Hockey Betting Terms Glossary



A valid wager or bet. Having action means having a bet that is going to win or lose. In baseball, action means that the bet counts even if the starting pitchers change. For an 'If' bet, action means that the wager continues on to the second bet if the first bet wins, ties, or if the game is canceled.

added games

Games that aren't on the regular Vegas rotation. They usually involve smaller schools that are harder to gain information on; therefore, they are added later than other lines in the same sport. In order to offset the lack of information, added games are circled.

against the spread (ATS)

A bet that is decided by adding points to the underdog or subtracting points from the favorite after the game is played, as opposed to a bet on the actual result of the game (i.e., which team will win, without taking the point spread into consideration). See also cover the spread.




To risk money on the outcome of an event.


A person who places a bet.

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See bookmaker.


A slang term for a bookmaker.


A person or company that accepts bets against the lines created by linesmakers.


A slang term for a $100 bet.




A slang term for the favorite.

chalk player

A person who usually bets on favorites and rarely bets on underdogs. See also dog player.

circled game

A game with lower than usual betting limits, and restrictions on parlays. Games may be circled because of uncertainties (e.g., key injuries, inclement weather conditions, or unsubstantiated rumors regarding a team) that make them difficult to predict. Circled games are enclosed in a red box. See also line quality.

combo bet

See parlay.


Customer repeating his/her account number at the end of a readback to confirm wagers placed by phone.

cover the spread

To win after the score is modified by the point spread. See also against the spread.

cross-sport parlay

A parlay that includes lines from more than one sport, league, or portion of the game.



dime bet (dime)

A slang term for a $1,000 bet.

dime line

The dime line charges only half the juice of standard bets. A -140 favorite would usually make the underdog +120 on a 20-cent line, but with the "dime line" the underdog would be +130


See underdog.

dog player

A person who usually bets on underdogs. See also chalk player.

dollar bet

A slang term for a $100 bet.

double bet

A wager for twice the size of one's usual wager; also known as "double pop" or "doubling up".

due for

A term referring to a team that is considered to be overdue for a win or loss in their next event. Many bettors like to play "due for" situations.




A betting advantage, which may be real or perceived.

even money

A wager in which the payout amount matches the risk amount -- no vigorish or juice is laid (i.e., the odds are 1/1).


Usually refers to a sporting event, but can be anything on which people can bet.

exotic wager

Any bet other than a straight bet or parlay (e.g., teasers, 'If' bets, reverses, round robins).




The team or entry expected to win a particular event. See also underdog.

fifty cents

A slang term for a $50 bet.


Bets placed, or odds posted, on the outcome of a future event. Futures are usually on major events such as the Stanley Cup.



getting down

Making a wager or bet.

getting value

Getting the best odds on a betting proposition.

grand salami

The number of goals scored in all the hockey games played on a particular day. You can bet on whether the grand salami will go over/under.



half a dollar

A slang term for a $50 bet.


A person who studies, rates, and wagers on sporting events and/or races. See also Brad Leeb


Predicting the outcome of events.


The total amount of money taken by a book on an event.


Betting on the opposite side of an original bet in order to cut losses or guarantee winning a minimal amount of money.

holding your own

Neither winning nor losing, just breaking even.

home team

The team playing in its own town.


A half point added to the Puckline.

hot game

A game that is drawing a lot of action on one side by knowledgeable handicappers.


The casino, sportsbook, or bookmaker.



'If' bet

A wager that links together two straight bets, where progressing to the second bet is dependent on the first bet winning. If the first bet wins, the second bet is placed; if the first bet loses, however, the second bet isn't placed.




The bookmaker's commission. Also known as the vigorish or vig.



key numbers

Numbers that frequently arise in sports and affect wagering outcomes.



laying the price

Betting on the favorite in a moneyline event. See also taking the price.


The maximum amount accepted by a sportsbook before the odds and/or the points are changed; also, the "cap" on what you can wager.


The current odds on a particular event; something that a player can bet on.


The person who establishes the odds on an event. In order to determine the official favorite and underdog for the event, the linesmaker analyzes statistics and trends, reads injury reports, and gets a feel for how bettors feel about the two teams. .

line quality

Whether a line is normal, circled or correlated. A line may be circled because of injuries, weather conditions, or any other factor that causes the bookmaker to think the line may move drastically. Circled lines or circled games are enclosed in a red box, cannot be parlayed, and have lower than usual betting limits. A blue box around the lines means the game has lines that are correlated, and the event is subject to restricted wagering options. You will not be able to Parlay any line within another line from the same event, however you can parlay lines from this event with lines in other events.


An easy winner.


A team or horse that isn't expected to win.




To bet both sides of a game at different prices with the hope of winning both wagers. For example, suppose you bet the favorite team at -1.5 with one sportsbook and then take +3.5 with another sportsbook. If the game ends with the favorite winning by 3 points, you will win both bets or "middle the game".


A bet on the actual result of an event (i.e., which team will win, without taking the point spread into consideration). Moneyline odds are quoted using either a positive or a negative number. A negative number indicates the favorite, and the odds show how much money you must wager to win $100. A positive number indicates the underdog, and the odds show how much money you will win on a $100 wager. The team you wager on just has to win the event.


Multiple straight bets placed at the same time. The bets can be from the same or different sports, leagues, or portions of the game, and the wager amounts can be the same or different for each bet.

multi-sport parlay

See cross-sport parlay.



newspaper line

A betting line that appears in daily newspapers.


National Hockey League (the teams are divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference).


A slang term for a $500 bet.

no action

When a bet is canceled because either the event didn't happen or certain conditions weren't met. All money is refunded as if you never placed the bet. See also push.




The likelihood, according to a bookmaker, of an outcome occurring.


Same as a linesmaker.

off the board

Game or event on which the sportsbook is no longer taking bets.

one dollar

A slang term for a $100 bet.

opening line

The earliest line posted for a particular event.


A wager in which you predict that the combined score of both teams will be above a specified total. See also under.


When the odds of a given wager favor the bettor rather than the house.


An extension to a tied contest at the end of regulation play that lasts until either a winner is determined or the maximum overtime periods expire.




A single bet that links together two or more individual bets (from the same or different sports, leagues, or portions of the game) and is dependent on all of the bets winning. If any one of the bets in the parlay loses, the entire parlay loses.

past performance

An accurate record of the performance of specific teams or contestants when participating in events similar to those scheduled.

pick 'em game (pick or PK)

An event where there isn't a favorite; the teams are evenly matched.


See bettor.


An event that has been canceled and rescheduled for a later date.


To bet a larger amount than usual.


The moneyline odds or point spread.

proposition bet (prop)

A wager with two or more outcomes that are not directly related to the final score of an event. Proposition bets can be on sporting events, politics, and various other topics.


Hockey’s version of the point spread. The puckline typically adds 1.5 goals to the underdog (+1.5) and subtracts 1.5 goals from the favorite (-1.5).


When an event ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes. All money is refunded as if you never placed a bet. A moneyline bet is graded "Push" if the final score of the event is tied. A point spread bet is graded "Push" if the point adjustment creates a tie. A total bet is graded "Push" if the final combined score matches the specified total.






Summary of all phone wagers repeated to the player.


The total amount you are paid on a winning bet.


When you place a reverse bet, two 'If' bets are placed for you – one in the original order and the other in reverse order.

round robin

A convenient way to create multiple parlays at one time. You can select between three and eight lines and then combine them in parlays of two to six teams.

run down

All the lines for a specific date, sport, or time.




People who study team plays and/or practices and report their findings to handicappers.


To bet both sides of a game at different prices such that there is at least one score that will give you a win on one bet and a push (tie) on the other.


The two teams playing in an event: the underdog and the favorite.


See straight bet.

smart money

Sides that are bet on by more knowledgeable handicappers.

sport player

A person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager.


A person or company that accepts bets on sporting and other events.

standard line

When the price (or juice) is -110 for both teams (or -105 for dime lines), it’s considered to be a standard line. If a point spread is at the standard line then it will be displayed with just the spread for simplicity, no juice attached.

Stanley Cup

The best-of-seven National Hockey League (NHL) series where the Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions meet to determine the NHL champion.


The amount of the bet.


When a betting line starts to move quite rapidly. Most "steam games" don't necessarily reflect objective circumstances; rather, they are games that a mass of bettors are drawn to for some reason.


A bookie.

straight bet

A wager on the outcome of a single event or game.

straight up (SU)

A bet that only requires the team to win the game outright without applying a pointspread to the outcome.



taking the points

Betting on the underdog in a point spread event. See also laying the points.

taking the price

Betting on the underdog in a moneyline event. See also laying the price.


A wager.


See push.


The combined scores of both teams involved in an event. Rather than betting on which team will win the event, you can bet on whether the game will go over (o) or under (u) the specified amount.


A person who sells his expertise on sports or horse wagers.




A wager in which you predict that the combined score of both teams will be below a certain total. See also over.


The team or entry expected to lose a particular event. Also known as the "dog". The underdog has a positive sign or no sign at all in front of its odds.




See getting value.

vig or vigorish

The bookmaker's commission. Also known as juice. Go back to top




See bet.

win only

A type of 'If' bet where the wager continues on to the second bet only if the first bet wins. If the first bet is graded "Push" or "No Action" or the game is canceled altogether, your money is refunded.


What some players say after winning a bet.

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