Sports betting has been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States over the last five years, as millions of Americans visiting sports betting sites every year. However, there can be some confusing sports betting terms to learn for new bettors, which makes it important to read through a sports betting guide before opening a mobile sports betting account. While it can take years to become a seasoned professional, it only takes a little time to become familiar enough to understand sports betting apps. Use the sports betting glossary below before placing your first bet.
There are basic sports book terms to learn before opening a mobile sports betting account at Caesars Sportsbook. Caesars is one of the most trusted names in entertainment and gaming, and a new Caesars Sportsbook promo code can get you into the action right now.
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Sports book betting guide, glossary, terms
Before you play, make sure you know the common betting terms you'll see. There are dozens of ways to bet on sports, and this handy sports betting guide can help you figure out what some of the most popular sports betting terminology means.
Against the spread: One of the most popular ways to bet on a game is by wagering against the spread, which is the number of points that the favorite is expected to win by. If one team is favored by 7.5 points, bettors can choose whether the favorite will win by eight-plus points or if the underdog can stay within seven points.
Futures: The pro football season is still five months away, but there are already odds listed 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 a tournament, such as the football season or the current baseball season.
Money line: If you are glued to hockey this time of year, this is how to wager on it. If Vegas is listed as a -200 favorite against Edmonton, that means that you'd need to bet $200 on Vegas to return $100 on that side to win. If Edmonton is the +200 underdog, you could win $200 on a $100 bet if that side wins.
Over-under: This number can be used for a variation of bets, including the total number of runs in a game or a team's season win total. If a game has an Over-Under of 7.5, the teams will need to combine for at least eight runs to go Over the total.
Outright: While betting on individual games is the most popular way to wager on sports, you can also place bets on the outright winner of a league or tournament. Golf tournaments are one of the sports with outright betting options every week, as only one golfer will be atop the leaderboard at the end of the weekend.
Parlay: A parlay is a single wager that combines multiple bets into one ticket with a larger payout. The potential win increases with every bet that is added to the parlay, but every bet must win for the ticket to cash.
Teaser: A teaser is a type of parlay that lets you adjust the points spread for football games and lower the risk. If your two favorite teams are seven-point favorites and you are unsure if they will 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: Some bettors stick to wagering on which team will win a game, but there are various other ways to bet in the form of prop bets. These are different in every sport, ranging from a baseball player's total number of hits to a golfer's second-round score.
Push: If neither team in a game can cover the spread, the result is a sort of "tie" called a push. If San Francisco closes as a three-point favorite against Arizona and then wins 27-24, neither team can cover and all bets on the spread are returned.
Handle: This is the total money wagered at a sportsbook, usually referencing a specific game or the overall numbers for a month. The handle can help identify which side of a game the public is wagering on.
Live betting: Sportsbooks will adjust certain outcomes as a game progresses, so you can bet along with your favorite teams. Live betting is especially fun during baseball games, when you can wager between innings and win before the next one starts.
"Off the board": This means that bets on a particular event or outcome have been suspended or canceled altogether. It's typically something that happens in due to major injury news or a last-minute roster change.
First player to score: There might not be a more exciting bet to make on a basketball game than the first player to score, as the bet will usually be decided within the first minute of the game. Every starter has odds offered for this prop, making it a great way to get involved from the first whistle.
Listed pitchers: This will be an important term to be familiar with as baseball betting odds start to pop up at sportsbooks. Bets are generally voided if the listed pitchers do not start the game, but it is important to read the house rules at your sportsbook.
Juice: This term refers to the amount charged by the sportsbooks to take a bet, and it can be called the vig or rake as well. If a bet is -110 on both sides, a bettor needs to wager $110 to win $100, with the $10 being the juice.
Cover: If a team is favored by 1.5 runs, they cover the spread if they win by at least two. Baseball generally has the smallest spreads due to the nature of the sport.
Buying points: Sportsbooks allow their customers to add points to the spread or the total to make it a more favorable wager, such as taking a basketball underdog spread from +5.5 to +7.5. However, the bettor's payout also decreases when they buy points.
Liability: Sportsbooks generally want to limit the liability, or exposure, that they have on one side of a bet. For example, if 90% of the handle is on one team to win a game, the sportsbook has a large liability on that contest.
Chalk: This is a simple term that can be used interchangeably with the betting favorite. It is a common term during the college basketball tournament, as the chalk strategy involves taking the top teams to advance to the championship.
Puck line: The puck line is hockey's version of the point spread, usually set at 1.5 goals. It can be difficult for teams to win by multiple goals, so the favorite to win is generally an underdog to win by two goals.
Middle: Bettors can take both sides of the same game with the hope of winning both wagers. If a bettor wagers on one team at -5.5 and another team at +6.5, both bets would win if the favorite wins by exactly six points.
Cash out: Some sportsbooks allow you to cash out of a bet early if you want to minimize your losses or guarantee a profit. This term can also be used for withdrawing money out of your sports betting account.
Pick'em: Sportsbooks sometimes choose to make a game a pick'em, which means there is no favorite or underdog. The point spread is zero, so the winner of the game is also the winner against the spread.
Nickel: This is jargon for a $500 bet. If you go to a sportsbook and bet a "nickel," you are generally putting $500 on the line.
Key numbers: Some sports have key numbers that are important to look for, especially football. The common scoring increments are 3, 6 and 7, so point spreads are generally set around those key numbers.
Odds-on favorite: If the favorite is priced higher than even money (+100), they are referred to as the odds-on favorite. A tennis player that is -140 to win the tournament would be an example of this term.
Rotation number: Sportsbooks assign identification numbers to betting options, which is what bettors use to place bets at the counter. These are important to be aware of before placing an in-person wager.
Hold: This is the amount of money that the sportsbook keeps after paying out winning bets. The hold is usually higher with futures bets than it is with individual games, so it can be harder to profit in the futures market.
Field: Futures odds often have a large field, or the total number of players or teams listed as betting options. Sportsbooks occasionally allow you to wager on the field to beat an individual team or player if there is a heavy favorite.
Money management: Some bettors like to figure out a money management system early in their sports betting career, as this system gives them a set of rules to follow when placing bets. Money management refers to bet size, amount risked, etc.
Contrarian: A contrarian bet flies in the face of public sentiment, as it is a bet that is going against the popular side of a wager. Contrarians tend to wager on underdogs that the public wants no part of.
Handicapper: Someone who studies multiple factors such as statistics, weather or trends can be considered a handicapper. The term "handicapping" is used when bettors are figuring out which side of the game they want to wager on.
Steam: Betting lines will sometimes start shifting very fast, which can be the result of a large group of bettors placing their wagers at the same time. Some bettors like to "chase the steam," which means betting on the side that is moving dramatically, even though the odds have worsened.
Circle game: Sportsbooks will occasionally lower the betting limits on a game due to questionable injury issues or weather that would drastically adjust the odds.
Action: Some bettors refer to their money wagered as action on a game, while sportsbooks also use the term when the listed starting pitchers need to start in order for the bet to have action.
Off the board: When a game gets taken down and is no longer available for wagering, it is referred to as off the board. This usually happens due to late injury news or uncertainty.
Dime: Seasoned sports bettors use slang to reference the amount of money they are placing on a game. A dime bet refers to a $1,000 wager.
Even money: If a bet has +100 odds, it is an even money wager that will return the same amount as the original bet. A winning $100 bet would return a total of $200 if the odds were even money.
Sportsbook: A place that accepts sports bets is called a sportsbook, which can be online or a brick-and-mortar location. This term is often shortened to "book" in the sports betting community.
Bet slip: It was originally a piece of paper that bettors would use to make selections in sportsbooks, but it is now commonly found on sports betting apps. A bet slip is the receipt for any wager placed at a sportsbook, either in person or online.
Early cash out: This has become a popular addition to sportsbooks, allowing bettors to settle a wager for a certain amount before the game is over. It can be a way to lock in a profit while the game is still in progress.
Bankroll: The total amount of money a bettor has to place wagers. It is important to designate a responsible amount of money for your bankroll before placing your first bet.
Flat betting: Some bettors choose to bet the same amount on every wager regardless of wins, losses or any other factors. A flat bet can be a percentage of the bankroll or a fixed dollar amount.
Wire-to-wire: This is a bet on a team to lead at the end of every quarter of a game, most commonly in basketball.
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