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glossary

GLOSSARY OF HORSE RACING TERMS

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary Terms
A
Action: A live bet or bets. ("They have a lot of action on that game." "I have action on this game.")ATS: Against the spread Arbitrage: Betting the same event at separate sports books in order to lock in a profit by taking advantage of different betting lines.
B
Back Door: A 'cover' that occurs in the waning moments of a gameBad Beat: A very tough, often emotional, betting loss that is characterized by rotten luck. Bankroll: Total capital available for betting sports. Beard: A person who is betting someone else's money for that other person; a messenger. Beef: Dispute B.M.: Bookmaker Board: A presentation of all the games and events available for betting in a sportsbook. If wagers are being taken on a game, the game is "on the board. Otherwise, it is "off the board." Bookmaker (or bookie): A person who accepts bets. Bow-wow: An underdog. Buck: $100. Also see "dollar." Buyback: The money that comes in on the underdog after a favorite is bet heavily enough to move the line.
C
Chalk: A favorite (usually a heavy favorite).Chalk Eater: Bettors who like to bet big favorites (often a derogatory term). Churn: The effect of betting and re-betting money. Circled Game: A game in which the sports book has reduced its betting limits, usually because of weather or the uncertain status of injured players. Cover: Winning against the point spread. (A 10-point underdog that loses 20-14 has covered, or "covered the spread.")
D
Degenerate: Compulsive gambler.Dime: $1,000 (A "five-dime" bet is a $5,000 bet). Dime Line: A betting line with a 10-cent straddle, often used in baseball. With a dime line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is plus 110. Dog: See "underdog. Dollar: $100. (If a sports book has a $500 maximum on a particular type of bet, you could say it's a "five-dollar limit").
E
Earn: Practical hold percentage.Edge: Advantage Exotic Bet: Action other than a straight bet or parlay. Extension: The amount of money the house theoretically will risk losing on a game or a race.

Exposure: The degree of risk that a sports book will lose money on a given game, result or proposition. (If a book is "highly exposed" on the Cubs in World Series futures betting, it will lose a lot of money to bettors if the Cubs win the World Series.)

F
Fade: To take the opposite side of another bettor's wager or to accept that bet yourself.Favorite: A team (or player) that, according to the odds, is the stronger or strongest in a given match-up or is regarded as such by the betting public or is expected to win. Figure: Amount owed by or to a bookmaker. Firing: Betting a lot. A player who is "firing", is wagering large sums. First-half betting: Wagers that involve the outcome of the first half of a game only. Flea: An annoying bettor always wanting something for nothing; a $2 bettor who expects to be rewarded for his action. Form: What performance is to be expected, according to how a team looks on paper. Freeroll: A bet you can win or push but not lose. Futures: A type of wager involving the outcome of a season or how a particular team or player will perform over the course of a season.
G
Get Down: Make a bet.Gross Win: Win before expenses.
H
Halftime Betting: Wagers based on betting lines that are posted at halftime, which involve the outcome of the second half of a game only.Handicap: To study and research sports, in order to make predictions on the results of upcoming games and events. Handicapper: One who studies sports and predicts outcomes. Handle: The amount of money in wagers accepted. ("The handle was down this year on the Super Bowl"). Hedge: To make a bet that takes the opposite side of your original position, usually to reduce risk or lock in some profit. Hold: The percentage the house wins. Home Field Advantage: Edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the playing area, favorable demographics and effect of travel on the visiting team. Hook: A half-point in the betting spread. ("I lost by the hook"). Hoops: Basketball Hot Tip: Information the bookmaker is not yet privy to. House: The casino, sports book or bookmaker.
J
Juice: Bookmaker's commission and most often refers to the 11 to 10 football bettors lay on straight wagers. Also see "vigorish".
L
Lay A Price: Bet a favorite and/or lay the points.Layoff: A type of wager made by one bookmaker with another, often larger, bookmaker in order to balance action or reduce risk. Limit: The maximum wager accepted by a sports book. Line: The point spread or odds on a game or event. Lock: A bet that cannot lose; a term that is often misused and abused by disreputable touts. Long Shot: Big underdog.
M
Matador: A cover that occurs in the waning moments of a game (also referred to as a back door cover).Match-up Propositions: A betting option that pits two players against one another in a contest or event. This is often times used in golf and auto racing wagering. Middle: A situation in which you bet both sides in a game and win both bets, due to favorable line moves. (Example: Bet a football favorite at minus 2 ½, then bet the underdog at plus 3 ½ at another book or later in the week. If the favorite wins by exactly 3 points, both bets win) Money Line: The odds on a team winning a game outright, regardless of the point spread. Money Management: Any strategy used by a bettor for making the most of his bankroll.
N
Neutral Site: Arena, court or field where neither side has a home field advantage.Nickel: $500.
O
Offshore: Term used for the organized sports betting industry outside of the United States.Off The Board: Game where no bets are being accepted. Out: A place to get bets down, whether it's a offshore sports book or illegal bookmaker. ("It's good to have a lot of outs"). Over/Under: See "Totals". Overlay: A situation in which the odds are favorable to the sharp bettor.
P
Parlay: A bet in which two or more events must happen in order to win; if any one of them does not happen, the wager loses.Past Post: To make a bet after an event has started. Pick 'em: An even match-up; a game with no clear favorite. Player: A sports bettor. Pleaser: A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the book) but pays off at improved odds. Point Spread: The number of points added to or subtracted from a team's actual score for betting purposes. Power Rating: A numerical representation of a team's strength for betting purposes. Practical Hold Percentage: The amount won by a bookmaker, divided by the total amount booked. Press: To bet a larger amount than usual. Price: See "Line". Proposition (or prop): An unusual or offbeat betting opportunity. Public: Average, unsophisticated or casual bettors as a whole; or, used to describe money bet by the public ("a lot of public money came in on the Cowboys"); See "Square". Puck Line: In hockey, a betting structure that dictates the favorite must win by a set number of goals and/or adds a set number of goals to the underdog's actual score. Pup: See "Underdog". Push: A bet in which the money wagered is refunded; a tie.
R
Rotation: The official list of all the games on the betting board, presented in a specific order.Round Robin: A specialized form of a parlay that uses every combination of a set of teams in a wager. For example, there would be six two-team parlays within a four-team round robin. Rundown: A reading of all the games and betting lines on a particular day. Runner: See "Beard".
S
Scalp: A form of a middle in which you bet both sides in a game, taking advantage of line movements to secure a profit.Scalper: One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices. Score: To win a lot of money. Scratch: Withdraw; cancel. Sharp: Savvy, highly informed; or, used to describe the money bet by sharp players ("a lot of sharp money came in on the Patriots"). Shortstop: A small bettor. Side: A variation of a middle in which you win one bet and push the other; also, a particular team in a match-up. ("Which side do you like?"). Sportsbook: An establishment that accepts bets on athletic contests. Square: An unsophisticated or casual bettor; the opposite of a wise guy; see "Public". Steam: One-sided action. Straight Bet: A single bet, usually laying 110 to win 100. Sucker Bet: Bet with a large house edge.
T
Take a Price: Bet the underdog or take the pointsTakeback: On a money line, the price of the underdog. (In baseball, if the favorite is minus 120, the "takeback" on the underdog is often plus 110). Tapped Out: Broke or busted. Oftentimes, a common result of pressing. Teaser:A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the bettor) but pays off at reduced odds. Theoretical Hold Percentage:The edge the bookmaker would have IF the odds guaranteed him a constant commission, regardless of the outcome. Toke: A tip or gratuity. Toss Up: Game where the line is close to pick-em. Totals: A type of wager that involves whether a score or result will go over or under a posted number. Tout: A person who sells his predictions to bettors (often derogatory). Triple Sharp: The sharpest of the sharp. (Note: There is no such term as "Double Sharp"). 20-cent line: A betting line with a 20-cent straddle, which is standard in football and basketball. (With a 20-cent line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is even money).
U
Underdog: A team (or player) that (according to the odds) is the weaker or among the weakest in a given match-up, or is regarded as such by the betting public, or is expected to lose.Underlay: When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house.
V
Value: An overlay.Vigorish (or vig): The commission charged by the bookmaker.
W
Guy: A sharp, successful, established professional sports bettor.Wood: The price of a heavy favorite. (If you bet the Red Sox as a minus 240 favorite, you "lay the wood" with the Red Sox).
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