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DunkOrThree > Betting Guide > Betting Glossary: Understanding Key Sports Betting Terms

Betting Glossary: Understanding Key Sports Betting Terms

Publish Date:20.02.2024
Fact checked by: Jackson T. Pierce

Sports betting lingo can be confusing, and you’re probably scratching your head wondering what it all means. That’s why I’m here with this sports betting glossary.

This page has been designed to demystify the jargon of sports betting. Whether you’re a newbie trying to place your first bet or a seasoned pro looking for a quick terminology refresher, this glossary offers clear, straightforward definitions of key betting terms, concepts, abbreviations, and more.

Why use a sports betting glossary?

Advantages
  • Vital to make informed bets
  • Can assist in creating a betting strategy
  • Helps you to spot value bets
Disadvantages
  • No cons to understanding jargon

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Sports betting terms explained

Whether you’re just starting out or have some sports betting experience, I’ve got you covered with this list of sports betting terms explained. Sure, you probably won’t need to have the basics like moneyline betting explained to you if you already have some experience under your belt, but I’ve made this list as comprehensive as possible.

It includes everything from basic concepts, like moneyline betting, to more advanced terms. So, no matter your experience level, you’ll find this sports betting glossary helpful.

  • Bankroll: The amount of money you have for betting.
  • Buying points: Paying an extra fee to move the point spread in your favor. Perfect for getting better odds in sports like basketball.
  • Cover: To cover the spread means that your chosen team wins by more points than the spread, thereby “covering” it.
  • Edge: Having an advantage over the bookmaker, often through positive expected value.
  • Fixed odds: Betting odds that, once agreed upon, don’t change regardless of fluctuations in the market. Perfect for futures betting.
  • Futures: Bets placed on events that will happen in the future, such as the winner of the NBA finals.
  • Handle: The total amount of money taken by a sportsbook on an event or series of events.
  • Juice (Vig): The commission that bookmakers charge on bets. This is usually built into the odds.
  • Lay the points: Betting on the favorite to win by more than the point spread.
  • Live betting: Placing bets on a game or event while it’s in progress.
  • Line shopping: The process of checking multiple sportsbooks to find the best odds. It’s like comparing prices at different stores to get the best deal.
  • Moneyline: A straightforward bet on which team or player will win a game or match.
  • Nickel: Slang for a $500 bet. Similarly, a “dime” refers to a $1,000 bet. This is useful to know when you’re a high roller.
  • Off the board: When sportsbooks stop taking bets on a particular game or event, often due to uncertainties like injuries or weather conditions.
  • Parlay: Parlay betting is explained by a single bet that links two or more wagers together. In most cases, all of them need to win to receive a payout.
  • Payout: The amount of money you receive if your bet wins, including both the winnings and the original stake.
  • Point spread: The expected margin of victory for the favorite team against the underdog. In basketball spread betting, for instance, if the point spread is set at five points and you bet on the favorite, they must win by more than 5 points. If you bet on the underdog, they have to win or lose by up to four points.
  • Proposition (prop) bet: Prop bets involve wagering on specific events within a game or a certain player’s performance, rather than the game outcome. In basketball, you can place prop bets on the number of points, rebounds, and assists within a game.
  • Push: When the final score lands exactly on the spread or total. This will result in getting your original wager back.
  • Quarter bet: A bet placed on a specific quarter within a game. Perfect for betting on the NBA.
  • Rollover: Also known as the wagering requirement, this is what you must meet before being eligible to withdraw a bonus. For example, a $100 bonus with a 5x rollover means you have to wager $500 before being eligible for a withdrawal.
  • Sharp: A professional, highly skilled bettor. These are the people who make a living off sports betting.
  • Teaser: Similar to a parlay, but it allows you to adjust point spreads for the selected games. This is great for reducing the risk associated with parlay betting.
  • Total (Over/Under): A bet on whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under a specified amount. This is when basketball predictions under over today can come in handy.
  • Unit: A standard measure of size for a bet, often represented by a percentage of your bankroll.

Common abbreviations and acronyms

In addition to all of the sports betting terms I just explained, there are also plenty of abbreviations and acronyms that you’ll come across along your sports betting journey. Here are the most common ones and their meanings:

AbbreviationMeaningExplanation
BTTSBoth Teams to ScoreBet on whether both teams will score at least one goal each in a game.
DnBDraw no BetBetting on a team to win, and if the game ends in a draw, your bet is refunded.
EVExpected ValueTells you how much you might win or lose on average if you made the same bet lots of times.
HT/FTHalf Time/Full TimePredicting the outcome at both half-time and at the end of the game.
PUPick’em UpUsed when the odds are even, and there’s no favorite in the game.
PPDPostponedIndicates that a game or event has been delayed to a later date.
ROIReturn on InvestmentMeasures wins or losses from your bets relative to the amount of money spent.
TBDTo Be DeterminedUsed when details about a game or event are not yet confirmed.

See how well you know the sports betting glossary

Alright, now that you have had betting terms explained to you in a clear and concise way, you’re probably itching to start making some bets, aren’t you? Well, first things first: you have to sign up with a sportsbook that is on the up and up.

The good news is that in the US, you’ve got licensed sportsbooks ready to take your bets in over 30 states. For instance, if you’re in New Jersey, you’ll want to check for a sportsbook that’s got a license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

In New York? Look for the license from the New York State Gaming Commission. In Illinois, you’re looking for a license from the Illinois Gaming Board – you get the picture. Each state that’s got a legal betting scene has its own governing body to make sure everything’s legit, so always double-check that the sportsbook you’re eyeing is available for your state.

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Sports betting glossary conclusion

So there you have it. This sports betting glossary has covered all of the most important betting terms and abbreviations for your convenience. You’re now armed with the essential information you need to know in order to navigate the sports betting scene like a pro.

From understanding the basics like moneyline bets to getting the hang of more complex ideas like parlays and prop bets, you’ve got the knowledge you need to make well-informed betting decisions. Be sure to use this betting glossary as your go-to guide whenever you’re unsure about a term or want to brush up on your sports betting lingo.

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Sports betting glossary FAQ

πŸ”Ž Why is a betting glossary important for beginners?

A betting glossary is important for beginners because it breaks down complex jargon into understandable terms. Without knowing the basics, it’s easy to make uninformed bets that could lead to unnecessary losses.

🧐 Can a betting glossary help me make better betting decisions?

Absolutely. By understanding the sports betting terms explained in the glossary, you’re better equipped to analyze odds, recognize value bets, and understand the nuances of different bet types.

πŸ‘€ Is a sports betting glossary for beginners only?

No, the betting glossary isn’t just for beginners. It also covers advanced concepts and strategies that you can use as an experienced bettor. Terms like “hedging,” “arbitrage betting,” and “Asian handicap” are explained in detail.

❓ How often should I refer to the betting glossary?

Feel free to refer to my betting glossary as often as you need, especially when encountering unfamiliar terms or when you’re exploring new betting strategies. It’s a valuable resource for quickly clarifying any doubts you may have.

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