These are the common terms in wagering.
Action: To have a bet on a game or event.
Action (Baseball): Baseball wager will be accepted regardless if the scheduled pitchers start.
Angles: Using past betting results in order to predict future results.
Arbitrage: Making a combination of bets on a specific event which lock up a guaranteed profit.
ATS (against the spread): A record of how often a team covers the point spread or total.
Bad Beat: A bet that is almost a sure winner that ends up losing, usually late in the game.
Bear: An individual who places bets for someone else.
Bet: Risking money on the outcome of a game or event.
Bet limit: The maximum value a book will accept on a specific wager.
Betting exchange: A type of online sports book which pairs bettors of opposing sides to wager against each other. The betting exchange charges a commission to the winning bettor.
Bookie: An individual or group that accepts wagers.
Buying points: Purchasing points in ½ point increments to make the spread or total more advantageous to the bettor. With each ½ point purchased, the bettor will be charged additional juice.
Chalk: The team that is favored to win.
Cover: When a team wins against the point spread or total.
Credit Shop: A book that permits its customers to bet on credit.
Degenerate: An individual with a gambling problem; often this term is used in jest.
Dime Line: When there is only 10 cents difference between the favorite and underdog as opposed to the standard 20 cents.
Dog (underdog): The team that is not favored to win.
Early Line: The opening line posted for a game.
Early Money: Money that comes in as soon as the odds are opened.
Even Money: A bet in which the winning amount be exactly what the bettor risked.
Exotic: A wager other than the more typical types of wagers.
Fade: Betting the opposite pick of someone.
Favorite: The team that is favored or expected to win.
Field: A group of teams, horses, individuals not listed as a betting option. The bettor has the option to wager on the ‘Field’ which encompasses the competitors not specifically mentioned as a betting option.
First Half Bet: A wager placed on what the score will be at Halftime.
Futures: Wagers on events that will take place in the future.
Gamble: To have a bet on a game or event.
Halftime Bet: A wager placed at halftime of a game on a new point spread for the second half.
Handicap: Analyzing a game or event in order to come to a more educated decision for a bet.
Handicapper: An individual or group who studies games in-depth in order to derive a more educated bet.
Handle: The total amount of wagers accepted.
Hedge: When an individual places a wager on both sides in order to lock up a guaranteed profit or in attempt to cut his losses.
Hook: A half of a point (1/2 point).
If Bet: A bet type in which numerous wagers are placed; however, the second bet will only be accepted if the first one is a winner. The third bet will only be accepted if the first and the second are winners and so forth.
Juice: The commission paid to the sports book; also known as vigorish.
Line: The odds on a certain event.
Lines maker: The individual or group that is responsible for setting the odds on a game or event.
Listed pitchers: Both of the scheduled baseball pitchers must start in order for the wager to be valid.
Lock: A wager that is very likely to win.
Longshot: A team that is not expected to win thus having very long odds.
Middle: When an individual places bets on the opposite sides, each having a different point spread with hopes of the result landing in the middle, thus winning both wagers.
Moneyline: A bet type in which the bettor is backing a particular team to win outright.
Odds: A number calculated on the likelihood of a team or individual winning an event.
Odds maker: The individual or group that is responsible for setting the odds on a game or event.
Off the board: When there are no odds on a specific game or event at that particular time.
Opening Line: The first line that the sports books post.
Over: When the combined points between two teams exceeds the ‘total’.
Over/Under: Also referred to as the ‘total’. A number the odds makers derive which is a prediction of how many combined points two opposing teams will score in their game. The bettor can either bet ‘under’ or ‘over’.
Overlay: When the odds are in the favor of the bettor.
Parlay: A bet consisting of at least two options in which all of the options must win for the wager to be a winner.
Pick (pick ‘em): When neither of the teams playing each other are the favorite nor underdog.
Post up: When a bettor deposits money into a sports book account in order to gamble.
Press: Increasing bet sizes, often in an attempt to get back losses.
Point Spread (Spread): Points awarded to the underdog or taken away from the favorite in order even the playing field. The favorite must win the game by more than the point spread to cover the wager, whereas the underdog can not lose by more than the point spread in order to cover.
Price: The odds.
Prop Bets (propositions):
Puck Line: A type of hockey wager in which the underdog is spotted 1.5 goals, whereas the favorite is -1.5 goals. It is essentially hockey’s version of a point spread.
Push: A wager which doesn’t win nor lose. The stake is returned to the bettor.
Reverse: Two separate If-Bets in which the bettor uses the same two teams.
Round Robin: A series of parlays incorporated into one wager.
Run Lines: A type of baseball wager in which the underdog is spotted 1.5 runs, whereas the favorite is -1.5 runs. It is essentially baseball’s version of a point spread.
Scalper: A bettor that bets both sides of the same game at different prices at different sports books.
Sharp: An educated or knowledgeable bettor.
Shill: An individual who promotes a sports book but does not state that he is working for them.
Sides: The two betting options playing each other; favorite vs. underdog.
Smart Money: Money wagered by the sharp bettors.
Sports Book: An establishment that accepts sports wagers.
Spread (Point Spread): Points awarded to the underdog or taken away from the favorite in order even the playing field. The favorite must win the game by more than the point spread to cover the wager, whereas the underdog can not lose by more than the point spread in order to cover.
Square: A naïve bettor.
Steam: When a line moves quickly due to a heavy and sudden flow of money coming in on one particular side.
Stiff: An individual whom does not pay his debts.
Straight Up: The winner of the game outright.
Syndicate: A group of bettors teaming up in order to beat the sports book.
Systems: Using formulas and specific data in order to determine a side to wager on.
Teaser: Placing multiple teams into one wager. A predetermined amount of points will be subtracted from the point spreads and totals. This type of bet is for football and basketball.
Total: Also referred to as the ‘Over/Under’. A number the odds makers derive which is a prediction of how many combined points two opposing teams will score in their game. The bettor can either bet ‘under’ or ‘over’.
Tout: An individual that sells his picks as a service.
Trends: Using past betting results in order to predict future results.
Under: When the combined points between two teams falls short of the ‘total’.
Underdog (Dog): The team that is not favored to win the game.
Upset: When an underdog defeats the favorite straight up.
Vigorish (Vig): The commission paid to the sports book; also known as juice.
Wise guy: An educated or knowledgeable bettor.