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June 02, 2020

Sports Betting Glossary

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Sports betting has now gone mainstream in the United States as many states have legalized the popular pastime. If you’re still new to betting on sports, here’s a handy glossary from the oddsmakers at to explain a number of the major terms you’re going to encounter.


Common Sports Betting Terms


Action – Another term used for bets. For example, “There’s lots of action on the Packers-Patriots game tonight….”


Accumulator – A synonym for parlay.


Against The Spread (ATS) – This is when a bet is placed on a point spread.


Bankroll – The amount of funds you have available for betting.


Book – Short form for sportsbook.


Bookmaker – Another term for a bookie or sportsbook, which are people or entities that set lines, accept wagers, etc.


Buying Points – This is when you move the point spread in your favor by a small margin, such as a half or full point. You have to pay a fee (increased juice or vigorish) for this.


Chalk – This is the team or player that’s favored.


Closing Line – This is the what the final odds were for a game before it started.


Cover – This is the side that wins against the point spread. For example, “The Packers covered the spread….”


Dime – This is a $1,000 bet.


Dog/Underdog – This is the opposite of favorite; the side that is not favored to win.


Draw/Stake – A draw is a synonym for a push or a tie. In this case, you’d get your initial wager back.


Even Money – This is when a bet pays out the exact amount you bet. It’s a synonym for +100.


Favorite – This is the team that’s favored or is expected to win by the oddsmakers.


Field – Field is a selection in a type of bet that covers all other outcomes. For example, you might see futures odds to win a NASCAR race and it might list 10 drivers individually, and then list a ‘Field.’ That means everyone who is not included individually falls in the ‘Field’ category.


Futures – This is a type of bet that’s decided further down the road. This could include odds to win the Super Bowl, odds to win the conference championship, regular season win totals, etc.


Hedging Bets – When you put some money on the opposite side you’ve already bet. This is used to either cut your losses or secure a profit.


Hook – Another term for half-point.


In-Game Wagering – Another term for live betting.


Grand Salami – This is a type of over/under bet that includes all totals for the night. In other words, if there are 10 baseball games on the night, the grand salami would be an all-encompassing over/under for all of the games on the board.


Juice – A synonym for vig or vigorish. This is the commission that the sportsbook earns on bets.


Limit – The max amount a sportsbook will take on a bet.


Lines – A synonym for odds.


Live Betting – This refers to in-game betting where you place bets on the game as it happens.


Middle – A betting strategy where you bet opposite sides of a bet but have a window to win both.


Moneyline – This type of bet is where the outcome is only dependent on the straight up winner of the game.


Nickel – This is a $500 bet.


Off The Board – When a betting line is pulled because of one more more various factors (a key injury, weather, etc.).


Over/Under – The total combined final score of the game. You decide whether the combined final score will go over or under the total score set by the oddsmakers.


Parlay – This is a multiplier where you link two or more bets together. If they all win, your payout is multiplied. If any selection loses, you lose the entire parlay.


Prop Bets – Short for ‘propositional bet.’ This is a type of alternate bet that focuses on player or team performance outside of the outcome of the game. For example, total receiving yards by a player in a game or which team will score a touchdown first?


Push – This is a synonym for draw.


Run Line/Puck Line – This is the baseball and hockey version of the point spread. The run line/puck line is almost always 1.5 and you determine whether you think a team will win or lose by that extra margin or not.


Sharp – Another term for a professional bettor.


Straight Up – The expected outright winner of the game. Correlated to the moneyline.


Teaser – A type of parlay where you’re able to move the point spread or over/under by a certain amount in your favor. However, the payout diminishes accordingly (in comparison to regular parlays).


Total – Another term for over-under.


Tout – This is someone who sells sports betting picks.


Units – This is the universal way to discuss your bet amounts. For example, if you’re a $10 per game bettor each unit is worth $10. So if you’ve won 10 units you’d be up $100.


Wager – Another term for bet.


When betting on sports online, you’re going to see a lot of different gambling terminology at the sportsbooks, forums, websites and more. The better prepared you are by educating yourself with wagering lingo, the better chances you have to be a successful bettor.