Sports Betting Strategy

Sports Betting Glossary: The Terms You Need To Know

There are plenty of terms the casual sports betting fan may have heard before that they don’t completely understand. The sports betting world has adopted countless terms and phrases that they use to explain certain situations and while some are pretty obvious there are others that you might like to be explained. Here is a look at some of the most popular sports betting glossary terms.


Action is a generic term that is used to describe the bets placed on any given sports betting event. For example, if you bet on the Montreal Canadiens to beat the Boston Bruins, then that is considered having action on that game. While action is a generic term used to describe bets in most sports, baseball is the one exception to the rule. In baseball, action is used to describe a baseball bet with no pitchers listed.

Bad Beat

Bad beat is the term the experts use to describe a loss that appeared to be a win until the very last moment when a stroke of bad luck changed the outcome. This term is definitely more popular than it probably should be which is in part because sometimes the experts can’t handle the fact that they simply lost a bet. A bad beat is supposed to refer to a bad luck loss, but far too often the professional handicappers use the term because they don’t want to admit they were wrong in the first place.


A futures wager refers to any bet made on an eventual outcome for a sporting event that hasn’t happened yet. For example, if you bet on the World Series winner before the MLB regular season begins, then you are making a futures bet. There are futures bets available for both picking teams to win championships and for individual players to reach certain achievements. Futures bets have become a lot more popular in recent years with more sports betting fans willing to risk their money over the long term to predict the outcome of a future event.

Laying The Points

When you pick the team that is expected to win a game to win via the money line, you are betting the favorite. When you bet on the favorite to cover the spread, then you are laying the points. This term is used to describe giving up points with an ATS wager.


The obvious potential outcomes for betting on sporting events is that you can win or lose. However, push is the term that is used to describe the instance in which you neither win nor lose. For example, if you take the New England Patriots to cover as minus-6 against the New York Jets and they win by exactly six, then it is considered a push. You don’t win the wager and you don’t lose the wager. Instead, it is simply cancelled. This term is usually applied to the outcome of point spread wagers in the NFL and NBA, although it could refer to a draw in soccer if you make a two-way bet.


A parlay bet is when you string together multiple individual wagers on one ticket in order to improve your potential winnings. In this situation, you need all of the individual wagers to be correct in order for the parlay to win. With a teaser bet, you also need multiple wagers to win on one ticket in order to win. However, with a teaser bet you can move the point spreads in the direction you choose. Therefore, with favorites you can lower the point spread in order to improve your chances to cover and when betting the underdogs you can raise the spreads in order to improve your chances to cover. With a teaser bet, you will give up a small margin of your potential winnings in exchange for a greater likelihood you will win the bet since you are moving the lines in your favor.

Back to top button