Sportsbetting Terms


Another method of handicapping is the point spread. Instead of making the odds even with the potential payoff, this method makes the odds even through the score. Simply put, the underdog gets extra points, and the favorite has to beat them by at least that much. You’ll hear this stated as ‘taking (or ‘laying’) and ‘giving‘; if you give Cleveland five points, you’re betting that they beat their opponent by more than five points, and if you take the points, you’d better hope that your team comes within at least five points of beating Cleveland.

I’ll admit that I’m a little confused about teasers. I’ve heard the term go to a point spread bet where you actually have some control over giving and taking points (i.e., the more points you buy, the bigger your payoff if you win). However, I’ve also heard the term used to describe parlays – which simply mean bets involving more than one game. And just to make it even more fun, I’ve heard the name refer to a combination of the two…so I think I’ll just go back to online casino USA and play a few rounds of online slots until I sort it all out.

The over/under bet is an interesting one: instead of betting on one team or another, you’re betting on the total points that will be scored in the game. You’ll find it a little more often in games like basketball (where the scores can total in the hundreds) than you will in games like soccer ( where the score can often be counted on no fingers). It doesn’t matter how much either team contributed to the total — you’re simply betting whether they all add up to more or less than the sportsbook expects.

Futures may sound like a stupid category of bets  (after all, aren’t all bets on the future?) until you realize that you get a huge payoff for predicting something a very long time in advance. For example, there are ALREADY futures bets being accepted on the next presidential election results (this example probably won’t mean as much if you happen to be reading this in, say, October of 2012, 2016, or 2020).

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