Sports Betting Terms


Sports Betting Terms

By: Brandon Rowley

In order to have the best online sports betting experience possible, it is important that you understand some of the common sports betting terms that are used in the industry. Most of these terms are used when placing a land-based bet and their meanings compare favorably to their online equivalents, although in some cases gambling online will allow extra opportunity for the gambler.

Vig: This word is short for vigorish. The vigorish is the commission a bookmaker earns when taking a bet. Vigs are usually carefully calculated so that the bookie will make a certain amount of money no matter what the outcome of the game is. Win or lose, anyone who places a bet will pay this commission, which is also known as an “overround”. Bookies make sure that they receive a commission by adjusting the money line so that there are the same number of bets placed on both sides of a match; this is usually done by making a payoff much larger if the underdog comes out on top so that people are tempted to wager on the chance of a big pay day.

Points spread: This sports betting term refers to a way by which bookies even out the playing field. In sports like basketball and football, some teams are more skilled than others and invariably come out on top when matched against an obvious underdog, To make betting on both sides more favorable, bookmakers will calculate a points spread. In order to collect winnings, people betting on the favorite have to beat the spread; in other words, the score by which the team won has to be equal to or greater than the predicted points difference. With points spreads, even those who bet on losing teams have a chance at winning, as if the points difference is lower than the one predicted, those who bet on the losing team will still win the wager.

Parlay: Parlay is a tricky way that bookmakers make their money. Parlay is the only type of gambling on sports that is legal in Canada, and the provinces stand to gain money every time someone wagers due to the low odds of successfully betting on parlay. The system involves predicting which teams out of a selected field will win the night’s matches. All of the best gambling online sports sites offer parlay options, because they are appealing to fans who see the opportunity at a big payout, and because they are almost always guaranteed money. There are always close matches included in a parlay system, so even knowledgeable fans have a good chance of getting at least one prediction wrong and therefore losing the bet.

Money line: This type of bet is also known as a straight-up bet. It is used in sports such as hockey and baseball where scores are closer due to the scoring systems. These bets use base amounts to determine payoffs, such as the amount needed to win $100 or the amount paid for a $100 amount (the latter applying to the underdog, and the former to the favorite). A dime line is factored in in order to determine the bookie’s vig.

Sports betting is one of the most popular past times there is, but most people do not understand basic gambling terminology. Having some basic ideas and sports betting terms in back pocket can help you to have a much better online sports experience.

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Vinny Valente is an avid gambling enthusiast and writer of online gambling articles. For more of his work please visit: Virtual Casino.
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