47 Betting Vocabulary, Sports Betting Terms, Slang Terminology You Must Know


Sports betting has a deep lexicon of slang and special vocabulary. If you want the best chance of winning big, it's really important to do your homework and fully understand all your betting options. And it's hard to do that without mastering the gambling lingo.

If you're new to betting on sports and find the terminology a bit intimidating, listening to hard-core gamblers using sports betting lingo can be like hearing a totally different language. Don't worry, EsballPH HaloWin Casino compiled a comprehensive archive of even the most obscure sports betting words and terms.

You will be walking the walk and talking the talk in no time, keep reading for the alphabetized list in our betting glossary.

Gambling Glossary Betting Lingo

Another name for a parlay wager in which multiple bets are bundled together. All bets included in the accumulator must-win for the overall bet to win. Gamblers love this kind of bet because it offers huge payouts.

Alternate Lines
Some casinos offer adjusted spreads, totals, and handicaps with a corresponding change in the bets money odds.

American Odds
A style of expressing money odds most commonly used in the US. Odds are expressed with a number preceded by a minus sign (favorite) or a plus sign (underdog). The numbers tell you how much you will win relative to how much you bet. Odds of -150, for example, mean you must wager $150 to win $100 in profit. If you bet on the underdog at +150, on the other hand, you will win $150 in profit for every $100 you bet.

Pieces of information or other factors that influence the outcome of a game or a player's performance. Gamblers who use extra information to get an edge are using angles.

The odds posted the day before an event. Usually, the gambler gets better odds but must risk losing their bet entirely if the selection withdraws from the event or is unable to participate.

Arbitrage is a clever betting strategy that takes advantage of different betting lines at different sportsbooks. By identifying a gap in the lines it's possible to bet on both sides and guarantee yourself a profit. Arbitrage is similar to betting the middle when a casino's line moves. Click here for a guide to arbitrage and betting the middle.

A team's against the spread record refers to how many times it's beaten the point spread. A team that's 3-2 ATS has beat the point spread three times and failed to beat it twice.

Backdoor Cover
When a team is trailing the point spread by scores enough points late in the game to cover the spread.

Bad Beat
A poker term that means losing when you're the heavy favorite to win, sports gamblers also use the phrase bad beat. In sports, it usually means that something happened unexpectedly late in the game to cause you to lose your bet, such as a late turnover touchdown in football.

Betting the Limit
Wagering the maximum amount allowed by the casino or sportsbook.

Betting Ring
An organized group of professional gamblers working together. Also called a syndicate.

Betting Line
The odds or point spread on a game or event.

Buying Points
Sometimes gamblers are allowed to change the lines and odds set by the sportsbook. Buying points refers to a gambler changing the point spread on his bet. In order to buy points in favor of the team he's betting on, a gambler must accept worse odds on the bet's payout.

Chalk or Chalk Bettors
Chalk is a slang word for the team or player that's the favorite to win. Chalk bettors are people who always bet on the favorite and never the underdog.

Circled Game
Sometimes you'll see games with a red box around them on a sportsbook's betting board. This means the game is subject to reduced betting limits. Usually, casinos and sportsbooks circle games when key players are injured because it casts uncertainty on their betting lines.

Consensus Pick
Consensus pick refers to how the betting public as a group have placed their bets on a game. Some bettors use a strategy that suggests betting against the consensus pick because the majority of people are usually wrong.

Cover (Cover the Spread)
A team is said to cover the spread if it wins by more than the point spread set by the sportsbook. The favorite team covers by winning the game by more than the spread while the underdog covers the spread by winning the game outright or losing by less than the point spread.

Dog/Dog Player
Short for underdog. The team that is predicted to lose. A gambler who usually bets on the underdog.

Double Action
A bet that only plays if another connected bet that precedes it wins, ties or gets canceled.

Even Money
Bets that have a roughly 50 percent chance of winning and pay out 1 to 1 are said to be even money bets.

A special category of proposition bets that rely on specific outcomes other than which team wins the game.

Futures Bet
A kind of proposition bet, a futures bet is usually made at the beginning of the season on which team will win the division or championship.

Halftime Bet
Most commonly found in basketball and football, halftime bets are made after the first half has ended but before the second half has begun. The bookmaker adjusts the original point spreads, lines, and odds based on what happened in the first half of the game.

Betting against your original bet in order to moderate your risk or guarantee a profit. Hedging is usually associated with futures bets but can also apply to live betting, also called in-game betting.

In-Game Betting
Many online sportsbooks allow you to make bets live while the game is in progress. Also called Live Betting, in-game bets are exciting and allow savvy gamblers to pick up edges since the lines are being set by the casino on the fly. Click here for our guide to live and in-game betting.

Another name for the commission on bets charged by the casino or sportsbook.

Laying Points
When you bet the favorite and give up points via the spread, it's known as laying points. This is the opposite of taking points.

Laying the Odds
When you make a moneyline bet on the favored team you must accept worse money odds, known as laying the odds. This is the opposite of taking odds.

Teaser (Two-Team Teaser)
Teasers allow you to combine your bets on more than one game and even adjust the point spreads in favor of the teams you want to win. The downside is that both your teams have to win for you to win the teaser, and if you do adjust the spreads you'll have to accept a lower payout if you do win.

Total (Points Total)
The combined total points of both teams when the game finishes. Gamblers use the points total to make over/under bets.

A bet that is unlikely to win but has a big payout.

Middle (Betting the Middle)
When the line on a game moves, gamblers are presented with an interesting opportunity which is called betting the middle. For example, if you placed a bet on one team as a 3.5 point favorite and the line was moved to 2.5 points, you could bet on the other team and potentially win both bets if the favorite wins by three points. It's a great opportunity because even if the favorite doesn't win by three points, you're guaranteed to win one of your bets.

Moving the Line
The same as buying points, this refers to when a gambler can trade better money odds for an extra half-point on the spread.

Off the Board
When a casino or sportsbook removes a betting line or option shortly before the game begins. This is often done because of injuries to key players or other uncertainty around the game.

Outlaw Line
The earliest line set for a game or event which is only open to an exclusive group of gamblers.

A popular sports bet, over/under refers to betting on how many combined total points both teams will score. The casino sets the line and you have the option of betting that the score will be higher (over) or lower (under). Click here for our guide to betting over/under totals.

These are special bets that include two or more different wagers, usually on multiple games. For a parlay bet to win, all the individual bets included in it must win. Gamblers love parlays because even though they're less likely to win, they offer huge payouts.

Prop Bets (Proposition Bets)
Special bets that are about really specific things not connected to the game's ultimate winner. Props are especially popular in the Superbowl but they're becoming more and more common during major sports' regular-season games. Props could be on anything from which team will score the first point to who will win the coin toss. Particularly interesting props are sometimes known as exotics.

Risk-Free bet
This term refers to when a registrant signs up with a sportsbook and places their first bet. The first bet is risk-free because if they lose then they will be credited with the amount they wagered to their account to be bet in the future with the sportsbook.

Slang for when a betting line is moving up because lots of bets are being made on it. Sometimes this happens when an organized group of professionals are taking advantage of a weak line but it can also happen when most of the general public is betting the same way.

Straight Up Winner
A straight up bet means you just need the team to win the game outright as opposed to covering a point spread. Straight up usually refers to betting the money line.

An organized group of professional gamblers working together, also called a ring.

Taking Points (Taking the Points)
The opposite of laying points, taking points means you're betting on the underdog and you get a margin of points in the point spread your team can lose by.

Taking the Price (Taking Odds)
The opposite of laying the price or laying the odds. Taking odds means your betting on the underdog and accepting favorable money odds.

Teaser (Two-Team Teaser)
Teasers allow you to combine your bets on more than one game and even adjust the point spreads in favor of the teams you want to win. The downside is that both your teams have to win for you to win the teaser, and if you do adjust the spreads you'll have to accept a lower payout if you do win.

Your equity or edge on a bet. Usually used to refer to particularly good lines or odds.

Vig (Vigorish)
Also called juice the vig refers to the commission on bets charged by the casino or sportsbook.

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