top of page



Approaching to sports-betting might prove difficult, because some of the terms used by bookmakers and professional bettors are really specific to the betting arena. Understanding how to interpret odds, the different bets that can be placed for each sport and the common slang used by betting operators is key to success when it comes to sports-betting. 

We hope that you find some helpful hints in the following lines, as we walk you through the basic vocabulary that is used by sportsbooks. As usual, do not hesitate to reach out should you have any suggestions or questions. We have a solid commitment to improve the sports-betting environment. Your comments are always welcome!

Book/Bookie: Short for bookmaker or sportsbook; person or establishment that takes bets from customers

Chalk: The favorite in the game. People said to be "chalk bettors" typically bet the favorite.

Underdog: The team that is expected to lose straight up.

Point spread: The number of points by which the supposed better team is favored over the underdog. It is a figure set by sportsbooks to provide an advantage or disadvantage based on the margin of victory or defeat for a given team. The favorite team - that is usually labelled with a "-"  (minus) sign - would be at the disadvantage as they would need to win the game by a set number of points, while the underdog team - that is usually labelled with a "+" (plus) sign - would be given an advantage to not lose the game by a set number of points. in that way, sportsbooks provide betting interest for both sides due to one team typically being better than the other.


Spread betting: While with fixed odds betting, a punter places a fixed-risk stake on stated fractional or decimal odds on the outcome of a sporting event that would give a known return for that outcome occurring (or a known loss if that outcome does not occur), with spread betting punters are instead betting on whether a specified outcome in a sports event will end up being above or below a "spread" offered by a bookie, with profits or losses determined by how much above or below the spread the final outcome finishes at. 

Money line:  A bet in which your team only needs to win. The point spread is replaced by odds.


Closing line: The final line before the game or event begins.

Consensus pick: The pick, and its percentage, provides insight as to what side the public is taking in a game. 

Cover: The betting result on a point-spread wager. For a favorite to cover, it has to win by more than the spread; an underdog covers by winning outright or losing by less than the spread.


Even money: Odds that are considered 50-50. You put 1$ to win 1$.


Edge: An advantage. Sports bettors might feel they have an edge on a book if they think its lines are not accurate. 


Fixed: A participant in a particular game who alters the result of that game or match to a completely or partially predetermined result. The participant did not play honestly or fairly because of an undue outside influence.


Futures bet: A long-term wager that typically relates to a team's season-long success. Common futures bets include betting a team to win a championship at the outset of a season, or betting whether the team will win or lose more games than a set line at the start of the season.


Fractional Odds: Amount of profit won to the stake (Profit won / Stake required to win the profit)


Decimal Odds: These numbers represent the amount you win for every 1$ wagered.

American Odds: The odds for favorites are accompanied by a "-" (minus) sign, indicating the amount you need to stake to win 100$. The odds for underdogs are accompanied by a "+"(plus) sign, indicating the amount won for every 100$ staked.   


Handicapper: The person trying to predict the winners of an event. 


Juice: The commission the bookmaker takes. Standard is 10%. 

Limit: The maximum bet taken by a sportsbook. 


Lock: A guaranteed win in the eyes of the punter.

Off the board: When a bookmaker has taken a bet down and is no longer accepting action or wagers on the game. This might happen if, for instance, there is a late injury or some uncertainty regarding who will be participating in the game. 


Parlay: A wager in which multiple teams are bet, wither against the spread or on the money line. For the wager to pay-out, all of them must cover (win). The more teams you bet, the greater the odds. 

In-game wagering: A service offered by books in which punters can place multiple bets in real time, as the game is occurring. 


Halftime bet: A bet made after the first half ended and before the second half begins (where applicable). The bookmaker generally starts with half of the game side/total and adjusts based on what happened during the first half of the game. 


Hedging: Betting the opposite side of the original bet, to either ensure some profit or minimize potential loss. This is typically done with futures bets, but can also be done on individual games.


Teaser and pleaser bet: Type of parlay bet that allows the bettor to adjust point spreads in exchange for a lower potential return. Teasers and pleasers are the opposite sides of the same coin. One works in your favor for a reduced pay-out, while the other goes against your favor for potentially larger pay-outs and improved odds of winning. 


If bets and reverse: An "if bet" is a combination of two or more wagers, where the result of each wager determines whether or not the subsequent wagers are actually placed. Basically, you make multiple selections at whatever stake you choose. your stake is then placed on your first selection. If your first selection loses, you lose your stake and the rest of your wager is cancelled. If your first selection wins you get paid out, but with an amount equal to your initial stake deducted. This amount is then placed again on your second selection. If the second selection wins you get paid out minus the original stake which is then placed on the third selection. if the second selection loses, then the rest of the wager is cancelled. Reverse bets are "if bets" that work in all possible directions. 

Push: When a result lands on the betting number and all wagers are refunded. For instance, a 3-point favorite wins by exactly three points.

If you want to try a real sports betting experience - or even if you simply want to have a look at an online betting platform  - we suggest you to have a look at our reviews of crypto sportsbooks Betonline, MyBookie, and Bookmaker by clicking on the button below: 


The relationship between sports betting odds and probability is highly mathematical. In particular, betting odds are assed based on the probabilities of a certain event to happen. In a perfect world, where bookmakers and casino have no juice for them, it is possible to infer the probability that an event happens from the relative odds proposed by a bookmaker. A straightforward mathematical relationship governs odds making process and it is utterly rooted in probability. The following example will help explaining betting odds:


A = is a soccer event “ Bayern Munich wins the German Premier League Bundesliga ”

P(A) = is the probability that Bayern Munich will win the Premier League Bundesliga

Betting Odds = The odds offered by bookmakers for sports bets on the event that Bayern Munich will win Bundesliga


For betting odds expressed in the decimal format or in the fractional format:


Betting Odds =  1 / P(A)

P(A) = 1 / Betting Odds


Ex. Betting odds = 1.23       P(A) = 81,30 %


When betting odds are expressed in the American format the formula to translate odds to probability becomes slightly more complex, because it depends on whether event A is the underdog or the chalk. Whenever you deal with money lines expressed in the American format you may still use the same formula above. The only thing to do to convert American points spreads to decimal format in the following way:


Hypothesis: A is the chalk, so Bayern Munich is likely to win Bundesliga.

Betting odds (decimal) = 1 + 100  / Betting odds (American)

Ex. Betting odds (American) = + 150      Betting odds (decimal) = 1 + 100 / 150 = 1,6667

Hypothesis: A is the underdog, so Bayern Munich is unlikely to win Bundesliga

Betting odds (decimal) =   1 + Betting odds (American) / 100

Ex. Betting odds (American) = - 150        Betting odds (decimal) = 1 + 150 / 100 = 2,50


It is always possible to extract probability from betting odds, irrespective of the American, fractional, or decimal formats.

The main difference is how probability is actually calculated by bookmakers. Statics help in that respect and, generally speaking, odds making is a process that always take into proper account statistical evidence from past events. In other words, the assumption governing the odds making process is that past events are tied to future events… and it happens to be true in most of the cases.  Think of a football match. If a team consistently delivers bad performances during a certain season, it is likely to suck also for the rest of the matches to be disputed in the rest of that season as well. Especially for sports events, performance depends on trainings, the optimal composition of the team, etc. And those are variables that do not tend to change very easily over time.

For your bets, always consider the probability for an event to happen and that is implied in betting lines. Only place your wager if you truly believe that odds are convenient. To do that, we have prepared some online and free betting odds comparison widgets, allowing for:


Start comparing money lines from the best crypto bookmakers on the internet and take the best value for your sports wagers!  

bottom of page