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
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