Betting Glossary of Terms
New to sports betting or looking to brush up on the verbiage heading into the season? This is a glossary to understand basic betting terms and ideas.
We’ll utilize 2020 Week 1 odds from Draftkings sportsbook as an example throughout the glossary
Definition: Betting on a team to win the game at varying odds. A (+) indicates the team is an underdog and the (-) indicates they are a favorite.
- Example #1: The Texans are +370 to win while the Chiefs are -500. This means If you think the Texans beat the Chiefs, a $100 wager would profit $370. On the other hand, in order to profit $100 on the Chiefs winning you have to risk $500.
- Example #2: The Buffalo Bills are -278 to win while the Jets are +225. This means if you want to bet on the Bills to win you would need to risk $278 in order to profit $100. If you bet $100 on the Jets you would profit $225.
Definition: Long-term bets that will take place over the course of a season or tournament.
- Example: Here are some of the odds to win the 2020 Super Bowl:
You can bet the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl at +650 which means you would profit $650 on a $100 investment.
Definition: Wagering that multiple bets hit for improved payouts. Every "leg" of the parlay has to hit otherwise it loses.
DraftKings had this at +265 but both bets need to win in order for the parlay to hit.
Parlays aren’t just limited to two teams though. Here's a chart of the potential payouts as you add more sides to the bet. Most books only allow spreads and totals to be parlayed.
|Number of Teams||Payout|
Definition: The opposite of a teaser. The points move against your side of the bet for increased odds.
- Example: The Chiefs would move from -10 to -17 and the Bills would move from -6.5 to -13.5 in a 7-point pleaser. The payout would be +800 or 8/1 in other words. Here is the full payout chart for 7-point teasers:
|Number of Selections||Payout Odds|
Definition: Also known as “propositions.” The most popular type of props are player props.
You can also bet on events like the number of sacks, field goals, which team scores first and last, etc. different books offer a varying amount of props.
Definition: Betting on a team to outperform the handicap or “spread” provided by the sportsbook. This is the most common type of bet. Sportsbooks set a projected “spread” of the game based on their models and allow the market to move it.
- Example #1: The Chiefs are -10 (10-point favorites) in Week 1 against the Texans. They would need to win by 11-or-more points in order for you to win the bet. A bet on the Texans at +10 means the Texans can lose by up to 9 or win in order for the bet to win.
- Example #2: The Jets are 6.5-point underdogs (+6.5) against the Bills. They would need to lose by 6 points or less, or win outright, in order for that bet to cash. The Bills would need to win by 7-points or more in order for their side of the bet to cash.
Side note: Most spreads come with a -110 moneyline. This means that you have to risk $110 to profit $100 on a bet against the spread.
This is a multi-leg bet where the spread or total moves a certain number of points in your favor. Let's use a 7-point teaser as an example. This means we are moving the spread 7-points in our favor. So instead of taking the Chiefs at -10, you move that all the way to -3. Then instead of taking the Bills at -6.5 it’s moved to +0.5. Like a parlay, both sides need to hit. As you add more legs to the teaser the payouts go up. As you add more points to your side of the teaser, the payouts go down.
Definition: Betting on both teams to combine for less or more than the projected total set by the sportsbook.
- Example #1: The total for the Texans and Chiefs game is 55 points. You can wager whether you think there will be more or less points scored. Like spreads, there is a -110 moneyline on each side for totals as well.
- Example #2: The Jets and Bills are projected to score 40.5 combined points.
Definition: Rather than betting on a combined total between both teams, you can choose to bet on a specific team scoring more or less than a certain number of points. These usually aren’t released until closer to kickoff.
- Example #1: Chiefs O/U 32.5 points & Houston O/U 22.5 points.
- Example #2: Bills O/U 23.5 points & Jets O/U 17.5 points
Both would likely have a -110 or higher Moneyline attached to it depending on the sportsbook.