Sportsbook Review Glossary

Written by SportsbookKS
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Sports Betting Has Its Own Language, This Sportsbook Review Article Will Hopefully Explain Most Of The Important Words
Sports betting has a baffling amount of terminology and slang. It can be scary for the novice, even if you`re fairly smart, and know a lot about sports, betting for the first time can be confusing.

So, in no particular order, here are some useful words you might hear people throwing around.

Favourite - The team that the bookmaker expects will win.

Underdog / Dog - The team that the bookmaker expects to lose

Bet / Back - To put money on a team to win

Lay / Fade - To bet against a team either by backing their opponents, or (in a betting exchange) acting like a bookie and taking bets on that team to win (and hoping they lose so you don`t have to payout)

Odds - Literally it`s got something to do with probability, but basically, it`s how much a bet on the winning team will pay. There are a number of ways of expressing odds, but I pretty much only use decimal odds (1.45 to 1).

Decimal Odds - Odds expressed as X to 1. This is the system I like, because it makes everything easier. Horseracing and British bookmakers will sometimes offer round number odds like 7/2 (I think it`s tradition, or an old charter or something). The conversion is pretty easy if you can do high school division, or own a calculator.

Money Line - This is the American way of showing the odds on an event. The line will be something like Lemons -200, Oranges +170. This means that for every $200 you put on the Lemons, you will get $100 back if they win (on top of your original stake). If you back the Oranges, and they win, you will get $170 back for every $100 you bet (and your original stake).

Point Spread - This is one way of measuring which team is favoured. Rather than offering different odds on the two teams, the bookmaker handicaps the favourite by a number of points. For example, the Patriots were -7.5 against the Eagles in Superbowl 39. This means that if you make a point spread bet on the Patriots, they have to cover the spread (win by more than 7.5 points). If you take the Eagles, and they lose by less than 7.5 points, you win. Simple, right? You just add points to the underdog, or subtract them from the favourite.

Against The Spread / ATS This is a team`s record after the point spread has been applied to a game. For example, a team that has an 0-16 record might be 10-6 ATS if they lost a lot of their games by less than they were supposed to. All teams should sit somewhere around .500 in ATS record (in a perfect world). An indicator of value I sometimes use is to bet teams with a poor ATS record and lay teams who have been outperforming the spread. Sometimes you will see a handicapper talking about their ATS record - this is basically how many of their point spread bets they have won and lost.

Hedge - To reduce your exposure on a certain bet. For example, I put a big bet on Maria Sharapova (the hot Russian tennis player who won Wimbledon last year) to win the US Open, but by the time the final starts, I want to make sure I profit. So I bet on her opponent. Either way, I profit. This is very easy to do in a betting exchange, and not much harder with a bookmaker.

Middle - to try and play both sides of a point spread bet and win both of them. For example, if you back Oranges+5.5 and Lemons-3.5, you`re hoping that the Lemons win by 4 or 5 points. That way, both your bets win and you make a lot of money. Usually though, you`ll be losing small.

I`m sure there are a ton of terms I have missed, but this will do for now.


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