Football Betting Glossary

Football glossary terms

When betting on football, you’ll notice many words and terms not used in everyday speech by sportsbooks and other football bettors. Whether you are new to betting on football or are a “sharp” bettor, we have defined the most important terms you need to know when placing a wager on football this season.

Action – The number of bets placed on a football game.

Against the Spread (ATS) – A teams record when taking the point spread into account.

Backdoor Cover – Term used in the event that a football team scores at the end of the game, covering the spread.

Bad Beat – When a bettor loses a bet that should have been won.

Beard – An individual who places bets for another person.

Bet (Betting) – Risking money on the result of a football game or the performance of a football player against a sportsbook or another person.

Bookmaker (Bookie) – A person who accepts bets on football games.

Buy (Buying) Points – When a bettor pays more to receive more points in their favor on a game with a point spread.

Chalk – Term referring to the favored football team or player

Chalk Player – Someone who wagers only on the favorites

Circled Game – A game given lower limits and restricted betting options because of injuries, suspensions, etc.

Closing Line – Final point spread, or odds presented before the start of a football game.

Cover – Beating the point spread when the favorite goes over or the underdog goes under, depending on which side was wagered on.

Dime – A $1,000 bet.

Dollar – A $100 bet.

Edge – The advantage a bettor has on a point spread.

Even Money – When the payout is equal to the money wagered i.e. Bet $100 and win $100.

Exotic – Any wager on football that isn’t a parlay or straight bet.

Exposure – The amount of money a sportsbook could lose on the outcome of a football game.

Fantasy Football – Building a football team by picking players at the beginning of the season or each week to beat one or more opponents over the course of a season.

Favorite – The football team expected to win or cover a point spread.

Fixed – An altered betting line after a wager was placed.

Futures Bet – A wager placed weeks or month in advance on a team or player with the outcome to be decided later i.e. betting on the Super Bowl in July.

First Half Bet – A bet placed only on the first half of a football game.

Half Time Bet – A bet placed only on the 2nd half of a football game.

Handicapper – Someone who tries to predict a football game.

Handicapping – The attempt of predicting a football game.

Handle – The total money wagered on a football game at a sportsbook.

Hedging – A wager opposite of the original bet placed to ensure a profit or to minimize a potential loss.

High Roller – Someone who bets when the stakes are high.

Hook – Half a point.

In-Game Wagering – The ability to bet on active football game in real time.

Juice – A commission percentage the bookmaker puts into the betting line. Also known as vigorish or “vig.”

Laying the Points – Wagering on the favorite and giving up points.

Laying the Price – Wagering on the favorite and taking the odds.

Layoff – When a bookmaker or sportsbook bets at another bookmaker to reduce a potential loss.

Limit – The designated maximum amount accepted at a sportsbook.

Linemaker – An individual who sets the betting lines. Also referred to as an “oddsmaker.”

Lock – A guaranteed win.

Longshot – A football team or player who is unlikely to win.

Middle – A bet made on both teams after the line moves to try and win on both sides with minimal risk.

Money Line – A wager where a team only needs to win to win the bet.

Nickle – A $500 bet.

No Action – A wager in which no money is won or lost.

Oddsmaker – A person who sets the betting lines. Also referred to as a “linemaker.”

Off the Board – When a sportsbook takes down a betting line either temporarily or permanently.

Over – Betting on the total points scored to exceed the over/under betting line.

Over/Under – A number set by a sportsbook on a football game, indicating the total combined points of both teams where bettors can wager over or under the total amount.

Parlay – A wager where multiple teams or players are bet on and all must cover or win to win the bet.

Pick ‘em – A football game where neither team is favored to win.

Point Spread – The number of points the favorite must beat the underdog by in a football game. Also known as the “spread.”

Proposition (Prop) Bet – A non-traditional bet not related to the outcome of a football game.

Push – Where the betting line of a football game ends without a loser or winner.

Sharp – A professional, influential sports bettor

Sharp Money – When a “sharp” bettor initiates a change in the betting line with a wager.

Sportsbook – A land-based or online establishment who accepts wagers on football

Steam – When a specific betting line is changing rapidly.

Straight Bet – A wager on only one football team or player.

Taking the Points – Wagering on the underdog and the points in the spread.

Taking the Price – Wagering on the underdog and taking the odds.

Teaser – A wager that resembles a parlay except the odds are adjusted to your favor.

Ticket – A wager on football.

Total – The expected combined points of both football teams.

Under – Betting on the total points scored to fall short of the over/under betting line.

Underdog – The football team expected to lose or not cover a point spread.

Value – Getting the best odds on a wager to ensure the biggest payout possible on a winning bet.

Vigorish (Vig) – A commission percentage the bookmaker puts into the betting line. Also known as “juice.”

Wager – Another word for bet.