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Sports Betting Language

January 24, 2018

If you have been a sports bettor or in the sports betting industry for any length of time then you know the slang terminology that is associate with the activity. Sometimes, it becomes so second nature of a language that you don’t realize when you are talking to newbies that you are losing them in mid conversation.

It helps that there are online resources for new sports betting enthusiasts to learn the terminology so that they can practice this craft more efficiently. Below are a handful of terms that we feel that are most vital to learn or brush up on if you are a regular sports bettor:

Backdoor cover: When a team scores points at the end of a game to cover the spread unexpectedly. example in language: I would take the moneyline to prevent losing by way of a last seconde backdoor cover.

Beard: Someone who places a wager for another person (aka “runner”). example in language: “Do you have a local guy? No, I use a beard in Vegas.”

Chalk: The favorite in the game. People said to be “chalk” bettors typically bet the favorite. example in language: “The Patriots are five point chalk over the Eagles in the Super Bowl.”

Consensus pick: When most trusted pick makers (handicappers) are on the same side of a wager. example in language: “The Eagles +5 seems to be shaping up as the consensus pick.”

Dime: Jargon for a $1,000 bet. If you bet “three dimes,” that means a $3,000 wager. example in language: “I would like to throw three dimes on the Eagles.”

Dollar: Jargon for a $100 bet. Usually used with bookies; if you bet “five dollars,” that means a $500 wager: example in language: “I’ll take a dollar on the Under.”

Handicapper: A person trying to predict the winners of an event. example in language: “I got this pick from a well-known handicapper.”

Hook: A half-point. If a team is a 7.5-point favorite, it is said to be “laying seven and a hook.” example in language: “I like the favorite but that hook is making me nervous at -7.5”

Layoff: Money bet by a sportsbook with another sportsbook or bookmaker to reduce that book’s liability. example in language: “The sportsbook w as not terribly exposed as it was able to layoff some of the lopsided action.”

Mush: A bettor or gambler who is considered to be bad luck. example in language: “Steve is a real mush. Every bet he makes is a loser.”

Nickel: Jargon for a $500 bet. Usually used with bookies; if you bet “a nickel,” that means a $500 wager. example in language: “Give me a nickel on the Eagles and a nickel on the Under.”

Sharp: A professional, sophisticated sports bettor. example in language: “Many guys will wait until they see where the sharp money is before placing their bets.”

Square: A casual gambler. Someone who typically isn’t using sophisticated reasoning to make a wager. example in language: “Most of the money for this game will be made from square bettors.”

Steam: When a line is moving unusually fast. It can be a result of a group or syndicate of bettors all getting their bets in at the same time. It can also occur when a respected handicapper gives a bet his followers all jump on, or based on people reacting to news such as an injury or weather conditions. example in language: “I was able to get my bet in on the steam play before the sportsbook adjusted.”

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