Sports Betting Terms Explained
Common Sports Betting Terms Explained
Welcome to the Glossary page, where you will find the most common sports betting terms explained as simply as possible. No big fancy words, just easy to understand definitions and exaples where needed.
Whether you choose to refer to it as gambling, betting, or investing. I want you to be absolutely confident in the sports betting terminology the industry uses. Although, some circles or regions may have added or adapted some terms. These are the standard terms that surround sports betting and investing.
Our goal here at ZCode System Insider is to ensure that you have as much education and knowledge as you need to ensure your Success! We want to provide you with everything you need to know to start winning consistently!
Sports Betting Terminology: From A To ZCode!
*Insider TIP: Be sure to read each term. This is very important if you are just getting started. By taking the time to read our entire list you will ensure that you understand all of the terminology as some words go together or refer to another on the list.
Action: Simply put, this having a monetary interest on a game or event. If you have placed a wager, or made an investment on any outcome of any game, you have Action.
Arbitrage Betting/Arbing: This is a betting system which allows a bettor to make multiple bets to attempt to guarantee a profit regardless of the end outcome. These bets are commonly referred to as “surebets” or a “miraclebets”.
ATS: (aka. Against the Spread): If a team is 5-2 ATS, it means it has a 5-2 record against the point spread, or more commonly referred to simply as the “spread.”
Bad Beat: A bad beat happens when you lose a bet you should have won. Usually this happens when a game is close. A late fumble in football. Or maybe a walk off home run against a closing pitcher. There are many examples of a bad beat that exist. Ultimately, it is seen as a “sure thing” that went wrong. Commonly used in poker, such as when a player way ahead is the expected winner, yet loses on the river (last card).
Beard: This is when someone places a bet or wager for another individual. There are many reasons someone one might use a “Beard”. Such as taxes, privacy, or debt.,,ect. (AKA: Runner or Mule.)
Book: A “Book” is anyone, or any organization that accepts sports wager or investments. Usually used as a short name for any particular Sportsbook, “Book” also covers any establishment, or individual accepting Action.
Bookie: This term usually is recognized as a street term. However, it truly defines any person or establishment that accepts wagers or investments on sporting events. While all sports betting accommodations could be considered a “Bookie”. It usually refers to a street vendor.
*Insider Tip: If using a local or street bookie, which we are not recommending. It pays to take take precautions and always have the ability pay. There are no Government regulations on these individuals. Which means there is nothing protecting you or your investment!
Buying Points: In some cases a Bookie or Sportsbook will allow you to alter the set line and adjust the odds. As an example, a bettor might decide he wants to have his team as a 7-point favorite/underdog instead of the set line of 7.5. He/she could the buy a half a point, and the odds of his bet will be changed to 7 in either direction. (This option allows you to change the point spread, however you will have to pay a higher vig.)
Chalk: This refers to the favorite in any game or outcome. It may also refer to individuals that only bet on favorites in a game/event. Those individuals are commonly called “Chalk Bettors”.
Circle Game: This is usually refereed to when a betting limit is imposed. Often it indicates an injury, late scratch in the starting lineup, or poor weather conditions. Be aware that not all books advertise these changes, Do Your Homework!
Closing line: Odds and lines on any game or event can move and change right up until the event begins.The closing line is simply the final line at game time. (This is most prominent in horse and dog racing.)
Consensus Pick: Simply put, this is the most common pick or wager shown by public activity. To make it even easier to understand, this is the “popular” pick on any sporting event.
Cover: Usually thought of as a favorite winning by more than the point spread. A “cover” could also be a losing team losing by less than the spread, or by the over/under coming in or not. To “Cover” a bet simply means to win against the Action you took. (ex. If you bet the Chicago Bulls to win by 3, and they won by 4 or more. The outcome would be a cover.)
Dime: Dime usually refers to making an investment of $1000 US. However, it can also refer to a betting tip received. Such as “dropping a dime on insider news”. (this refers to injury or last minute lineup changes.)
Dog: Short for Underdog, being the “Dog” directly refers to any team/individual that is expected to lose the event. You will see this in almost every sports prediction. One team is the “favorite” to win, and the other is the “Dog”.
*Insider Tip: Data research among the top sports books show the underdog covers the point spread approximately 54% of the time.
Dollar: Commonly used with bookies, this is street jargon for a wager of $100. For example, if you bet “three dollars”, that means you have a wager of $300.
Edge: Having an “Edge” is to have an advantage. Often sports bettors might feel as though they have an “edge” on a book if they believe the lines are not accurate.
*Insider Tip: Typically bettors have a slight edge at the start of any particular sporting season. Conversely, as the season progresses, that edge swings to favor the book. As games are played out the handicappers have more stats to work with, there for they become far more accurate.
Even Money: Odds that are considered 50-50. You put up $1 to win $1.
Exotic/Exotics: Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay; can also be called a “prop” or “proposition wager.”
Favorite: The expected straight-up winner in a game or event. Depending on the sport, the favorite will lay either odds or points. For example, in an American football game, if a team is a 2.5-point favorite, it will have to win by three points or more to be an ATS winner.
Fix/fixed: When a competitor or official of a game or event intentionally alters the result of that game/event. Resulting in a partially or completely predetermined outcome. Basically it means someone is cheating to gain an advantage.
Futures Bet: A long term bet that generally relates to a team’s season long results. Common examples of futures would be betting on a team to win the championship, betting on season win/lose totals or a playoff series. These bets are typically made at the start of the regular season, or playoff series and settled at the end.
Halftime Bet: Common with football and basketball, these are bets made after the first half has ended and before the second half begins. Book’s often adjust the odds based on what happened in the first half and offer new odds for the second half.
Handicapper: Any individual or group assigned to set the handicaps for any given game or event. Also may refer to anyone who is attempting to predict the outcome of an event.
Handicapping: This is the practice of assigning advantage through point spreads or odds given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The idea behind handicapping is to make each betting option as close to 50/50 as possible.
Handle: The Handel would be the total amount of money taken by a book or the total amount of money wagered on any game/event.
Hedge/Hedging: To Hedge your bet would be to bet the opposing side of your original bet. Attempting to either ensure some profit or minimize your potential loss. This is a common practice if there are conditional changes at game time, such as injury or weather.
High Roller: This is an individual that bets large sums of money. Also known as a Whale, these bettors are into High-Stakes betting.
Hook: This refers to a half-point (.5). If a team is a 7.5 point favorite, it might be said that your are giving “seven and the hook”.
In Game Wagering: A service offered by some books in which bettors can place new bets in real time, while the game is in progress.
Juice: The commission that a bookie or bookmaker charges for placing a bet. The standard is 10 percent but it may vary from book to book. Also known as the “vig” or “vigorish”.
Lay/Laying: Term most commonly used when betting a larger amount of money to win a smaller amount. Money line’s are a good example. You may have to bet $150 to win $100. In this case you would be “laying 150 to win 100”.
*Insider Tip: Lay may also refer to the point spread. If you bet on a team that is favored by 4.5 points. It would be said that you are “laying 4.5 points”.
Layoff: Money or bets that are passed on by one sportsbook to another sportsbook to reduce that original book’s liability.
Limit: This is the maximum amount of money a book will allow you to win on any given wager. While the Limit varies widely from book to book. It is basically the largest amount of money they will pay out on any singular wager. Including point spreads, money line’s, over/under’s and parlays.
Lock: A seemingly guaranteed win in the eyes of the individual that placed the bet. You may also hear these bets called a sure thing.
Middle: When a game line moves, a bettor can try to “middle” a wager and win both sides with minimal risk. For example if a bettor takes a team that is a 3.5-point underdog. Then the line moves down to 2.5 points. She could then bet the opposite team at 2.5 and hope the favorite wins by 3 points. She would then win both sides of the bet.
*Insider’s Tip: You have to be very alert to find these situations, often using more than one book. Also keep in mind that when you Middle, you are seeking a very specific outcome.
Money Line: This is a forum of bet in which your team only needs to win the game or event. The point spread is replaced with monetary odds. When betting a favorite to win, in most cases, you will have to give odds like betting $150 to win $100. Conversely if you bet on an underdog and they win, you will receive the odds, betting $100 to win $150.
Mush: Most commonly refers to a bettor that makes bad decisions and uniformed bets. Book’s love these people because they are easy to beat. You don’t want to be known as a mush!
Nickel: Betting jargon for the amount of $500. If you were to bet a Nickle on a game. You would be risking $500 on that particular bet.
Odds: Betting odds represent the probability of an event to happen and therefore enable you to work out how much money you will win if your bet wins. As an example, with odds of 4/1, for every £1 you bet, you will win £4. There is a 20% chance of this happening,. Also known as price.
Odds Against: Describes betting odds where the potential winnings are higher than the stake. For example, if the odds are 5-1 for your bet to win and it does, and you bet $10 you would win $50. In this situation the price would be greater than even. (Commonly used in horse racing.)
Odds On: Describes betting odds in which the stake is higher than the potential winnings of a successful pick. As an example, you may have to bet $45 to win $30, or 3-2 odds on. In this situation the price would be less than even. (Commonly used in horse racing.)
Oddsmaker: This is basically the same thing as a Handicapper and refers to the person who sets the odds. You may also hear terms such as “bookmaker” or “linesmaker” to describe the same individual.
Off the Board: When a book or bookie removes a game from the betting options and is no longer accepting action on that event. The reason for a game becoming “Off the Board” vary. However it is common with money lines if they become to unreasonable. You also see this happen when a point spread has gotten to large or unappealing to offer.
Over/under: A term used to describe a type of bet or betting option in which the result is determined by the final score of a game. For Example if the predicted combined score of both teams in one game is set at 42. You can place a wager on whether the game will end with a combined score over or under 42.
Parlay: This a bet in which multiple teams or outcomes are included in a single bet. You can bet either against the spread, on the money line, or over/under’s. However, for the bet to win (or pay), all outcomes must cover/win. The more teams you bet, the greater the odds and the more chance you have to lose.
*Insider’s Tip: Parlays can be very alluring, but the come with a greater risk. Most top bettors rarely bet parlays. When they do, they limit them to 2 or 3 teams, or outcomes. While the odds pay better, remember if you bet 4 or 5 outcomes, you must win all of them or your bet loses.
Pick ’em: A game with no point spread as well as no favorite or underdog. The odds are the same for each team and all you have to do is pick one.
Point Spread The number of points by which one team is favored over the other. This point spread is set by handicapper in an attempt to make each team a 50/50 to win the bet.
Price: Betting jargon for how much it will cost to make a particular bet. So if you wanted to bet a point spread for $100. Add the vig and the price would be $110 if you lose the wager.
Proposition/Prop Bet: These are non-typical or exotic wager that are not normally on the betting board. such as which team will score first or how many yards a player will gain. These are very popular on major events and championship games such as the Super Bowl. They could include bets such as who scores first, number of field goals, turnovers, or total yards for a team and so on.
Push: When an a bet hits on the exact betting line wagered against and all wagers are refunded. For example, a 7-point favorite wins by exactly seven points.
Return on investment: (ROI) This is the expected amount of profit received on a winning bet or investment. For example if you bet $110 on a point spread, your ROI would be $100, or $110 to win $100.
Runner: An Individual whom makes bets for another person. You may also hear these individuals referred to as a Beard.
Sharp: This would indicate a professional, sophisticated sports bettor. This person would be a front runner in the sports betting world and someone to pay attention to.
Spread: Commonly used jargon referring to the Point Spread.
Square: Usually thought of as a casual gambler. Someone who typically isn’t using the best strategies when placing a bet. The opposite of a Sharp.
Stake: Generally describes a bettors bankroll, or the amount on a wager. If you bet your friend $5, you would each have a stake of $5 in the event.
Straight Up: A sports betting term that refers to a wager in which the bettor only needs a team or individual to win outright. The most obvious example of a straight up bet is the money line, as there is no point spread involved.
Sure Thing: When an individual places a vet that they believe can not lose. This may also be refered to as a Lock.
Teaser: This form of bet allows you to bet multiple teams and adjusting the point spread in all games for the bettor’s favor. However, all games involved must be picked correctly to win the wager.
Total: This refers to the expected combined point, run or goal total for both teams in a game. Look at a football game for example. If the combined score total is 41 points, bettors can place over/under bets on that expected outcome.
Tout:(service) Any person or group that either sells or gives away picks on games or events.
Underdog: Most commonly refers to a team or an individual that is not seen as the favorite to win. When betting a spread the underdog is the team receiving the points. The underdog only has to get within the point spread in order for a player to win the bet.
*Insider’s Tip: When betting money lines the underdog must win, but the payout is generally much better. For example, if the money line on a dog is +175, you would get $175 for every $100 bet if they win.
Vigorish/Vig: This also refers to the commission that a bookie or bookmaker charges for placing a bet. The standard is 10 percent but it may vary from book to book. Also known as the “Juice”.
Wager: A sports betting term that represents any for of bet. To place a wager, you are in fact making a bet.
Welch: This is the act or of not paying on a losing wager. An individual that skips out on paying may also be referred to as a Welch.
Wiseguy: A term to signify that someone is a professional bettor. Also known as a Sharp bettor.
ZCode System: This is a proven sports betting platform that has helped thousand of bettors from all around the world grow their bankroll.
Building A Strong Foundation Is A Must For Success
Well there you have it. the most commonly used sports betting terms explained as simply as I could. By getting familiar with the terms and definitions found on this page. You will begin to build a fundamental foundation from which you can grow your knowledge and success as a sports bettor.
Of course there is much more to becoming a winning sports bettor than knowing the lingo. To become truly successful you have to become familiar with every aspect of sports betting and investing. You will also need to understand beating structures and strategies for every major sport. Learn good money management skills and most importantly, learn to eliminate your emotions when risking your money.
The Good News is that you are on the perfect site. Regardless of your experience you will find something helpful here at ZCode System Insider. Between our Insider Tutorials and the Insider’s University. You are bound to find something to help you become a winning sports bettor and help you make big profits.
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