By Jacob Johnson | Published On: Jan 10 2022

Hey New York: Here is your guide to some of the most important Sports Betting Terms

Hey New York: Here is your guide to some of the most important Sports Betting Terms

New York just launched mobile sports betting, and it has the industry buzzing. New York was one of the crown jewel states for legal betting because of the population and number of professional sports teams.

The state borders New Jersey, the largest sports betting market in the United States. New Jersey has attracted a lot of New York bettors, so many have an understanding of the terminology. However, the mobile sports betting launch will attract a lot of new bettors from the Empire State.

Sports betting can be very intimidating at first, so a terminology guide is helpful. So New Yorkers, here is your guide for the most important sports betting terms.

Money Line

The money line is the most wagered market in sports betting. This is when you pick a team straight up to win. The only thing that matters is the final score between the two teams. The money line is prevalent in all major sports.

Positive and negative odds are associated with the money line that correlates to your payout on winning tickets. Positive odds mean a team is an underdog, and higher odds mean a team is less likely to win.

Negative odds indicate a favorite, and the lower the odds, the more likely a team is to win.

The Spread

The spread is the great equalizer and one of the toughest bets to win in sports. This determines how many points a team is favored by in a game. A (-) and (+) sign are used with this market.

(-) means a team is favored by a certain number. (+) means a team is an underdog by a certain number.

EXAMPLE: The Patriots are -6.5 against the Titans, meaning they are favored by 6.5. If you take the Patriots, they must win by a touchdown for the bet to hit. If you like the Titans at +6.5, they must be within that margin or win for a successful wager.


The total is also referred to as the over/under. This is when you bet on the number of points scored in a game. There is a set number for every contest, and you must choose to bet over or under this number.

When two teams play excellent defense, this means a game will likely go under. If two offensive juggernauts match up, the game will likely go over. When teams with different styles of play compete, then it gets interesting.  Why not learn about other types of bets with the Same game Parlay Picks guide.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are smaller wagers within a game. The money line, spread, and total are the three major betting markets. Props refer to unique bets, and these vary between sportsbooks.

The most common prop bets are player props. This is when you bet on individual performances. When it comes to football, you could bet on a quarterback’s passing yardage.

In baseball, you could bet on strikeout or hit totals, and in basketball, you can wager the number of 3 point baskets in a contest. The possibilities are endless, especially in a major market like New York.


Cover is a great buzzword used in sports betting. If a team covers the spread, it means they either won a game by a certain margin or were within the set total. There is a saying that good teams win and great teams cover.

Sports bettors love teams that can cover the spread because these franchises are very lucrative. The New York sports betting market is going to be massive. It’s important to embrace these terms and become a student of the game.

This translates to winning bets! Best of luck with your introduction to sports betting.

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