Betting Terms And Glosary

Sport Betting Terms and Glosary

Whether you’re venturing into the exciting world of sports betting for the first time or consider yourself a seasoned pro, you might encounter some betting terminology that leaves you puzzled, thinking, “What does that mean?” Understanding these terms is crucial, whether you’re placing your first bets or adding to your extensive betting experience. Additionally, mastering the art of reading odds is a key skill when familiarizing yourself with essential betting terms. We’re here to guide you through this journey, making the world of sports betting both approachable and enjoyable.

Below are the most common and need to know sports betting terms for any user:


A bet or wager.

Against the Spread

ATS (“against the [point] spread”). The result of a game that involves a point spread.

Alternate Lines

Lines that differ from the main posted line or point spread. If a basketball game’s point spread is 5.5 points, many sportsbooks will offer alternate lines at odds with different payouts than wagers on the main line.


Involves strategically placing bets on all potential outcomes of an event. Bettors employing this strategy seek a guaranteed profit, even though individual wagers may yield only modest margins, as not every placed bet is expected to be a winner.

Backdoor Cover

When a team scores points at the end of a game to cover the spread unexpectedly. If a football team that’s a +8.5 underdog is trailing by 10 points but only loses by three after scoring a last-minute touchdown, that’s a backdoor cover.

Bad Beat

A bet that looks like the bettor is going to win but ends up losing due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s especially used when the betting result is decided late in the game to change the side that covers the spread.


This is the total amount of money a bettor has to place wagers.

Bet Slip

An area that contains a bettor’s selections. In traditional terms, the bet slip is the piece of paper that a bettor would use to fill in selections when making a wager at a sportsbook. On sports betting apps, the bet slip is the area in which selections are made and wager amounts are designated. A bet slip can serve as a receipt for a bettor.


Sportsbooks often provide bonuses to their customers for various reasons. The most common method is through a signup bonus, designed to entice bettors to choose their sportsbook.


Short for sportsbook or bookmaker.


A person who accepts bets illegally and charges vig.


A $100 bet.

Buying points

Some bookies or sportsbooks will allow customers to alter the set line and then adjust odds. For example, a bettor might decide he wants to have his team as a 3-point underdog instead of the set line of 2.5. He has then “bought” half a point, and the odds of his bet will be changed.


The favorite in a game.

Closing line

The final line before the game or event begins.

Consensus pick

Percentage of the betting public on each side of a game. Some bettors will bet against the “public money” (whichever side more bettors have placed their bets on).


An instance where the favored team wins by exceeding the point spread. If a basketball team is favored by 4.5 points and wins by 5, it has covered the spread and bettors who have wagered on the favorite to cover are paid out.


A $1,000 bet.


Short for underdog.


Slang for a $100 wager.


An advantage. Sports bettors might feel they have an edge on a book if they think its lines aren’t accurate. For example, a $100 bet at even money would pay $100 in profit.


Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay; can also be called a “prop” or “proposition wager.”


The expected straight-up winner of any game or event. Favorites are priced with a negative number and are considered to be “giving points” on the spread.

Futures bet

A wager on something that will take place longer-term than a wager on an individual game or event. Common futures bets include betting a team to win a championship at the outset of a season

Graded Bet

A wager that has been officially declared as winning, losing, or as a push once a game or an event has ended. This is also called a settled bet.


A person trying to predict the winners of an event.


The total amount of money wagered on a game.


Making a bet on the opposite side of an original wager to minimize risk and guarantee at least some return. An example would be making a large futures wager on a football team to win the Super Bowl, then betting against that team in the Super Bowl itself..


A half-point. If a team is a 7.5-point favorite, it is said to be “laying seven and a hook.”

House Rules

A set of rules listed by a sportsbook that outlines the general and/or specific parameters for play. A sportsbook’s house rules will include who is and isn’t eligible to gamble, minimum and maximum wager amounts, and how bets are graded.

In-game wagering

Bets made after a game has started. This is widely referred to as ‘live betting‘.

Juice (“vigorish” or “vig”)

The amount charged by sportsbooks for taking a bet. If a bet is offered at -110, bettors would need to wager $110 to win $100. The $10 on the $110 bet is the juice. This can also be called the rake.


A wager that is part of a parlay bet.

Line Movement

When the odds for a game change from the time bets open to the time the game begins. Lines move for various reasons, including a significant injury on one side, a change in weather conditions, or a large amount of public money being bet on one side versus the other.


A wager that is considered to be a sure thing by the bettor that placed it.

Moneyline Bet

A bet that is contingent on whether a team will win or lose the game outright.


A $500 bet.

No Action

A game that is no longer taking bets and all wagers are refunded.


The measure of how much a bettor can win on a specific wager, per $100 in American odds. For example, a bettor will win $124 with a $100 bet at +124 odds but must wager $124 to win $100 if the odds are -124.

Off the board

When a book or bookie has taken a bet down and is no longer accepting action or wagers on the game. This can happen if there is a late injury or some uncertainty regarding who will be participating.


This can be a number posted on how many scoring units will be scored in a game or match, as well as how many games a team will win during a season. If a football game’s over/under is 43.5 and the two teams combine to score 44 points, bets on the over are paid out. If a baseball team’s preseason win total over/under is 82.5, and it wins 81 games, futures bets on the under are paid out..


A wager in which multiple teams are bet, either against the spread or on the money line. For the wager to win (or pay out), all of them must cover/win. The more teams you bet, the greater the odds.

Pick ‘em

A game with no favorite or underdog as both sides are listed at -110 on the moneyline.

Point Spread (or just “spread”)

he number made by oddsmakers that levels the playing field between two opponents. A favorite is listed with a negative spread (-4.5), while an underdog is listed with a positive spread (+4.5). A winning wager on a favorite means that the contest was decided by a margin that exceeded the spread.

Proposition bet (or “Prop Bet”)

A bet on anything that is not directly tied to the outcome of the game. For example, it can be the first team or the first player to score in a game.


It’s the name for the point spread of Hockey. Example: At team has a point spread of -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog.


A wager that results in a tie. If a football point spread is three points and the final score is 24-21, the original stakes are returned to bettors.


It’s the name for the point spread of Baseball. Example: At team has a point spread of -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog.


A professional sports bettor.


Short for point spread.


When a betting line experiences an unusually rapid movement, it may be attributed to a collective effort by a group or syndicate of bettors placing their wagers simultaneously. Alternatively, this movement can occur when a well- regarded handicapper recommends a bet, prompting their followers to act quickly. It may also be influenced by public reactions to news events, such as injuries or changes in weather conditions.

Straight up

A wager made when the bettor only needs a team to win a game or an event outright with no regard to the point spread.

Taking Points

Betting on an underdog against the spread. If a bettor makes a wager on a team that’s a +5.5 underdog, that wager pays out if the team wins the game outright or loses by 5 points or less.


Similar to parlays, teasers involve multiple wagers combined into one but offer a much lower payout in exchange for extra points added to the spread. All games have to be picked correctly to win the wager.

Total Bet (over/under)

A bet on the combined number of points scored by both teams in a game, including overtime/extra innings. For example, in a football game, if the total is 37 points, bettors can bet “over” or “under” on that perceived total.

Underdog (Dog)

The side (team or player) that is not favored to win the game or match. Underdogs are priced with a positive number and are considered to be “getting points” on the spread.


The commission the bookie or bookmaker takes; also called the “juice.” Standard is 10 percent.


A bet or wager.


A professional bettor. Another term for a “sharp.”