Basketball Betting dictionary - basketball sports betting terms and definitions

basketball betting faqBasketball betting enthusiasts have developed their own lingo and it is important that you understand it. Most of these betting terms are applicable to sports betting in general. Online sports books have adopted these terms so understanding them will help you a lot. This basketball betting dictionary will cover the common terms that are used in basketball and the generic terms used by online sports bettors. After learning the lingo you will find that the articles on this site make just a little more sense. When I first got into basketball betting online I had a terrible time understanding what everyone was talking about. I vaguely recall reading the term "punter". I was reading about basketball betting though so it really didn't fit in and I thought it was a typo. As it happens I knew the owner of the sports betting site. I had told him that one of his articles had an error and explained what I read. He had a good laugh at my expense and proceeded to tell me what punter means. European sports bettors call themselves punters, regardless of which sport they are betting on. Here are some commonplace basketball betting terms and their definitions. Be sure to read our basketball betting guide after finishing this article.

  • Action - When someone says "I have action on the Bulls game." It means that they have have an active bet of any kind.
  • ATC (Any To Come) - This terms is used in situations where you want to re-bet any potential winnings on a wager.
  • ATS (Against The Spread) - When you bet on a team that is not the recipient of a point spread.
  • Arbitrage - Sports books do not always offer the same lines on basketball games. Every now and then you will be able to bet on one team at a sportsbook and bet on the opposing team at another. The reasons for doing this would be to receive better value on your wagers due to glitch in the odds.
  • Bar / Ban - Online basketball sportsbooks reserve the right to bar or ban certain bettors. Reason for getting banned from making wagers include fraud, chargebacks, underage gambling and suspicious betting patterns.
  • Bankroll - The amount of money you have in your basketball betting account.
  • Beard - Someone who will make the bets for others through their online sports betting account. This is technically not a big deal so long as the people are old enough. The sportsbook cannot easily find out if you are doing this or not so it shouldn't be an issue. I would strongly suggest showing your friends the ropes and having them signup for their own accounts. The sportsbooks featured on this web site will give you money for having friends and family members signup through their refer-a-friend programs.
  • Bet - Any type of wager.
  • Book / Bookmaker / Bookmaker - In the old days bookmakers were usually "connected" to organized crime. Nowadays there are many online sportsbooks that are 100% trustworthy and vouched for by millions of sports bettors around the world. A bookmaker is a company that takes bets on basketball games or other sporting events. The best online bookmakers are featured at the bottom of this page.
  • Chalk - The basketball team favored to win.
  • Chalk Player - A bettor who usually only wagers on the favorites.
  • Churn - This is what they call money that is bet and rebet.
  • Cover - When a teams covers the point spread e.g., Bulls -3, Pistons. If you bet on the Bulls and the final score was Bulls 99, Pistons 95, you would have covered the spread.
  • Dime / Bet A Dime - A $1,000 wager.
  • Dog - The predicted loser of a game or series.
  • Dog Player - A basketball bettor who always places his/her wagers on the underdog.
  • Edge - A perceived advantage.
  • Even Money - A 1:1 wager that is considered a coin-flip and no vig/juice is earned by the sportsbook.
  • Exotic Bet - A special bet such as which basketball team is winning at half-time.
  • Favorite - The basketball team predicted to win.
  • Flea - A small stakes basketball bettor. This betting term doesn't really apply much online as the sportsbook doesn't care if you make many small bets or one large bet. Most online basketball bettors are small stakes gamblers. The sportbooks featured below have unique VIP programs that will reward you for the bets you make, large or small.
  • Futures Basketball Bet - A futures bet in basketball is any wager that covers a long time-line. For instance, NBA futures bets include betting on a team to win the championship before the season even starts. Futures bets offer massive payout's so I always make a few on teams that have a moderate chance.
  • Basketball Handicapper - A basketball betting expert who studies teams, players, injuries and countless other things to determine which team will win and which bets are good.
  • Basketball Handicapping - A person, like you, who studies basketball and tries to predict the outcome of games.
  • Handle - The total amount you bet at a sportsbook.
  • Hedge Betting - If the minimum bet on a game is more than you are willing to make you can place a smaller bet at another sportsbook on the other team to minimize your losses.
  • Hook - 1/2 of a point in a point spread. If the Bulls are favored to win by 3.5 points the .5 would be a hook.
  • Hot Game - Any game that draws a lot of wagers.
  • Juice - The sportsbook makes a tiny fee on each bet. This is why they try and balance the bets. If there are $50,000 in wagers on the favorite paying .5/1 and $10,000 ($25,000) on the underdog paying 2.5:1 ($25,000) the bookmaker will pay one side with the other sides money and the juice or vig will be pure profit.
  • Laying Points - Betting on the favored basketball team and giving the underdog a certain number of points.
  • Lines - The pointspread, odds or payout for any basketball game or event.
  • Linemaker - The handicapper who determines what the lines will be at the sportsbook.
  • Lock - A bet in basketball that is almost guaranteed to win.
  • Longshot - An unlikely outcome that usually offers a large payout.
  • Moneyline - A moneyline basketball wager looks like this; LA Lakers -250, Det Pistons +275. This is always based on a $100 wager but you can easily figure out what the moneyline is for a $10 wager by doing the basic math. If you bet $250 on the Lakers, the favorite, you will win $100. A $100 bet on the Pistons will payout $275. This is one of the most common types of basketball bets.
  • Move The Line - Sometimes a basketball bettor can take adjust the point spread for an additional fee.
  • Off The Board - A wager that the sports book is no longer accepting.
  • Opening Line - The original line on a basketball event. These are usually adjusted throughout the day so the sportsbook can even out their books.
  • Over Under Bet - Over/Under - O/U - This is another popular bet in basketball. You can bet on the final scores (combined) for both teams in a basketball game. These bets look like this; O/U 192 and they pay out 11:10 usually.
  • Parlay - A basketball bet that involved more than one team. An example of an NBA parlay would be picking 5 teams in a week and they all have to win. The payout will be much higher than if you had bet on each game by itself and won.
  • Pari-mutuel - Bookmakers usually have special contests or pools with huge progressive jackpots. An example would be correctly picking 15 NBA basketball game outcomes during a single week. The entry fee may be $25 and there could be several hundred people in it. In an event like this the bookmaker would pay the jackpot evenly if there was more than one winner. A pari-mutuel payout is based on the total number of winners, like lotto.
  • Pick'em Match - An evenly matched basketball game.
  • Pointspread - Sports books usually give the underdog points that will be added to their final score. The number of points added does not always truly represent the difference in skill level between the teams. Bookmakers use basketball pointspreads to ensure that an even amount of action is on each team so that the book will win money, via the vig or juice, regardless of which team wins. If a really good team was facing a really bad team most of the bets would be on the good team, even if it was only paying .25:1. Pointspread are used to even things out. Giving the bad team 7 points as well as paying 4:1 will attract plenty of wagers. This is what makes sports betting profitable to lucky or knowledgeable gamblers. If you recognize the sure bets you can really make some money, even if you only pick correctly half the time.
  • Prop Bet / Proposition Bet - Basketball prop bets are not offered as regularly as other bets but they can be very entertaining and profitable. Betting on how many times the announcer says a players name during the game or how many fouls or made 3-pointers a player makes would be a prop bet. Sportsbooks usually offer NBA prop bets during the Playoffs and NCAA basketball prop bets will be available during March Madness. They are also offered sporadically throughout the season but most center around the major events.
  • Punter - A sports bettor in Europe.
  • Round Robin - Two or more parlays.
  • Sides - The names of the basketball teams playing each other.
  • Single - A single bet on a game.
  • Spread - The short form way of saying pointspread.
  • Square - An obnoxious and inexperienced basketball bettor.
  • Taking The Points - When you bet on the expected looser of a game because of the pointspread.
  • Teaser - The sportsbook will change the lines if you bet on two or more basketball games. You must pick everything correctly in order to win, just like parlays. Teasers in basketball allow you to get much better odds. I like teasers when I am certain all of my picks will be correct. You do not want to go with any long shots when you do a teaser. Each sportsbook offers new teasers daily.
  • Ticket - A wager of any type on a basketball game.
  • Underdog - The basketball team expected to loose.
  • Vig - The fee or commission collected by the sportsbook.
  • Wiseguy - A wiseguy in basketball betting is someone who knows a lot about the game and does not depend on other sources.

That concludes our basketball betting dictionary. All of the terms listed above can also be used when talking about other types of sports betting like football betting, race betting and tennis betting. Now that you know the lingo in NBA, NCAA and European basketball betting you will be able to process then information you read easier.

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