifically for ice hockey.
Push
Any result in a two-way betting line where the result is a tie. In the event of a push, the bettor receives their original stake.
Q
Quarter Bet
Commonly found in basketball, a quarter bet is a bet made on the outcome of any quarter of a game.
R
Recreational Bettor
A person who only bets for fun and is not doing it with the sole intention of making money.
Return
Another term for a payout, a return is the amount of money received from a winning bet.
Rotation Number
A number that is assigned by a sportsbook to every betting option on the board. Bettors use the rotation number rather than the team name when placing a bet at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.
ROY
Short for Rookie of the Year, it is a popular futures betting option in various sports.
Run Line
Another term for point spread pricing, specifically for baseball.
S
Second-half bet
A bet that focuses on the outcome of the second half of a match.
Sell points
An option offered by a sportsbook that allows the bettor to reduce the point spread for an improved price. For example, if the point spread is +6.5 at +170, you can sell an extra point to make the point spread +5.5, and the price will increase to +185.
Sharp
A colloquial term for a skilled, experienced, or professional bettor.
Single
A bet with only one selection.
Special
Another term for a prop bet or exotic bet; these are bets that go beyond a standard game total, point spread, or money line bet, such as a bet on who will score first in a game.
Sportsbook
Another term for a bookmaker; is a licensed individual or organization that takes bets on sporting events.
Spread
Another term for the point spread.
Spread betting
Commonly confused with point spread betting, spread betting is a prediction of what will happen in a specific market expressed as a sell-buy range. For example, if the spread for goals in a soccer match is 2.75-3, the bookmaker thinks there will be around three goals in the match. If you think there will be more goals, then you buy, but if you think there will be less, you sell. The stake is determined per point movement, so if your stake is $10, you’re given $10 for every goal over the total, and you have to pay $10 for every point under the total.
Square
A slang term for an inexperienced bettor or someone who frequently loses money.
Stake
The amount of money risked on a bet.
Staking method
A way to determine how much a bettor should risk on a single bet. Some bettors bet a certain percentage of their bankroll, whereas some set minimum and maximum stake limits.
Steam
A substantial change in a betting line is usually caused by large betting action on one side by sharp bettors.
Straight bet
A single bet on game total, point spread, or money line betting options.
Sucker Bet
A bet that significantly favors the bookmaker, so-called as only a sucker would take the bet.
Syndicate
A group of bettors that have pooled their funds and combined their knowledge to make bets on events with the purpose of winning money from the bookmaker.
T
Taking Points
A bet placed on an underdog team using a point spread. For example, if you bet on Detroit as a 7.5-point underdog against Philadelphia, you would say you’re “taking 7 points” from Philadelphia.
Teaser Card
A list of all games from a specific sport where the bookmaker has moved the odds to entice bettors. These cards are often issued daily.
Teaser odds
A line that the bookmaker has moved to entice bettors to bet on it.
Three-way odds
Betting options allow you to bet on the home team, away team, and the tie. These are commonly found in soccer, where ties are common.
Ticket
The receipt is issued by a bookmaker to confirm that a bet has been placed and accepted.
Tip
A piece of advice offered by an experienced bettor on which team to bet on.
Tipster
An experienced bettor/group of bettors that offer betting advice on sporting events.
Totals Bet
A bet on the total number of something (e.g., goals/points/assists) happening in an event. The sportsbook will post a total, and you can bet on whether the final total will be over or under that number.
Traders
The person or group of people that sets and adjusts the lines at a sportsbook.
Two-way odds
Betting options that only allow you to bet on the home team or away team. These options do not include ties, so any tied game results in a push.
U
Under
The opposite of an over; this bet takes the “under” line of a game total bet. For example, if the game total for the Wizards against the Magic is 206.5, you would bet the under if you think there will be less than 206.5 points.
Underdog
A team or athlete considered to be inferior to their opponents. Underdogs will have odds of greater than even money at a sportsbook.
V
Value Bet
A bet where the theoretical likelihood of an event occurring exceeds that of the odds given by the bookmaker. These bets provide value to bettors.
Vig
An abbreviation of the term “vigorish.”
Vigorish
Another term for juice; the vigorish is the margin sportsbooks build into their odds to guarantee that they make a profit. For example, if they believe the outcome of a game is 50/50, they will not post odds of 2.0 for each side; they will often post odds of 1.90 or 1.85 for either side, giving them either 10% or 15% vigorish on the bet.
W
Wager
The act of placing a bet at a sportsbook/bookmaker.
Welch
To not pay off a losing bet.
Wiseguy
A professional bettor. Another term for a "sharp."""
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.
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