Sports Betting Glossary, Tips and Strategies for Beginners

If you're new to sports betting, it might be somewhat overwhelming at first to navigate the many terms, concepts, and gambling strategies involved when betting on sports. Whether you're interested in placing bets on football, basketball, baseball or any other sport, read on for helpful sports gambling tips and advice and increase your knowledge and understanding of some of the intricacies involved, and start betting on sporting events with confidence.

Key Terminologies to Know in Sports Betting Before Placing Your Game Bets

Sports betting is an exciting world full of its own unique terminologies and jargon. Whether you're a seasoned bettor or a newcomer to the world of sports betting, it's essential to understand the language of the industry. From "action" to "vig," the world of sports betting can be overwhelming for beginners.

To help make better sense of some of the gambling terminology and improve your understanding of sportsbooks, read the glossary of key sports betting terms below so you can navigate the world of sports betting better prepared.

Sports Betting Glossary of Terms

  • Action: A bet that is placed on a game or event.
  • Against the Spread (ATS): A betting strategy where a team is picked to win or lose by a certain number of points. This is also known as the point spread.
  • Bankroll: The amount of money a bettor has set aside for betting.
  • Bookmaker: An individual or organization that accepts bets and pays out winnings.
  • Chalk: Refers to the favorite in a game or event.
  • Closing Line: The final betting odds offered by a sportsbook before the start of a game or event.
  • Cover: When a team wins a game by more points than the point spread.
  • Dog: Refers to the underdog in a game or event.
  • Edge: The advantage a bettor has over the sportsbook.
  • Favorite: The team or player that is expected to win the game or event.
  • Futures Bet: A bet that is placed on an event that will take place in the future, such as the winner of a championship.
  • Handicapping: The process of analyzing and researching a game or event in order to make an informed bet.
  • Handle: The total amount of money that has been wagered on a particular event or at a particular sportsbook.
  • Hedging: Placing a bet on the opposite side of an original bet in order to reduce the risk of loss.
  • Juice: Also known as vigorish or vig, this is the commission that the sportsbook takes on each bet.
  • Lock: A bet that is considered a sure thing.
  • Moneyline Bet: A bet where a bettor picks a team or player to win the game outright, regardless of the point spread.
  • Odds: The probability of an event occurring, represented in numerical form by the sportsbook.
  • Over/Under: A betting strategy where a bettor predicts whether the total points scored in a game or event will be over or under a set number.
  • Parlay: A bet that combines multiple individual bets into one larger bet. All bets must be correct in order for the parlay to win.
  • Point Spread: The number of points by which a team is favored or the underdog in a game or event.
  • Prop Bet: A bet that is placed on a specific event or outcome within a game, such as the first team to score or the number of touchdowns in a game.
  • Push: When a bet results in a tie, and the sportsbook refunds the bettor's money.
  • Sharp: A professional or expert bettor.
  • Square: An inexperienced or casual bettor.
  • Steam: A sudden and significant movement in betting lines or odds due to a large amount of money being placed on one side of the bet.
  • Teaser: A bet where the point spread is adjusted in favor of the bettor, but requires multiple correct bets in order to win.
  • Tout: A person or service that sells sports betting picks or advice to others.
  • Underdog: The team or player that is not expected to win the game or event.
  • Value: When the odds or point spread of a game or event do not accurately reflect the probability of the outcome, creating an opportunity for profit.
  • Vigorish (or Vig): The commission or fee that sportsbooks charge for placing bets.
Congratulations on making it this far in your journey to becoming a successful sports bettor! By now, you have a solid understanding of the terminology and concepts of sports betting. But, there's more to being a successful bettor than just knowing the terminology. Read on for more valuable betting advice on how to manage your bankroll, research sports teams and players, understand different types of sport bets you can place, and stay disciplined with your betting and take your sports betting knowledge to the next level!

Sports Betting Tips and Strategies for Beginners

Bankroll Management
One of the most important aspects of successful sports betting is managing your bankroll. This means setting a budget for your bets and sticking to it, regardless of whether you are winning or losing. One popular strategy is to use a "unit system," where you bet a consistent percentage of your total bankroll on each bet. For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll and use a 1% unit size, each bet would be $10. This helps prevent you from losing too much money on any one bet, and also helps you stay disciplined with your betting.

Researching Teams and Players
To make informed bets, it is important to research the teams and players you are betting on. This can include studying past performance, analyzing statistics and trends, and following news and updates related to the team or player. It is also important to consider factors such as injuries, weather conditions, and any other external factors that could affect the outcome of the game.

Understanding Different Types of Bets
There are many different types of bets available in sports betting, and it's important to understand each one so you can make the most informed decisions. Some popular types of bets include point spreads, moneylines, totals, and futures. Each type of bet has its own unique rules and payout structure, and understanding these differences can help you find the best bets for your bankroll and betting style.

  • Point Spread Bet: A point spread bet is a type of wager where the sportsbook assigns a point spread to each team in a matchup. The point spread is essentially a handicap that helps to level the playing field between the two teams. To win a point spread bet, you must correctly predict which team will cover the spread.

  • Moneyline Bet: A moneyline bet is a simple wager where you are picking the team you think will win the game outright. The odds for each team are represented by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, indicating the favorite and the underdog respectively.

  • Futures Bet: A futures bet is a long-term wager on the outcome of a season or tournament. For example, you could bet on which team will win the Super Bowl before the season even begins. Futures bets typically offer higher payouts but are also riskier since they require you to make a prediction far in advance.

  • Parlay Bet: A parlay is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers, with the potential for higher payouts but increased risk since all bets must win for the parlay to be successful.

  • Teaser Bet: A teaser is similar to a parlay, but allows the bettor to adjust the point spread in their favor for a lower payout.

  • Prop Bet: Short for proposition bets, props are bets on specific events or outcomes within a game, such as which team will score first or how many yards a certain player will run.

  • In-play betting: Also known as live betting, this involves placing bets on a game while it is in progress, often with constantly changing odds based on the current score and situation.

Staying Disciplined with Betting
One of the biggest challenges in sports betting is staying disciplined with your bets. It is vitally important to avoid making emotional decisions based on personal biases or short-term results. Instead, stick to your strategy and betting system and don't chase losses by making bigger bets in an attempt to win back what you've lost.

It's also very important to take breaks from betting often, and never bet on sports if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which could impair your judgment and lead to poor gambling decisions. If you can stay disciplined with your sports betting, you can increase your chances of wining more game bets and have long-term success in sports gambling.


Understanding the terminology and concepts of sports betting is a necessary skill for beginner gamblers who want to get the most out of their experience. The glossary above covers a wide range of sports betting terms, from the most basic to more advanced, to guarantee you'll have a solid foundation of sports gambling knowledge.

Along with the glossary, you found new tips and strategies that can help improve your sports betting skills and increase your chances of winning more bets. Remember -always stay disciplined, do your research, and manage your bankroll wisely!

When you're ready to take the next step and learn more about odds in sports betting, check out Understanding the differences between Decimal, American, and Fractional Sports Betting odds in Sports Betting. With this knowledge and the tools provided, you'll be well on your way to becoming a successful sports bettor.

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