If you’re new to sports betting, it’s important to understand the commonly used terms before placing any wagers. With countless ways to bet on sports, this guide aims to help you navigate the most popular terminology.
Against the Spread: One of the most common ways to bet on a game is to wager against the spread, which refers to the number of points the favorite is expected to win by. For instance, if a team is favored by 7.5 points, bettors can choose whether the favorite will win by eight or more points or if the underdog can stay within seven points.
Money Line: If you’re interested in hockey betting, the money line is a common wagering option. If a team like Vegas is listed as a -200 favorite against Edmonton, you’d need to bet $200 on Vegas to earn $100. On the other hand, if Edmonton is the +200 underdog, you could win $200 with a $100 bet if they win.
Over-Under: The outcome of the game doesn’t matter with an over-under bet; instead, it’s based on the total number of points scored. Most basketball games have a total set between 120 to 160, giving bettors a chance to take the over or the under on the posted total.
Outright: Betting on individual games is the most popular way to wager on sports, but you can also bet on the outright winner of a league or tournament. Golf tournaments offer outright betting options every week since only one golfer will finish atop the leaderboard at the end of the weekend.
Parlay: With basketball tournaments, professional basketball, golf, and hockey all happening simultaneously, a parlay can help you combine multiple bets into one wager. Although these bets offer larger payouts, all bets must win for the ticket to cash.
Teaser: A teaser is a type of parlay that lets you adjust the point spread for football games, lowering the risk. If your two favorite teams are seven-point favorites, and you’re unsure if they’ll cover their spreads, you can use a six-point teaser to drop each team to a -1 favorite and only need two points to cover.
Prop Bet: Prop bets focus on individual aspects of the game instead of the winner, ranging from a player’s total number of points to which team will lead at halftime. Baseball games offer plenty of prop bets based on one-on-one matchups.
Futures: Even though the pro football season is over, sportsbooks already list odds for next season’s winner. A futures bet is placed on the winner of an event that will take place later in a season or tournament, such as the upcoming baseball or football season.
Push: If neither team covers the spread in a game, it’s called a push, which is a sort of “tie.” For example, if San Francisco closes as a three-point favorite against Arizona and wins 27-24, neither team covers, and all bets on the spread are returned.
Handle: The handle is the total amount of money taken in by a sportsbook for a particular event, including every type of wager.
Live Betting: Sportsbooks adjust certain outcomes as a game progresses, allowing you to bet along with your favorite teams. Live betting is especially fun during baseball games, as you can wager between innings and win before the next one starts.
Off the Board: If bets on a particular event or outcome are suspended or canceled altogether, it’s called “off the board.” This typically happens due to major injury news or last-minute roster changes.
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the most common sports betting terms, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the world of sports betting. Remember to always read the house rules at your sportsbook and to gamble responsibly.
If you’re new to sports betting, it’s always a good idea to start with small bets and to only wager what you can afford to lose. As you become more experienced and confident, you can gradually increase your wagers and try out different types of bets.
Sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to add some extra excitement to your favorite sports. With the right knowledge and approach, you can increase your chances of making successful bets and enjoying the thrill of the game.