There is a lot of jargon and slang that gets used in sports betting. That’s just what happens when sports and finances collide. Knowing sports betting jargon is vital if you’re going to read sportsbooks and bettor picks and understand what the hell they’re talking about.
Here you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the most important sports betting jargon terms that every bettor should know when they place their first wagers. Once you understand the jargon enough that you can read odds, head over to a sportsbook site like fanduel.com and see if you understand what is being said.
Accumulator: Accumulator is another term for a parlay bet in North America, where one wager covers multiple selections who all must win or draw to win the bet.
Added Game: Common in college football betting, added games are those added to betting boards after the main lists have been posted.
Alternate Lines: These are odds that are above or below the main posted betting line.
American Odds: A common form of odds alongside fractional and decimal options. They’re also called moneyline odds and are presented as +000 or -000. Plus means the team is an underdog while minus means they’re the favorite. Plus figures show how much you’d win for a $100 bet while minus figures are how much you’d need to stake to win $100.
Arbitrage: Arbitrage, or ARB, are wagers that cover all outcomes in a game. The opportunity to do this is rare and typically involves sportsbooks that don’t agree on the odds for a game.
ATS: ATS, which means Against The Spread, are odds designed to attract bets on both sides of the game.
Bad Beat: When a ticket that looks like it’ll win becomes a losing ticket due to some last-minute match activity.
Bankroll: The money you use for betting. Bankroll management is about controlling this amount so it doesn’t get out of hand and disrupt your life.
Book/Bookies: Short for bookmakers, who are licensed individuals that set the betting odds and take bets on them. Sometimes called a linemaker.
Chalk: Another name for the favorite in a wager. Chalk bettors are those who consistently side with the favorites.
Closing Line: The last betting odds posted before a game begins
Combine: Fitness testing to scout players for professional teams, most associated with the NFL and their scouting combine events.
Covering The Spread: Or just cover, this is where a favorite wins and exceeds the point spread.
Decimal Odds: Common European way of displaying odds.
Dog: A shorter term for the underdog.
Double Action: A wager that’s taken in two stages. If the first produces winnings, they’re automatically rolled into the other bet.
Double Bet: Double the normal wager of a bettor.
Double Result: The sum of the halftime score and the score at the end of that same game.
Drafts: Events where professional players are chosen for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB
Draw: A tie, where the game ends with the same score. Also called a push in some sports.
Edge: When you have research or information that isn’t publicly known to inform your bet.
Exposure: How much you or the bookmaker stands to lose if the wager is lost.
First Half Bet: Wagers focused on the first half of a game, typically football, soccer, or basketball.
Fixed Odds: Where the wager is accepted and the odds don’t change along with the game. Another synonym for moneyline odds.
Fractional Odds: Odds presented in a fraction instead of American or decimal odds.
Futures Bet: A wager placed on an event in the future, sometimes so far in the future that it isn’t confirmed yet.
Half-Time Bet: Wagers focused on the second half of a game.
Hedge: Risk management where you bet on the opposite side of your wager so you lose less.
Home Field Advantage: The idea that teams playing in their home stadium have better in-match performance.
Juice: Or vigorish, this is the commission bookmakers take from a bet.
Odds Shopping: Looking at multiple sportsbooks to find the best prices.
Over/Under: A prediction of the points scored in a match by the sportsbook. Bettors bet if it will pass the number or not.
Pick ‘Em: A game where the odds are identical.
Recreational Bettor: Somebody who bets for fun and only on big events.
Square: A novice bettor, often recreational.
Sharp: A sophisticated bettor, opposite of the square. Also called a wise guy.