Americans have wagered $125 billion since betting on sports became legal. After four years, 31 states offer live and legal sports betting, including Washington, D.C.
Five more states legalized sports betting—while the industry continues to boom.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) predicted a record season for NFL wagers. They estimated 44.6 million Americans would bet on the 2022 season.
With all this action, you might be wondering about slang terms.
What is the lingo of sports betting?
What Are Some Betting Terms?
Like any language, slang derives from informal speech. Words related to sports betting are no different. Learning some relevant terminologies may help you become a better bettor.
Here are some of the most common betting terms and their meanings.
The term action refers to any wager or bet. “There’s a lot of action” means there are many bets. In contrast, some bets may see little or no action.
Against the Spread (ATS)
The phrase against the spread refers to any matchup’s point spread. Abbreviated as ATS, it means a team’s record concerning the spread.
In sports betting, there are three different types of odds. They are fractional, decimal, and American odds. American odds are depicted as (-110) or (+110).
Bankroll is a gambling term for the total amount of money you use for betting. If you deposit $100 onto a gambling site, that’s your bankroll.
A book is the sportsbook for placing wagers. Also known as “bookie.”
The commission is a bettor’s fee when they place a bet with a sportsbook. Also known as “juice or “vig,” it usually comes from wagers on favored teams.
Cover refers to the point spread. If the spread is -6.5, that means the favored team needs to win by at least 7 points to cover. For the underdog to cover, they’d need to lose by 6 points or less.
If the underdog wins the game, they also cover the spread.
An even money bet pays 1:1. (A $100 wager pays $100 on an even money bet.) While rare in sports betting, it gets depicted as EVEN.
A favorite is the team most likely to win the game. American odds for favored teams or bets get shown as negative (-110).
Futures are a type of bet on the outcome of a future event. These include wagers on Regular Season MVP and Odds to Win the Super Bowl.
Make sure you find a reliable overseas sportsbook to get the best odds.
Betting handle refers to action or volume. Sportsbooks take in the most betting handle during the Super Bowl and March Madness.
A longshot bet refers to low probability for a wager.
A Moneyline bet is one of the most common wagers in sports betting. You’re betting on the outcome of one specific team to win the game.
An over bet refers to the final score of a game. You may see totals like 35.5 or 40.0. If you think the combined score will be more than that, bet the over.
Bet the under if you think the combined score may result in less than that.
A parlay is a string of bets to form one total wager. The more bets you add to your parlay, the higher the payout. The odds increase, while your chances of winning decrease.
The point spread is the estimated margin of victory for any game.
Proposition (Prop) Bets
Proposition bets—or “prop” bets—are special wagers. They include yards, touchdowns, first to score, etc.
A push is a tie or a draw. If your wager results in a push, your money gets returned.
The word sharp in sports betting refers to a professional bettor. They’re known as betting experts.
An underdog is the team who isn’t favored to win. For American odds, you’ll see underdog bets as positives (+110). They payout more than your initial wager.
Sports Betting Slang: Terms and Lingo
With sports betting, you’ll come across a lot of alternate slang. Some sportsbooks may show different terms on blogs or how-to guides.
If you’re a beginner, it helps to learn a little bit of basic lingo. You might need to react to fast changes in live betting scenarios. It also helps to understand a concept like “juice” for placing your wagers.
With a few slang terms at your disposal, you may read betting lines with more clarity. That goes a long way in managing your bankroll.
You can read about football wagers and more at SBS.