Sports Betting Terms That Every Handicapper Should Know
One of the biggest mistakes that sports bettors make is their lack of interest in doing more than the bare minimum when it comes to wagering on sports. While you might not be interested in investing vastly large amounts of money, it’s important to understand the key betting terms out there so that you at least know what is being referenced in betting articles and on betting pages. Here is a look at some key sports betting terms that every handicapper should know in alphabetical order.
ATS (Against The Spread) – This term is used to refer to the result of an event that takes the point spread in to account. Also, against the spread could refer to the act of taking points rather than betting with the spread or laying points.
Bad Beat – A bet that looks promising only to unexpectedly lose.
Chalk – This term refers to the favorite in any event.
Cover – This word is used to describe when a winning bet beats the point spread by the required number of points. When you win the point spread bet, you “cover” the spread.
Dime Line – A dime line refers to a line where the juice is 10%.
Even Money – This is a wager where neither side lays odds.
Exotic Wager – This term refers to any wager other than a straight bet or a parlay. An exotic wager could refer to either a futures prop, a teaser or any other type of advanced bet.
Exposure – Refers to the maximum amount of money a sportsbook stands to lose on a game.
Favorite – The team that is expected to win a game is the favorite. The odds listed next to that team expresses how big of a favorite that team is.
Futures – This is any type of bet placed on an event or an outcome that takes place some time in the future. For example, before the NHL season begins you can make a futures bet on which team you think will win the Stanley Cup.
Grand Salami – This type of bet is on the number of goals scored in all the hockey games on any given night. You can bet the Over or the Under on the total line that is established for every single night of hockey.
Half Time Bet – This is a bet placed only on the second half of the game.
Handicapper – This term refers to a person that studies and rates sporting events.
Hedging – Hedging a bet is when you place wagers on the opposite side of a projected losing bet in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings. Hedging is an excellent tool that even beginner handicappers should be able to figure out how to use early and often in order to be able to cut their losses on the fly.
Laying The Points – This term refers to situations where you bet on a favorite by giving up points.
Limits – There are limits that the different sportsbooks will place on the amount of money that members are able to wager on individual events and in total over a specific period of time. Make sure you shop around and find the sportsbook with the limits that you want to use.
Linemaker – The linemaker is the person that establishes the original and subsequent betting lines. This person is also referred to as the oddsmaker.
Lock – This term is used to describe a result that is expected to be an easy winner. A Lock is a result that has a strong consensus to win.
Middle – The Middle is to win both sides of the same contest in a sports betting event. Wager on the underdog on one point spread and betting on the favorite with a different point spread could result in winning both wagers if the numbers are right. For example, if the New England Patriots host the New York Jets and one sportsbook has New England at -9.5 and the other has them at -10.5. If you bet the Patriots to cover the 9.5-point spread with one book and the Jets to cover the 10.5-point spread with the other book, then New England wins by 10, then you hit on both bets.
Money Line – The money line is the wager in which no point spread is involved.
Move The Line – A player that pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a point spread game is “moving the line”.
Off The Board – A game that the sportsbooks decide not to offer is referred to as “off the board”.
Over/Under – This type of bet is based on whether the combined total of the points/goals scored by the two teams will exceed or be less than a specified number. This type of bet is also referred to as betting the total.
Parlay – A parlay bet is any wager that includes two or more teams or outcomes in which the original stakes and winnings are reinvested in the next wager. All of the selections on a parlay ticket must win in order for the ticker to be considered a winner. In the event of one loss, the ticket is considered a loser. Parlays can include any number of teams from two through 12 or even more in some cases.
Pick’Em – This term refers to games where neither team is favored.
Point Spread – This type of bet is any wager in which there is a handicap, or a head start, placed on one of the two teams in an attempt to even the playing grounds. For example, if the Los Angeles Rams are favored to beat the San Francisco 49ers on the money line, then they could be a point spread favorite of somewhere between -6.5 and -9.5. The point spread is decided by how big of a favorite the sportsbooks think the projected winner should be.
Taking Points – Essentially betting the underdog and its advantage getting points on the point spread.
Teaser – A teaser bet is similar to a parlay in that multiple teams are involved with the difference being that the handicapper can shift the lines in whatever direction they choose. There are different teasers available including seven, eight, or even 10-point teases. The bettor will concede a percentage of its potential payout earnings in exchange for more points on the teaser.
Ticket – Any sports betting wager can be referred to as a ticket.
Total – This term is used for the combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during a game, including overtime.
Value – Refers to getting the best odds and the highest possible edge.
Wise Guy – Refers to a well-informed or knowledgeable handicapper.