Betting Basics – Step 1 for Beginners
If you are a betting rookie, this is the place to start before placing your first bet! Below is a list of commonly used terminology and other basic sports betting information.
Commonly Used Terms:
Action- Any wager
Buying points- When a wager is placed on a spread and the bettor pays to add an extra .5 point or more to the line in their favor. The odds of this wager are increased based on how many points are bought. IE, the Eagles are -3.5. You buy down the points to -3 at odds on -120 to increase your chances of a cover or push.
Cover- When the team wins by more than the point spread or loses by less, depending on favorite or dog.
Dog- Also called the underdog, when the team is getting points from the other team who is the favorite.
Favorite- The team giving points to the underdog.
First half bet- Rather than betting a team to cover the game line, this is a wager that the team will cover the first half of a game, mainly used in basketball or football. You can also wager on the first 5 innings in baseball.
Future- A bet placed for in advance for a game to happen at a later date. IE, betting a team to win the Superbowl before the season starts.
Hedging- Betting the opposite of your original bet in an attempt to win part of or reduce the risk of your original bet.
Hook- The half point in a line.
Line- The current point spread or odds.
Moneyline- Also called ML, this is wager where you bet a team to win the game, not taking into account the point spread. IE, the Patriots are -150 to win the game, this means the bettor must lay $150 to win $100. And if the Colts are +140, this means the bettor will win $140 for $100 bet.
Over/Under- A wager in which you bet if the total score by both teams will be more or less than the over/under line posted. You can also bet an over/under per team.
Parlay- A wager where 2 teams or more are bet together. All teams in the parlay must win, or in the result of a tie the parlay odds are reduced by the number of ties. Payout odds are based on the number of teams in the wager, see below for the odds chart. This is based on all games bet on the spread. A moneyline parlays odds are based on a formula of the respective moneylines taken.
Pick Em- A game where this is no point spread as the teams are evenly matched.
Point Spread- The current +/- differential set for each game. Think of it like a handicap in golf.
Prop Bet- A wager placed on a certain player or aspect of a game. IE how many touchdowns a certain QB will throw, or will the SuperBowl coin toss be heads or tails.
PTHD- PrimeTime Home Dog, when the home team is the underdog getting points.
Push- When the wager ends as a tie.
Reverse- When 2 teams are wagered together in one bet. The wager pays out 4/1 if both halves cover. If one wins and the other loses, you lose the amount of the wager plus the vig. If both halves lose, you lose double the amount of the wager plus the vig.
Second half bet- Similar to a first half bet, this is a wager that the team will cover the second half of a game.
Straight Bet- A wager where you take one bet to cover.
Teaser- A wager where 2 teams or more are bet together, and you are given points added to the point spread. The odds vary based on the number of teams and how many points are taken.
Vig- Also known as the “juice”. The money taken out by the sportsbook taking the bet. This is paid on all losing bets, usually 10 percent. The vig is refunded on winning bets.
2 Teams - 13/5
3 Teams – 6/1
4 Teams – 10/1
5 teams – 20/1
6 teams – 40/1