Sports Betting Glossary
ATS (Against the Spread) – A term used to indicate the result of an event that takes the pointspread into account.
Book – Short for “sportsbook”, a book is an establishment that accepts wagers on sporting events.
Chalk – The favored team or athlete.
Cover – The act of winning by enough to beat the pointspread, in which case you have “covered the spread”.
Favorite – Team that is expected to win the event, as indicated by the odds.
Futures – A bet on an event taking place well into the future, such as betting a team to win the championship during the regular season or even preseason.
Handicapping – Researching sports and statistics to try and predict winners. People that handicap sports are known as “handicappers”.
Hedging – Betting on the opposite side of a current wager to minimize losses or guarantee a small profit.
Hook – A half-point.
Juice – Commission that the sportsbook earns.
Laying the points – Betting the favorite by giving up points ATS.
Lines – Another word for odds.
Linemaker – Someone who sets the original line on an event.
Lock – A supposed easy winner.
Longshot – A team or athlete that is considered unlikely to win.
Moneyline – A wager selecting a team or athlete without a pointspread involved.
Over/Under – A bet on whether the combined points/goals/runs scored by two teams will go over or under a number specified by the sportsbook (called the “total”).
Parlay – A bet in which multiple events are selected and all events must win for the parlay bet to pay off.
Pick’em – A game in which there is no favorite.
Pointspread – A set amount of points that the favorite surrenders or the underdog receives as a handicap to make betting the game more even.
Push – When a game ends with no winner or loser from a betting perspective.
Spread – Short for “pointspread”.
Straight bet – A wager on just one team or athlete.
Taking the Points – Betting the underdog by receiving the points ATS.
Teaser – Like a parlay, but the point spreads are adjusted to favor the bettor in exchange for a lower payout.
Vigorish – Another word for bookmakers’ commission; “vig” for short.