Wager Alarm: Sports Betting Glossary
Jonathan Impemba delivers all the definitions that you need to understand sports wagering in all sports, but starting with Major League Baseball.
With the legalization of sports betting in the United States many of you will be making your first ever sports wager. When doing your research, you may come across a bunch of terms you might now be familiar with. So here are a bunch of common sports wagering terms that you may come across and should be familiar with.
Action: Having a wager on an event.
ATS: Acronym for “Against the Spread”. Often refers to a team’s record when the point spread is taken into account.
Chalk: The popular/favorite play of the day.
Cover: When the team you placed a wager on wins with the point spread included. If you placed a wager on the favorite, then they would have won by more than the point spread to cover. If you placed a wager on the underdog, then they would have had to win outright or lose by no more than the point spread.
Dime: Industry term for a wager of $1,000.
Dollar: Industry term for a wager of $100
Even Money: When you place a wager and if you win then you get that amount back i.e. Bet $100 to win $100. Often displayed with a money line of -100.
Favorite: The team that is projected to win outright.
Futures Bet: Placing a wager on the future outcome of a team such as picking the Super Bowl winner prior to the start of the season.
Halftime Bet: Sportsbooks offer Quarter, Half and Game lines to wager. Placing a halftime bet means you place a wager on the outcome of the second half of the game based off the score from the first half.
Hedge: Placing a wager on the opposite side of a bet to cut losses or guarantee winnings. For example, you place a futures bet on the Jets to win the Super Bowl at +500 Odds (Bet $100 to win $500). If the Jets make the Super Bowl you would then place a bet on their opponent that would ensure that regardless of the outcome you still make a profit.
Hook: The half point added to a point spread which ensures there will be a win/loss outcome.
Laying the points: Placing a wager on the favorite with the spread.
Moneyline: Wager without a point spread
Nickel: Industry term for a wager of $500
Over: When you place a wager on a game or individual total with the expectation that the total will be exceeded. For example, the total of catches Antonio Brown will have in Week 1 is set at 8 and you believe he will catch 10 then you would place a wager on the over.
Parlay: A wager in which multiple teams are bet, either against the spread or on the money line. For the wager to win (or pay out), all of them must cover/win. The more teams you bet, the greater the odds. In the event of a push or a game cancellation, the parlay reverts to the next lower number (4-team parlay becomes a 3-team parlay).
Pick’em: A game that does not have a point spread because neither team is favored over the other.
Prop Bet: A bet placed on something outside the point spread or game total such as who will score first or how long will the National Anthem be during the Super Bowl.
Push: When a contest ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes
Point spread: The handicap, or head start, which the favorite gives to the underdog for betting purposes.
Taking the Points: Placing a wager on the underdog.
Teaser: A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in the favor of the bettor. Like a parlay, all selections must be correct for the teaser to win.
Total: The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including the overtime (see Over/Under).
Underdog: The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the "dog" for short.