Glossary of Sports Betting Terms

No matter what sports book you use or which betting sites you read, you are bound to encounter a whole lot of jargon. Whether it’s words, phrases, or terms, the meaning is seldom clear, and that can be detrimental to your betting.

Learn the lingo with’s Glossary, where the team explains what some of the most common jargon and slang means.

Accumulator: A bet in which you make multiple selections. The bet will win only if all the selections you made are correct.

Against the Spread: Betting against the spread means that a point spread will ultimately determine the outcome of the bet.

Banker: Also known as a lock, a bet that is incredibly likely to win is known as a banker.

Bookmaker: Also known as a Bookie, a bookmaker or sports book is a company, organisation, or individual who takes bets from punters professionally.

Buying Points: If, when placing a point spread bet, you pay for a half a point or more, you are buying points.

Chalk: The sports book’s favourite. If you regularly or only bet on favourites, you’re known as a chalk player.

Combination Bet: A combination bet is simply a bet in which you have made several different selections.

Cover the Spread: When your point spread bet wins, it does so because it covers the spread.

Dog Player: If you regularly or only bet on the underdog, you’re known as a dog player.

Double: When your bet has two selections, it is known as a double.

Each Way: When you bet on a team or horse to win or to place in the top few places, you’re placing an each way bet.

Exotic Bet: Also known as proposition or prop bets, exotic bets are those other than standard win bets.

Favourite: A team, player, athlete, horse, or other selection that the sports book thinks is a likely win.

Fixed Odds: When a bet is offered at fixed odds, it means those particular odds will not change.

Futures Bets: When you bet on a match, race, or other event that is still to take place.

Handicap: In sports betting, handicapping is when a sports book adds their own goals or points to give the underdog something of a head start as a means of hypothetically influencing the outcome.

Juice: The profit made by sports books on their odds is known as the juice.

Laying the Points: When you place a point spread bet on the sports book’s favourite, you are laying the points.

Laying the Price: When you place a money line bet on the sports book’s favourite, you are laying the price.

Lengthening Odds: Odds that got higher are said to have lengthened.

Long shot: The team, horse, or other selection that is unlikely to win. Also known as the outsider or the underdog.

Money Line Bet: The term usually refers to a standard win bet placed on a team, horse, or other selection. Money line bets could also be a bet on a draw, and not a win.

Multiple Bet: A bet that features several different selections.

Odds: The odds are the ratio of the pay out to the bet.

Off the Board: A betting market that has been closed, which means punters cannot place any further bets on it, is said to be off the board.

Over/Under Bet: When you bet on an outcome to be higher or lower than the prediction made by a sports book.

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