Sports-Betting Terms You Can Use To Make You Sound Like A Pro

sports betting terms

It is no secret that many people enjoy a bit of punting especially when it comes to sports betting.

Whether it’s horse racing, the NFL, MLB, tennis or football that urges you to place a few wagers in the hopes of hitting the big pot, there is always one element of sports betting that could leave you confused, and that’s the lingo.

The more sports betting terms and lingo you know, the more likely you are to be perceived as a seasoned punter. And of course, it is never too late to learn otherwise you could miss the kick and be left behind at the starting gate.

Here are just a few of the terms every self-respecting sports bettor should know.


Spread is a very common sports betting term which is basically a bet that could be either won or lost based on points allocated to a team. For example, if the spread is 6 points it means that one team (let’s say Team X) is the favorite and must win by more than 6 points in order to cover the spread. The other team (let’s say Team Y) will be the underdog and must loss by less than 6 points in order to cover the spread. In short, a spread is a range of outcomes and while the bet is on whether the outcome will be above or below the spread value.


Hedging is just as popular in sports betting as it is in stock trading. It involves making an additional wager in order to spread or reduce the risk that may come with a prior bet. Gamblers that bet a large amount on two or more individuals or teams usually look to hedge their bets. The objective is to bet on both sides of an event so that you can profit irrespective of the outcome. This is a good way to maintain a positive bankroll despite the prospects of winning less than you could have.

Let’s say you pump in $50 on the Red Sox who you feel can beat the Yankees. However, a key player for the Sox is injured at the last moment. You could then place a bet on the Yankees and protect all or part of your Red Sox bet if they lose.


Future betting is when you bet on an event in the future, which in most cases, in the pre-season or just before the start of the season. One of the biggest benefits is that you could potentially win a significantly larger sum as compared to a bet placed during the season. It is much like futures trading in the stock market where you speculate whether the value of a commodity may increase or decrease in a specific period. The Premier League and the NFL’s SuperBowl are among the most popular events where you can place future bet.


A ‘moneyline’ bet is one in which you only need to pick the winner. One of the major factors that influences the odds on this type of bet is whether the team is the favorite or the underdog. The odds create a balanced market for both sides. While betting on a favorite may seem more attractive, the odds are what influence a moneyline bet. You are likely to receive a lesser payout if you bet on the favorite rather than the underdog.


Over/Under bets are pretty straightforward. You bet on whether the points scored in a game will either exceed or remain below a specified amount. To win, the total points between the two teams must exceed the specified amount. Let’s say the Yankees are playing the Red Sox and the Over/Under is 186. You win if the points exceed but if the final score is under or only reaches 186 (known as a ‘Push’), then no one wins.


A teaser is a wager where a bettor can combine bets on two different games. This type of bet is common in football and basketball while the odds are reasonably good. In the event of a win the returns are lower since the point spread are adjusted.


Parlay bets are those in which you can bet that two or more point spreads, over/unders or moneylines will win. If all your picks win the payouts are much higher. In a parlay you re-invest your original stake and winnings on the next game and win when all your selections are correct.

Reverse Bet

A ‘reverse’ bet is an off-shoot of an ‘if’ bet. In ‘if’ bets, you bet a specific amount on two teams. If the first team wins an equally amount is put on the second game. However, if the first team loses you will not have action on the other game. This is where a ‘reverse’ bet comes in. It allows you to make two ‘if’ bets. For example, if you make an ‘if’ bet of $100 and the result of the first game is a loss, you stand to lose. Rather than make an ‘if’ bet, you can make a ‘reverse’ bet of $50 x 2.


Arbitrage or no-risk bets are those in which variable odds allow punters to back both sides in a game and guarantee a win regardless of the outcome.

Fixed odds bet

This is a form of betting where you know exactly what odds you will receive. The odds are fixed when the bet is placed.

Author Milica is a keen sports enthusiast , she often contributes to as well as other sites. Milica enjoys betting on varies events such as sports and others.