Sports Betting Terms

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A glossary of common sports betting terms:

  1. Odds: The numerical representation of the likelihood of an event occurring, determining the potential payout.

  2. Favorite: The team or player expected to win the game or event, often indicated by negative odds.

  3. Underdog: The team or player expected to lose the game or event, typically represented by positive odds.

  4. Point Spread: A handicap given to the favorite team in order to level the playing field and encourage balanced betting.

  5. Moneyline: A bet placed on the outright winner of a game or event, without consideration for the point spread.

  6. Over/Under: Also known as the "total," it represents the combined score or outcome of a game or event. Bettors can wager on whether the actual outcome will be higher or lower than the set line.

  7. Push: A result that ties the point spread or total, resulting in a refund of the original wager.

  8. Parlay: A bet that combines multiple individual wagers. To win a parlay, all selections within the bet must be correct.

  9. Teaser: Similar to a parlay, but bettors can adjust the point spread or total in their favor, albeit at reduced odds.

  10. Vig/Vigorish: The commission or fee charged by bookmakers for accepting bets.
  11. Handicapper: An individual or service that analyzes and predicts the outcomes of sporting events, offering betting advice or tips.

  12. Unit: A standard measurement used to represent the size of a bet. It allows bettors to manage their bankroll consistently.

  13. Bankroll: The total amount of money a bettor has set aside specifically for sports betting.

  14. Steam: A sudden and significant line movement caused by heavy betting action from professional bettors.

  15. Sharps: Professional bettors who are often considered more knowledgeable and successful in their betting strategies.

  16. Handle: The total amount of money wagered on a specific game, event, or betting market.

  17. Closing Line: The final odds offered by sportsbooks just before an event begins.

  18. Live Betting: Placing bets on games or events that are already in progress, with odds continuously updated during the game.

  19. Juice: Another term for vigorish or the commission charged by bookmakers.

It's important to note that sports betting terms may vary slightly depending on regional preferences and specific sportsbooks.


In the world of sports betting, the fun of predicting game outcomes and potentially winning big can be truly captivating. However, it's essential to remember that responsible gambling is the key to a safe and enjoyable betting experience.

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