Sports Betting Terms Every Bettor Should Know

sports betting terms

Are you interested in becoming a member of the sports-betting community?

If so, you should be familiar with the odds, over-under points, and spreads. These are a few gambling terminologies that serve as a virtual alphabet for the industry.

Books and publications written for sports bettors tend to use jargon and slang among themselves. However, there comes a time when even the savviest sports bettor needs a translation.

So if you’re a newbie, knowing these sports betting terms can help you gain an edge. Keep reading to discover the top sports betting terminology you must know.


A Moneyline bet is the most common and straightforward type of sports bet. It simply involves picking a winner of a game or event.

The odds will be listed as either a positive or negative number next to the teams or fighters. The favorite will have a negative number, and the underdog will have a positive number.

Point Spread

The point spread is the most common way to bet on sports and is also the simplest. The point spread is the number of points that the favorite is favored over the underdog.

For example, if the point spread is seven and the favorite is fourteen points ahead, the favorite must win by twenty-one points or more to cover the spread. The underdog can lose by six points and still cover the spread.


Over/Under is a sports betting term used to describe a wager in which bettors predict if the total number of points scored in a game will be over or under a certain number set by oddsmakers. For example, if an NFL game has an over/under of forty-two points, bettors can wager on whether they believe the final score will be greater than or less than forty-two points.


A parlay bet is a bet that combines two or more sports bets into one. If all of the bets in the parlay win, the bettor wins the entire amount of the parlay.

However, if even one bet in the parlay loses, the entire bet is lost. Parlays are usually only offered on certain types of bets, such as Moneyline bets, point spread bets, and totals (over/under) bets.

They can be a great way to win a lot of money if all of the bets in the parlay win, but they are also very risky.

Betting Lines

Betting lines are the odds that are set by the sportsbooks. They determine how much you will win if you bet on a specific team or player. The higher the betting line, the more you will win.


A bankroll is the total amount of money a bettor has available to wager. The bankroll size will vary depending on the individual, but it is essential to remember that it should always be an amount of money that the bettor is comfortable losing.

The bankroll should also be kept separate from other funds, as this will help to ensure that the bettor does not end up in a financial bind if they lose their entire bankroll. Bankroll management is crucial for any serious bettor, as it will help to ensure that they always have funds available to make future bets.

Public Money

Public money is the money that the general public bets on a given event. The vast majority of sportsbooks will release betting percentages, showing how much money has been earned on each side of a given bet.

You can use this information to help you make your own decisions, as public money can often be a good indicator of where the smart money is going.

In-play Wagers

A wager is placed during a game or event. In-play wagers can be placed on various outcomes, including but not limited to the next score, the next play, the next player to score, and so on.

The odds for in-play wagers constantly change as the game or event unfolds, creating an exciting and dynamic betting experience.


The word dog is used in sports betting to describe a bet that is unlikely to win. The term is often used in football betting but can be applied to any sport.

If a bettor believes that a team is likely to lose, they may bet on the team they think will win, but if they believe the team is going to lose by a lot, they may “take the dog” and bet on the underdog.

Dog betting can be risky, as the odds are usually not in the bettor’s favor. However, if the bettor knows what they are doing and knows the teams involved, they can sometimes make a profit by betting on the underdog.


Chalk betting is a term used in gambling that refers to the favorite in a contest. For example, in a football game, if Los Angeles is a 2-point favorite over team Tampa Bay, Los Angeles would be the chalk. Chalk bettors bet on the favorites in a given contest.


A nickel bet is a bet of $500 in sports betting. This is a common betting amount for many sports bettors. A nickel bet is also known as a “mini-max” bet. A $1000 wager would be called a Dime.


Margin betting is one of the most important sports betting terms every bettor should know. It’s simply the amount of money a sportsbook operator agrees to accept as a bet on a given outcome.

In order to ensure they make a profit, bookies always set a margin, or “vig,” on each bet. The higher the margin, the more risk the bookie takes on, and the more they stand to make if they win.

For bettors, margins can be used to calculate how much they need to wager to win a certain amount. For example, if a bookie offers a 10% margin on a bet, a bettor would need to risk $1,000 to win $1,000.

There are many betting terms out there, and knowing them will take some time, but the good news is you can learn more of these terms when you start sports betting.

Must Know Sports Betting Terms

When it comes to sports betting terms, there is a lot that a bettor should know. From point spreads to Moneylines, there are a lot of nuances to betting on sports.

However, by knowing the right terms, bettors can increase their chances of winning. So if you want to get into sports betting, make sure you know these terms!

If you want more informative reads, check the rest of our blog posts today!

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