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Sports Betting Terms

We take a look at all the terms that you might need to understand when betting on sports.

Main Betting Terms To Know

Learning how the American odds format (minus and plus odds) works is crucial to betting. Those unfamiliar with the odds may find it baffling, but you can quickly get used to them. Other terms such as betting units, underdogs, push, bet settlements and handicapping are often things you will hear thrown about in betting circles.

We explain these betting terms and show you how they apply to your betting, even exploring strategies associated with particular betting terms.

Advanced Betting Terms

Learning more advanced betting terms is highly useful if you want to read sports betting blogs, understand the language used in sports betting media and hone your betting vocabulary.

It can also change the way you look at your bets and help you get the best bang for your buck. Just off the top of my head, if you learn about how closing line value works, the importance of juice or when its good to place fade bets, you will know the following:

  • (Closing line value) What trends can affect the odds and when the odds are longest, to get the best value for your money
  • (Juice) Which sportsbooks offer the most favorable odds on your bet (and where to look to find the best prices)
  • (Fade) When to go against popular opinion and pick an underdog, especially when the odds on the underdogs are inflated

Professional bettors are not only experts at their respective sports, but they also know how to make the most of their budget and hunt for longer odds where they can.

Know the Types of Bets on Offer

Know the Types of Bets on Offer

When you enter an online sportsbook and open up the betting markets for NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, NHL, or any other top US sport, you will find an abundance of betting markets. You may be familiar with some, such as moneylines, point spreads and totals bets. However, there are tons of bets to explore, and if you have never tried out the different betting markets, it may feel a bit daunting placing money on new wagers.

We are here to help you explore new betting markets, through our bet and strategy guides. If you have a bigger net to cast when picking your bets, then there is more to take advantage of. For example, instead of settling for a moneyline or spread that you are unsure about, you can instead pick an alternative spread or even bet on the first quarter or half of the game.

The possibilities are endless, and in our guides we also point out some useful data that you can research and show you some winning strategies for each type of bet.

Explore Different Types of Bets

How to Start Betting on Sports

These betting terms and the types of bets are a good foundation for any bettor. The insight can be used at any sportsbook, and after signing up you can start exploring the betting markets and planning your wagers.

However, the selections can vary greatly between sportsbooks. There are lots of factors that will play into your decision when picking an online sportsbook to bet at.

State Availability

Sadly, not all states allow online sports betting, and in those that do, the choice may be limited. There are states such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts in which you have a plethora of betting sites to pick from. On the other end of the spectrum, bettors in New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Maine will have only one legally recognized sportsbook to pick from. Some states only allow retail sports betting, in which case you can only place bets if you travel to your local sportsbook (usually located within a regulated casino). For more information on states and legality, head on to our states page, where we show you all the options within your state.

Legal States for Sports Betting


This segues nicely into our next topic of concern: legality. We only review legal betting sites that are regulated in the US. You can also find betting sites online that do not operate legally in the US, but instead may be licensed through the Government of Curacao or other international gambling regulators. We strongly recommend you avoid these sites, as they are operating illegally in the US.

There are lots of reasons why you should not join illegal betting sites, but the main reason is that they are not actually obliged to pay out your winnings. If you want to file a complaint or appeal to a higher power, the betting site can simply say that you joined from an “excluded territory” and therefore it is under no obligation to pay out any winnings. It is better to just avoid the headache.

Which Sportsbook Suits Your Betting Style

Providing that you are betting in a state where there are numerous online sportsbooks to pick from (legal of course), you will want to find the one with the best offering to cater to your needs. There is no be all end all sportsbook that does it all, as each betting site has a slightly different offering. For example, if you are an NFL fan, then we can guide you towards the following sportsbooks (and their key features):

  • Caesars – Has live HD NFL streams, along with Watch & Bet feature
  • BetMGM – Huge NFL bonuses and contests
  • DraftKings – Unrivalled NFL game and player props bets
  • FanDuel – Competitive betting lines

All four are good, and you can find hundreds of betting markets, advanced betting options and great prices. However, there are small differences in each of the offerings. We can’t pick which is best for you, but we can highlight the key features of each sportsbook and show you how to get started, picking up your awesome welcome offer through our links and bonus codes.