Action Play- A wager in baseball that will be a live wager regardless of who is the starting pitcher for either team.
Action Points- A wager where the amount won or lost by the bettor is determined by how many points the score exceeds or fails to exceed the pointspread. This type of wagering is the most similar to a financial/stock market. (See the article Roulette, Action Points and the Summer Solstice)
ATS- An abbreviation for “Against the Spread” (against the pointspread)
Back doored- In sports gaming, this is when a late score causes a losing bet. Usually this occurs in football when the bettor has wagered on the favorite and they are laying significant points. They are ahead in the wager late in the game only to see the underdog score a meaningless touchdown to make their wager a loser.
Bad Beat- In sports gaming this is when a loss occurs in unspeakable terms (e.g. a half court desperation shot at the buzzer)
Beyer Number- A number established by racing columnist Andrew Beyer that attempts to quantify the relative speed of a horse’s performances across different track surfaces, conditions, etc. This number’s misinterpretation by the public can often lead to extreme, mispriced betting/trading scenarios
Board- In horse racing “the board” is a win, place and show wager (e.g. “Hey Nick, gimme the 4 horse for $50 across the board”). In sports gaming, “the board” refers to all the games that are available to be wagered on that day (e.g. “Tone is an animal! He just bet the entire board again for the third day in a row!). It is also an abbreviated term for the tote board at the racetrack where odds/payout are shown
Book- A place, both brick and mortar, and virtual, that takes wagers for customers (See stock exchange, financial market)
Bookie- Slang term for a bookmaker or an agent of a book. Someone that maintains an orderly two sided marketplace for sportsgaming (See marketmaker)
Buck- Slang term for a $100 wager
Buying points- In pointspread games (e.g. American football, basketball) you can “purchase” additional points to be added to your pointspread or total at the cost of extra “vig” or transaction cost. (e.g. If the player wanted to bet the Steelers and they were
-6.5 and the “vig” was the standard -110, he could “buy” it down to -6 and “lay” -120).
Chalk- The favorite in a wager
Chalk man, Chalkeater, Chalksucker- A derogatory term for a player that consistently wagers on the favorites (e.g. “Raymond is a real chalksucker! He bets the Lakers every night no matter how much they are laying. No wonder he is always broke.”)
Churning- The effect of betting and rebetting money that results in positive cash flow for the bookmaker because of the high volume of bets/trades. This is very similar to the illegal practice of churning in financial markets that leads to positive cash flow for the broker in the form of transaction costs (vig, juice)
Circle Game- A game which has limited available action or no available action because of a key injury, unsubstantiated rumors or other fundamental dynamics that cause excessive uncertainty.
Cover- For a wager to win against the pointspread. If a favorite wins by more than the required pointspread, they have “covered”. If an underdog loses by less than the points they had been given, they have “covered”.
Dime- A $1000 increment slang term. (e.g. “Raymond put everything on the Lakers again last night, and they didn’t cover. Now he is stuck 6 dimes)
Dollar- Slang term for $100 (see “Buck”)
Dog- The underdog in a wager
Dumb Money- Sides that are bet on by seemingly inexperienced and “public” bettors (see odd lot)
Edge- Advantage. Also used by options traders to refer to a theoretical advantage of a position.
Exotics- Bets that deviate from just normal straight bets or win/place/show bets (e.g. reverses, parlays, round robins, teasers, if bets, exactas, trifectas, superfectas, pick 6, etc)
Favorite- A team or individual that is expected by the crowd/market to win a game/match/race, etc. If wagering on a pointspread line, you would have to give points with the favorite. If wagering on a moneyline you would have to lay odds with the favorite
Fin- Slang term for $5
Form- Performance that is expected as an outcome according to how things look on paper (i.e. “true to form”). Can also refer to The Daily Racing Form.
Futures- Odds posted for teams/individuals that will win major sporting championships that are “in the future” at a time before or during the season. However, if/when the standardization of a sports gaming marketplace comes to fruition related to guidelines proposed by sportsactioncharts, LLC, the definition of “futures” would change to more closely resemble futures in a financial market.
Handicapper- Someone who studies and analyzes potential events and rates the probability of certain outcomes, hoping to profit off of their proper speculation
Handle- Amount of $ wagered by an individual or amount of $ taken in by a betting institution (see Volume)
Hedge- A way to offset the potential loss of a wager or trade (see protective put, covered call, etc)
Hook- Slang term for a half of a point in a pointspread wager. (e.g. “I can’t believe Tony tried to get me to lay 6 and a hook on the Mavericks when its 6 all over town!”)
If Bet- A player will have action on an ensuing game(s) only if certain criteria are met in the outcome of the previous game
Juice- The bookmaker’s commission for wagers (see vig, vigorish, brokerage fee, transaction cost)
Laying odds- Wagering on the favorite
Line- Slang term for spread or odds
Linemaker- Individual who sets the odds for an event (see oddsmaker, marketmaker)
Listed Pitchers- In baseball, a wager will be live only if both listed pitchers start the game. As opposed to “Action Play”
Middle- To win both sides of a wagering proposition because two different lines were obtained. (e.g. a player has the underdog +4 and the favorite -2 in the same game and the game ends up with the favorite winning by 3). This is similar to a “short strangle” in options trading
Moneyline- How much a player must bet on the favorite to win $100 or how much a player will win if the underdog wins and he bets $100. The only thing that matters is who wins the game. There is no pointspread component.
Neutral Site- Arena, court or field where neither team has a home advantage
Newspaper Line- The line quoted in newspapers. Now seen as archaic and usually wrong
Nickel- Slang term for $500
NL- No line is posted for the game. It cannot be wagered on. Usually seen in college games when one or both teams are not major programs. It can also be seen when there are strange circumstances like a late relevant injury.
Odds on- Odds of less than even money
Oddsmaker- Bookmaker, Linemaker, Marketmaker, Specialist
Over/Under- Number of points, runs, goals, etc. that the market presumes will be scored in a particular contest (see total)
Parlay- A wager that includes many plays that increase in payout as the number of plays increases
Past Performance- What has happened in events of the current participants in the past, prior to the current event
Pick ‘em- A contest seen as even in the eyes of the market. There is no favorite and no underdog
Pointspread- The method of “evening out” a contest between two participants by adding points to the underdog’s score/subtracting points from the favorite’s score. This is done to facilitate an orderly market and the pointspread will change based on the amount of action on each side to result in an equitable market, which is the responsibility of the odds maker
Price- The odds/pointspread of a game/match, etc. In terms of totals, it would be an implied volatility price
Reverse- All possible combinations of 2 team “if bets”. Double action if bets done both ways with chosen teams (e.g. a two team $100 reverse would pay $400 if both teams win, lose 1 side lose $120, lose both sides lose $220). There is double juice charged on a split
Round Robin- All possible combinations of two team parlays with the chosen teams
Runline- In baseball the favorite is usually minus runs but getting odds on the moneyline while the underdog is plus the runs but laying odds on the moneyline (this combination wager of spread/moneyline is also seen in hockey)
Scalper- One who attempts to profit by betting both sides of a contest at different books that offer different prices (see arbitrage)
A scalper can also be a floor trader on an exchange that continually buys on the bid and sells on the offer all day. Thereby profiting greatly from the bid/ask price spread. Because of specific company’s options being listed only on one exchange for many years, “scalpers” made huge profits off of the expense of the customer getting poor execution. The mitigating factor that determined how much profit they made was simply how much “order flow” they got. Order flow arrangements were often made between the marketmakers and the brokers working on behalf of the customers. This led to many marketmakers fancying themselves as trading wizards when in actuality, this practice required very little intellect and suspect morality. Many of these fellows can now be seen on television claiming to “know the markets”. This practice can happen on any financial floor. (see frauds)
Single/Straight Wager- A single sports gaming wager that can be either favorite, underdog, over the total, or under the total
Smart Money- Sides that are bet on by presumably more knowledgeable bettors (see block orders)
Steam- When the odds/spread/total on a game moves significantly in one direction in a short period of time. Many times this can be a source of duping for the average player that presumes this “steam” to mean that “someone big knows something”
Straight up- Actual score of a game without counting the spread
Take the Odds- Wagering on the underdog. “Taking the Price”
Teasers- A wager that adds a significant amount of points in the bettor’s favor on multiple games. All games must win to payout and odds vary with number of points and number of games/plays
Tout Service- A business that sells its alleged “expertise” on selecting the winning sides of sports/racing contests (see the article “We All Know That Sports Gaming Touts, Tipsters and Handicap Services are Clowns…But are They Also Shills That are Guilty of Churning?”)
Value- Getting the best odds/spread/total/execution on a wager/trade
Vig- Vigorish, Juice, Transaction Cost, Brokerage Fee