Sports Betting 101

TYPES OF SPORTS WAGERS

STRAIGHT BET
A straight bet is an single wager on a game or sporting event that will be determined by a pointspread or money line.

PARLAY
A parlay is a single bet that joins two or more wagers; to win the bet the player must win each game in the parlay. If the player loses one wager he loses the whole parlay. When playing parlays they create a higher payout than single betting. (Odds multiplied by each other)

FUTURES
A futures bet is a wager placed on an event  far in the future, such as which team will win next year’s NHL Stanley Cup or MLB World Series.

PROPOSITIONS
Proposition bets, or “prop” bets focus on the outcome of events within a certain game. Props are often offered on games of great interest.  An example of a prop bet is “Which team will score the first goal?”

TEASER
A teaser is a type of football or basketball wager in which the pointspread is adjusted by additional points in the player’s favour on more than one event or game. In football a player may move the posted pointspread 6, 6.5, 7 or 10 points. In basketball, 4, 4.5 and 5-point teasers are offered.

IMPORTANT TERMS

POINTSPREAD
The most popular sports bets are based on the pointspread. The pointspread represents the margin of points in which the favored team must win by to “cover the spread.”

RUNLINE

A runline is similar to a pointspread but the only difference is you wont see a runline higher than generally -1.5. This is generally used in baseball, meaning a team must win by 2 runs or if it’s +1.5 it means a team must win the game or lose by 1 run to win this wager.

MONEY LINE
The money line represents the odds of a team winning the game outright without the use of the pointspread. The money line is expressed as a decimal number for Canadians (1.85), but some prefer the american style (-110). What does this mean? For $1.85 it means that a player would have to bet $10 to win $8.50. That player would receive $18.50 returned upon a winning pick.

SPORTS BETTING GLOSSARY

Action – A sports wager of any kind; a bet.

Book – A establishment that accepts bets on the outcome of sporting events.

Buy (Points) – A player pays an additional price (lays more money) to receive a half-point or more in his favor on a pointspread game.

Chalk – The favorite.

Cover – Winning by more than the pointspread.

Dime – A $1,000 sports wager.

UnderDog – The team perceived to be most likely to lose.

Favourite – The team considered most likely to win an event.

First-half bet – A bet placed on the score in the  first half of the game only.

Half-time bet – A bet placed on scoring in the second half of a game only.

Handle – The total amount of bets taken.

Hold – The percentage the house wins.

Limit – The maximum amount accepted by the house before the odds and/or pointspread are changed.

Line – The current odds or pointspread on a particular event.

Listed pitchers – A baseball bet placed only if both of the pitchers scheduled to start a game actually start. If they don’t, the bet is deemed “No Action” and refunded.

Longshot – A team perceived to be unlikely to win.

Money line – Odds expressed in terms of money. With money odds, whenever there is a minus (-) the player lays that amount to win $100; where there is a plus (+) the player wins that amount for every $100 wagered.

Nickel – A $500 sports wager.

No action – A wager in which no money is lost or won and the original bet amount is refunded.

Off the board – A game in which no bets are being accepted.

Opening line– The earliest line posted for a particular sporting event.

Over – A sports bet in which the player wagers that the combined point total of two teams will be more than a specified total.

Parlay – A single bet that links together two or more wagers; to win the bet, the player must win all the wagers in the parlay. If the player loses one wager, he loses the entire bet.  However, if he wins all the wagers in the parlay, he wins a higher payoff than if he had placed the bets separately.

Pick or Pick ‘em – A game when neither team is favored

Pointspread – The margin of points in which the favored team must win by to “cover the spread.”

Price – The odds or pointspread.

Prop (Proposition) Bet – A bet that focuses on the outcome of events within a given game. Props are often offered on marquee games of great interest. These include Sunday and Monday night pro football games, various high-profile college football games, major college bowl games and playoff and championship games. An example of a prop bet is “Which team will score the first touchdown?”

Push – When the contest ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes; a tie for wagering purposes.

Run line – In baseball, a spread used instead of the money line.

Sides – The two teams playing; the underdog and the favorite.

Sports book – A physical location that accepts sports bets.

Straight bet – An individual wager on a game or event that will be determined by a pointspread or money line

Straight-up – Winning the game without any regard to the pointspread; a money-line bet.

Take the points – Betting the underdog and receiving its advantage in the pointspread.

Take the price – Betting the underdog and accepting money odds.

Teaser – A type of parlay in which the pointspread or total of each individual play is adjusted. The price of moving the pointspread (teasing) is lower payoff odds on winning wagers.

Tie – A wager in which no money is lost or won because the teams’ scores were equal to the number of points in the given pointspread.

Total – The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including overtime.

Under – The player bets that the total points scored by two teams will be less than a certain figure.

Underdog – The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the “dog.”

Vigorish – The bookmaker’s commission; also known as juice.