What are the Key Terminology in Sports Betting?

Understanding the Key Terminology in Sports Betting

The sports betting industry has grown tremendously over the last few years, enticing countless enthusiasts worldwide. But whether you're a seasoned bettor or simply exploring this captivating world of possibilities, understanding the key terms used in sports betting is crucial. This guide will introduce you to the most common sports betting terminologies and help you navigate this dynamic domain.


Action refers to the act of placing a bet or having money at stake on an outcome. When a gambler places a bet, they are said to have 'action' on that game.


Often referred to as a 'book,' sportsbooks are a place or platform where bettors can place wagers on various sports events. The establishment or person accepting the bet is the 'bookmaker' or 'bookie.'

Spread Betting

Spread betting is a type of wagering where the bookmaker predicts a number for a statistic in a given contest (most commonly points scored), and punters bet that the actual number will be either higher or lower.

Moneyline Bet

Moneyline bets are straightforward wagers on which team will win a match without any point spreads.

Totals (Over/Under)

In this betting type, bets are placed on whether the total points scored by both teams will be over or under a specific figure set by the bookmaker.


A parlay is a bet that involves two or more outcomes. The key catch is that all parts of the wager must be correct for a bettor to win. Though more risky, they offer higher payouts compared to traditional bets.

Prop (Proposition) Bet

These are wagers based on specific events within a game but are not directly related to the final result. Prop bets range from actions related to individual player performance to occurrences in the game.


Futures refer to bets placed on events occurring in the long term, like wagering on a team to win the championship before the season begins.


Also known as 'vigorish', Juice is the commission bookmakers charge for taking bets. It guarantees them a profit regardless of the game's outcome and is typically included in the odds.


A push occurs when a game ends right on the spread, and all bettors get their money back.


Handle refers to the total amount of money wagered on a game or event. This does not reflect the bookmaker's profit, only the overall volume of wagers.


A sharp, also known as a professional bettor, is an individual who bets on sports for a living. These punters often have sophisticated knowledge of the market and the ability to bet significant amounts of money.


Chalk refers to the favored team or player, the one predicted to win. A 'chalk bet' is when someone wagers on the favorite.


The term 'dog' is short for 'underdog,' referring to a team or player expected to lose the match.


Hedging a bet involves placing a wager on the opposite side of your initial bet, used to reduce risk or ensure a profit.


When a team surpasses the expectations set by the odds makers, typically related to the point spread, it's said to have 'covered the spread'.


These are games where the bookmaker isn't offering odds, often due to uncertainty around crucial game components like a player injury.

Understanding these key terms in sports betting is a solid start for anyone interested in getting in on the action. Being well-versed with the terminology will not only enhance your experience but can also greatly improve your strategy, helping you make more informed betting decisions and, ultimately, succeed in the world of sports betting.