Accumulator – Another word for parlay. Making simultaneous selections on two or more games with the intent of pressing all winnings of the first bet onto the consecutive ones. All of the games must win for you to win. Also known as “All Up.”
Arbitrage – a rare occurrence when you can make a bet on two different sides of the game and guarantee a profit. If you can get the favorite at -150 and the underdog at +155 this would be an arbitrage opportunity.
ATS (Against the Spread) – Each NBA game will have a point spread. This is how many points the favorite has to win by or how much the underdog can lose the game by and still “cover” for their bettors.
Backed – a backed team is one that has had a lot of wagers placed on it.
Bad Beat – A wager that loses in an unfortunate or unexpected way.
Beard – A person who is used to place bets for a bettor that wants to keep his identity private.
Bettor – someone who places a bet.
Book – An establishment that takes wagers on the outcomes of sporting events.
Bookmaker or Bookie – a person that accepts wagers on the outcomes of sporting events.
Buck – a $100 bet. A “buck” bet.
Buy Points – When a player pays additional juice to receive a half point or more in his or her favor on the point spread of a game. Typically it’s an additional ten cents of juice for each half point in the NBA.
Chalk – the team that is the favorite in the game is called the chalk.
Chalk Player – someone who routinely takes the favorite. Also can be called a “Chalkeater.”
Circled Game – A game where the limits are lowered and betting options restricted typically due to injuries to star players.
Closing Line – the odds at moment the event starts and no more bets will be accepted.
Correlated Parlay – the degree to which two bets are related. Sharp books do not allow correlated parlays, an example of which would be if you took Lakers -1 first half and parlayed it with Lakers -2 for the full game. If the Lakers were leading by 20 at half then you not only won your first bet but you would likely have won the second too.
Cover – to beat the point spread. When you win a spread bet you covered the spread.
Credit Betting – betting using credit with the bookmaker. You don’t have to put the money down up front either when making your bet or into an account.
Dime – $1,000. Bet a “dime” means bet $1,000.
Dog – short hand term for underdog.
Dog Player – a bettor who mostly plays the underdog.
Dollar – $100
Double Action – An “if bet” that is processed when the first bet wins, ties, or cancels.
Double Bet – A wager for twice a person’s normal wager. Can also be called doubling up or a double pop.
Double or Nothing – when you press your winnings onto the second bet, effectively either doubling your winnings or coming away with nothing.
Drift – odds that get longer are said to be drifting or on the drift.
Edge – A person’s advantage when it comes to the odds of a game.
Even Money – a wager when neither side is getting any vigorish or juice.
Exotic – Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay. Can also be called props or propositions.
Exposure – The maximum amount of money a book or bookmaker can stand to lose on a game.
Favorite – The team that is expected to win the game. The higher the spread or money line the more likely the favorite is going to win the game.
Fifty Cents – $50. Also called Half-A-Dollar.
Figure – the amount owed to or by the book.
First Half Bet – a bet that is placed only on the results of the first half of the game.
Futures – bets placed on an event or outcome taking place some time in the future.
Getting Down – making a bet.
Handicapper – one who studies the odds of sporting events in order to beat the book.
Handicapping – the process of predicting the outcome of sporting events via extensive research.
Handle – the total amount of money bet on a sporting event.
Hedging – when you place a wager on the opposite side in order to cut your losses or guarantee yourself a win.
Home Court Advantage – the edge given to the home team for playing in front of the home crowd and not having to travel.
Hook – a half-point. Buying a hook would mean to give yourself an extra half point against the point spread.
Hot Game – a game that is drawing a lot of action on one side from knowledgeable handicappers.
Juice – the commission the bookie earns. Also known as vig or vigorish.
Laying the Points – betting the favorite and giving up points.
Laying the Price – betting the favorite on the money line.
Layoff – when a book takes too much action on one side of the game they sometimes layoff that action to another bookmaker to limit their liability.
Lengthen – when the odds are getting bigger and more attractive to a bettor.
Limit – the maximum amount a bettor can wager on a single game.
Lines – another word for odds.
Linemaker – The person who sets the line on each game.
Lock – an easy or guaranteed winner. These are as rare as unicorns.
Longshot – a team that is a massive underdog and thus unlikely to win.
Middle – to win both sides of a bet. If you can get an underdog at +5 and the favorite at -3 you’ll middle if the favorite wins by four and cash both your tickets.
Moneyline – a wager where there is no point spread, you just risk more money to win less the bigger the favorite. The bigger the underdog the bigger the money line and money you will receive if they win.
Move the Line – when a player bets enough on a game that the spread on the game gets moved.
Nickel – $500
No Action – a bet in which no money is won or lost.
Off the Board – a game that the book is not offering to take any bets on at the time.
Opening Line – the first odds released on an event.
Outlaw Line – the earliest posted line that are dealt with very low limits.
Over/Under – a bet on the total amount of points that will be scored by both teams combined.
Over – a bet made that the team teams will score more points than the posted total.
Parlay – a bet on two or more teams in which all of your selections must be correct to win. Essentially your money gets doubled down every time a bet wins. In case of a push the payoff is lowered by one team. A 3-team parlay with one push and two wins will be paid out like a 2-team parlay.
Pick ’em – A game where neither team is favored because they are so evenly matched.
Picks – betting selections given by an expert.
Point Spread – the number of points the favorite is giving to the underdog for betting purposes.
Press – to wager more than your usual amount. Typically after losing or winning large amounts in one day.
Prop – Also called a proposition. These are special wagers books offer on unique aspects of sporting events. Some common ones for the NBA would be number of points, rebounds, assists for a certain player.
Price – the odds or point spread.
Punter – someone who places a wager.
Puppy – the underdog
Push – when a game ends with no winner or loser for betting purposes. Typically when a game lands right on the point spread.
Round Robin – when you have a series of parlays covering different numbers of teams. So you would have three teams in a series of two-team parlays.
Run Down – all of the lines for a specific date or sport.
Runner – someone who places a bet for someone else.
Scouts – Person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager. This is also known as a sports player. They are very selective.
Sharp – a professional or intelligent gambler who wins more often than they lose.
Shorten – the opposite of lengthen. It’s when the odds get worse for the bettor.
Sides – the two teams that are playing. The favorite and the underdog.
Single Action – An “if bet” that’s processed only if the first bet wins.
Spread – an abbreviated form of the word point spread.
Square – a novice when it comes to sports betting.
Steam – when a line starts to move rapidly. A steam game draws a massive amount of money on one side for whatever reason.
Store – a bookie or sportsbook.
Straight bet – a wager just on one team.
Taking the Points – betting on the underdog plus the point spread.
Taking the Price – betting on the underdog on the money line.
Teaser – a bet on two ore more teams where the odds are adjusted in favor of the bettor. A 6-point teaser would move the line six points. Like a parlay all of the games need to win for the bettor to win.
Ticket – a sports betting wager. In Vegas you get a ticket you must cash if it’s a winner.
Tie – when a game ends with no winner or loser.
Tipster – another name for a handicapper.
Total – same as over/under. The line on the total combined points from both teams.
Tout – someone who sells picks on who is going to beat the odds.
Under – a wager that the two teams will score a combined fewer points than the posted total.
Underdog – the team perceived as more likely to lose the game.
Value – getting the best odds on your wager. Two points of value would mean you think the line is off two points.
Vigorish – The bookmaker’s commission on a losing bet. Typically 10% on spread sports which is why you lose $11 on a $10 bet.
Wiseguy – A well-informated handicapper or bettor.