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Sports Betting and Statistics Glossary

Action: A wager of any kind

Arbitrage: Where a variation in odds available allows a bettor to back both sides and guarantee a double win.

ATS: An abbreviation for against-the-spread

Against-the-spread: To bet against the spread is to make a wager that will be decided by adding points to one team or the other after the game is played. For instance if a team has a spread of “-7,” it has won against-the-spread if it is still winning after subtracting seven from its score.

Back door cover: Points that are unnecessary to the straight-up outcome of the game that are scored late in the game to cover the spread by a team that is very likely to lose.

Backed: A “backed” team is one on which the majority of bets have been placed. A team can be backed by the public in general or backed by “sharps” who are professional bettors.

Bad beat: A tough loss, when unlikely points are scored against a wager to change the outcome of the play when the opposite side appeared likely to win.

Bankroll: A fund from which one places bets.

Bettor: Someone who places or has a bet.

Bookmaker: An organization or person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.

Chalk: The favored team.

Chalk Player: A person who bets favorites.

Circled Game: A game where the action is limited due to doubts about key injuries or inclement weather.

Closing Line: The final list of point spreads offered just before game time.

Cover: To beat the spread by the required number of points.

Dime Bet: A $1000 wager.

Dog: The underdog in any betting proposition.

Dog Player: A person who bets underdogs.

Even Money: A wager where neither side lays any odds, or vigorish. Just 50%+ confidence is required to wager an “even money” play.

Exposure: The amount of money the player or book stands to lose on any action.

Favorite: The team or individual the sportsbooks rate most likely to win that contest or event. Against-the-spread, the favorite has a negative spread (like -7). On money lines, the favorite has negative win odds (like -120). Typically it has the most money bet on it as the public likes to wager on chalk.

Futures: Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a major future event where the participants are not always known.

Get down: Make a wager.

Half-Bet Plays: Predictalator picks for which we recommend a wager of between $25-$49 for a normal $50 player. At typical -110 odds, this corresponds to between 54.8% and 57.1% confidence.

Handicapper: A person who analyzes, studies and rates sporting events.

Handicap: The spread.

Handle: Total value of wagers taken.

Hedge: To wager the opposite of your original wager in order to reduce your exposure.

Hold: The percentage of action the bookmaker keeps.

Home Field Advantage: An edge the home team is expected to have as a result of playing in its typical stadium. Home field exists in every sport, largely due to bias from officials.

Hook: A half point added to football and basketball point spreads. For example, 3.5 is also “3 and a hook.”

Hooked: The loss of a wager by exactly a half point.

If-Bet: Is a two-part bet where the second part of the bet only has action if the first part wins or pushes.

Juice: The bookmaker's commission, also known as vigorish or vig.

Lay the points: A wager on a favorite in a point spread event.

Layoff: A bookmaker's bet with another bookmaker made in order to help equalize the excess action he has accepted from his customers.

Light Play: Predictalator picks for which we recommend a wager of between $1-$24 for a normal $50 player. At typical -110 odds, this corresponds to between 52.4% and 54.7% confidence.

Limit: The maximum wager accepted by the bookmaker.

Lines: Odds offered to the bettor in the form of spreads, over/under and money-lines.

Linemaker: One who compiles or sets the original or subsequent betting lines.

Live ScoreCaster: PredictionMachine.com's app allows you to view current scores and play-by-play as well as live, updating projections from 50,000 simulations of the remaining time in a sporting event.

Lock: Term for the most likely winner from a subset of against-the-spread opinions.

Long Odds: Generally greater than 10:1.

Longshot: An extreme underdog.

Middle: To win both sides of the same betting proposition. Placing a wager on the favorite team at -2.5, then placing a wager on the dog at +3.5 after the line has moved. If the final score sees the favorite win by 3, the bettor wins both wagers placed and has hit the middle.

Middler: A player who tends to middle his bets.

Money Line: The amount that must be wagered to win $100, or the amount won for a $100 wager. A negative money line (on the favorite, like -120) illustrates the amount that must be wagered to win $100. A positive money line (on the underdog, like +120) illustrates the amount that is won on a wager of $100.

Neutral site: An arena, a court, ring, rink or field where neither side has a home field advantage.

No Play: Predictalator picks for which we recommend a wager is zero dollars. At typical -110 odds, this corresponds to less than 52.4% confidence because winning at a rate less than 52.4% will not return a profit.

Normal Play: Predictalator picks for which we recommend a wager of $50 or greater for a normal $50 player. At typical -110 odds, this corresponds to anything greater than 57.1% confidence. A normal wager should be between 1% and 3% of one's bankroll.

Odds: The sportsbook's or bookmaker's view of the chance of a competitor winning.

Oddsmaker: A person who sets the betting odds, usually Las Vegas oddsmakers.

Off the Board: A game or event on which the sportsbook will not accept action.

Over/Under: A bet on whether the total points, runs or goals scored by the two teams will be over or under a specified number.

Parlay: A single bet that links together two or more individual bets and requires all bets win in order to win the parlay. The benefit of betting a parlay is that there are higher payouts if all win than if each individual wager was played alone.

Picks: Betting selections, usually by an expert.

Pick, Pick'em, or PK: Evenly matched teams where there is no favorite or underdog.

Play Analyzer: PredictionMachine.com's answer to line movements gives you the ability to see updated picks based off of consensus and customized line movements.

Point Spread: (Also, Handicap) The points allocated to the 'underdog' to level the odds with the favorite.

Predictalator: State-of-the-art and unbiased sports forecasting software that plays every game 50,000 times before it's actually played to provide confidence picks for straight-up, against-the-spread, money-line, and over/under plays.

Press: To wager a greater amount than usual (this is not recommended).

Puck line: A wager on ice hockey that combines both a handicap/spread and odds.

Price: The odds.

Push: A game that is tied when the point spread is factored in.

ResultsFinder: PredictionMachine.com's answer to ultimate transparency allows one to track the success of teams in certain circumstances as well as the Predictalator's success at straight-up, against-the-spread, money-line, and over/under.

Return: Total winnings on a bet.

Reverse Bet: A set of if-bets going both forward and in reverse order. A reverse bet represents every possible two-team combination of if-bets that can be formed from all the underlying teams in the reverse bet.

Rundown: A line update.

Run line: A line used when wagering on baseball that incorporates a spread and odds.

Scratch: To withdraw, cancel or call off a wager.

Sharp: (Also wise guy) A knowledgeable, usually professional handicapper or bettor.

Side: An against-the-spread wager.

Side Bet/Side Wager: A wager on a particular team, side or contestant to win an event.

Smart money: Money wagered on sides by knowledgeable handicappers.

Sportsbook: The person or shop who accepts bets.

Spread: Point Spread.

Steam: When a betting line starts to move quite rapidly, usually caused by many bettors betting on the same side.

Store: A sportsbook.

Square: An unsophisticated player or bettor.

Sucker bet: A wager that overwhelmingly favors the bookmaker.

System: A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a bettor to try to get an advantage.

Teaser: A bet on two or more teams where the bettor can add or subtract points from the spread to make bets more likely in return for reduced payout odds. All results must match the selections to win the teaser.

Tie: A push, standoff or a draw.

Totals: Sports bet on whether the combined number of points, runs or goals scored by the two teams will be over/under a given mark.

True Odds: The real odds of something happening as opposed to what the bookies offer.

Underdog: The team that receives points to entice bettors to back them, usually the team least likely to win.

Value: Getting the best odds on a wager.

Vigorish or Vig: The commission paid to the bookmaker.

Wise Guy: A knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.

Football Statistics:

TO – Turnovers (Fumbles lost + Interceptions)

Yards/Play – Yards from scrimmage gained per play from scrimmage (not including penalties)

Points/Play – Total points scored per play from scrimmage

Points/Yard – Total points scored per yard from scrimmage

Pass% - Frequency of non-penalty plays from scrimmage that result in a pass play including sacks for NFL (Pass Plays/(Pass Plays + Run Plays)

Pass Yds% - Net passing yards as a percentage of yards from scrimmage (Pass Yards/(Pass Yards + Rush Yards)

Pass TD% - Frequency of offensive touchdowns that are pass plays (Passing TDs/(Rushing TDs + Passing TDs)

Rush% - Frequency of non-penalty plays from scrimmage that result in a run play - including sacks for college football (Run Plays/(Pass Plays + Run Plays)

Rush Yds% - Net rushing yards as a percentage of yards from scrimmage (Rush Yards/(Pass Yards + Rush Yards)

Rush TD% - Frequency of offensive touchdowns that are running plays (Rush TDs/(Rushing TDs + Passing TDs)

TO% - Frequency of plays from scrimmage that result in a turnover (Fumbles Lost + Interceptions Thrown)/(Pass Plays + Rush Plays)

FGM – Field Goals Made

FGA – Field Goals Attempted

FG% - Field Goals Made/Field Goals Attempted

Def/ST Tds – Total number of touchdowns scored on returns by the defense or special teams

TD/FGA – Ratio of touchdowns scored to field goals attempted for a team

Comp. – Passing completions

Att. – Passing attempts

Comp% - Passing completion percentage (Pass Completions/Pass Attempts)

YPA – Net yards per passing attempt (Pass Yards/Pass Attempts)

Yds Lost – Yards lost due to sacks allowed

TD/ATT – Passing touchdowns per pass attempt (Pass Tds/Pass Attempts)

TD/COMP – Passing touchdowns per passing completion (Pass TDs/Pass Completions)

TD/INT – The ratio of passing touchdowns to interceptions thrown (Pass TDs/Interceptions)

Sack/Pass Play – Sacks allowed per pass play run (Sacks/(Sacks + Pass Attempts)

YL/Sack – Yards lost per sack allowed (Yards Lost/Sacks)

YPR – Net yards gained per rush attempt (Rush Yards/Rushes)

FL – Fumbles lost

TDs/Rush – Rushing touchdowns per rush attempt (Rush TDs/Rushes)

FL/Rush – Fumbles lost per rush attempt (Fumbles Lost/Rushes)

FL/Fumble – Fumbles lost per times fumbled (Fumbles lost/Fumbles)

TD/FL – Rushing touchdowns per fumble lost (Rushing TDs/Fumbles Lost)

FR – Fumble recoveries

XPM – Extra points made

XPA – Extra points attempted

Net Punt Yards – Punt yards less punt return yards allowed (Punt Yards – Punt Return Yards Allowed)

XP% - Extra points made per attempt (Extra Points Made/Extra Points Attempted)

Punt Avg. – Punt yards per punt (Punt Yards/Punts)

Net Punt Avg. – Net punt yards per punt (Punt Yards – Punt Return Yards Allowed)/Punts

TB% - Percentage of kickoffs by the team/player that result in touchbacks (Touchbacks/Kickoffs)

FCs – Fair catches

Kick Rtn TD% - Percentage of kick returns that result in a touchdown (Kickoff Return TDs/Kickoff Returns)

FC% - Percentage of punts fielded that result in a fair catch (Fair Catches/Opponents Punts)

Punt Rtn TD% - Percentage of punt returns that result in a touchdown (Punt Return TDs/Punt Returns)

Yds/Penalty – Yards lost per penalty committed (Penalty Yards/Penalties)

Penalties/Play – Penalties committed per play from scrimmage including penalties (Penalties/(Pass Plays + Rush Plays + Penalties))

Opp Yds/Penalty – Yards gained per opponent penalty committed (Opponent Penalty Yards/Opponent Penalties)

Opp Penalties/Play – Opponent penalties committed per play from scrimmage including penalties (Opponent Penalties/(Opponent Pass Plays + Opponent Rush Plays + Opponent Penalties))

Y/P Margin – Difference between team Yds/Penalty and Opp Yds/Penalty

P/P Margin - Difference between team Penalties/Play and Opp Penalties/Play

Rec - Receptions

Targets – Number of pass attempts on which the player was the intended target

YPC – Yards per catch (Receiving Yards/Receptions)

YAC – Receiving yards gained after the reception is secured

Rec/Target – Receptions per target (Receptions/Targets) also is Comp% for teams

YPT – Receiving yards per target (Receiving Yards/Targets) also YPA for teams

YAC/Rec – Yards after the catch gained per reception (Yards After Catch/Receptions)

TD/Rec – Receiving touchdowns per reception (Receiving TDs/Reception)

TD/Target – Receiving touchdowns per target (Receiving TDs/Targets)

Tckl – Tackles

TFL – Tackles for a loss of a yards

PD – Passes defensed

INT – Interceptions

FF – Forced fumbles

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