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The point spread (aka-"the spread", or "the line") - is used as a margin to handicap the favorite team. The odds maker - also called the 'handicapper' - adds points (or goals) to the underdog to even out the odds. The bettor must take either the favorite or the underdog with their respected margin of handicap. The favorite loses pts (eg. -2.5), and the underdog gains pts. (eg. +2.5).
You can determine who is the underdog and who is the favorite because the favorite will be followed with a minus sign (-) and the underdog will be followed with a positive (+) sign. To determine the winner, look at the final score of the game and find the margin of victory. If the favorite wins, and wins by more than the spread (eg. Spread is -2.5, Score is 104-100 for the favorite, he wins since he won by a margin greater than 2.5 pts.), he's a winner. If the underdog loses by less than 2.5 points, the underdog is the winner. If the underdog loses by more than 2.5 points, he loses the bet. If the "line" is put in at a half point (e.g. -5.5 for the favorite Orlando) by the odds maker then there can be no "push." In this case, there is "action" at any final game score point spread. In a point spread, you must wager $110 to win $100 ($210 is returned to the winner). 10/11 is the standard for point spread bets at most sportsbooks.

This bet applies to Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey and Baseball. A teaser is a selection of two or more teams in one wager in which either the point spread and/or total is adjusted in the bettor's favor. Each sport has its own range of points for teaser selections. An adjustment to the favorite team will decrease the disadvantage. An adjustment to the underdog will increase the advantage. The adjustment makes point spreads less for the favorite and more for the underdog, depending on the selections you make. If you select a total, the adjustment makes totals higher-to-go-under or lower-to-go-over.

Oakland Raiders (-6) teased
by 8 points: Oakland is +2
with the Tease.

Miami Dolphins (+4) teased
by 6 points: Miami is +10
with the Tease.

NY Jets and St. Louis Rams
(42 pts.) teased by 4 points:
38 pts. for the over Total
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Terms, Lingo & Tips

Gambling Dictionary
(Not familiar with a gambling term -- Look it up Here!)
ACTION The amount of money being wagered on a game.
BAD BEAT A hard loss.
BOOKIE A person or organization that sets the lines and books the bets in sports.
BANKROLL The amount of money the player plans to gamble.
BEARD A messenger bettor. Someone who places bets on behalf of another person so that the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor.
BEEF A Dispute
BUCK A $100 wager.
CHALK The team favored to win.
CHALK PLAYER A person who usually wagers on the favored teams. A.K.A Favorite Freddie, chalk eater
CIRCLE GAME A game where the betting action is severely limited due to uncertainties about key injuries, inclement weather conditions, or unsubstantiated rumors regarding a team.
COVER To win by more than the pointspread.
DEGENERATE A compulsive gambler.
DIME BET A $1000 wager.
DOG The underdog in any betting proposition. A.K.A. Puppy
DOG PLAYER A person who usually bets on the underdog.
DOLLAR BET A $100 wager.
DOUBLE BET A wager twice the amount of one's normal wager.
EARN The practical hold percentage
EDGE An advantage
EVEN MONEY A wager on which the odds are 1-1.
EXOTIC BET A bet other than a straight bet or parlay
EXPOSURE The amount of money the house will risk losing on a game or race.
EXTENSION The amount of money the house theoretically stands to lose on a game or race.
FIGURE Amount of money owed to or by a bookmaker.
FIRING Wagering huge sums of money.
FLEA An annoying person who wants something for nothing. One who expects to be comped for a $2 wager.
FORM The performance expected of a team according to how they look on paper.
FUTURE BET Bets accepted well in advance of the events.
GETTING DOWN Making a bet.
GOING DOWN Losing a bet or bets.
GROSS WIN The amount of winnings before subtracting the expenses.
HANDICAPPER A person who studies sports and predicts its outcome.
HEDGING Betting on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee winning a minimal amount of money.
HOLD The percentage the house wins.
HOLDING YOUR OWN Neither winning or losing, just breaking even.
HOOK A half point in pointspreads.
HOOKED Losing a bet by exactly one-half a point.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE The edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the playing area, fan support, and the effect of travel on the visiting team.
HOOPS Another term for Basketball.
HOT GAME A game that draws a significant amount of action on one side by knowledgeable handicappers.
HOT TIP Insider information that the bookmaker cannot divulge.
JUICE Bookmaker's commission, also known as the vig or vigorish.
LAYING THE POINTS Betting on the favorite. A.K.A. lay a price
LAYOFF BET A bet made by one bookmaker with another in order to balance the action and reduce the risk on one side.
LIMIT The maximum bet accepted by a house or bookmaker before he changes odds and/or the points.
LINE The listed odds on a game and/or payoff odds on the bet.
LINEMAKER The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.
LOCK A sure winner.
LONGSHOT A large underdog where the odds of winning is quite steep. Hence the term "Not by a longshot".
"THE MAN" The Bookmaker.
MIDDLES To win both sides of a game.
MONEY LINE The odds expressed in terms of money.
NEUTRAL SITE Venue of a sporting event where neither side has a home field advantage.
NEWSPAPER LINE The betting lines appearing in the daily newspapers.
NICKEL A $500 wager.
ODDSMAKER The same as a linemaker.
ODDS ON FAVORITE A horse, team or individual so favored by the public that the odds are less than even.
OFF THE BOARD A game on which no bets are accepted.
OFF LINES The difference of amount the Las Vegas pointspread has compared with the computerized mathematical line.
OFFICIAL LINE The line that the bookmaker uses for wagering purposes.
OUT An illegal bookmaker
OUTLAW LINE An early line which is not an official line
OVERLAY When the odds of a given proposition are more in favor of the bettor than the house.
OVER & UNDER A wager for the total score by both teams will more or less than the total posted by the sports book.
PARLAY A bet with two or more teams where all the teams beat on must win in order for the bettor to win the wager.
PAST PERFORMANCE What has occurred previously to the forthcoming games.
PAST POST To make a bet after the event has begun.
PICK'EM GAME A game where team is favored.
PLAYER A bettor, or gambler
POINTSPREAD The amount of points the bettor must give to take on any given game.
POST TIME The scheduled starting time.
PRACTICAL HOLD PERCENTAGE The amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount booked.
PRESS Betting a larger amount than usual.
PRICE The odds or pointspread.
PROPOSITION BET A wager on a particular aspect of the game such as how many field goals will be made.
PUPPY The underdog.
PUSH Where neither team wins and all money is returned to the bettors.
ROUND ROBIN A form of parlay betting in which we wager various combining team wagers. A 3-team robin is team 1 to 2, 1 to 3, and 2 to 3. 4-team robin is team 1 to 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 2 to 3, 2 to 4, and 3 to 4. 5-team, etc.
RUN DOWN A line update.
SCALPER A person who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.
SCORE To win big.
SCRATCH To withdraw or cancel a wager.
SCOUTS Person(s) who study team plays and/or practice and report findings to handicappers.
SIDE Winning one side of a wager and tieing the other side.
SMART MONEY Sides that are bet on by the more knowledgeable handicappers.
SPORT PLAYER A person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager.
SQUARE Unsophisticated gambler.
STAR Rating.
STEAM When heavy action occurs on one side.
STRAIGHT BET A bet on just one team.
STUCK Behind, losing, buried, down for the week.
SUCKER BET Betting on the underdog.
TAKE A PRICE Bet the underdog, take the points.
TAPPED OUT Broke, busted, common result of pressing.
THEORETICAL HOLD PERCENTAGE The edge the bookmaker would have if the odds guaranteed him a constant commission regardless of the outcome.
TOKE A tip or bonus.
TOSS UP A game where the line is close to pick-em.
TOUT SERVICE A business that sells opinions on sports or horse wagers.
TRIPLE SHARP The sharpest of the sharp.
UNDERLAY Having the odds of a proposition lean in favor of the house.
VALUE Getting the best available odds on a betting proposition.
VIRGORISH The commission the bookmaker receives.
WAGER Any Bet.
WISE GUY A sophisticated and successful sports bettor.
Straight Bet
A straight bet is a bet on the outcome of a single event or game that, for betting purposes only, is determined by a point spread, a money line or a game total.
The team or event wagered on must win by the posted odds. A single bet may be a play on the side to win, the total, or even a proposition or future bet. All single bets must lay 110 to win 100 unless otherwise noted at the time of the wager (some sportsbooks or bookies promote different odds). Games that end in a tie are no action or push bets, in which case the money is refunded. The odds may fluctuate at anytime as they move with the adjustments made by the odds makers. But once your money is placed on a team or event at a specified point spread or game total, the odds can no longer change for your bet.

If the money line were -145 then you would wager $145 to win your $100 bet. If the money line is a positive number then you will wager $100 to win the money line. If the money line were +145 then you would wager $100 to win $145.


Money Line Bet
A money line is offered when no handicap is given, such as a point spread or runline, and the odds are not therefore fixed. Payouts are then based on true odds rather than fixed odds. The favorite and underdog are given odds to win a game or fight. The minus sign (e.g.-130) always indicates the favorite and the amount you must bet to win $100. The plus sign (e.g.+120) always indicates the underdog and the amount you win for every $100 bet. Therefore based on the above moneyline, you bet $130 to win $100 on the favorite. For the underdog, you win $120 for every $100 bet

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This bet applies to Football, Basketball, Baseball, Ice Hockey, Golf and any other sporting event being played in the near future. Futures are a single wager on the outcome of an event that will be determined sometime in the future.

Example: You pick
St. Louis Rams to win the Super Bowl. The odds given are 5/1. Therefore you wager $1 and receive $5 if St. Louis wins the Super Bowl. Future odds change continuously throughout the season (Odds may fluctuate due to result leading up to the event). Futures bets offer attractive (high) odds to the bettor, but it must be noted that attractive odds are high due to low probability.


Proposition bets are offers and conditions chosen by the sportsbook or bookie. These bets can be trivial bets like which team will score the most points in the 1st quarter, which team will shoot the most three pointers, which running back will rush for the most yards, etc. Most proposition bets are offered at 11-10 odds, but some of the more outrageous bets will be offered at better or worse odds, depending on the bet.