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Sports Betting Glossary

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  • 20 cent line – In money line contests, a twenty cent difference in the money lines between the favorite and the underdog

  • Action - Any wager; The total amount bet, either from the bettor's point of view or that of the house. In baseball, placing a bet regardless who pitches.

  • Added Game - a game not part of Las Vegas regular rotation posted as an accommodation to customers.

  • ATS - "Against the spread," taking points rather than betting with the spread and laying points.

  • Beard - a friend or acquaintance who is used to place bets as to conceal the true identity of the real bettor.

  • Bet – Any wager.

  • Book - an establishment that accepts bets on the outcome of horse racing and sporting events.

  • Bookie - a person who accepts bets.

  • Buck - Sports betting term for a $100 wager.

  • Buy (Points) - a player pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a point spread game.

  • Canadian Line - the Canadian line is a combination point spread and money line in hockey.

  • Chalk - The favorite.

  • Chalk Player - someone who usually only plays the favored teams, rarely betting on the underdogs.

  • Circled game - a game in which the betting action is reduced; usually occurs in added games, games with injuries, bad weather, propositions, or halves of games. These games cannot be included in parlays or teasers.

  • Cover - When a favorite wins by more than the required number of points.

  • Dime - $1000 sports betting wager.

  • Dime Line - a line where the juice is 10%.

  • Dog - the team perceived to be most likely to lose.

  • Dog Player - refers to one who mostly plays the underdog.

  • Dollar - $100

  • Double action - An "if bet" in sports betting that is processed if the precedent bet wins, ties or cancels.

  • Double Bet - a wager for twice the size of one's usual wager; also known as "double pop" or "doubling up."

  • Double Header – Two separate games played by the same teams on the same day.

  • East Coast Line - Mainly used in hockey, which has a split-goal line e.g. - Philadelphia Flyers (1 - 1 ½) favorite over the LA Kings as opposed to goal spread plus moneyline (-1/2 -180).

  • Edge - A persons Advantage when it comes to sports betting.

  • Even Money - a bet whose odds are 1/1; a wager in which no vigorish or juice is laid.

  • Exotic - any wager other than a straight bet or parlay - also called a prop or proposition.

  • Exposure - The maximum amount of money a sports book stands to lose on a game.

  • Favorite - the team expected to win an event. The quoted odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favored.

  • Fifty cents - $50

  • Figure - the amount owed to or by a bookmaker

  • First half bet - a bet placed only on the first half of the game.

  • Future - odds are posted in advance on the winners of various major events including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the NBA Championship this is called a Future bet

  • Getting Down - making a bet.

  • Grand Salami - A sports betting term meaning the grand total of goals scored in all the hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go Over/Under.

  • Half a dollar - $50

  • Half time bet - a bet placed only on the second half of the game.

  • Handicapper - one who studies, rates and wagers on sporting events and/or races.

  • Handicapping - the attempt to predict the outcome of sporting events.

  • Handle - the total amount of bets taken.

  • Hedging - A sports betting term that means placing wagers on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.

  • Holding Your Own - Neither winning or losing, just breaking even.

  • Hook - a half point added to football and basketball betting lines.

  • Hot game - a game which is drawing a lot of action on one side by knowledgeable handicappers.

  • Juice - The bookmaker's commission on a losing bet, also known as "vigorish."

  • Laying the points - betting the favorite by giving up points.

  • Laying the price - betting the favorite by laying money odds.

  • Layoff - money bet by a house with another bookmaker to reduce its liability.

  • Limit - the maximum amount a bookmaker will allow you to bet before he changes the odds and/or the points.

  • Line - the current odds or point spread on a particular event.

  • Linemaker - in the sports betting industry this is the person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.

  • Listed Pitchers - a baseball bet which will be placed only if both of the pitchers scheduled to start a game actually start. If they don't, the bet is cancelled.

  • Lock - Easy winner, can not lose.

  • Longshot - a team or horse perceived to be unlikely to win.

  • Middle - to win both sides of the same contest in sports betting event. Wagering on the underdog at one point spread and the favorite at a different point spread and winning both sides.

  • Money line - odds expressed in terms of money. With money odds, whenever there is a minus (-) you lay that amount to win a hundred dollars, where there is a plus (+) you get that amount for every hundred dollars wagered.

  • Move the line - a player pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a point spread game.

  • Newspaper Line - the betting line which quite often appears in the daily newspapers. The lines are only approximate and quiet often totally inaccurate and misleading.

  • Nickel - $500

  • Nickel line - A sports wagering line where the juice is 5%.

  • No action - A wager in sports betting in which no money is lost nor won.

  • Odds On Favorite - A horse, team, or individual so favored by the public that the odds are less than even.

  • Off the board - a game on which the bookmaker will not accept action.

  • Official Line - The line that the bookmaker uses for wagering purposes. The line which comes from Las Vegas is quite often referred to as the official line; however, the line that your bookie offers you is actually your "official line."

  • One dollar - $100

  • Outlaw Line - term for the earliest line in sports betting. This is an overnight line which only a handful of players are allowed to bet into.

  • Over - the "over" is a sports bet in which the bettor guesses that the combined point total of two teams will be above a specified total.

  • Overplay - An advantage for the bettor in which the price on a given wager is greater than the real probability of its success.

  • Parlay - a bet with two or more teams in which all teams must win or cover for the bettor to win and receive higher payouts

  • Pick 'em - When neither team is favored. Also called a "pick" in sports betting terms.

  • Pointspread - The pointspread - also called "the line" - is used as a margin to handicap the favorite team. The oddsmaker - also called the handicapper - "gives" points (or goals) to the underdog - for betting purposes only. The bettor must take either the favorite or the underdog. The favorite is always indicated by a minus sign (e.g. -8.5) and the underdog by a plus sign (e.g.+8.5). For betting purposes, the outcome of the game is determined by taking the actual game score and finding the difference between the scores of the two teams playing (called the pointspread or just the "spread").

  • Post Time - The Schedule starting time.

  • Press - to wager a larger amount than usual.

  • Price - Sports betting term for the odds or point spread.

  • Prop (Proposition) Bet - a special wager offered by the sports book on unique and various topics. These wagers can be on sporting events, politics, and even trial outcomes. The wagers use the money line format of pay off odds and might included who scores the first touchdown in the super bowl, who will win the next presidential election, or whether or not O. J. will be found guilty.

  • Puckline - giving odds of a goal spread instead of using a Canadian Line in hockey, where both a goal spread and money line are played.

  • Puppy - The underdog

  • Push - When the contest ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes.

  • Round Robin - a series of three or more teams in 2-team parlays.

  • Run down - all the lines for an specific date, sport, time, etc.

  • Run line - In baseball a spread used instead of the money line.

  • Runner - One who places bets for another when it comes to sports betting

  • Scouts - person(s) who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager. A.K.A. Sports Player.

  • Sharp - a sophisticated or professional gambler.

  • Sides - the names of the two teams playing: the underdog and the favorite.

  • Single action - An "if bet" in sports gambling that is processed only if the precedent bet wins.

  • Spread - A spread in sports wagering is the predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sports book. See "point spread."

  • Square - A novice when it comes to sports betting.

  • Steam - when a line starts to move rapidly. Most "steam games" do not necessarily reflect objective circumstances, but are games that a mass of bettors are drawn to for some reason.

  • Store - A bookie or sports betting establishment.

  • Straight bet - a wager on just one team or horse.

  • Taking the points - betting the underdog and its advantage in the point spread.

  • Taking the price - betting the underdog and accepting money odds.

  • Teaser - A teaser is a special type of parlay in sports betting in which you adjust the point spread or total of each individual play. The price of moving the point spread (teasing) is lower pay off odds winning wagers.

  • Ticket - A sports betting wager.

  • Tie - a wager in which no money is lost nor won because the teams' scores were equal to the number of points in the given line.

  • Total - The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including the overtime.

  • Totals Bet - a proposition bet in which the bettor speculates that the total score by both teams in a game will be more or less than the line posted by the sports book.

  • Tout - Someone who sells their expertise on sports wagering.

  • Under - an under is a wager in which the bettor guesses that the total points scored by two teams will be under a certain figure.

  • Underdog - The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the "dog" .

  • Value - getting the best odds on a wagering proposition; the highest possible edge.

  • Vigorish - The bookmaker's commission on a losing bet; also known as juice in sports betting

  • Wise guy - a well-informed or knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.


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