ATS (Against the spread) – There are two main different types of ways to bet a basketball game, one is the moneyline (which will be explained below) and one is ATS. When betting ATS, Vegas will set a point total which must be beat in order for you to win your bet (this means to “Cover”). The winner of the game does not matter, all that matters is whether the Vegas number is beaten. For example: If Duke is -7.5 pts to Clemson, then in order to win your Duke bet, they must win by 8 or more, if they win by 7, you lose. If you are betting on Clemson then you add 7.5 to their final score, meaning if they lose by 7 or less (or win) you win the bet.
Book, Bookie, Bookmaker, House, etc – All refer to the person or establishment holding/taking the bets. we have multiple books that we have affiliate deals with where you can get free bets and bonuses from when you sign up….located here: https://www.4deepbets.com/affiliates/
Buying Points – When betting against the spread most establishments will allow you to “buy points.” On a normal bet you will have a spread and you will be risking $110 for every $100 wagered, well if you would like to buy pts it will cost you extra money to do so. In the Duke example above, if the spread was 7.5 -110 (meaning I need them to win by 8 and I am risking 110 to win 100), you could decide to buy anywhere from ½ pt to 3 pts on most sites, and for every ½ pt you buy you will pay an extra 10% if you lose. If I wanted to buy 2 pts in this example, I would have Duke -5.5 -150, meaning i now only need Duke to win by 6, but I am now risking $150 to win $100.
Chalk – The favorite and often the team that the most money is on.
Circled game – A game where the betting action is limited. Usually these are games that have some level of uncertainty about them still so the book is covering their ass a bit (injuries, bad weather, etc.). When a game is “circled” you will normally see a “C” next to them. These games are usually limited to the amounts you can place on them or they won’t be able to be included in parlays or teasers. Normally the circle will disappear once the variables which were up in the air are made clear.
Closing Line – Normally when lines are set, they tend to move up and down based on betting activity. The “closing line” is what the line ended at once it came off the board (meaning once the game starts).
Cover – When a team beats the spread. If Duke wins by 8 and the spread was -7 we would say “Duke covered.”
Dime – $1,000. If you are betting $1,000 on a game you would say “I have a dime on Duke.”
Dog – Short for underdog.
Dollar – $100. I know it’s confusing, but a lot of people refer to a $100 bet by saying “i just threw a dollar on Duke”.
Edge – An advantage on the house.
Even Money – We stated earlier that with most bets you have to risk more than you are making, but an “even money bet” is when you are risking exactly the same amount as you are capable of winning, so no “juice.” An even money line is +/-100.
Exotic – Usually refers to props, but it is really anything that isn’t a straight bet.
Expected Value (EV) – You often hear people talking about a decision being -EV or +EV but what does that really mean? The concept of Expected Value is really pretty simple. If you are betting a -110 line over a large enough sample of bets your Expected Value would be to return 90 cents for every dollar you bet because your VIG is 10 cents. Hence any edge or advantage that a player has that would help them return over 90 cents on the dollar would be considered to be +EV. Likewise, a bettor who is returning 80 cents would be considered -EV.
Exposure – The total amount wagered on a given position.
Favorite – The team who is expected to win the game.
Fifty Cents or Half Dollar – We told you earlier that “a dollar” was $100, well “fifty cents” is $50.00.
First half bet (1H) – This is different than an “in game bet” and seems to be commonly confused on my twitter timeline. If you are betting the “first half” this is done before the game, and you are ONLY betting on the first half. The 1H line, as you will see me refer to it as, is normally about half of the total game spread, but can vary greatly based on a variety of factors. When you bet the 1H line, your bet goes final at halftime, so if Duke is -4 for the first half bet, you just need them to cover the 4 by halftime and nothing that happens after that matters.
Future – A futures bet normally refers to a bet that you are making on a team to win the championship, conference, or some event in the future (hence the name). Normally you will get very big payouts on these bets, but they also come with a low probability of hitting. The further away from the event itself, the better the odds are. If you were to bet the Duke National Championship future, right now you would get it at +600 (meaning you would risk $100 to win $600), but the further Duke advances into the tournament, the lower your odds will become. There are some awesome strategies to take advantage of future props, where you can basically put yourself in a “can’t lose” situation once they begin to advance. We will go more in depth on these strategies and some of our favorite future bets on the podcasts and in the articles.
Gamble – Risking money on the outcome of a game.
Getting Down – Executing the bet. “I got down a dime on Duke.”
Half Time Bet, 2nd Half Bet, 2H Bet – Like the first half bet, this bet is only on one half of the game, but in this scenario it is the 2nd half only. This line is normally released within minutes of the game going to half time and there is sometimes a nice edge to be had if you are watching the game. We will be discussing strategies for 2H betting a ton throughout our content over the next 5 weeks. Second half bets usually will include overtime so make sure you are aware if your book is “regulation only.”
Handicapper or Capper – A handicapper is normally referred to as someone who is an expert in analyzing data and making +EV predictions on the outcome of games.
Hedging – A term that is used to describe a strategy used to mitigate risk. It is normally placing wagers on the other side of the initial bet to either attempt to cut losses or lock in profits. Hedging strategies will be something we dive deep into on the podcasts. Look at it as “buying insurance” on your bets to prevent losing too much.
Hook – Refers to a half point. So if Duke is -7.5 and you were to buy it down to 7 you would say “I bought the hook.”
If Bet – There are a few different types of “if bets,” but the main premise here is that the second bet in the sequence of 2 only counts if the first one wins. Let’s say you only had $110 left and you wanted to bet 2 games starting at 4pm, well you can place an “if bet” where you can risk $110 to win $100 on one game (you would list this game first) and then if that game wins, you will then have another $110 for $100 bet on the 2nd game you chose. If the first game loses, your second game is void. In an “if bet” you can specify if you want the second game to count in case of a push or not, this is called “action if bet.”
Juice, Vig, Rake – The commission on a losing bet. We mentioned earlier that even when betting the spread, you will lay $110 to win $100, the $10 is the “juice.” This is how the house makes their money and one of the things that makes being profitable in gambling long term difficult.
Laying the Points – Betting on a favorite with the spread.
Laying the Price – Betting the favorite on the money line.
Laying off Action – When a book sends some of its action over to a different book to decrease its exposure to a specific game.
Limit – Max amount of wagering allowed. “I’ll take Duke for the limit”, would mean you are getting down the maximum allowed by the book.
Line – The current odds. “The line on the Duke game is Duke -7.5.”
Line Movement – The change in the odds, normally due to an excessive amount of betting on one side or the other.
Linemaker – The person or people who set the odds.
Longshot – A huge underdog.
Middle – Winning both sides of a bet, often when you have action on opposing sides at different times of a game or are betting the favorite on the money line and the underdog with the spread. Middling like some of the other topics above have some very detailed strategies surrounding it and proper times when a person should or shouldn’t attempt to middle. There are conflicting views on this topic so there technically is no “right or wrong,” in some situations, it more depends on how aggressive or conservative a person wants to be. The time where middles used to be a lot more common were back in the days before technology when lines in different cities were far less efficient. Old school bookmakers and handicappers will tell you that if the Giants were playing the Bears 20 years ago, the local bookies in Chicago would normally have a more favorable time for the Giants, while the locals in NY would have a more favorable line for the Bears (being that they know bettors in Chicago are more likely to bet their home team, they would inflate the bears line). A lot of big handicappers back in the day had a book in every major city, hunting for inefficiencies and middling opportunities. If you could get the Bears -2 in NY and then get the Giants +5 in Chicago, that would leave you with a big middle where you could win both bets if it lands between 2-5. This is not as common anymore, but the more common form of middling now a days would be if you took Duke -7.5 for the game and they were up 20 at halftime, and you took Clemson +1 in the 2nd half. Basically if Duke wins by anywhere between 8-20 you would “middle it” and win the Clemson bet and the Duke bet. Normally the philosophy is to not fuck with a winning ticket, so most cappers will tell you that if you have a huge 1H and your original ticket has tremendous value, don’t get cute, just ride the initial play.
Money Line (written as “ML”)– As we stated earlier there are two popular ways to bet on games, ATS or taking the Moneyline. Moneyline bets are bets where you decide to forego the points and just bet on a team to win the game. If Duke is -7.5 on the game, you can either bet Duke -7.5 and risk $110 to win $100, but they have to win by 8, or you can bet the money line (which would be about -370), meaning you would have to risk $370 to win $100, but all you need is Duke to win. I tend to use money lines mostly in parlays or when I have an underdog I think can win the game. Betting big money line favorites is a very risky proposition, but there is a time and a place for it. If you see a “+” before the number, then that is the amount of money you will win for every $100 bet and if you see a “-” before the number that is the money you are risking per $100 bet.
Nickel – $500
No action – A bet where no money is exchanged. Normally it’s a bet that will not qualify as a bet if certain requirements aren’t met. You will often see this on props or baseball bets regarding Pitchers. In terms of a prop bet, oft times the player must play or it is “no action,” so if you took Antonio Brown under 7.5 catches but he got hurt in warmups and didn’t play, that bet would be “no action.” In baseball you can actually make bets that only count if the starting pitchers end up starting the game, and if they don’t, the bet will be “no action.” There are other scenarios too, like if a game does not get completed due to weather or severe injury etc.
Odds- The chance of something happening and the money that you would have to lay when betting on a specific outcome. Odds are usually written as “6:1: or “-600,” which both mean you have to risk $600 to win $100 and the favorite is 6 times more likely
Off the board – A bet that has been removed from the list of bettable games, either due to uncertainty about player availability or the game has already started.
Open Spots – Some books will allow you to do a parlay (see parlay definition is listed below) and not force you to fill in all the plays. For instance if you know there were 2 games you wanted to parlay today, but couldn’t decide on the 3rd for your 3 team parlay, you could place the bet with an “open spot” to be filled at a later time. The bet will remain pending until the open spot is filled and that 3rd game has gone final, or if any of the initial games lose, the bet will then be deemed a loss, since it is already dead.
Opening Line, Open, Opener or Bookmaker Open – The first line posted for a specific game. Lines often move up or down after they open so if you hear someone say “The line moved from 3 to 4,” that means it “opened” at 3 and is currently at 4. There are many techniques used to analyze opening lines and the movement thereafter which we will discuss.
Over Bet – A bet where you are wagering that the total points scored by both teams combined will be higher than the posted number.
Parlay – A bet where you take 2 or more teams and pair them all in one bet. In a parlay (well most parlays) you must hit every play and if you do so you win exponentially more than you wagered (in most cases). If you are using all -110 lines, the common parlay payout structure is:
- 2 teams = 13:5
- 3 teams = 6:1
- 4 teams = 12.28:1
- 5 teams = 24.35:1
The odds are very enticing, but the win probabilities are already factored in, so you are sacrificing safety for upside. The payouts will change drastically once you start putting in plays with varying money lines. There are many strategies around Parlays which we will discuss on the shows.
Pick ’em or Pick – When neither team is favored and the spread is 0.
Point spread or Spread – The amount of points the favorite is expected to beat the underdog by. When betting a favorite your team must win by more than the spread to win your wager. The simple way to do this is if you have Duke -7.5, take the final score of the game and subtract 7.5 pts from Dukes total, if they still won, u win. If you took Clemson +7.5 then take the final score and add 7.5 points to Clemson’s total, if their score is not greater than Duke’s after the addition of the 7.5 points, you win your bet.
Press – To scale up your bet size. Often people will take the winnings from one game and “press it” on the next game, meaning if they were betting $100 a game and won their first game, they will double their wager on the 2nd game. There is a time and a place for this, but if done improperly can be very destructive to long term profitability.
Proposition Bet or Prop Bet – A unique wager type that is normally made on an individual player or very specific outcome of a sporting event (there are also prop bets on everything from the Oscars to Politics). Prop bets can range from predicting heads or tails on a coin toss in the Super Bowl to who the next US president will be.
The Public – The masses. Normally referring to the large masses of uninformed bettors.
Push – When the outcome of the game results in a tie for your wager. If you have Duke -6 and they win by 6, that is considered a “push.” In the event of a push your initial money you put up will be given back to you and you will not be charged a vig, it is as if the bet never happened. If you push one leg of a 3 team parlay, it will revert to a 2 team parlay. The only times a push is a loss is normally in teasers, which we will explain in a second.
Reverse – A reverse bet is an “exotic” in which you are able to put two or more “IF” bets together. It is not that dissimilar to a parlay. In this, your action is covered both ways, kind of like boxing an exacta. Reverse bets can just be two teams in a bet, or they can also be three teams, or even four teams. Like an “IF” bet you only have action on the second part of the wager if the 1st part wins.
Round Robin – When playing a parlay your book will often ask you if you would like to “round robin” them. When you agree to do this you are essentially creating a series of parlays. A Round Robin will create 2, 3, or 4 team parlays in every possible combination of the teams you picked.
Runner – Someone who often serves as a middle man between the bettor and the book.
Sharp – An expert or specialist who normally finds edges on specific contests.
Sides – In sports betting, the names of the two teams playing: the underdog and the favorite.
Single action – An “if bet” in sports gambling that is processed only if the precedent bet wins.
Sportsbook– An establishment that accepts sports bets.
Square – A novice or uninformed gambler.
Steam – Strong line movements in one direction or the other. Normally this is related to overreactions to news or information but can also indicate where a large group or syndicate is getting down.
Straight bet – Betting on just one team. Not an “exotic” wager.
Straight-up– Winning the game outright, regardless of the spread.
Teaser – A teaser is a wager (similar to a parlay), where you pick 2 or more games and need all the games to win (most times a push is counted as a loss). The difference between a teaser and a parlay is that with a teaser you get to move each line a certain amount of pts, but do not have the big payout upside of a parlay. Ex: In football if you were to parlay the Giants -7 and the 49ers -7 and they both won by 8 or more, you would risk $100 to win like $260, but if you did a 6 point teaser with those same two teams, you would have the Giants -1 and the 49ers -1, but in this bet you would be risking $110 or $120 to win $100. There are many different variations of Teasers when it comes to how many teams and how many points you get per team, and the payout is reflective of this.
Ticket – a receipt verifying your wager. When you are betting in Las Vegas or at any sportsbook, once your wager is placed, they hand you an actual receipt with a tracking number and your wager written on it. Once the bet goes final if you win, you return your ticket to the cashier window and they pay you the cash, referred to as “cashing your ticket.” The common term after a loss is “Rip up your tickets,” because once the bet loses, the ticket is now worthless.
Ticket Window, Cashier Window, The Window – The place you go to cash your tickets and place your bets.
Total – For almost every game there is a spread and a total. The total represents the total points scored between both teams, set by the oddsmakers, and the bettor will either take an “over” or “under” bet. There are totals for whole games, halves, individual team totals, etc.
Under – Betting that the outcome will be below the oddsmakers posted total.
Underdog – The team forecasted to lose.
Unit – a measurement of wagering based on your bankroll. “1 unit” normally represents 1% of your bankroll. If you have $100 you are depositing into a sports book, 1 unit would be a $1 bet. I personally calculate units on a weekly level and have almost my whole bankroll in play per day, as do most people, cause 90% of bettors DO NOT have a “seasonal bankroll” and just play then withdraw then deposit. The way I calculate units is
- <1 unit =speculative play
- 1-2 = normal bet
- 3-4 = large bet
- 5 =MAX BET
I personally don’t scale up my unit size either much, just prefer to withdraw once my account goes up substantially and reset.
Value – Getting an edge on the current line. If I bet the Cavs to win the championship at +1500 odds and that line eventually moves to +500 then I have 1000 pts of “value” on my bet. In certain situations people will actually pay you a fair amount to purchase your bet from you if you have a ticket with a lot of value. The more value you have on a line or wager, the more options you have to hedge and control your financial outcome.
Vig – see “Juice.”
Wager – A bet.
Whale – A player wagering an extremely large amount of money.