Sports Betting Terms

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With PASPA long gone, more and more states are legalizing online sports betting. This means that more and more people are joining in the fun. While it might seem easy to win betting on sports, a proper understanding of sports betting terms is essential for you to make a decent profit. This is why we’ve created this essential sports betting terms glossary to help you know what you are doing when betting on a sportsbook app

Below, learn all the key terms in sports betting, from moneylines to point spreads so you know how to bet on sports.

Sports Betting Terms

Essential Terms

An Accumulator Bet: This is a single bet that combines a number of selections. In order to win an accumulator bet, all the events (selections) included in it have to pass.

Alternate Lines: This is simply a term used to refer to a derivative of the standard betting markets. Good examples of Alternate Lines include Alternate Totals or Alternate Handicaps.

American Odds: These are odds widely used by the American bettor. Naturally, they indicate your return, relative to a 100 unit base figure. Each time there’s a plus (+), you win the corresponding amount for every $100 you wager. Each time there’s a minus (-), you lay the amount in order to win $100.

Arb: This is an abbreviation for Arbitrage Betting.

Arbitrage Betting: Backing the available selections within a market, in different bookies, in a bid to exploit the price difference and in the process get a positive return regardless of the outcome.

Asian Handicap: This is a two way market in sports betting that uses a goal/point handicap to alter the perceived bias between the two competing teams. It also eliminates the possibility of a draw.

Betting Exchange: A betting exchange is simply a ‘bookmaker’ that doesn’t accept traditional bets. Instead, the exchange offers bettors a platform where they bet against each other either by ‘backing’ or ‘laying’ a bet. Betting exchanges make money by taking a small commission on the winning wagers.

Binary Betting: This is a combination of fixed odds and spread betting that offers only two outcomes – 0 or 100.

Bookie: This is an acronym for a bookmaker. This is simply an establishment (in our case online platform) that offers odds on the outcome of different events.

Canadian Line: It is simply a combination of moneyline and point spread in hockey betting.

Correct Score: This is a soccer bet where you are expected to predict the final score of the match.

Decimal Odds: Sometimes referred to as European Odds, Decimal Odds are odds expressions indicated in decimal format.

Draw No Bet: By choosing to wager a Draw No Bet wager, you are simply betting that in the event the match ends with a draw, then there is no bet i.e., the bet is voided and the bookie will fully refund your stake back.

Double Chance Bet: When you are placing a double chance bet, you are simply betting on a team to either win or draw. The result could be at half time or at full time, depending on how you choose.

Draw Bet: Sometimes referred to as a tie or push bet, when you choose to wager this it means that the contest ends without a winner or loser.

Each-way Bet: This is a bet comprising of two independent bets. One of the bets is that the selection will win. The other bet is that the selection will place i.e., come in 2nd or 3rd place. This is a bet that you’ll mostly come across in greyhound and horse racing and will come with different conditions depending on the number of participants in the race.

Expected Goals Bet: It is what is sounds like – the expected number of goals in the match. Some of the bookmakers will have the option of a group of goals (1-2), (2-3) or above 3 goals. Others will have the extra provision of enabling to exactly determine the number of goals in the match.

First Half Bet: This is a bet wagered on the expected outcome of the first half of the event. It could be the number of goals, draw, win, no clean sheet among many other options.

First/Last Goal Scorer Bet: With this, you are betting on the specific goal scorer of the first or last goal of the event.

Fractional Odds: This is the last format of odds that you’ll come across at the bookmaker in addition to the American and Decimal odds. As the name suggests, these express odds in a fractional format. UK bettors prefer this odds format.

Future Bets: These are bets that let you bet on a specific future sporting event(s). For instance, you can bet on who will win the NBA Championship, the Super Bowl event or who will be the top scorer of the MLS League.

Half time/Full time Bet: You are simply betting on the result at half time and full time. For instance, bet 1/x. At halftime, the home team (1) is leading. Then, the match ends with a draw. In this case, you have the winning bet.

Half-Ball Handicap Betting: This is one of the forms of handicap betting which is 0.5 of a point or a goal.

Head to Head Bet: When you choose to place this bet, you are simply betting on who will finish furthest ahead in the competition. You can also place a head to head bet on three participants but for this case, it becomes a Triple-Head

Hedging: This is another term used for Arbitrage betting. It simply involves betting on both ends of the market or multiple selections within a market. When doing so, you are trying to exploit the difference in odds to get the best value.

In-play Betting: This is the most popular form of betting today. Sometimes referred to as live betting, in-play betting involves wagering on an event once it has commenced or is in play. It has become very popular with bettors because it usually gives very good odds as opposed to the traditional form of betting.

Line: This is another word that’s popularly used to refer to odds. Commonly used by the North American bettors.

Match Bet (1X2): This is simply a bet placed on the outcome of an event or match at half time or full time. When betting, your options are:

  • 1 – For home team. Usually, bookmakers list this on the left-hand side of the selection
  • X – For a draw. Usually, bookmakers place this in the middle
  • 2 – For away team

Odds/Evens Bet: Wagering on whether the number of particular ‘things’ (corners, points, goals, etc.) within the event will be odds or evens.

Outright Betting: This is another name used for Future Betting. You’ll be betting for an entire competition instead of the single event.

Over/Under Betting: You are simply wagering that the given variable will either be over/under the mark set by the bookie.

Spread Betting:  This is an alternative to the traditional fixed odds betting. In this, the bookmaker offers you a spread on the outcome of the event. It’s up to you to decide on whether the result will be lower or higher than this spread. How much you win or lose is the multiple of your unit stake (times) the difference between the outcome and the spread you’ve decided to take.

Can Betting On Sports Be Profitable?

There are bettors who are definitely profiting from betting on sports, including those who’ve perfected the art of matched and arb betting. However, becoming an accomplished sports bettor isn’t something easy and straightforward. You need to understand all the sports betting terms and perfect the art of identifying the odds value. Only then can you become an accomplished sports bettor! At least now you know the most important sports betting terms.