NBA Betting – Glossary Of Terms

Sports betting has many terminologies, not even a novice gambler can understand. There are hundreds of words and phrases, and you are most likely to encounter each one of them in NBA betting. To steer clear of confusion, keep our glossary of terms in your gambler’s pocket and try to keep both the familiar and unfamiliar in your mind.


5 fold – An accumulator bet that can work with 6 different event selections.

50:50 – Even odds for both markets with underdogs and favored teams.


ATS (“against the [point] spread”) – A popular phrase used to determine a bet against the betting line or against an outcome in favor of one team.

Accumulator – Also known as Parlay betting. A type of bet consists of 2 or more selections in a single wager.

All in – Means to bet everything on one team, selection, event, or player.

American odds – Also known as money line odds. American odds are mostly favored by American bookmakers and it is expressed as a negative (-) number or a positive (+) number to represent the favored team and the underdog.

Anchor – The bet leading a single selection of multiple bets.

Ante post – A phrase refers to future or advanced bets.

Arbitrage – A type of betting activity where a bettor places bets on all possible outcomes of the event to guarantee profit.


Back – Betting for a particular event to happen. Opposite of “lay” bet.

Beard – A person who places a bet in behalf of someone else to hide the identity of the real bettor.

Best of it – When a bettor has an edge over other bettors.

Bet back – A type of hedging used by bookmakers to eliminate the risk when many bets are placed on one outcome.

Bet the field – Placing a bet on all possible outcomes and teams except on the favored team.

Betting exchange – A type of platform that actss as middlemen to give bettors the opportunity to bet against each other as “backers” or “layers”.

Bookie – Another term for sportsbook or bookmakers.

Buy points – A betting strategy used in point spread and handicap betting where a bettor bet on smaller odds to get points.


Chalk – Commonly found in American glossary of terms for sports betting. A term used to describe the favored team.

Circled Game A game where the selection or betting action is limited due to bad weather or player injuries.

Closing price/closing line – Opposite of opening price. The final odds on a selection when the market closes due to the event starting.

Correct score – Betting on the final score of the game.

Cover – Also referred to as “covering the spread”. It means that a favored team wins an event with the handicap in consideration or an underdog wins with additional points.


Dead heat – A time between two teams for a position in an event.

Decimal odds – One of the most commonly used types of odds. It expressed the amount the bettor can win every unit staked.

Double – Two bets in a single stake.

Double result – Placing a bet on the halftime/fulltime result of the event.

Drift – When odds shift and increase over time.

Dutch book – Another term for Arbitrage betting. It also guarantees profits by betting on multiple selections.


Edge – A bettor’s betting advantage brought about by superior knowledge in a particular sports or event.

Even money – When a bet is equal to the money you win or lose.

Exotic bet – All other bets available aside from straightforward bet.

Exposure – The highest possible amount a bettor or sportsbook can lose.


Field – The number of possible bets allowed in one market.

Fixed odds – When the odds in one market is fixed or unchanging.

Fractional odds – Odds in fractional format. The numerator represents the possible payout, while the denominator represents the amount the bettor need to wager to get the payout.

Futures – Sports events available for advanced betting.


Get on – Shorter phrase for “place your bet”.

Goliath – Multiple bets under 8 selections in different events..

Good oil – Readily available information about the event before it begins.

Good thing – A sure winner.


Halftime/fulltime – Betting on an event with outcomes on either halftime and fulltime.

Halftime result – Betting on which team is leading the game at halftime.

Handicap – A wagering system or point spreading that involves conditions and virtual deficit to be satisfied by the favored team or the underdog.

Hedging – A betting technique where bettor bet against the initial bet placed to guarantee sure wins.

Hook – The half point or 0.5 margin added to betting lines to ensure the sportsbook’s profit.


Index betting – When amount wagered is multiplied by the number of points a team wins or loses.


Juice – The sportsbook’s edge against the bettor.


Layer – Some who bet against the outcome. Opposite of “backer”.

Lay off – Reducing the liability of an outcome after “backing”.

Listed pitcher – Requires the scheduled pitchers to start the game before the bets are validated.


Margin – The measurement of how likely the team can defeat the opponent.

Market – A selection of sports betting events in a sportsbook.

Money line – The amount of bet needed to earn a $100 profit (depending on the currency and sportsbook used).


Odds against – Odds greater than the even money. The amount of bet smaller than the amount you are likely to win.

Odds on – Odds less than even money. The amount of bet = higher the amount the bettor is likely to win.

Oddsmaker – The ones responsible setting the betting line or odds for the event outcome.

Over/Under – The two bets placed if an outcome of an event can go above or below the score provided by the bookmaker.


Parlay – Multiple bets for different types of events.

Plunge – A large volume of bets for one market.

Point Spread – Used to level the playing field when there is a biased support for the underdog and the favored team.

Price – Another term for odds.

Push – Refunded bets due to tie, draws, or other circumstances.


Roughie – Similar to the underdog, a selection with unfavorable odds.

Round robin – A market where all possible combinations of multiple bets are present.

Rundown – A summary of all odds, lines, point spreads and scores before and after the game.


Scalper – One who practices Arbitrage betting to take advantage of odds difference.

Settling – When the sportsbook pays out the winner.

Sharp – A novice and knowledgeable sports bettor.

Shorten – When the sportsbook lower the odds for a selection.

Single – A single bet for a one event.

Stake – The wager placed by the bettor on an event.

Starting price – The odds before the event begins.

Straight bet – A simple or straightforward bet on placed on one team or event.

Stop loss – Lowering the amount that the bettor could possibly lose in index betting and trading.


Teaser (US) – More commonly used in American glossary of terms for sports betting. A combination of to or more wagers in one market.

Toss up – An equal betting market with an equal opportunity for the favored team and the underdog.

Totals – Total points scored in a game that can go over or under a predetermined amount.

Treble – 3 multiple bets in a single wager.

Turnover – The amount of all bets placed in a sportsbook.


Unbackable – An event with a sure winner.

Underdog – The team with unfavorable odds. Opposite of the favored team.


Value – The value of a bet.

Vig/Vigorish – The sportsbook’s commission.


Worst of it – A bettor facing unfavorable odds.