Sports Betting Jargon Explained


No matter what the game, gambling has some serious jargon. In order to fully understand it, you have to understand what everyone is talking about. Sports’ betting is no different. Until you know what action is, where people are going when they enter a sportsbook, and especially what the spread is, you will not be able to function in the world of sports betting.  Sites like  www.sportsbetting.com will often walk you through the jargon. It is, though, much easier if you already know going in. With that in mind, here are some common sports betting jargon that you may encounter.


Action – You will hear people talking about getting in on the action or asking what the action is like on a particular sporting event. What they mean is the betting activity. The wagering on any given event is the action.


Sportsbook – The sportsbook is the place that takes sports betting. In a casino, it is usually off to the side with scores and point spreads all over a big board. On the Internet, sportsbooks tend to have their own websites, apart from online casinos.


The Spread – The spread on a game is the points used to balance a game for gambling purposes. For instance, if one team is significantly better than another in basketball, the spread may be 20 points. In other words, if you bet on the favored team, they have to win by more than 20 for you to win the bet.


Underdog – The underdog is the team that is getting the points. When the spread is put out there, the underdog is the team that is not expected to win.


Beard – Sometimes a major handicapper whose bet can actually change a betting line, or a famous person in a sensitive position will have someone place bets on their behalf. That person is called a beard.


Off the Board – From time to time a game will be taken “off the board” in a sports book. This means that the bookmakers will not be taking any action on that event. Usually it is because some of the factors in the event are unclear: i.e. the arrest of a player, unclear injury status, or even certain types of weather.


Over/Under: the over under is a bet on the total points scored in a game. If the over/under for a football game is 21 and the final score is 14-3, then those who had bet the under would win. Sometimes the over/under will be for other events as well, like total yards by a player, rebounds by a team, or something of that nature.


Parlay – A parlay is a bet on a series of games or events. You make these bets at the same time on two or more games. The winnings from each one feed over to the next, so the winnings can be big. What makes them hard, though, is that you must win every game to win your parlay.


Push – A push is when the teams are tied after the spread is taken into account. For instance, if a team is favored by 10 and the final score is 20-10 in their favor, then the game is a push.


Pick’em – A pick’em game is one in which the teams are thought to be even. There is no point spread in a pick’em game.


Handle – The total amount of money that is placed on something is the handle. For instance, you might say that the Super Bowl likely produces a substantial handle in most casinos and sportsbooks.


Futures Bets – Placing a futures bet is betting on something that will happen farther out. For instance, betting on the Super Bowl in March would be a futures bet. Similarly, if you bet on the winner of the World Series in January you would be placing a futures bet.


Dime bet or betting a dime – this is a slang way of saying you want to bet $1,000 on something. If you put $2,000 on the Mets, then you are putting down two dimes on them.


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