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Sportsbook Terms

The following is a list of common sportsbook wagering terms. If you have any questions, please visit our Help page or FAQs section.

One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds, from book to book, by wagering both sides of the same game at different set prices.
To win a great amount of money due to successful wagering.
A person who studies the performance and potential of teams, horses or contestants, and reports the pertinent findings to handicapper(s).
To withdraw, cancel or call off a wager.
Second-Half Bet
A wager placed on the second half of a football or basketball game.
A wise guy.
Short Odds
The odds for an event that has a good chance of occurring.
A term that refers to people who make small wagers.
The percentage of money bet on the point spread of the game, not on the actual outcome of the game.
The names of the two teams playing the underdog and the favorite.
Single Action
To specify a win-only in an if-bet type wager.
Smart Money
Money wagered on sides by knowledgeable handicappers.
Soft Line
A wagering line that is not current with the true posted line; a line that has been adjusted or moved as a result of action but doesn't reflect the true line as posted.
Splash Around
To play more loosely than one should.
Sport Player
A player who might wait for an unusually strong wager.
Spread (Lines)
Short form for point spread on a game.
Spread Wager
An abbreviated term for point spread.
Spread Limit
A fixed betting structure in which a player may bet any amount, within a set range, on every betting round. A typical spread limit structure is $2-6, where a player may bet as little as $2 or as much as $6 on every betting round.
An unsophisticated player.
Money used to wager on the success or failure of a particular event.
Stanley Cup
Trophy awarded to the winners of the NHL championship series.
When a betting line on a selection starts to move quite rapidly, usually due to a rapid increase in the number of players wagering on it. Most steam games do not necessarily reflect the right side, but are sides where the majority of players have decided to focus their attention and action.
To be playing badly and wildly, often while emotionally upset.
Straight Bet (Wager)
A wager on a specific horse or team, in a single designated race or game, to win at the given odds. This is the simplest and most common bet. Also see Single Bet, and Win (Bet).
Straight Wager (Bet)
A single straightforward wager on a selected side, or over/under. The team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager.
A depressing condition experienced by players who feel behind, buried, losing or down for the week, sometimes as a result of losing a substantial amount of money.
A player who has lots of cash, but lacks the basic skills to win. Also see, mark, live one, fish, and provider.
Sucker Bet
A wager that overwhelmingly favors the bookmaker or house.
Sudden Death
An overtime period of play where the first contestant to score is declared the winner of the event.
Super Bowl
NFL championship game.
A method of wagering that is usually based on a mathematical formula and is used by a player to get an edge.
Take a Price
A wager on the underdog in a money line event.
Take the Odds
To wager less money on a proposition than one hopes to win.
Take the Points
A wager on the underdog in a point spread event.
A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in favor of the player. Like a parlay, all selections must be correct for the teaser wager to payoff.
Ten-Cent Line
The money line difference (10 cents) between what a player lays with the favorite or takes back with the underdog.
Thirty-Cent Line
The money line difference (30 cents) between what a player lays with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog.
When a game officially ends with neither side winning.
Toss Up
A game where the line is close to pick 'em; a game where no team, or betting option, is a clear favorite.
The total combined number of runs/points/goals scored by the two teams opposed in a sports event, including those scored in overtime.
A person who either sells or gives away his selections on games, races or contests.
Tout Service
A business that sells opinions of sporting events.
Triple Sharp
A very strong player who also happens to be a wiseguy.
A book that derives its numbers by taking the middle point between the numbers calculated by all other books.
Twenty Cent Line
The money line difference (twenty cents) between what a player lays with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog.
The team, side or contestant in any given event considered the least likely to win.
A bad bet. An underlay occurs when the odds of a particular wagering proposition are lower than they should be, i.e. they favor the house. In such circumstances, players often bet that an event will take place but without justification.
An overlay, i.e., getting the best odds on a wager.
A measure of the extent to which winnings and losses fluctuate over a period of time. Variance is not necessarily a measure of how well someone may play. However, the greater the variance, the greater the fluctuations between winnings and losses.
The fee or commission paid to a bookmaker (bookie) or taken by the house. Also known as Vig or Juice.
Acronym for a big bettor deemed worthy of full complementary treatment, i.e., RFB.
The team playing away from its home town; its name is usually listed above that of the home team.
Invalid with no result.
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on a game. The wager can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers.
An acronym for World Boxing Association.
An acronym for World Boxing Council.
Wise Guy
A well-informed, knowledgeable and successful sports handicapper or player.
An abbreviation for Women's National Basketball Association.
World Series
A best-of-seven championship playoff series to determine the best team in Major League Baseball.

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