The world of online sports betting is full of jargon. No matter how casual a sports fan you are, it is vital that you understand what these terminology’s mean. You are likely to meet people who bet on sports and use at least some of these terms. To make it easier for you to understand, we’ve summarised a round-up of some common sports betting terms.
Action: A bet of any type on a particular game.
“I have taken action in this game.”
Against the Spread: A team that is 3-2 against the spread means they have an overall record of 3-2 against the spread. They covered in three games, and they didn’t cover in two.
“New England was 11-5 against the spread in 2017’s season.”
Backdoor Cover: I have found that losing a bet through a backdoor cover can be one of the most frustrating ways to lose a bet and also one of the most stressful. This is when a team scores unexpectedly at the end of a game to cover the spread.
Cover: A wager that is based on a point spread. To cover the favorite, it must win more than the spread. An underdog covers the spread by either losing less than the spread or winning the entire game.
“The Falcons covered six points against the Saints.”
Even money: A-line with a +100. To win $5, you must put up $5
“The Vikings were even more money than the Packers.”
Exotic: Any wager that is not against the spread or parlays. This is often referred to more commonly as a prop bet’. For example, how many yards will Tom Brady throw against the Texans in Week One?
“I chose to place a bet on some exotics, rather than against the spread.”
Futures bet Long-term wager that usually plays out throughout the season. A ‘futures wager’ is a bet on the outcome of a Super Bowl game before it starts.
“I placed a small bet on the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl.”
You don’t need to be a professional sports bettor to understand what Mush is. A person who believes they are bad luck.
“It was a bet that the Ravens would beat the Browns, and they lost. “I am such a mush.”
Off-the-board is when a book or bookmaker won’t let you bet on a specific game. This is common in the NFL when it is uncertain who the starting quarterback will be for a team.
“Aaron Rodgers’ availability for Sunday is in doubt so the bookmakers pulled Green Bay’s game from the board until more clarity is available.”
Pick ’em is also known as ‘PK’. It means that both sides are essentially equal. There is no underdog or favorite. This scenario is the same as choosing the winner of the spread.
“The game of pick ’em”
Point Spread: A team’s score is divided by the number of points they are favored or underdog. To cover the spread, you must win more than the allotted points. To cover, the underdog must lose less than their allotted points spread.
Philadelphia is the most favored by the point spread.
Push: You will see this more often than you think when betting on NFL games. This happens when a team is only three points in favor and wins by the same amount. This scenario is when neither side wins, and the bettor gets a refund for their original wager.
“I took Los Angeles +3, but they lost by field goal exactly as I pushed.”
Sharp: Professional sports bettor. They wager on sports to make a living and have access through technology to more information than the average person. If enough money is available, they can change a line with one bet.
“He is one the sharpest bettors that I have ever met.”
Square: A sharp is the exact opposite of a square. Casual gambler. A casual gambler who is looking for action in a game, but doesn’t have a compelling reason to choose one side. You are likely a square better, no matter how much you may hate to admit it.
“This is shaping up as a classic square vs. sharps matchup. The squares are on one side and the sharps on the other.
“Green Bay covered the spread with a backdoor cover after they completed a hail-mary touchdown just before time expired.”
Bad beat: You lose a bet you shouldn’t have lost. This is more common at the final minute of a game when the outcome is determined. Side note: In 2016’s NCAA Tournament, you will not find a more disappointing result than Northern Iowa losing a 12-point lead against Texas A&M.
“Golden State was covering it until the last possession when Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler made a half-court shot that was meaningless and went in just as time expired. I had Golden State, such a bad beat.”
Book: Short for bookmaker or sportsbook.
“I’m looking for the best book.”
Bookie: An illegal sportsbook that accepts bets and charges more vig than normal.
“I must pay my bookie today because I lost money betting on the NFL this weekend.”
Buying points: Every NFL bettor must know the phrase “buying points”. Sportsbooks sometimes allow customers to adjust the odds by allowing them to change the set line. If the Cardinals are 2.5 points (-110) underdogs against the Seahawks, then you can buy half a point to make them 3 underdogs. You will take on more risk because the line will shift from -110 and -130.
“I bought a half-point on the Cardinals game because I believe they will lose by less than a field goal.”
Over/Under: A wager based on the total points scored in a specific game. This bet is very popular in the last 10 years.
“I took over in the Patriots-Raiders match. The total was 51.5 points.
Parlay: This is a wager where multiple teams are placed and the only way for you to win is if each team covers the spread. Although the payouts are huge, the odds of you winning are very strong.
“I placed a parlay of three teams for NFL Week 1 which included the Steelers, Patriots, and Jaguars.”
Teaser: Bet on multiple teams and adjust the point spread to gain more advantage. To win this wager, all legs must be successful. It is similar to a parlay.
“I have a teaser of six points for NFL Week 1 which includes the Steelers, Jaguars, and Patriots.”
Tout: A group or individual of so-called “experts” who sell or give away picks for games. Most touts don’t make it worth the downpayment.
“I bought three weeks of plays from a tout company that I found online.”
Chalk: The most-popular side in a game. Chalk bettors are people who bet on the favorite, which isn’t usually a compliment.
“Most people gravitate towards chalk,”
The half-time wager: This is a popular bet in the NFL and it looks exactly like it. Half-time wager. When you place a wager, the results of the second half will be the most important.
Handicapper: Someone who predicts which side will win. Side note: Many people who claim they are ‘handicappers’ aren’t as accurate as they may think.
“I spent hours trying to handicap the Week 1 matchup between Philadelphia & Atlanta.”
The handle is the amount of money that a bookie or sportsbook takes on an event. Due to its popularity, some events like the Super Bowl have a higher handle than others.
“The handle for the Super Bowl is the biggest we’ve ever seen.”
It is the next big thing in sports betting. The ability to wager on an event’s outcome while it is still live. Every play and every possession has its odds.
“I bet in-game on Packers +14 when they trailed the Cowboys by 2 touchdowns in the second half.”
Juice is the commission that a bookie or bookmaker receives. Also called vig or vigorish. The standard rate is 10%, but it varies from one place to the next.
“The New Jersey sportsbooks charge more than the Las Vegas sportsbooks.”
Money-line: This is the easiest bet you can make. Pick one team to win, and that’s all.
“I bet Moneyline that the Jaguars would beat the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship game.”
Vig: The same definition as “juice” This is the most politically correct expression.
“I like the Packers in Week 1, but the vig is higher than normal.”
Wiseguy: A synonym for ‘sharp bettor’.
“Wiseguys are in love with the Browns in NFL Week 1 at home against Pittsburgh.”
BettingPros features Shane Davies as a writer. Check out Shane’s archive for more information.