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Sport Betting Terms


Action 1) A bet of any kind
2) The amount of money being wagered on a game.
AFC American Football Conference


Bad Beat Tough loss
Bankroll The total amount of money a player plans to gamble.
Beard Someone who places bets on behalf of another person so that the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor.
Beef A quarrel, dispute or argument.
Book An establishment that accepts wagers on the outcome of horseracing and sporting events.
Bookie A person or organization that sets the lines and books the bets in sports.
Buck A $100 bet.
Buy Points Allows a bettor to move the point spread in his favor by paying a surcharge.


Canadian Line A combination point line and money line in hockey.
Chalk The favorite.
Chalk Player A bettor who usually bets on the favored teams. Also called "Favorite Freddie" and "chalk eater".
Circle(d) Game A game where the betting action is severely limited due to uncertainties about key injuries, inclement weather conditions, or unsubstantiated rumors regarding a team.
Cover To win by more than the point spread.


Degenerate A compulsive gambler.
Dime A $1,000 bet.
Dime Line A line that charges only half the juice of standard bets. Usually offered on baseball lines.
Dog The underdog in any betting proposition. Also called the "Puppy".
Dog Player A bettor who usually bets on the underdogs.
Dollar Bet see Buck.
Double Bet A wager twice the amount of one's normal wager.
Double Header Two separate games played by the same teams on the same day.
Due For A team that is "due for" whether it is a win or a loss; many bettors like to play "due for" situations.


Earn The practical hold percentage.
East Coast Line Mainly used in hockey, which has a split-goal line e.g. - NY Rangers (1 - 1½) favorite over the Vancouver Canucks as opposed to goal spread plus moneyline (-1/2 -180).
Edge An Advantage.
Even Money A wager on which the odds are 1-1.
Exotic Bet A bet other than a straight bet or parlay.
Exposure The amount of money the house will risk losing on a game or race.
Extension The amount of money the house theoretically stands to lose on a game or race.


Favorite The entry expected to win an event. The quoted odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favored.
Fifty Cents $50.00
Figure Amount of money owed to or by a bookmaker.
Final Four Remaining four college teams from a field of 64. They meet to determine the National Champion.
Firing Wagering huge sums of money.
First Half Bet (1H) A bet placed only on the first half of a game.
Flea An annoying person who wants something for nothing.
Form The performance expected of a team according to how they look on paper.
Four Majors Golf's most prestigious events: the Masters, the US Open, PGA in the US and the British Open.
Futures Bet Bets accepted well in advance of the events.


Getting Down Making a bet.
Going Down Losing a bet or bets.
Grand Slam The four most important tournaments in tennis: the Australian Open, the French Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon.
Grand Salami The grand total of goals scored in all the hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go Over/Under.
Gross Win The amount of winnings before subtracting the expenses.


Half a Dollar $50.00
Half-Time bet (2H) A bet placed only on the second half of the game (overtime included).
Handicapper A person who studies sports and predicts its outcome.
Handicapping The attempt to predict the outcome of sporting events.
Handle Total amounts of bets taken.
Hedging definition
term Betting on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee winning a minimal amount of money.
Holding Your Own Breaking even.
Home Team The team playing in its own court, field or stadium.
Home Field / Court Advantage The edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the playing area, fan support, and the effect of travel on the visiting team.
Hook A half point in point spreads.
Hooked Losing a bet by exactly one-half a point.
Hoops Another term for Basketball.
Hot Game A game that draws a significant amount of action on one side by knowledgeable handicappers.
Hot Tip Insider information that the bookmaker cannot divulge.


Juice Bookmaker's commission, also known as the vig or vigorish.


Laying the Points Betting on the favorite.
Laying the Price Betting the favorite by laying money odds.
Lay-Off Bet A bet made by one bookmaker with another in order to balance the action and reduce the risk on one side.
Limit The maximum bet accepted by a house or bookmaker before he changes odds and/or the points.
Line The listed odds on a game and/or payoff odds on the bet.
Line Maker The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.
Listed Pitchers Stating that you will place bet only if one or both of the pitchers scheduled to start a baseball game actually starts. If they don't, the bet is cancelled.
Lock A sure winner.
Longshot Opposite of a Lock. A large underdog where the odds of winning is quite steep. Hence the term "Not by a longshot".


Man The Bookmaker.
Middles To win both sides of a game.
MLB Major League Baseball (divided into two leagues: the National and the American).
Money Line / Moneyline The odds expressed in terms of money.
Move the Line See buy Points.


NBA National Basketball Association (teams divided into Western Conference and Eastern Conference)
NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association
Neutral Site Venue of a sporting event where neither side has a home field advantage.
Newspaper Line The betting line which quite often appears in the daily newspapers; the lines are only approximate and quite often totally inaccurate and misleading.
NFC National Football Conference
NFL National Football League (divided into American Football Conference and National Football Conference).
NHL National Hockey League (teams divided into Eastern Conference and Western Conference).
Nickel A $500.00 bet.
NIT National Invitational Tournament
No Action see "Push".


Oddsmaker Same as a linemaker.
Odds on Favorite A horse, team or individual so favored by the public that the odds are less than e
Off the Board A game on which no bets are accepted.
Off Lines The difference of amount the Las Vegas point spread has compared with the computerized mathematical line.
Official Line The line that the bookmaker uses for wagering purposes.
One $100.00
Over and Under A sports bet in which the bettor guesses that the combined point total of two teams will be above a specified total. Also called "Totals Bet".
Overtime Extension to a tied contest at the end of regulation play that lasts until a winner is determined or maximum overtime periods expire.
Out An illegal bookmaker.
Outlaw Line An early line which is not an official line.
Overlay When the odds of a given proposition are more in favor of the bettor than the house.


Parlay A bet with two or more teams where all the teams beat on must win in order for the bettor to win the wager.
Parlay Cards Wagers on a minimum of 3 and up to 15 propositions; the more you pick, the higher the payoff.
Past Performance What has occurred previously to the forthcoming games.
Past Post To make a bet after the event has begun.
PGA Professional Golfers Association.
Pick 'em Game A game where neither team is favored.
Player A bettor, or gambler.
Pointspread The amount of points the bettor must give to take on any given game.
Post Time The scheduled starting time.
Postponed A contest cancelled for any reason and rescheduled at a later date.
Practical Hold Percentage The amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount booked.
Press To bet a larger amount than usual.
Price The odds or pointspread.
Proposition Bet A wager on a particular aspect of the game such as how many field goals will be made. Also known as "Props".
Puckline Mainly used on East Coast with hockey, giving odds of a goal spread instead of Canadian Line where both a goal spread and moneyline is played.
Puppy The underdog.
Push Tie; neither side wins and all money is returned to the bettors.


Rained Out A game cancelled because of weather.
Reverse In horse racing, to ask for a second exacta wager which specifies two horses in reverse order of the first exacta wager.
Round Robin A series of three or more teams into 2-team wagers.
Run Down A line update.
Run Line A line used when wagering on baseball.
Runner see "Beard"
Ryder Cup A golf tournament in which every two years the top American and European golfers meet at venues alternating between the two continents.


Scalper A person who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.
Score To win big.
Scratch To withdraw or cancel a wager.
Scouts Person(s) who study team plays and/or practice and report findings to handicappers.
Shard Line A game in which the maximum bet is raised. This is usually done only for games involving the most popular teams and that are televised. Monday Night Football games and Final Four basketball games would be good examples.
Show A horse racing bet in which you collect if the horse finishes first, second or third.
Sides The names of the two teams playing: the underdog and the favorite.
Single Action An "if bet" that is processed only if the precedent bet wins.
Smart Money Sides that are bet on by the more knowledgeable handicappers.
Sport Player A person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager.
Spread The predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sports book. See "pointspread".
Square Unsophisticated gambler.
Stanley Cup Best-of-seven series between the Eastern and Western conference champions in the NHL to determine the World Champion.
Steam When a betting line starts to move quite rapidly; most "steam games" do not necessarily reflect the "right side", but are games that the mass of bettors somehow decide to key on.
Store A Bookie.
Straight bet A bet on just one team or horse.
Stuck Behind, losing, buried, down for the week
Sucker Bet Betting on the underdog.
Super Bowl Winners of the AFC and NFC meet to determine the NFL Champion.


Taking / Take a Price Wagering on the underdog; taking the odds.
Tapped Out Broke, busted, common result of pressing.
Teaser A wager combining two or more games together and giving the player a fixed number of additional points in his favor.
Theoretical Hold Percentage The edge the bookmaker would have if the odds guaranteed him a constant commission regardless of the outcome.
Ticket A wager.
Tie Bet A bet in which no money is lost nor won because the teams' scores were equal to the number of points in the given line.
Toke A tip or bonus.
Toss Up A game where the line is close to pick-em.
Totals Bet Total combined point/runs/goals scored in a game. In baseball, if either of the two listed starting pitchers doesn't start, the bet is automatically cancelled.
Tout Someone who sells his expertise on sports or horse wagers.
Triple Sharp The sharpest of the sharp.


Under A sports bet in which the bettor guesses that the total points scored by two teams will be under a certain figure.
Underdog The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the "dog".
Underlay Having the odds of a proposition lean in favor of the house.


Value Getting the best odds on a betting proposition; the highest possible edge.
Vigorish The commission paid to the bookmaker. Also call "vig".


Wager Any Bet.
WBA World Boxing Association.
WBC World Boxing Council.
Wise Guy A well-informed or knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.
Wood Laying points.
Window What some players say after winning a bet.


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