Betting us fun until you start losing a lot. Our experience shows that often, people who aren't familiar with industry are prone to failing in it. It's the same with sports betting. You have to be armed with sufficient knowledge before you start betting your money away.

By knowledge, we don't only mean that you have to know your sport (in this case, football). It is also imperative that you are familiar with all the terms and slang that professional bettors and bookmakers use so that you can quickly understand what is required from you in every situation.

For instance, your friend tells you, “I'm definitely not betting chalk in this game because the dog is at +110, and this is basically a no-vig bet to me”. No, this friend isn't talking about a dog that's playing with chalk in your backyard. It's actually about getting value from a specific money line.

So now that we are fully aware that betting terminology is essential to your betting endeavors let's outline a few general terms before we delve into the specific ones for the NFL. 

NFL Betting Glossary: The Ultimate Guide

BankThis is the term used for your bankroll. That's the amount of money you possess that should last you the whole NFL season. It's your total capital that you are prepared to bet. If you run out of it, we advise you to not bet for the remainder of the season. 
UnitThis is the amount of money you bet per game. We suggest that you do not spend more than 3% of your bank per bet.
BookieThis is a slang term for a bookmaker. You will also see “house” being used with the same meaning.
BettorThis is a person who places a bet
Recreational BettorA casual bettor who does not possess thorough knowledge on the betting world and all the angles associated with it. Professionals also call these bettors “Joes” or even “Freddy Fanny Pack.”
Sharp BettorAlso, know and “sharp” or a “wise guy.” These are the professional bettors that do sports betting for a living
SportsbookThe department of each casino or “house” responsible for taking the sports bets of customers
Public moneyThe money wagered by recreational bettors
Sharp moneyThe money wagered by professional bettors
FavoriteA player/team expected to win an event
UnderdogA player/team expected to lose an event
LimitsThe maximum amount of money a sportsbook accepts per bet. Often, the limits are different for recreational bettors and the sharps that are well-known to the bookie. The more you win, the smaller your limits will be.
VigThe full term is “vigorish,” also known as “juice.” This is the part that the bookmaker makes from every bet. This is why when placing a bet giving you a 50% chance to win, you can't double your money.
EdgeSomething that gives you an advantage 
AngleA piece of information that increases your chances to win a bet
Chalk“to bet chalk” means that you are betting on the favorite
FieldThis refers to all the participants in one championship or league
BeardThis is a person who places bets instead of someone else.
LineThe offer of the bookie for a specific market.
Opening lineThe first line made available to the public by the bookmaker for a particular market. 
MarketA category of a betting type in a specific event. You go to each individual market to place your wager.
Closing lineThe last line available before an event begins or a market closes.

Now that we are confident that you have sufficient knowledge when it comes to the typical betting terms let's turn our attention to the ones that are more specific to football.

Point spreadThe handicap is assigned to a particular game. The bookie “gives” points to one of the teams and “takes” the same number of points from the other side.
TotalsThe total points scored in the match
Money lineThe market on which you pick who will win or lose the game straight up.
OddsThe representation of the probability for something to happen. It is also known as a “price”. The higher the odds, the bigger your potential payout. The chance to win, though, decreases
Line movementThe changing of the line throughout the week before the game
Prop betsThe full term is proposition bets. They are typically not related to the outcome of the game. 
Derivative betsBets placed on special markets such as “will a player score a TD in the game?” “how many yards will a player get?” etc.
Against the spreadAlso known as ATS. This term stands for when a bettor places a wager on one side of the spread.
CoverWhen a team manages to win against the spread. We say that the team has “covered” the spread.
OutrightsThese are the futures markets with long-term outcomes. Such a market is “Which team will win the Super Bowl?”
Live bettingAlso known as In-play betting. This type of betting takes place as the games are being played. The odds change rapidly, and to get the best prices, you want to act fast.
Pick 'emA slang that refers to a line of a game in which there is no favorite.
ParlayA slip with multiple bets. All bets have to be winners for the slip to be winning.
TeaserA sub-type of parlay betting. The bettor is allowed to move the point spread in their favor by 6, 6.5 or 7 points. The resulting payout is lower, and all bets on the slip must be winning.


There’s a good chance that you will encounter some more terms that we haven’t mentioned here during your betting experience. Even though the NFL betting world doesn’t really come up with terms anymore, there may always be something new on the market that will call for a new word to be used for it. Good luck out there!