Betting jargon: Explaining 5 key betting terms

Sports betting has its own jargon that can be difficult to decipher for those who have never bet on a sporting event. Even sports bettors that have wagered on games for many years may not know the meanings of some of the terms used by professional bettors and sportsbooks. The good news for sports bettors is that there are a lot of sports events this spring to wager on. Therefore, sports bettors can use these new terms when wagering on a variety of events including March Madness, the NHL Playoffs, Champions League, Grand National, and Kentucky Derby. Sports fans can use the Draftkings welcome bonus to get a promo code before wagering on their preferred sporting event this spring.

Once you learn these betting terms, you will sound like a professional bettor (sharp) and hopefully, win profits on the games and races you wager on.


ATS is regular acronym used in NFL or NCAA college football betting. It stands for against the spread and relates to betting on the points and scores of the games. A lot of NFL bettors will choose to wager ATS rather than on the moneyline as it can be more lucrative.


A parlay is when a bettor makes multiple selections on one wager. If each selection is successful, then the parlay wins. For example, if you select the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, and Toronto Raptors to win in the NBA on a given night and all three are successful, then your bet wins. If any of the selections you make loses, however, then the bet is unsuccessful. In Europe, a parlay is known as an accumulator but the same rules apply. With each selection you make on a parlay, the odds increase and so do the chances of it being unsuccessful.


Odds can drift when a horse becomes less likely to win a race. The horse’s price may increase as the race grows near as sportsbooks consider it less likely to come out on top. Odds can often drift due to sportsbooks gaining information about a particular race horse. Sports bettors can learn a great deal from drifting odds as it indicates you may think twice about which horse to wager on.


The opposite of a drifter is a steamer and a horse’s odds will decrease or shorten as the race approaches. This means they become a favorite or grow closer to being a favorite to win the race. The term applies to other sports as well. Like drifting odds, a steamer usually occurs when a sportsbook has gained some information in regards to the event. The information could pertain to an injury or other factor that can result in a win.

Future bet

A future bet is a fun wager that many professional bettors make before a sports league starts its season. Bettors wager on a long-term winner of the league before the season starts. This locks in the value of the bet and allows for the winner to make a considerable profit if their pick wins the championship. For example, you may wager on the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl before NFL Week 1 at +1000 odds. If they go through the season and win the Super Bowl, then your bet wins.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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