NFL Betting Terms Explained

Entering the betting world is like entering another realm complete with its own set of rules, disciplines, and terms. It is one of the things that makes gambling intimidating for many new players much like how any sport can be for new fans. There are countless terms and slangs used in the gambling world but below is a glossary of the most commonly used betting terms:

Glossary of Football Betting Terms

ATS (against the point spread): denotes a team playing the spread

Chalk: another term for the “favourite”

Closing line: the final line before the game or event begins

Cover:  betting result on a point-spread wager

Even money: odds considered 50-50; bet $100 to win $100

Favourite: the expected straight-up winner in a game or event

Futures bet: a long-term wager that typically relates to a team's achievement by season’s end i.e. Super Bowl championship, division title etc.

Halftime bet: a bet made after the first half ended and before the second half begins

Handicapper (capper): a person trying to predict the winners of an event

Hedging: betting the opposing side of a bet to ensure profit or minimize losses

Hook: a half-point often found on point spreads or over/unders

In-game wagering: a service offered by books where bettors can place multiple bets in real time, as the game is occurring.

Juice: commission the bookmaker takes; 10 percent is standard

Limit: the maximum bet taken allowed on a book

Lock: a seemingly guaranteed win in the bettor’s eyes

Money line: a bet in which the team only needs to win

Oddsmaker (also linemaker or bookmaker): the person who sets the odds

Off the board: when a bet is removed and no longer accepting bets likely due to an error made the oddsmaker or a late change to the game

Over/under: the total combined points in a game or the number of games a team will win in a season; also used in props

Parlay: a wager in which multiple teams are bet, either against the spread or on the money line; to win, all teams must win. The more teams on a parlay the bigger the odds

Pick 'em: a game with no favourite or underdog. The spread is zero, and the winner is also the spread winner

Point spread (or simply “spread”): the number of points by which the favourite is favoured over the underdog

Proposition (or prop) bet: a special wager that is typically outside the outcome of the game such as which team leads at halftime or the method of the game’s first score; also known as a “game within a game”

Push: when a result is exactly the number on a point spread or over/unders, all bets are refunded

Steam: when a line is moving unusually fast

Straight up: the expected outright winner of the money line not reliant on the point spread.

Teaser: betting multiple teams and adjusting the point spread in all the games in the bettor's favor; this also adjusts the odds

Total: the perceived expected point total in a game; see over/under

Tout (service): a person (or group of people) who sells bets on games

Underdog: the team that is expected to lose straight up

Wager: A bet

Results / Fixtures

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