Learn About Sports Betting Terms


Sports betting can be confusing, especially if you are new to the industry. If you want to bet on sports, or if you want to run your own pay per head sportsbook, you need to know the basic terms before learning more about online gambling. You need to understand this especially if you want to keep track of all the news. Here is a list of the most used terms in sports betting that you may encounter.

If you find yourself not sure about what the word means, come back to this page so you can understand and learn about sports betting easier. We will even guide you through getting a good pay per head sportsbook.

Action – A wager/bet.

Against the Spread (ATS) –taking or laying points (aka the spread) that is opposite to taking a game straight-up.

Bankroll – The funds you have available to bet with.

Bookmaker – A person who is licensed to create lines and take wagers.

Chalk – The favorite team.

Cover – In sports like football and basketball, a bettor wins their bet if they cover the point spread. So, if you bet a 5-point favorite and they win by 7, you have covered the spread.

Dime – A bet with the amount of $1,000.

Dog – Short for underdog, this is the team which bookmakers think will lose.

Draw – Also called a push. If the game ends exactly on the spread, there is no winner and bettors will receive their money back.

Edge – A bettor’s advantage against his house.

Even Money – A bet where you’re not paying any vig (i.e. +100).

Favorite – The team bookmakers assume will win the game.

Field – In prop bets, bettors are sometimes allowed to bet the field. This refers to an accumulation of all the teams or players that are not particularly listed.

Future – These are bets that come down in advance of an event. For example, one can bet a Super Bowl future prior to the beginning of the season. The bettor then receives payment at the end of the season if their bet won.

Hedging – Placing bets on the other side after you have already placed a wager on one side. This can be used to cut your losses, or guarantee a profit.

Hook – In spread based wagers or sports, the hook is an extra half-point that bettors can get.

Grand Salami – This refers to the over/under total for how many goals/runs will be scored across all games in a league.

Juice – This is the tax/commission that sportsbooks create for placing a wager. Typically, books offer -110, which means that you need to win 52.38% of your bets to break even.

Limit – The most money a sportsbook will take on for a game.

Lines – Another term for odds.

Moneyline – In sports like baseball, soccer and hockey, there are so few runs/goals scored that it is not practical to offer a spread. Instead, these sports offer a moneyline in which you bet on whether or not a specific team is going to win.

Nickel – A bet with the amount of $500.

Over/Under – Also called the total, this is the total amounts of points/goals/runs that will be scored in the game. If both teams combine to score more than the total, the over will win. If they combine to score fewer, the under will win.

Parlay – When a sports bettor makes multiple bets and ties them together, you need multiple events to all win for higher payouts.

Prop Bet – A bet on something that is not the outcome of a game. Common prop bets will include an over/under on points scored, or passing yards, or strikeouts by a player.

Push – When an event ends without a winner. In a moneyline sport, this usually happens if the game ends in a tie. In a spread sport, this happens if the favorite wins exactly by the spread.

Real Time Odds – Live lines that are immediately posted as sportsbooks adjust their lines.

Teaser – A special bet where you are able to adjust the point spread or a total for a game. The more that you change the spread, the lower the payout becomes.

Wager – a bet.

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