You Cannot Be a Sports Bettor if you do not Know These Sports Betting Jargons!
So it is a Monday, you meet up with your friends and they are discussing all the different games they bet on over the weekend. You sit quietly and just nod your head as some of the terms they are using sounds like a foreign language to you. You should have the functioning vocabulary to at least throw a little criticism at your friends; that is not something worth missing out on. Here I compiled a list of the most commonly used sports betting terms/phrases/jargon which you might be familiar with and others might be new. However, knowing these jargons is essential and the solid first step towards fueling your addiction for sports betting or sports investing. So stop looking around blankly and get memorizing!
A ‘Parlay’ is a single bet comprised of a bunch of smaller bets. Meaning, if I take a parlay on the Clippers and Spurs (let us assume I love both of them), that means I am betting on the Clippers in their game to cover the spread, and I am betting on San Antonio to cover the spread in their game. If both of these teams win, we win! Also, because we took multiple games as opposed to just one, we get a bigger payout. However, if one of the teams lose, we lose the entire bet. It is possible to parlay as many games as we want but the more game we parlay, the more likely we will lose.
Parlays are great options when:
- We feel very confident on a few individual games
- We want to take heavy favorites so we group them together to make the payout ‘worth-it’
- We are looking to win a big payday but only want to risk a small amount of our bankroll
- We want to combine multiple sports into one bet
The spread is the anticipated difference in score of the game. If the spread is 8 and the Miami Heat are playing the Brooklyn Nets, the 8 points refers to the difference the Sports Books believe the game will be. Meaning, if they anticipate that the Heat will win by 8 points, they put out a spread of -8 for Miami and +8 for Brooklyn. Therefore, you can take the Brooklyn Nets +8 and whatever the final score happens to be, you would add 8 points to the Nets score. This is a great tool when trying to take a team to win a game when the matchup isn’t very close.
A teaser is more like a parlay but the payout is less. What this essentially does is give the bettor even better terms than what they should be. In the example above, we could take a 6 point teaser on the Nets and instead of getting +8 as being offered, we could get them +14. This is obviously a safer choice than only getting 8 points but our payout or odds will be adjusted as well. This is usually a safer play than just taking the line but you will have to risk more of your bankroll to win less profits.
Number#4-“The Money Line”
Regardless of the point differential, if you just want to pick the winner or loser, this is the bet you make. Obviously, when Cleveland is playing New England, the results isn’t precisely 50/50, so adjustments need to be made, adjustments that come in the form of a payout. If Cleveland is favored -140, this means you need to bet $140 to make $100. If New England is the underdog, at +150, that means you need to bet $100 on New England to win $150.
Number#5- “The Prop”
Any bet that is not on the ultimate score but on a specific aspect of the game is called a Prop bet. A Prop bet can be anything from Kobe’s three point shot attempts in a game to the combined onside kicks both teams get. The prop bets can also be more conventional like the odds whether a player will break 100 yards rushing in a game or not. These are fun options if you want to wager on specific player performances (think fantasy stats) or on obscure aspects of the game. Some fun ones are:
- Who wins the kick off
- Number of timeouts used during the half
- Number of points, rebounds and assists for a given player
- Number of penalty yards for a given team
- Will the fans ‘boo’ player X
Hedging refers to taking both sides of a wager. This is a bit more complicated but there are opportunities to really hedge your bets and ensure you win. The odds are not 50/50 so a straight ‘hedge’ is a losing option. There are times to ‘hedge’ which we will cover in later blogs but this option has value and when done correctly can reduce your risk and increase your long term profits
This means paying cash to get a more favorable line for the team you will bet on, regardless of whether they are the favorite team or the underdog. No strict rules here, the point costs vary from the size of your bet to the nature of the line.
Number#8- “Taking the Points”
Taking the points means betting on the underdog in a match when that team is getting points (+8 in example above). If the spread on St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay is -7 (Tampa favored by 7 points), then by taking the points you are betting that St. Louis will either lose by less than 7 points or win the game straight up. Precisely speaking, taking the points means betting on the underdog.
All in All
Understanding the terminology we use and what they refer to is part of the necessary foundation for successful sports investing. There are lots of strategies, systems and ideas on different ways to win but these phrases and terms are shared by all. If you understand these well, it will make understanding the more sophisticated concepts all the easier. If there is any questions you do have, please do not hesitate to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org