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Understand Sports Betting Jargon to Place Smarter Wagers

If you are looking to succeed in online sports betting at the top online casinos, it’s important to understand sports wagering terms.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Imagine being invited to a sporting event. Arrive and the excitement quickly overtakes you. However, the terms used make no sense. What are you going to do? Learn the basic terms and concepts used in sports wagering so this is never an issue.

Point Spreads

When a person looks at sportsbook odds, they become confused by the different numbers they see. For instance, one line may show two teams with one team having a negative number behind it. This means the team with the negative number is favored by that many points. In the following example, the Cowboys stand as the three-point favorite.

456 Redskins

457 Cowboys -3,

To determine the favorite, they use a mathematical formula that bridges the talent gap between the competitors and encourages bettors to examine both sides. The spread serves as a handicap, which means the favored team must win by the number of points listed for the individual to win the bet. In the above-referenced game, the Cowboys must win by four points for the bettor to win. This is a common betting option, and you’ll find it at many of the best reviewed top rated global casinos. Additionally, even the best online casinos differ quite a bit in terms of betting options and odds in particular so always look around before making a wager.

Back to brass tacks, individuals betting on the Redskins in that game would bet the underdog and take the points. Their ticket reads Redskins +3, and the Redskins would need to win the game outright or lose it by fewer than three points for the bettor to win. If the Cowboys win the game by exactly three points, neither side wins and all wagers are then refunded.

Folks may also want to know what the 456 means before the Redskins and the 457 before the Cowboys. Known as the rotation number, this figure helps sportsbooks track bets and bettors provide the rotation number to the sportsbook ticket writer to ensure they bet on the correct game.


Bettors receive the option of placing a bet on the total or over-under. The total refers to the number of points scored in the contest and oddsmakers determining this total using a mathematical formula. They take the average of what both teams score and what they allow per game to determine this total, while also looking at additional factors like key player injuries or the venue.

To differentiate the spread from the over-under, look for the minus number. This refers to the spread, which corresponds to the team expected to win. The over-under or total sits on the same line as the underdog, although it remains separate from the team name to ensure bettors don’t confuse it with the point spread. For example,

456 Redskins 46

457 Cowboys -3

Here, the 46 refers to the over-under or total. To bet the over-under, let the sportsbook writer know the rotation number of either team playing and that you wish to bet the over or under only on the total posted.


Anyone who has engaged in sports wagering at the best online casinos has heard the terms juice or vigorish. What are they exactly?

Sportsbooks charge a tax per wager, which is known as the vigorish. The standard vigorish remains ten percent of each wager, so bettors put down $110 to win $100 on their bets. Sportsbooks collect the extra $10 from the losing wager, which is how they make money. Experienced bettors factor the vigorish into wagers and come prepared with extra funds to cover the tax.

Money Line and Point Spread

Bettors receive the option of placing a money-line wager along with their point spread or total bet. The money-line wager removes the point spread from the equation. The bettor puts money down that a specific team will win. These bets don’t come with the vigorish.

456 Redskins 46 +150

457 Cowboys -3 -170

Here the Cowboys are both the three-point favorites against the spread and the -170 favorites for winning straight up on the money line. Betters provide the rotation number of the team they are betting on and the desired amount. However, bettors often wager on the underdog because they win more than they wagered. Here, the Redskins are +150 underdogs for winning the game.

Bettors placing this wager give up the option of taking the points and winning the bet when the Redskins lose by less than three. The Redskins must win to collect on the bet. However, the return remains much better with this bet.


Bettors love parlays because they win a lot of money with a minimal bet. Bettors select two or more propositions with only one wager. All teams must win for the bettor to win. For instance, the bettor picks three teams on a parlay and two of the three win. The bettor loses because all three didn’t win. Sportsbooks love parlays because the odds are in their favor. However, bettors love them because of the high payout when they do win.


Bettors looking for a variation of standard point-spread betting turn to teasers. Customers receive the advantage because the point value for the desired team increases. The teaser reduces the point spread to a more favorable number, but the payout decreases as well. Nevertheless, bettors find teasers to be profitable.

Ask questions of experienced bettors. Individuals who understand what they are doing are more likely to enjoy the experience and bet again in the future. This benefits everyone, so others will share their knowledge and experience. Benefit from this when placing your bets.