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Sports Betting Terminology

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Posted in Sports Betting Articles

Below is a list of sports betting terms, definitions and slang words.

Action: A wager of any kind and the total amount of money being wagered on any game. In baseball wagering, this means placing a bet regardless of the listed pitchers.

ATS: “Against the Spread”. The outcome of using a point spread. Ex. The Giants were a -7.5 favorite to win and actually won the game by 8. This means they won “against the spread”.

Bankroll: The total amount of money the bettor plans to gamble with.

Bet: Any wager that is risked on the outcome of any sporting event or any event for that matter.

Buck: A $100 bet.

Chalk: A team or player that is favored to win.

Chalk Player: A player who mostly wagers on favored teams and rarely bets on underdogs.

Circled Game: A game where the maximum bet is reduced and cannot be included in parlays or teasers. Betting action is limited due to uncertainties of key injuries, weather conditions or rumors regarding a team.

Cover: To win a bet against the point spread.

Daily Double: A horse racing wager where a player must pick the horses to win in each of two designated races.

Dead Heat: When two horses finish in a tie.

Dime bet: A $1000 wager.

Dog: The team or player predicted to likely lose a game or matchup. The dog always has a + sign on lines and point spreads. Also known as the underdog.

Dog Player: A bettor who usually bets on underdogs.

Dollar Bet: A $100 wager.

Double Action: An “if bet” that is processed if the precedent bet wins, ties or cancels.

Edge: An advantage.

Even Money: A wager on which neither side lays any juice or vigorish. The odds are even for both teams.

Exacta: The first two horses to place in a race.

Exotic Wager: A bet such as first half, second half, futures, run lines or money line wagers.

Exposure: The amount of money the bookmaker will risk losing on a game or race.

Favorite: The team or player expected to win an event. The odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favored.

First Half Wager: A bet placed on only the first half of a game.

Furlong: A unit of distance used in horse racing equal to 1/8 of a mile or 220 yards.

Futures: Odds posted on an event or outcome taking place some time in the future, such as the Super Bowl, World Series, the Stanley Cup and the NBA Championship.

Gross Win: The amount of winnings before subtracting the expenses.

Grand Salami: The grand total of goals scored in all hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go Over or Under the total.

Half Time Bet: A bet placed only on the second half of the game. ( Includes Overtime).

Handicapper: One who handicaps, studies, rates and wagers on sporting events or horse races.

Handicapping: Studying and predicting the outcome of sporting events.

Handle: The total amount of bets taken.

Hedging: Placing a bet on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a profit from the same previous wager.

Hold: The percentage the house wins.

Hook: A half-point in pointspreads.

Hot Game: A game that draws a significant amount of action on one side by professional handicappers.

Juice: The bookmaker’s commission, also known as vigorish.

Laying points: Betting the favorite by giving up points.

Laying the price: Betting on the favorite by laying moneyline odds.

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

Lines: The current odds or pointspread on any particular sporting event.

Linemaker: The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.

Listed Pitchers: When betting on baseball, a wager placed that pitchers scheduled to start a game, actually start. If they don’t, the bet is voided.

Lock: A sure winner.

Longshot: A team or horse unlikely to win or have a chance at winning.

Middle: To win both sides of the same betting proposition. Betting the favorite team at -2 1/2 with one sportsbook and then taking +3 1/2 with another one. The game ends up with the favorite winning by exactly 3 points, you have then “middle the game”. A favorite betting method of “wise guys”.

Moneyline: Odds expressed in terms of money. The amount you must bet to win 100 in favorites or the amount you win on underdogs. Whenever there is a (-) minus you lay that amount to win a hundred dollars, where there is a plus (+) you receive that amount for every hundred dollars wagered.

Move The Line: A player pays an additional price to receive a half-point or more in his favor on a pointspread.

Nickel: A $500 wager.

Nickel Line: A line where the juice is 5%.

No Action: A bet in which no money is won or lost. A cancelled or voided wager.

Off the Board: A game on which bets are no longer accepted.

Official Lines: The line that the sports books use for wagering purposes.

Overlay: When the odds of a given propositon are more in favor of the bettor than the house.

Over/Under: The combined scores of both teams competing in a game being wagered on. Betting whether the total score will be over or under the expected posted total.

Parlay: A single bet including two or more teams in which all teams must win or cover for the bettor to win and receive higher payouts.

Perfecta: In horse racing, a wager in which the player selects the two horses in a race to finish in 1st and 2nd places in exact order.

Pick’em Game: A game which neither team or betting option is the favorite. Also called a “pick”.

Place: A horse racing wager in which a horse finishes first or second.

Pleasers: A pleaser is a group of NFL side straight bets combined into one bet.

Pointspread: The handicap, or head start, which the favorite gives to the underdog for betting purposes.

Press: To bet or wager a larger amount than usual.

Price: The odds or pointspread.

Push: A pointspread that ties or combined scores of the two teams that tie the total.

Proposition Bet: A wager on a particular aspect of a game, such as how many touchdowns will be scored, etc.

Quinella: In horse racing, a wager in which the player selects the two horses in a race to finish in 1st and 2nd places in any order.

Reverse: In horse racing, to ask for a second exacta wager which specifies two horses in reverse order of the first exacta wager.

Round Robin: A series of three or more teams in 2-team parlays.

Run Down: A line update. All the lines for a specific date, sport, time, etc.

Run Line: In baseball, a spread used instead of a moneyline. Usually set at 1 either way.

Scratch: In horse racing, a horse that has been withdrawn from a race before the start. Wagers on this horse are voided.

Show: A horse racing bet in which you collect if the horse finishes first, second or third.

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

Sided: When one side of a betting proposition wins and opposite side ties.

Single: A bet on a single result or outcome.

Single Action: An “if bet” that is processed only if the precedent bet wins.

Spread: An abbreviated form or another word for a point spread.

Square: Unsophisticated or unknowlegable gambler.

Straight Bet: A bet on one team or player.

Taking the points: Betting on the underdog and taking the advantage in the point spread.

Taking the price: Betting an underdog and accepting money odds.

Teaser: A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in the favor of the bettor by a fixed number of additional points. Like a parlay bet, all selections must be correct for the teaser to win.

Ticket: Any Wager.

Total: The combined number of points scored by both teams during a game, including overtime.

Totals Bet: A bet in which the bettor speculates that the total score of both teams will be more or less than the line posted.

Trifecta: A horse racing bet in which a player selects three horses in one race to finish first, second and third in exact order.

Under: A bet in which the total points scored by two teams will be under a certain amount.

Underdog: The team perceived to likely end up losing. The team given points in a pointspread.

Value: Getting the best available odds on a betting proposition.

Vigorish: The commission paid to the sportsbooks.

Wager: Any bet.

Wise Guy: A well-informed and knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.

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