Sports Betting 101: An Introduction To Gambling Terms



One of the most interesting aspects for beginning sports betting fans is the terminology used by the sportsbooks and the professional handicappers that do this sort of thing for a living. There are some obvious terms like the Book or the Favorite but there are some other more complex terms that could need some explaining for beginners. Here is a look at some sports betting terms that you should probably be able to understand before you get started.

The Event Terms

The Favorite is the team or individual expected to win. They will be available to bet on by risking juice or giving up points on the spread. Juice is the commission that sportsbooks charge for betting on favorites. The Underdog is the team or individual expected to lose a sporting event based on the point spread or moneyline. The Point Spread is the set amount of points determined by the oddsmaker that the favorite gives or the underdog takes to make the game more event. A Straight Bet is a single wager on just one team or athlete. You can also bet on the Total for a game, which is the combined number of points scored by two teams in a sporting event. The Over represents the amount of combined points going over the number set by the sportsbooks. The Under represents the amount of combined points staying under the number set by the sportsbooks. There are also Prop Bets available for the games, which is an exotic wager on a game or sporting event that has to do with something other than the final score or total. You can win an individual bet or lose an individual bet. You can also Push on an individual bet, which could happen in the event of a tie. In the event of a Push, the bet is voided and there is no bet.

The Betting Terms

A Straight Bet is a single wager on one team or athlete while a Parlay bet is one in which multiple sporting events are selected and all selections have to be right in order for the Parlay to be considered a winner. The Teaser is similar to the Parlay in that multiple events are on one ticket only in this situation the bettor is risking more juice in order to get more points on their line. A Run Line is the term used for a point spread of -1.5 or +1.5 in a baseball game with additional money line values for the favorite and the underdog respectively.

The Advanced Terms

You will also hear terms like Wiseguy and Sharp when it comes to sports betting experts. A Wiseguy or a Sharp is a smart bettor who is well informed or knowledgeable in sports betting. The Linemakers are the people that set the original lines and from there they can move and be Adjusted based on the Action they receive. The Action is the amount of wagers that the sportsbooks receive on a given wager and from there they make the necessary adjustments, or line movements. There are countless sports betting terms out there and the more you expose yourself to the terminology the more easily you will catch on with the advanced terms that are used by the professionals.