Sports Betting is a unique form of investing and it has its own sort of sayings or language that you need to know in order to understand it. Here is a reference sheet of some of the most common terms in sports betting…
Action – A wager or bet.
Against the Spread (ATS) – Refers to taking or laying points against the spread versus taking a game straight up on the moneyline.
Arbitrage – Betting both sides of a game in order to profit from different lines at different sportsbooks.
Bankroll – The funds you set aside just for sports betting.
Bookmaker – A person or company that creates betting lines and takes wagers.
Buying Points – Paying extra money in order to get a game at a total or spread that you like better. For example in football a team is getting +6.5 and you pay extra to move the line to +7.5 and thus winning your bet instead of losing if your team loses by a touchdown. (7 points.)
Chalk – Is the team that is favored or expected to win.
Cover – Refers to winning your bet. Often said as covering. (This is good.)
Dime – A bet of 1,000 bucks. Also known as a grand.
Dog – Short for underdog, this is the team that bookmakers expect to lose the game.
Draw – Also known as a push. If you bet a game in basketball at -6 and your team wins by exactly 6 points then you have tied the spread, there is no winner or loser and you will get your money back.
Even Money – A bet that is even odds or close to even odds. Technically +100 is exactly even odds but sometimes games at -110 or -115 can sometimes be considered “even money” or close enough to be called that.
Favorite – Same as chalk, the team that is expected to win.
Future Bet– This typically refers to bets that take place over the course of a sports season. For example, you can bet a Super Bowl future prior to the beginning of the season by selecting a team you believe will win it all. This gives you a better payout then waiting till the end of the season if you feel strongly enough about one team’s chances to win it all.
Hedging – Placing bets on the opposite side after you have already placed a wager on one side. This can be used to either cut your losses, or guarantee a profit. Usually it is done to cut loses though.
High Roller – This is a sports bettor who makes big bets typically $1,000+.
Hook – In spread based sports, this means buying an extra half a point. Typically to get around a key number like 3 or 7 in football.
Juice – This is the tax that sportsbooks charge for placing a wager. The standard juice to place a wager is usually -110 (or $110) to win $100, but it varies based on other bets that the sportsbook has already taken. This is something that Jews love but sports bettors hate.
Key Numbers – This is different for every sport but it refers to a common number that most games tend to finish at. For example 3 and 7 in football spreads, the 2.5 total in soccer, the 7 or 8 total in baseball for example.
Limit – The most money a sportsbook will take on a particular side or total.
Lines – Are what the spreads, moneylines, and totals are for the day’s games.
Moneyline – This is a bet that ignores the spread and is picking one team to win a game straight up by any amount of points.
Nickel – A bet of 500 bucks
Off the Board – A game or event that sportsbooks will not allow you to bet on. Usually a game is taken off the board if there is doubt surrounding a player’s injury and it is not know if they are going to play or not.
Parlay – This is trying to have multiples (gigity) or multiple bets cover simultaneously. This increases your risk and also your payout as well. Parlays can be as small as 2 bets together or as many as 12 or more. The payout on a parlay is really good, but if only one team loses then you lose the entire bet.
Pick ‘Em – This is when neither team is favored or a line of 0.
Prop Bet – A bet on something other than the outcome of a game. For example in basketball you can wager that an individual player will have over/under a certain amount of points, rebounds, assists, blocks, etc.
Push – Also known as a draw. This is a tie on a spread bet and results in you getting your money back.
Run/Puck Line – This is a form of a spread for baseball and hockey. It is typically + or – 1.5 which means if you lay the -1.5 your team needs to win by 2 or more. If you take the +1.5 then your team wins if they win the game or lose by only 1. Sometimes there are alternate run/puck lines that are 2.5 or 3.5 etc but the standard is 1.5.
Total – The amount of points that you can bet a team will score more (the over) or less (the under) than.
Teaser – This is a bet where you can adjust the point spread in your favor but you also are betting 2 or more teams or totals to win
Units – The amount that you bet per game. When talking about sports betting profits or loses it is usually referred to in terms of units. This is the amount of bets won or lost. This is done because everyone’s bankroll is different and your individual profit and loss depends on the amount that you bet per game or unit. A unit for one bettor might be $10 while one unit is $1,000 for another.
Wager – Is a bet.