NFL Betting – Glossary Of Terms

Sports betting is a global phenomenon in the gaming industry. It’s massive, especially if we include NFL betting in the picture. The core of American football betting is actually simple, but everything can look complicated when new bettors start seeing unfamiliar terms. To help you, here’s a glossary of terms carrying the most used NFL betting jargons.


5 fold – A fold that presents the total number of multiple bet that a bettor must win for the entire selection to be successful. The number varies per market.

50:50 – A betting tie where the underdog and the favored team are both equal, an even odds for a specific market.


ATS (“against the [point] spread”) – The most common sports betting jargon on our glossary of terms is ATS, an abbreviation used to describe a bet against the betting line. It means it has a 5-2 record against the point spread, or more commonly referred to simply as the “spread.”

Accumulator – A bet consists of 2 or more selections where the payout from the first winning bet is placed on for another bet and the succeeding ones after that.

All in – An absolute bet in a selection that bettors cannot take back even from scratching, withdrawal, or other circumstances.

American odds – Most commonly used type of odds by American sportsbook. These are either expressed as a negative (-) number or a positive (+) number to represent the favored team and the underdog.

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

Ante post – Betting for future events without a complete and accurate prediction of the outcome.

Arbitrage – Taking advantage of the difference in odds by placing multiple bets on a different outcome.


Back – Betting that an outcome is going to happen, opposite of “Lay”.

Beard – A bettor betting on someone’s behalf due to reasons such as banned account and hidden identities.

Best of it – Having an edge against other bettors in a sports betting market.

Bet back – An example of hedging used by sportsbook to reduce profit loss when many bettors place bets on a single market.

Bet the field – Back or bet on all results and teams except the favored team.

Betting exchange – Companies that allow bettors to be “backers” or “layers” on certain markets. Unlike sports betting sites, they only function as middlemen.

Bookie – A shortcut term for a sportsbook or bookmaker, the person or company responsible for the customers’ bets.

Buy points – Usually happens in point spread and handicap betting where a bettor accepts non-competitive odds to receive points in his favor.


Chalk – An American betting term for the favored team, the ones expected by bettors and bookmakers to win the game.

Circled Game – A match where the bookmaker sets a maximum action and limited bets due to change in schedules, players’ injuries, and weather conditions.

Closing price/closing line – These are the presented odds on a selection at the time the market close due to the event starting.

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

Cover – The betting outcomes that show on a point-spread wager. I order for a favorite to cover, it has to win by more than the spread. The underdog, on one hand, covers by winning outright or losing by less than the spread.


Dead heat – Dead heat are featured when there is no option for a draw or tie. This is when 2 or more competitors finished exactly the same score.

Decimal odds – Most commonly used type of odds which expressed the amount the bettor can win every unit you stake.

Double – 2 multiple bets in a single wager.

Double result – Betting on the halftime/fulltime result of the event.

Drift – When the odds on a betting selection get higher as the game progresses.

Dutch book – Similar to Arbitrage betting. Dutch book guaranteed profits by betting on multiple selections.


Edge – A betting advantage gained by superior knowledge in particular sport.

Even money – A bet equal to the profit you make if you win or the loss you make if you lose.

Exotic bet – Other types of bets aside from moneyline.


Field – The selection of possible bets a bettor can place in a single market.

Fixed Odds – A wager in which your betting odds are fixed and unchanging, depending on the time your bet was placed. Your potential return will be paid based on your ticket.

Fractional odds – Odds expressed in fractions, showing the amount the bettor can win and the amount needed to stake.

Futures – Betting markets made available in advance before the event begins.


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

Goliath – Multiple wagers involving 8 selections in different events over 247 bets.

Good oil – On-hand information about an outcome before the event begins.

Good thing – A sure winner.


Half-time/full-time – Betting on the outcome of an event during halftime or fulltime.

Halftime result – Betting on who will have a leading score (or the draw) at half time.

Handicap – A type of bet or point spreading where a sportsbook gives one selection a virtual deficit (a handicap) to overcome at the start of an event or bet.

Hedging – A type of wager sportsbook used when they want to reduce losses when one team receives a large number of unstable bets.

Hook – The half point or 0.5 margin in points spread or total lines betting.


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


Juice – The edge in favour of the sportsbook against the bettors.


Layer – Someone who “lay” against a bet on betting exchange sites or regular sportsbook.

Lay off – A bet used to reduce the liability on an outcome you have already backed.

Listed pitcher – A condition that requires the scheduled betting market to start.


Margin – A term which tells how certain a team or player can defeat the competitors.

Moneyline – A term representing the amount of bet needed to earn a $100 profit. Sometimes, the moneyline can be expressed as per $1.


Odds against – Odds greater than the even money, occurs when the bet wagered is less than the amount the bettor likely to win.

Odds on – Odds less than even money. Occurs when bet staked is more than the amount the bettor is likely to win.

Oddsmaker – The person or establishment who actually sets the betting line or odds.

Over/Under – Two types of wager in which the player can bet if the total number of points scored by the teams will go over or under the stated number.


Parlay – A type of wagering technique where bettors can bet on multiple events. The bettor wins if all bets win.

Plunge – A large number of bets made on a single selection.

Point spread – Slightly similar to handicap, but point spread refers to the amount of points allocated to the underdog in order to level the playing odds with the favorite.

Price – Another term for odds.

Push – Bets being refunded due to ties or draws.


Roughie – Another term for underdog or the betting market with weak odds and less bettors.

Round robin – A selection where all probable combinations of a multiple bet are present.

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


Scalper – Another term for a bettor who does Arbitrage betting to take advantage of the difference in Sportsbooks’ odds.

Settling – Done by sportsbook at the end of the game to pay out the winning customer.

Sharp – A knowledgeable and long-time sports bettor.

Shorten – When bookmakers decrease the odds because a lot of bettors have been wagering on a single selection,

Single – A single bet placed on a event.

Stake – The betting amount placed by the bettor.

Starting price – The presented odds or price of a bet selection before the match begins.

Straight bet – A simple bet on just one team or one outcome.

Stop loss – Limiting the possible amount to be lost in index betting and trading.


Teaser (US) – A type of wager more popularly used in the US sports betting’ glossary of terms. Teaser betting happens when several selections are combined together and the spread can be changed in favor of the bettor. This can reduce the odds on each selection, but can also result to an overall higher return.

Toss up – A betting market with a 50:50 or equal odds, no favored team or underdog.

Totals – Shorter term for total goals/runs. A type of wager which allows bettor to determine if the total points scored in a game will be over or under a predetermined amount.

Treble – 3 way multiple bets for a single selection.

Turnover – Overall amount of bets placed on a sportsbook.


Unbackable – A betting market with a sure winner.

Underdog – The competing team least favored by fans, bettors, and oddsmaker to win a particular event.


Value – The value of a betting selection representing the true probability.

Vig/Vigorish – The commission of the sportsbook for every market.


Worst of it – A scenario where a bettor experiences a disadvantage.