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Glossary

HowToBetDesktop
Action

Action

This is a general term for the amount of bets placed on a side, game or sporting event.

ATS (Against the Spread)

ATS (Against the Spread)

This refers to betting on one side of the point spread. ATS is the acronym commonly used for Against The Spread.

Bad Beat

Bad Beat

A tough loss that looked like it would be a victory. It usually takes a bad turn near the end of the game.

Beard

Beard

Someone who places bets but is looking to conceal their identity. Often times it is someone who is a sharp and wants to remain anonymous.

Book

Book

This is short form for the term “sportsbook,” which is a company that takes bets on sporting events and various other things

Bookmaker/Bookie

Bookmaker/Bookie

Similar to a sportsbook, this is a group or individual that takes bets on a sporting event. However, this is usually done in person versus online and is deemed less safe.

Buy Points

Buy Points

This gives the better the opportunity to pay a small fee to move the point spread in their favor. While it costs more, it allows them to increase their chances of winning.

Chalk

Chalk

This term refers to the entity or team that is favored to win the event.

Circled Game

Circled Game

A circled game is one where there is lower limits to due various factors (injuries, weather, reality show).

Cover

Cover

This is when a side wins against the spread. If they fall within the margin and beat the point spread, that’s called covering.

Dime

Dime

A $1,000 bet.

Dime Line

Dime Line

When a betting line has “juice” or “vig” at 10 percent.

Dog

Dog

This is short form for the term underdog, which is the team expected to lose.

Edge

Edge

The perceived advantage a sports bettor has before wagering.

Even Money

Even Money

A bet without “juice” or “vig” associated with it. In other words, if you bet $100, you’ll win $100.

Favorite

Favorite

The team or individual expected to win a sporting event based on the point spread or moneyline.

Futures

Futures

This is a type of bet that focuses on a future event. Some examples is betting on a team to win a championship early in the season, regular season win totals and odds to win the division.

Handicapping

Handicapping

This is the process of researching, analyzing and predicting a sports betting event. Those who do this type of evaluation before betting are known as handicappers, or are handicapping the game.

Hedging

Hedging

This is the process of betting on the opposite side of a current wager you have. For example, if bet on a team to win but then bet their opponent to win as well. There is a strategy involved with this, which could help you cut your losses or make a small profit.

Hook

Hook

A synonym for a half-point.

Juice

Juice

This is the commission that the sportsbook earns on bets wagered. Also known as the ‘vig’.

Laying the Points

Laying the Points

When you bet the favorite against the spread.

Limit

Limit

This refers to the betting limits for a given bet. Each sportsbook has different limits for different events.

Lines

Lines

A synonym for betting odds, which can refer to a point spread, moneyline or totals.

Linemaker

Linemaker

An individual – often part of a team – that sets the betting line and then manages it as the action comes in.

Listed Pitchers

Listed Pitchers

When you list pitchers in baseball, that means that they both must start for your bet to take place. If the listed pitcher doesn’t start, then your bet is void.

Lock

Lock

A term used to describe a projected easy winner or large favorite.

Longshot

Longshot

A longshort refers to a team or side that is considered unlikely to win. In other words, they are a large underdog.

Moneyline

Moneyline

This is a type of bet which focuses on the straight-up winner of an event. No point spread or margin of victory is involved.

Nickel

Nickel

A $500 bet. Also sometimes referred to as “nickel” bet in slang terms.

Nickel Line

Nickel Line

A betting line in which the “juice” or “vig” is 5 percent.

No Action

No Action

This is when a bet is cancelled and the stake is returned to the bettor. There could be a number of reasons for this, such as the actual event being canceled as well or the match failing to reach specific benchmarks. For example, a rain-shortened baseball game that only played five innings.

Off the Board

Off the Board

When is a game is off the board, it unavailable for betting due to certain circumstances. One example could be that there is a key injury impacting the game.

Over

Over

This is when the combined total score of the two sides goes above the set total for the game.

Over/Under

Over/Under

A number set by the odds makers that projects the combined final score of both sides. The bettor can then choose whether a game will go over or under that number.

Parlay

Parlay

A type of wager where multiple options are selected. Each of those options must win in order for the parlay to win. The payout is multiplied, so the payout is bigger in a parlay, even though the risk is greater as well.

Pick’em

Pick’em

When a game is a Pick ‘em, it means that there is no favorite or underdog. Both sides are perceived virtually equal, so the point spread is basically zero or a non-factor.

Point Spread

Point Spread

A margin of victory. The odds makers will determine a point spread where the favorite has to win by more than that amount while the underdog can lose by less than that amount, or win the game outright and still cover. It’s a handicap that evens out the matchup via a points margin.

Puckline

Puckline

This is a point spread in hockey that is always set at 1.5 goals. You can either bet on one team to win by more than 1.5 (two goals or more) or bet a team with +1.5, which means they can lose by one goal or win the game, and you’d win that side of the bet.

Prop Bet

Prop Bet

A type of wager that focuses on various other activities, stats or happenings during an event not solely focused on who is winning or losing. For example: total rushing yards by a player, how many points will be scored by a player in an NBA game or whether an interception will be thrown.

Push

Push

This is a tie and the stake is returned to the bettor. An example of when this might happen could be if the point spread lands on a whole number – say -7 instead of -7.5 or -6.5 – and the game is decided by exactly seven points.

Runline

Runline

A point spread of -1.5 or +1.5 in a baseball game. This mean you can either bet a team to win by 1.5 or you can get a team with 1.5 runs.

Sharp

Sharp

A professional or smart bettor who is well-researched and well-informed.

Side

Side

The team or entity you are siding with or betting in.

Spread

Spread

This is short form for the term “point spread.”

Straight Bet

Straight Bet

Just a basic bet on one team or side.

Square

Square

An inexperienced, uneducated bettor.

Steam

Steam

A fast change in the betting line, usually because of sharp action.

Taking the Points

Taking the Points

When you’re betting the underdog on the point spread.

Teaser

Teaser

This is a parlay where you’re allowed to move the points in your favor. In return, you get a lower payout.

Total

Total

The combined final score of the game/event.

Under

Under

When combined final score by the two teams or entities involved finishes below the total posted by the odds makers.

Underdog

Underdog

The team that is not expected to win – or is deemed as having a smaller chance of winning than the favorite.

Vigorish

Vigorish

This is a synonym for juice, which is the commission the sportsbook takes.

Wiseguy

Wiseguy

Another term to describe a “sharp” or “smart” bettor. Often times, this is a professional who is well-informed and knowledgeable