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Sports Betting Terms and Terminology

Sports betting terminologyThere are many terms used in the sports betting world. For those unaccustomed to the venue, learning each of these sportsbook terms will be invaluable.

The following is a list of all common sports betting terms and terminology. All punters should be fully aware of these terms, how they are used, and what they mean in order to avoid any discrepancies in their sports betting experience.

  • Action: Any wager or bet.
  • Angles: When the outcomes of previous relative events are used to predict the outcome of an upcoming events.
  • Bet: To wager something of value on the outcome of an event.
  • Book: An establishment that accepts bets on events.
  • Book / Bookmaker: An establishment that accepts bets on events, paying winners and keeping all lost wagers.
  • Buck: A term that relates to a $100 bet.
  • Buy: In sports betting, punters can buy half points in an event with a point spread, the purpose being to risk more in order to gain an advantage.
  • Chalk: The favored to win.
  • Chalk Player: A term that labels punters who always bet on the favored, never the underdog.
  • Cover: Refers to a point-spread win.
  • Data Mining: Searching through past statistics in order to gain an educated advantage (see Angles) in predicting the outcome of an event.
  • Sports betting terms Decimal Odds: This is the odds format most often used in Europe, Australia and Canada, known as an EU Odds Format, where the payout for a winning wager is displayed in decimal form. The number includes the original bet that will be returned to them if the bet is won. For example, if the odds are 1.25, you are paying $100 to win $25 (plus your $100 back). Even money odds are displayed as a 2, meaning you get your back bet, plus that same amount in winnings.
  • Dime: A term that relates to a $1,000 bet.
  • Dime Line: A wager in which the internet bookmaker's commission on a losing bet (see Juice) is 10%.
  • Dollar: a term that relates to a $100 bet (a.k.a. Buck)
  • Double Action: Known as an if bet, the punter is awarded if his wager wins, ties or is canceled.
  • Edge: An advantage to one outcome over another.
  • Even Money / Even Odds: A sports betting term that applies to any wager that pays out the same amount as the punter wagers. For instance, if you bet $5, and the payout is $5, the odds are 1:1, paying even money.
  • EU Odds Format: See Decimal Odds.
  • Exotic: A sports betting term that applies to prop or proposition bets, as opposed to straight or parlay bets.
  • Exposure: The max amount of money a bookmaker may lose on a single event. If the sportsbook accept 5 $100 bets on an event, the exposure is $500.
  • Favorite: The team or player expected to win an event (opposite of Underdog).
  • Figure: The amount owed to a punter by the bookmaker.
  • First Half Bet: When a punter places a wager only on the outcome of the first half of a sporting event.
  • Fractional Odds: This is the odds format most popular in the United Kingdom, known as a UK Odds Format, where the payout for a winning wager is displayed in fractions. The fraction is the amount awarded to the player if the bet is won. For instance, 4/1 odds will pay 4x the original wager, so a bet of $100 will return a $400 profit if won ($500 total, including the return of the original bet). On the reverse end, 1/4 odds pays 1/4th of the original wager (a $100 bet wins $25, total return $125). This format is usually used at UK British Bookmakers
  • Futures: Any bet placed on the future of a sporting team or player. For example, a wager that an American College Football player will be drafted in the first round, or that an NHL Hockey team will win the Stanley Cup.
  • Grand Salami: A wager that the total outcome of the entire days Hockey goals will be over or under a specific amount.
  • Handicap: An attempt to predict the winner of an event, used to determine appropriate odds.
  • Hedging: Place a bet on both sides of an event to decrease losses or ensure minimum profits.
  • Juice: The commission taken by bookmaker's on a losing bet.
  • Laying Points: Giving up points to bet on the favorite.
  • Limit: The maximum amount a punter can wager on a single event. In order to bet over the limit, the bookmaker may change the odds and/or points.
  • Line: The current point spread or odds on an event.
  • Linemaker: The person responsible for setting the odds and/or points in sports betting.
  • Listed Pitchers: Associated with baseball, this is a wager that will only apply if both pitchers schedule to start they game actually start. If either do not start, the bet is canceled.
  • Longshot: Betting on the underdog in a sporting event where the payoff is significantly greater if the bet is won.
  • Middle: To wager on both teams in sports betting with a different point spread on each wager, and winning both bets.
  • Money Line Odds: The term that applies to an US odds format, displayed in minus (-) and plus (+) odds. If displayed with a minus (-), this is the amount you will can for every $100 wagered. When depicted with a plus (+), this is the amount you can win for every $100 wagered. This odds format is usually used at US Bookmakers
  • Nickel Line: A wager in which the bookmaker's commission on a losing bet (see Juice) is 5%.
  • Odds: The expectancy of one sports betting outcome over another. Odds are displayed in numerical terms. (See Decimal Odds [EU], Money Line Odds [US] and Fractional Odd [UK])
  • Off the Boards: Any event in which the bookmaker will not take bets.
  • Online Sportsbook: A company that accepts wagers on sporting events over the Internet.
  • Over Bet: A sports betting term that defines a wager that the final outcome will result in a combined score higher than a specific number.
  • Parlay: Where a punter bets on a combination of events, and all events must be won in order to win the wager. The payout for Parlay bets is generally much higher than than Straight bets.
  • Pick / Pick'em: When neither team is favored to win.
  • Point Spread: The predicted difference in score between two teams in a sporting event, as predicted by the bookmaker or linemaker.
  • Prop / Proposition Bet: Unique bets supplies by sports betting operators relating to anything, other than the actual outcome of a sporting event. Prop bets can apply to sporting events, such as first or last team/player to score, or other non-sports situations like weather, the outcome of political races, reality TV shows, etc.
  • Punter: Anyone who places sports bets.
  • Round Robin: Betting on a series of 3 or more teams in 2-team Parlay bets.
  • Sportsbook: A company that accepts wagers on sporting events.
  • Spread: The amount of point differential between two teams as predicted by a bookmaker (see Point Spread).
  • Straight Bet: A bet on the outcome of a single event.
  • Straight-Up: To win a sports bet without the point spread coming into play. For instance, if the point spread is 5, and your team wins by 7, the spread did not effect whether the bet was won or lost.
  • Taking Points: Betting on the underdog to get an extra point advantage.
  • Teaser: Parlay bets that allow the punter to change the point spread of each event. Teasing the spread results in lower payoff odds.
  • UK Odds Format: See Fractional Odds
  • Under Bet: A sports betting term that defines a wager that the final outcome will result in a combined score lower than a specific number.
  • Underdog: The team expected to lose an event (opposite of Favorite).
  • US Odds Format: See Money Line Odds

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