If you’re new to sports betting you’ve probably seen some of these terms thrown around and are not sure what they mean. Here’s a simple guide to help.

Bankroll

A bankroll is money that you can afford to set aside and invest for betting purposes only.

Chalk

The betting favourite, more often one that is heavily favoured to win.

Chasing Losses

The act of making reckless bets you otherwise wouldn’t have, just because you lost a bet.

Favourite

The side that is projected to win by oddsmakers.

Juice

The commission a sportsbook earns on each bet that is made. If the odds are even on a bet, a sportsbook will generally make the bet -110 so they keep the -10.

Live Betting

Betting on a game while it is unfolding. Also referred to as “in-play betting”.

Lock

A term used by amateur bettors to describe an “easy winner.”

Experienced bettors know, and usually learned the hard way, that there is no such thing as a “lock.” Anything can happen in sports including outcomes that are impossible to predict such as injuries and bad ref/judge calls, so proper bankroll management is essential.

Moneyline

Betting on the moneyline means you are simply betting on the team to win the game straight up.

Mush

A bettor or gambler who is considered to be bad luck.

Parlay

A parlay is when a bettor combines two or more bets to win, earning a higher payout if all of their picks win.  If one of the combined bets loses, the whole parlay loses. 

Pick’em

A pick’em means that there is no favourite or underdog. Oddsmakers believe that neither side has an advantage over the other.  

Push

A push is the result of a tie between the bettor and the sportsbook. The bettor is refunded their money, and doesn’t lose any juice.

Steam

When a sudden and large line movement occurs across the sports betting marketplace.  Steam occurs when a large amount of money is being placed on a certain bet.

Underdog

The side that is projected to lose by oddsmakers.

Unit

Units are a simple way of measuring the size of a bet regardless of the individual’s bankroll size. 1 unit = 1% of your bankroll. So if you have a bankroll of $10,000, a 1 unit bet would be $100, a 5 unit bet would be $500, and so on.