A Glossary of the Top 50 Sports Betting Terms

One of your goals as a new bettor is to make money from your bets. However, if you don’t know the sports betting terms and their meanings, you could be stuck. Some professional punters are able to record more wins because they could decipher what a statement on a bookmaker’s site is.

In this glossary, we have made a list of the top betting terms and their meaning. While this is not a list of all sports betting terms, it is an inclusive list that covers the major betting terms you need to know.

What is Sports Betting?

It is the act of predicting the outcome of a sporting event. It could be predicting that a football team will win the match or that another will be drawn at the end of the match.

The goals of sports betting are to create an inclusive system for sports lovers to follow the actions on the field live and get to get rewarded for their passion for sports.

Understanding Sports Betting Terms

It is imperative for you to take note of the popular statements, words, phrases, or terms that are peculiar to the sports betting market.

Understanding these statements helps your betting decision be more accurate, as you know what the bookie is offering at any point in time.

The Basic Sports Betting Terms

As a beginner, we figured out that talking about advanced terms can be confusing and that would possibly defeat the purpose of this article. We want you to be better informed on what these words mean.

That is why we are starting with the basic sports betting terms. These are not just the easiest to understand but also help you to have an insider mindset of deciphering the meanings of other phrases faster.

1.    Full Time

The term “full-time” is peculiar to football matches. It is the 90th minute, when the referee blows the final whistle, signaling the end of the play.

At this point, your bet or wager on the possible outcome of the match is decided. Let’s say you betted on Manchester United winning the match against Juventus and it comes out that way, you have just won the bet!

The tricky aspect of full-time is that the bets are adjudged based on the 90th minute. That is, if the match went into the extra time – or even ended in penalties, you can be sure that your bets will be invalidated.

2.    Bankroll

It is a sports betting lingo that signifies the amount of money you have set aside for betting. It could be the funds in your wallet at the point in time or the allocation you have made in that regard.

The rule of thumb is never to go above your bankroll when gambling.

3.    Bet Slip

This is a paper, detailing the pieces of information about the wager you made at a sporting event.

The bet slip covers the sports being betted on, the potential returns, and the bankroll – the amount you wagered with.

4.    AET Odds

The full meaning is After Extra Time (AET) odds. It refers to the specific odds offered only for the football matches that draw into the extra time.

It is a better variant to the full-time odds, that end after the slated 90 minutes (1 hour and 30 minutes of 45 minutes for each half), have been exhausted.

5.    Favorites

The bookmakers, or bookies for short, often have a team they are backing at any particular time. This team is called the favorite. Sometimes, bettors want to put their money where the bookies have their interest – in the favorites.

6.    Underdog

Also called the “dog,” it is the opposite of favorites. An underdog is a team that the bookies are betting against – the team the bookmakers expect to lose the game.

7.    Betting Exchange

Some bettors prefer to defy the traditional approach of using a sportsbook. Unlike the former, the use of betting exchanges is gaining traction by the day.

In a betting exchange, the bettors are betting or wagering against one another. It is a people-centric sports punting approach, as it allows the punters to test their strengths directly.

8.    Bookies

Also called the “bookmakers,” these are the operators who set the odds and provide the betting markets. As a bettor, you are setting your bets against the bookies and if you are accurate, the bookmakers will pay you.

9.    Juice

It is also known by other names, such as rake or vigorish (or “vig” for short). Juice is the amount of money that the bookies add to the bets and it is one of the ways they make money.

For example, if the sports betting bookie offers an odd of -110, it implies that you are expected to bet with the sum of $110 for a chance to win $100. The additional $10 is the juice or vigorish.

10.  Messenger Bettor

Some bettors or punters don’t want to be known or have any business being at a bookie’s place. What they result in doing is using the services of a messenger bettor.

Also called the beard, the work of the messenger bettor is to place the main bettor’s wager, while allowing the main punter to remain anonymous.

11.  Arbitrage

It is a method of trying to benefit from the sports betting market, irrespective of the direction it swings. It is peculiar to the experienced bettors.

The strategy to achieve this includes scalping the markets by betting on both sides of the matchup. For example, arbitrage sports bettors can place a bet for a team to win on one bookie and a bet for the same team to lose, on another bookie.

12.  Firing

This is betting terminology used to refer to a bettor that “fires” or bets a lot. It is also used when a player keeps wagering or betting with a larger sum of money at once.

13.  Home Field Advantage

Here is another of the popular football sports betting terms. It is used to reference the advantages that the home team has over the other team. The advantages range from the home team’s adaptation to the demographics, as well as the reduced effects of moving around, i.e., traveling.

14.  Sports Traders

They are also known as the oddsmakers. They refer to the persons who are responsible for setting the betting lines and odds for sporting events.

15.  Live Betting

This refers to the process of following the sports live and seeing as the actions unfold. Live betting is popularized with the proliferation of advanced features on mobile sports gambling.

With live betting, you can adjust your wagers accordingly for an increased chance of winning.

16.  Pick or Pick’em

Now that you are familiar with the differences between favorites and underdogs, let us introduce another related sports betting term. It is called pick or pick’em. It means that neither of the participating teams in a game is favored or projected to win.

17.  Odds

What is sports betting without the odds? The definition of odds is the measure of how much the bettor or punter is likely to win when the wager comes out as predicted.

It is important to mention that the odds can swing both ways. For example, a bettor is expected to bet the sum of $100 to win the sum of $124 from a sports market with an odds of +124. On the other hand, if the bettor is presented with an odd of -124, it is expected of the bettor to bet with the sum of $124 to win the sum of $100.

18.  Bonus

This is the incentive or bonus that the sportsbook or bookie provides to the customers. Bonuses are commonly offered to new players, in the following forms:

  • Free spins on selected slots
  • Signup bonus or a specific amount of money added to whatever amount the players funded on their wallets.


19.  Promotions

These are the opposites of bonuses. They refer to the incentives exclusive to the existing players or bettors at a bookie.

20.  Draw

When a game is said to be a “draw,” it doesn’t only mean that nobody won the match. It also means that the bettors are likely to receive their money or bankroll back, especially if the game falls on the spread.


Football Betting Terms and Meaning

Let us talk a bit about some of the common terms associated with football, shall we? Football, also called soccer, is one of the most-watched sports in the world – and it has a lot of betting markets too.

Here is a list of the popular soccer betting terms and their meanings:

21.  First Half

It is a term used for sports events that have two halves. Both basketball and football are good examples of such events.

It doesn’t end there. When a bookie offers a derivative bet on the first half or half-time result, it means that the bettors are allowed to bet based on the possible outcomes at end of one half of the game.

The following are some of the odds offered with the first-half betting markets:

  • Game total options
  • Spread and;
  • Moneyline


22.  Booking Points

This is another football sports betting term that refers to what goes on during the game. The booking points are used to adjudge the numbers of yellow and red cards issued during the football match.

23.  Player Prop

This is a football-player-centric kind of betting market. It has to do with the specific actions or expectations of an individual player during a game. For example, a bettor can use a player prop betting strategy to specify the player that would score a goal or the player that will score the most goals during a football match.

24.  Clean Sheet

A clean sheet means that none of the participating football teams scored a goal for or against the other during the duration of the match.

Bettors can use this option to bet on the likelihood of the football teams conceding a goal or not.

25.  Point Spread

This is a specific line or number that is set at the oddsmakers’ discretion. It works by providing either an advantage or a disadvantage for the participating teams. It is also used to profile or make a guess of the margin of defeat or victory for these teams.

The point spread is specified thus:

  • Favorite (-) and;
  • Underdog (+)


26.  Own Goal

The goal or expectation of every football match is for a goal to be scored. However, when a member of a football team mistakenly nets the ball on the side, it becomes their own goal.

The bookie allows you to bet or wager on the possibility of this happening during a football match.

27.  Corners Match Bet

Corner kicks are played when a player from the opposing team kicks the ball into the corner area. As a bettor, you can take advantage of the corners match bet to specify the team you think would be awarded the most corner kicks during the match.

28.  First Corner Bet

This is a bit different from the corners match bet. Unlike the former, the first corner bet allows you bet on the football team that is likely to take the first corner kick during the match.


Other Sportsbook Betting Terms Explained

Let us talk about some of the other betting words you may have heard, seen on the bookie’s site, or heard a punter-friend talk about, but you are not sure what they meant.

29.  Sharp

When a bettor is said to know the lines and master the way around the odds, that bettor is best described as sharp. A sharp is that type of bettor that has not only mastered the art of betting but also uses the knowledge to make more winning bets.

Due to the fact that sharp bettors have a longer track record of winning most of their games, the sportsbooks often have to alter the odds. The sportsbooks also move the point spreads, just to help reduce the winning chances of the sharp bettors.

30.  Even Money

This is a type of sportsbook betting strategy that allows the bettors to win a similar amount as the one they wagered. For example, with even money, a bettor gets to make or win $200 with a $200 bet.

31.  Joint Favorite

This is the combination of multiple favorites (usually two), in a betting market. This way, the bettors can choose between favorite A and favorite B to wager.

32.  Handicapper

In the sports betting market, several persons come in at different times to ensure a smooth flow of the entire process. From the bookies to the oddsmakers, everyone has a role to play.

Another category of person is the handicapper. This is the person responsible for analyzing upcoming sports events and predicting the winner.

33.  Punter

This is another name for a bettor. A punter or bettor is someone who places bets, enjoys betting, or has a liking for wagering on the outcome of sports events.

34.  Value Bet

Although the bookies have an upper hand in determining the direction the market goes via picking a favorite or setting the odds, there is a chance they could be wrong.

This leads us to the next sports betting term called value bet. It stipulates that the bookmakers may have made a mistake in the projections for the sports events.

As a bettor, you can take advantage of value bets to have a considerable edge over the bookies and use the same opportunity to optimize your wagers around the areas the bookies made wrong predictions.

35.  Matched Bet

A wager is called a “matched bet” when the punter uses the bonus, free money, free spins, or promotions from the bookie to gamble.

36.  Tissue price

This is the initial odd the sportsbook offers. Most times, it is the fairest of the odds you can find on a particular game.

37.  Bad Beat

This is the situation whereby the bettor, player, or punter has the potential winnings lost due to some last-minute changes.

Bad Beat is common with bettors that use money lines, game totals, or point spreads. It entails the cutting of a ticket, after the expected outcome, which has been going as expected, suddenly changes towards the end of the game.

For example, a bettor can encounter a bad beat when the bet for the football match to end in a draw end in one of the teams scoring a winning goal before the final whistle.

38.  Ante-Post

This type of gambling term is peculiar to the greyhound and horse racing markets. It denotes the earliest placement of wagers, usually a day before the aforementioned racing events.

39.  Both Teams to Score

In this type of bet, you are predicting that both teams in a football match will score at least a goal before the final whistle is blown.

40.  Both Teams Score & Win

In this case, your bets are not considered to be won, if the teams scored and there is no winner. Under the Both Teams to Score & Win betting terms, you are expected to specify the football team that will win the game, even if the other team has scored a goal during the match.

41.  Futures Bet

Can you see the “future?” Do you have a hint of what would be the potential outcome of specific sports events? If so, you can make a lot of money from future bets.

The process involves the prediction of the athlete that will win which award and which sports team will win a championship.

42.  Dead Heat Betting

Although this is common with the greyhound and horse racing markets, you can also use it for your other betting markets.

Dead Heat Betting denotes the tendency of multiple horses to round up a race at the same time. Once the process produces more than one winner, you can expect to only receive 50% of your potential winnings. So, if you could have won $200 if one horse won, your payout would now be $100.

43.  Payout

This is the amount of money you receive after a successful betting activity. It often includes the stake (the amount you betted or wagered) and the potential winnings.

44.  No Deposit Bet

This is yet another type of bonus offered at sports betting sites. Bettors who get the No Deposit offer are asked to start wagering without adding a bankroll to their betting accounts.

The only conditions are that the punters must meet up with the wagering requirements and need to make a deposit before cashing out their earnings.

45.  Minimum Bet

This is the least amount of money your bookie allows you to use when wagering on sports events.

46.  Maximum Bet

As an opposite to the minimum bet, the maximum bet entails the highest amount of money you can use when betting.

47.  Reduced Juice

It is at the discretion of the bookmaker to reduce the vigorish or juice. It is done to help the bettors take home more money, especially if their wagers gelled.

For example, the bookie can reduce the juice or vigorish from the previous -110 to -105. Therefore, players now need to bet $105 instead of $110 to win $100.

48.  House Rules

The sportsbook has the discretion of setting house rules – a set of guidelines, requirements, and expectations for online gambling.

These range from the minimum bets, the maximum payouts, who can bet and who can’t, as well as the grading process for the wagers.

With these rules, you can be sure that the entire betting process would be streamlined.

49.  Deposit Methods

Also called payment methods, they are the varieties of options you can use to deposit and withdraw your earnings.

50.  Pool

Some bookies and sportsbooks make provisions for a pool. This is a dedicated place where all the bettors are expected to pay a fixed amount of money.

The total amount of money in the pool is evenly shared among the bettors who made accurate predictions on the sports event.



You are now familiar with some of the common sports betting terms. With the breakdown we have given, you can be sure to know what a term, phrase, or statement means when you come across it in your sports betting journey.

Written by dotunmi

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