Sports Betting Glossary of Terms

Understanding the meaning of sports betting terms is an important part of making informed decisions. The following is a collection of commonly used terms in sports betting.  

Cancelled Wager means a wager that was legal and appropriate when originally placed by the bettor, but some event, circumstance or occurrence prevents the wager from being unequivocally determined in accordance with the licensed online sportsbook's approved House Rules or Internal Control Standards.  

Cover is a reference explaining that the point spread was successfully achieved from a sporting event. 

Favorite is the team expected to win or the team on which most bettors are wagering money. 

Future bets are wagers made on the occurrence of an event in the future relating to a sporting event.  

Geolocation Services means a technology service used by a licensed online sportsbook to identify real-world geographic location(s) of an internet or mobile connected remote wagering device, application or website.  

Handicapping is the practice of trying to predict game outcomes, usually based on experience, knowledge and research.  

Handle is the amount of money that patrons are betting. 

Hold is the amount of handle a sportsbook retains after paying out winning wagers.  

Ineligible players are individuals who, pursuant to Tennessee law, shall not, directly or indirectly, wager or bet on a sporting event in Tennessee. See the Sports Wagering Council’s categories of ineligible players here

Money line wager means a wager on the outcome of a sporting event outright, with fixed odds in relation to the dollar  amount wagered.  

Oddsmaker is a person who calculates or predicts the outcome of a contest and sets betting odds. Odds are typically determined from a combination of external sources such as third-party oddsmakers, other sports book posted odds, and internal sports book management. The oddsmaker “sets the price.”  

Over/Under, or “Total,” is a bet on whether the aggregate score of a game will be over or under a particular number of points.  

Parlay Wager is a single wager that incorporates two (2) or more individual bets for purposes of earning a higher payout if each bet incorporated within the wager wins.

Pick’em in traditional sports betting is an event with no favorite or underdog, and not to be confused with a fantasy pick’em contest, which is a particular style of contest. 

Point Spread or Spread is the predicted scoring differential between two people or teams engaged in a sporting event.

Prohibited participant means any individual who is prohibited from wagering pursuant to the Sports Gaming Act, who is on any self-exclusion list or Council exclusion list, whose participation may undermine the integrity of the wagering or the Sporting Event, who is excluded from wagering for any other good cause, or any person who makes or attempts to make a wager as an agent or proxy on behalf of another.  

Promotional credit means free plays, deposit matches, odds boosts, risk-free bets, and any other bonus that a licensed online sportsbook offers or gives to a player as an incentive to wager. 

Promotional payout means a payout by a licensed online sportsbook to a bettor in a form that cannot be immediately withdrawn by the bettor as cash.  

Promotional wager means a wager placed by a licensed online sportsbook using a bonus or other non-cash item.  

Proposition or Prop Bet is a special wager offered by a licensed online sportsbook. A prop wager is a wager made regarding the occurrence or nonoccurrence of an event or circumstance during a sporting event that is not the final outcome of the sporting event. A proposition wager does not include the final outcome of the sporting event. For example, the first team to score in a basketball game. 

Proxy betting is the act of one individual betting on behalf of another person, which is illegal in Tennessee. 

Resettled wager means a wager that was settled incorrectly by a licensed online sportsbook due to a statistical correction, technical error, or human error.  

Round Robin is a series of parlay wagers using combinations of configurations to win. Any loss affects all round robin  levels where the loss event appears.  

Sharps are sophisticated sports bettors.  

Squares are novice sports bettors. 

Straight Bet is a simple wager on a team or athlete.  

Suspicious wagering activity means wagering activity in violation of the Sports Gaming Act or Sports Wagering Council rules; that is made or attempted to be made by an agent or proxy, or that is indicative of match-fixing, the manipulation of an event, misuse of inside information, sports corruption, or other prohibited activity.  

Teaser is a combined bet on two or more games where point spreads are adjusted more favorably for the player but returns on winning wagers are lower. All selections must be right to win a teaser.  

Underdog is the team not expected to win or the team on which fewer bettors are wagering money. 

Vigorish, also known as “Juice,” “Service Fee,” “Commission,” or “Take Out,” is a fee licensed online sportsbooks collect on losing wagers. If a bettor wagered $110 to win $100, the $10 difference is the vig, vigorish, juice, or service fee.  

Voided wager means a wager that a licensed online sportsbook voids after acceptance because the wager is determined by the licensed online sportsbook, the Council, or the Executive Director to be prohibited under the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act, rules promulgated by the Council, other state laws, or prohibited or otherwise invalid pursuant to the licensed online sportsbook approved House Rules or Internal Control Standards.  

Wager or bet, also commonly referred to as the “stake,” means a sum of money risked by a bettor on the unknown outcome of one or more sporting events, including but not limited to: the form of fixed-odds betting, a future bet, live betting, a money line bet, pari-mutuel betting, parlay bet, pools, proposition bet, spread bet, or in any other form or manner as authorized by Rule of the Council.