Sports betting terms & glossary


Accel Entertainment recently launched our new sports betting platform, AE.Bet. Since we're now embarking into this exciting new world, we thought it'd be a good idea to help educate our players with a glossary of common sports betting terms you may discover. Take a look at our helpful glossary:

ACTION – A wager of any kind.

AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS) – Refers to taking or laying points (aka the spread) as opposed to taking a game straight up.

BANKROLL – The available funds you have to bet with.

CHALK – The favored team.

CONTRARIAN BETTING – Also known as betting against the public, contrarian betting finds value by betting on games with lopsided betting percentages.

COVER – In sports such as football and basketball, a bettor wins their bet if they cover the point spread. For example, if you bet a 7-point favorite and they win by nine, you have covered the spread.

DOG – Short for underdog, this is the team which bookmakers assume will lose the game.

DRAW – Also known as a push. If a game falls exactly on the spread, there is no winner and bettors will receive their money back.

EDGE – A bettor’s advantage against the house. This will typically refer to an instance where you have a positive expected

EVEN MONEY – A bet where you are not paying any vigorish (i.e. +100).

FAVORITE – The team bookmakers expect will win their game.

FIELD – In proposition (prop) bets, bettors are often allowed to bet the field. This refers to an accumulation of all the teams
or players that are not specifically listed.

FUTURE – This refers to bets that come down in advance of an event. For example, one can bet a Super Bowl future prior to the beginning of the season by selecting which team(s) they believe will win the championship. A bettor receives payment at the end of the season if their selection did claim the title.

GRAND SALAMI – This typically refers to the over/under total for how many goals/runs will be scored across all games in a
specific league.

KEY NUMBERS – This represents the most common margins of defeat, and is used frequently in football where many games end with one team winning by a multiple of three or seven.

LINES – Another term for the odds.

MONEYLINE – In sports like baseball, soccer and hockey, there are so few runs/goals scored that it doesn’t make sense to only offer a spread. Instead, these sports offer a moneyline in which you bet on whether or not a specific team is going to win straight-up.

NICKEL – A bet of $500.

OFF THE BOARD – A game or event that sportsbooks will not allow you to bet on. Oftentimes a game is taken off the board if there is uncertainly surrounding a player’s injury status or the weather.

OVER/UNDER – Also known as the total, this refers to the total amounts of points/goals/runs that will be scored in the game. If both teams combine to score more than the total, the over wins. If they combine to score fewer, the under wins.

PARLAY – When a bettor makes multiple bets (at least two) and ties them together, you need multiple events to all win for higher payouts. This is a risky proposition, but potentially very lucrative.

PICK ‘EM – An instance in which neither team is favored. In spread based sports like basketball or football, this is a line of 0.

PROP BET – A bet on something other than the outcome of a game. Common prop bets include an over/under on points
scored, passing yards, or strikeouts by an individual player.

PUBLIC BETTING PERCENTAGE – Also referred to as public betting trends, we offer real betting percentages from seven contributing sportsbooks. These numbers represent real bets placed at real sportsbooks. These percentages are integral for our betting against the public philosophy.

PUSH – When a contest ends without a winner. In a moneyline sport this happens if the game ended in a tie. In a spread sport, this happens if the favorite wins by the exact spread.

REAL TIME ODDS – Live lines that update immediately as sportsbooks adjust their lines.

REVERSE-LINE MOVEMENT – Betting line movement that contradicts the public betting percentages. For example: if Team A is receiving 80% of the public bets as a 7-point favorite yet the line drops to -6.5, this is an example of reverse line movement. This indicates that sharp money is taking Team B.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) – A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment.

STEAM MOVE – A sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace.

TEASER – A special bet in which you are able to adjust the point spread or total for a game. The more you change the
spread, the lower the payout becomes.

UNITS – We consistently report sports betting wins/losses according to units won or lost. We recommend betting one unit per game, which refers to a standard monetary measurement — typically between 2-4% of your bankroll. For example if your bankroll is $1,000, one unit is between $20 and $40. Then if you noticed a system that has won 15 units over the
season, you could easily calculate your earnings by taking the units earned and multiplying them by your standard betting unit (in this case, $20 x 15 units = $300).

WAGER – Any type of bet.