What Do Sports Betting Terms Mean?    

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 by  Tourism.Victoria 

In the USA, sports betting is only legally allowed in the state of Nevada. Despite this, the industry is growing steadily with $116 million being bet on the Super Bowl alone this year.

This growing revenue, and therefore popularity, is reflected in several refurbishments to sports betting locations in Las Vegas. For example, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Lake Tahoe recently constructed eight-screen video walls, which are used to screen live broadcasts surrounded by statistics, odds and news stories.

So, with the USA embracing sports betting properly for the first time, legions of new fans are being introduced to this beloved and historic pastime.

What can be quite difficult for these newbies is the various terminologies that refer to different types of bets. Whilst most would be forgiven for thinking that there was only one main, and simple, way of betting on a sporting event, they would be wrong.

There are various types and ways to bet and our handy terminology guide will be able to tell you exactly what they are.

Straight Bets

This is the most common type of bet in the US. It involves wagering on the final outcome of a match, namely who wins or loses. In this situation one team will be seen as more desirable to win, and therefore will have odds that give a smaller return. In this situation, the other team will be deemed more likely to lose and will therefore have odds that give a bigger profit. Ultimately, when it comes to a straight bet, the bigger the odds the more money there is to be won but the less chance there is of it actually happening.

Proposition Bets

This is a more focused and specified bet that involves predicting various elements and occurrences within any given sporting event, beyond the final score. For example, in Bundesliga betting, this might involve wagering on how many goals Borussia Dortmund will score in one match or even how many fouls will be committed by a Freiburg player during the first half.


Usually used to refer to multiple bets, Parlays involve winning successive wagers that build up to a collective pay-out. The danger of being involved in a parlay is that, whilst completing a sequence pays big bucks, you will lose everything if even one bet is wrong in the chain. For example, if betting on four separate horse races, all four of your chosen racers would have to finish first for you to get an, admittedly inflated, pay-out.

Progressive parlays

This is similar to a parlay except it stretches over an even greater length of multiple bets (usually 12). However, unlike the traditional parlay, winning streaks within the sequence that are broken up may still lead to a smaller pay-out.

Future Wagers

Of course, all wagers are technically involving the future. However, a future wager concerns betting on results or occurrences weeks or even months in advance. This is usually at the beginning of the season. For example, betting that Serena Williams will remain ranked number one on the WTA rankings at the end of the 2015 season. The odds for future wagers can sometimes be very generous as punters have little to go on due to the outcome they are betting on being so far away.

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