GLOSSARY OF HORSE RACING TERMS
A live bet or bets. ("They have a lot of action on that game." "I have action on this game.")
Against the spread
Betting the same event at separate sports books in order to lock in a profit by taking advantage of different betting lines.
A 'cover' that occurs in the waning moments of a game
A very tough, often emotional, betting loss that is characterized by rotten luck.
Total capital available for betting sports.
A person who is betting someone else's money for that other person; a messenger.
A presentation of all the games and events available for betting in a sportsbook. If wagers are being taken on a game, the game is "on the board. Otherwise, it is "off the board."
Bookmaker (or bookie):
A person who accepts bets.
$100. Also see "dollar."
The money that comes in on the underdog after a favorite is bet heavily enough to move the line.
A favorite (usually a heavy favorite).
Bettors who like to bet big favorites (often a derogatory term).
The effect of betting and re-betting money.
A game in which the sports book has reduced its betting limits, usually because of weather or the uncertain status of injured players.
Winning against the point spread. (A 10-point underdog that loses 20-14 has covered, or "covered the spread.")
$1,000 (A "five-dime" bet is a $5,000 bet).
A betting line with a 10-cent straddle, often used in baseball. With a dime line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is plus 110.
$100. (If a sports book has a $500 maximum on a particular type of bet, you could say it's a "five-dollar limit").
Practical hold percentage.
Action other than a straight bet or parlay.
The amount of money the house theoretically will risk losing on a game or a race.
The degree of risk that a sports book will lose money on a given game, result or proposition. (If a book is "highly exposed" on the Cubs in World Series futures betting, it will lose a lot of money to bettors if the Cubs win the World Series.)
To take the opposite side of another bettor's wager or to accept that bet yourself.
A team (or player) that, according to the odds, is the stronger or strongest in a given match-up or is regarded as such by the betting public or is expected to win.
Amount owed by or to a bookmaker.
Betting a lot. A player who is "firing", is wagering large sums.
Wagers that involve the outcome of the first half of a game only.
An annoying bettor always wanting something for nothing; a $2 bettor who expects to be rewarded for his action.
What performance is to be expected, according to how a team looks on paper.
A bet you can win or push but not lose.
A type of wager involving the outcome of a season or how a particular team or player will perform over the course of a season.
Make a bet.
Win before expenses.
Wagers based on betting lines that are posted at halftime, which involve the outcome of the second half of a game only.
To study and research sports, in order to make predictions on the results of upcoming games and events.
One who studies sports and predicts outcomes.
The amount of money in wagers accepted. ("The handle was down this year on the Super Bowl").
To make a bet that takes the opposite side of your original position, usually to reduce risk or lock in some profit.
The percentage the house wins.
Home Field Advantage:
Edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the playing area, favorable demographics and effect of travel on the visiting team.
A half-point in the betting spread. ("I lost by the hook").
Information the bookmaker is not yet privy to.
The casino, sports book or bookmaker.
Bookmaker's commission and most often refers to the 11 to 10 football bettors lay on straight wagers. Also see "vigorish".
Lay A Price:
Bet a favorite and/or lay the points.
A type of wager made by one bookmaker with another, often larger, bookmaker in order to balance action or reduce risk.
The maximum wager accepted by a sports book.
The point spread or odds on a game or event.
A bet that cannot lose; a term that is often misused and abused by disreputable touts.
A cover that occurs in the waning moments of a game (also referred to as a back door cover).
A betting option that pits two players against one another in a contest or event. This is often times used in golf and auto racing wagering.
A situation in which you bet both sides in a game and win both bets, due to favorable line moves. (Example: Bet a football favorite at minus 2 ½, then bet the underdog at plus 3 ½ at another book or later in the week. If the favorite wins by exactly 3 points, both bets win)
The odds on a team winning a game outright, regardless of the point spread.
Any strategy used by a bettor for making the most of his bankroll.
Arena, court or field where neither side has a home field advantage.
Term used for the organized sports betting industry outside of the United States.
Off The Board:
Game where no bets are being accepted.
A place to get bets down, whether it's a offshore sports book or illegal bookmaker. ("It's good to have a lot of outs").
A situation in which the odds are favorable to the sharp bettor.
A bet in which two or more events must happen in order to win; if any one of them does not happen, the wager loses.
To make a bet after an event has started.
An even match-up; a game with no clear favorite.
A sports bettor.
A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the book) but pays off at improved odds.
The number of points added to or subtracted from a team's actual score for betting purposes.
A numerical representation of a team's strength for betting purposes.
Practical Hold Percentage:
The amount won by a bookmaker, divided by the total amount booked.
To bet a larger amount than usual.
Proposition (or prop):
An unusual or offbeat betting opportunity.
Average, unsophisticated or casual bettors as a whole; or, used to describe money bet by the public ("a lot of public money came in on the Cowboys"); See "Square".
In hockey, a betting structure that dictates the favorite must win by a set number of goals and/or adds a set number of goals to the underdog's actual score.
A bet in which the money wagered is refunded; a tie.
The official list of all the games on the betting board, presented in a specific order.
A specialized form of a parlay that uses every combination of a set of teams in a wager. For example, there would be six two-team parlays within a four-team round robin.
A reading of all the games and betting lines on a particular day.
A form of a middle in which you bet both sides in a game, taking advantage of line movements to secure a profit.
One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.
To win a lot of money.
Savvy, highly informed; or, used to describe the money bet by sharp players ("a lot of sharp money came in on the Patriots").
A small bettor.
A variation of a middle in which you win one bet and push the other; also, a particular team in a match-up. ("Which side do you like?").
An establishment that accepts bets on athletic contests.
An unsophisticated or casual bettor; the opposite of a wise guy; see "Public".
A single bet, usually laying 110 to win 100.
Bet with a large house edge.
Take a Price:
Bet the underdog or take the points
On a money line, the price of the underdog. (In baseball, if the favorite is minus 120, the "takeback" on the underdog is often plus 110).
Broke or busted. Oftentimes, a common result of pressing.
Teaser:A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the bettor) but pays off at reduced odds.
Theoretical Hold Percentage:The edge the bookmaker would have IF the odds guaranteed him a constant commission, regardless of the outcome.
A tip or gratuity.
Game where the line is close to pick-em.
A type of wager that involves whether a score or result will go over or under a posted number.
A person who sells his predictions to bettors (often derogatory).
The sharpest of the sharp. (Note: There is no such term as "Double Sharp").
A betting line with a 20-cent straddle, which is standard in football and basketball. (With a 20-cent line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is even money).
A team (or player) that (according to the odds) is the weaker or among the weakest in a given match-up, or is regarded as such by the betting public, or is expected to lose.
When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house.
Vigorish (or vig):
The commission charged by the bookmaker.
A sharp, successful, established professional sports bettor.
The price of a heavy favorite. (If you bet the Red Sox as a minus 240 favorite, you "lay the wood" with the Red Sox).