Key Betting Terms

🤔 Commons terms you may come across using the SDN site or in the sports betting industry.


In sports betting, a “unit” is a standardized measurement used by bettors to manage their wagering. It represents the percentage of a bettor’s bankroll that they assign to each individual bet. Using units helps bettors control their risk and maintain a consistent betting strategy.

The size of a unit is determined by the bettor and is usually a small fraction of their total bankroll. Commonly, a unit is set to be around 1% to 5% of the bettor’s total bankroll, depending on their risk tolerance and betting style. For example, if a bettor’s bankroll is $1,000, and they use a 2% unit size, one unit would be equal to $20.

By using units, bettors can ensure that they are betting within their predetermined risk parameters. If a bettor is confident in a particular bet, they may choose to bet multiple units on that selection to signify a stronger conviction. Conversely, if they are unsure or if it’s a riskier bet, they might bet fewer units or skip the bet altogether.

In general, units are used to put all bettors on the same standardized scale even if some bettors may be risking more. Bettors typically specify anywhere from 0 to 5 units, but be wary of riskier bettors specifying 10, 20, or even 50 unit bets as this may pose a lot of risk to a casual bettor.

Here are some examples of units being showcased in bets

Alcaraz ML -120 3u Phillies -1.5 -110 1u

Parlay .5u +200 Alcaraz ML Phillies -1.5

The concept of using units in sports betting promotes responsible bankroll management and helps bettors stay disciplined during winning and losing streaks. It prevents bettors from overextending themselves on any single bet and allows for a more consistent, long-term approach to sports betting.

Bet to Risk vs Bet to Win

When you become a capper on Sports data Now, one of the first questions we will ask is are you a “Bet to Risk” or a “Bet to Win” capper. This just means that when cappers list their units next to their bets, they mean slightly different things. Here’s a quick description and example of each:

Bet to Risk

This one is easy to understand! In short, the units that the capper lists next to their bet is the number of units that they are risking regardless of the odds.

Example: Sixers +7.5 -120 1u (The Bettor is Risking 1 Unit)

Example: Sixers/Nets o210.5 +110 2u (The Bettor is Risking 2 Units)

Bet to Win

In a bet to win system, the odds are expressed based on the amount you need to wager in order to win a certain amount.

When the odds are negative, a capper is listing the units they are aiming to win if the bet cashes, and the reader will need to risk a calculated amount to win that much.

  • For example, if a capper lists Phillies ML -150 1u, in a bet to win system they are aiming to win 1 unit, but because the odds are -150, the casual bettor will need to bet 1.5u in order to win 1 unit. Hence, the capper is specifying only the amount they are aiming to win, not the amount you need to risk.

When the odds are positive, Bet to Win cappers actually mimic Bet to Risk cappers (hence why we call it a mixed system internally). This means that if the odds are positive, a capper is actually stating the amount they are risking, not the amount they are aiming to win.

  • For example, if a capper lists Bryce Harper o1.5 Hits +120 1u, they are actually risking 1 unit, and the amount you are aiming to win is calculated as 1.2 * 1 = 1.2 units.

While cappers may list their units slightly differently, this does not impact their results or performance any differently. It is really a personal preference. If you are a casual bettor and prefer one system over another, make sure to let your capper know!

Voiding/Pushing Bets

On sportsbooks, bets may be voided or pushed due to delays or other exceptional circumstances that significantly affect the outcome of the event. The specific rules for voiding or pushing bets can vary based on the sport, the type of bet placed, and even the sportsbook. At Sports Data Now, we follow the rules of the top 2 sportsbooks in the US (Fanduel and Draftkings) in voiding bets. Here are some common situations where bets may be affected:

  1. Postponement or Cancellation: If a sporting event is postponed or canceled before it begins, bets on that event are usually voided, and the stake is returned to the bettors.

  2. Suspension or Abandonment: If a match is suspended or abandoned after it has started, sportsbooks may decide to void the bets if the match is not completed within a specific time frame or if the result cannot be determined.

  3. In-Game Delays: In certain sports, like tennis or golf, if a match experiences a prolonged delay or interruption, sportsbooks may void bets placed on that match.

  4. Change in Venue or Surface: If a match’s venue or playing surface is changed, resulting in a significant alteration to the conditions, sportsbooks may void the affected bets.

  5. Player Withdrawal or Replacement: In individual sports like tennis or golf, if a player withdraws before the match begins or is replaced after bets have been placed, sportsbooks may void or modify bets accordingly.

  6. Statistical Discrepancies: If official statistics or results are found to be incorrect or revised after the match, sportsbooks may adjust the bets accordingly.

It’s essential to carefully read the terms and conditions on the sportsbooks’ platforms to understand their specific rules for voiding or pushing bets due to delays or unforeseen circumstances.

Key Term Glossary

  1. Handicapper/Capper: A person who provides betting advice and predictions based on their analysis and expertise is known as a handicapper or capper.

  2. ATS (Against the Spread): ATS refers to a team’s performance against the point spread. If a team has a record of 8-4 ATS, it means they have covered the spread in 8 games and failed to cover in 4.

  3. Units: Units are a standardized way to measure a bettor’s wins or losses. One unit typically represents 1% of a bettor’s total bankroll.

  4. Public Betting: Public betting refers to the bets placed by recreational or casual bettors. Following public betting trends may help bettors understand where the majority of the money is going.

  5. Sharp/Square: Sharps are experienced and knowledgeable bettors, while squares are casual or recreational bettors. “Following the sharp money” means tailing the bets placed by more successful and informed bettors.

  6. Line Movement: Line movement refers to the changes in the betting odds or point spread. Tracking line movement can help bettors identify trends or spot value.

  7. Steam Move: A sudden and significant change in betting lines caused by heavy action from sharp bettors is known as a steam move.

  8. Over/Under (Total): Betting on the combined score of both teams being over or under a certain number is known as betting the over/under or the total.

  9. Vig/Juice: The vigorish or juice is the commission that sportsbooks charge on bets. It’s usually around 10% of the bet amount.

  10. Odds: Odds represent the potential payout for a winning bet. They can be displayed in different formats, such as decimal odds (e.g., 2.50), fractional odds (e.g., 3/2), or moneyline odds (e.g., +150 or -200).

  11. Fade: To fade means to bet against or go against the popular consensus or public opinion.

  12. Bankroll Management: The strategy of managing one’s betting funds, including setting a budget and betting consistent unit sizes to minimize losses and maximize potential profits.

  13. Teaser/Pleaser: Teasers and pleasers are types of bets where bettors can adjust the point spread in their favor (teasers) or against them (pleasers) for reduced odds.

  14. Cover: When a team wins by more points than the point spread, they are said to have “covered the spread.”

  15. Push: When the final margin falls exactly on the point spread, resulting in a tie between bettors. The original bet amount is typically refunded.

  16. Banker: A term used for a bet that a bettor is highly confident in and may place a larger wager on.

  17. Chalk: Chalk refers to the favorite in a betting matchup or the team/player most likely to win. It is often associated with higher odds and is commonly favored by the public.

  18. Dog/Underdog: The underdog, or dog, is the team or player expected to lose in a betting matchup. It is associated with higher odds and greater potential payouts.

  19. Closing Line: The final point spread or odds offered by sportsbooks just before the game starts. Tracking the closing line can help bettors assess their performance relative to the market.

  20. Reverse Line Movement: When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the majority of bets placed, it is known as reverse line movement. This can indicate sharp betting activity.

  21. Middle/Middling: Betting on both sides of a game when there is a significant difference in the point spread or total, with the hope of landing in the middle to win both bets.

  22. Value Betting: Placing a bet where the odds offered by the sportsbook appear to be better than the actual probability of the outcome occurring.

  23. Cover the Hook: Winning a bet by half a point when the final margin exactly matches the point spread, resulting in a win for the bettor.

  24. Handle: The total amount of money wagered by bettors on a particular event or over a specified period at a sportsbook.

  25. Hedging: Placing additional bets to reduce or eliminate potential losses or secure guaranteed profits.

  26. Tout: Someone who sells or promotes betting picks or predictions to bettors.

  27. Bookmaker/Bookie: A person or company that accepts bets from bettors and sets the odds for various events.


  1. Bet365: Known for its extensive coverage of sports events from around the world, Bet365 offers a wide range of betting options, live streaming of matches, and a user-friendly interface.

  2. William Hill: One of the oldest and most reputable sportsbooks, William Hill provides a vast selection of sports markets, in-play betting, and a strong focus on horse racing.

  3. DraftKings: Initially famous for daily fantasy sports, DraftKings now operates as a full-fledged sportsbook, offering innovative promotions, live betting, and a mobile-friendly platform.

  4. FanDuel: Like DraftKings, FanDuel started as a daily fantasy sports platform and expanded into sports betting. It features an intuitive app, quick payouts, and competitive odds.

  5. Betfair: Distinguished by its betting exchange, Betfair allows users to act as both bettors and bookmakers, setting their odds for others to accept.

  6. 888sport: This sportsbook has a strong global presence and offers a generous welcome bonus, along with regular promotions and a user-friendly interface.

  7. Unibet: Popular in Europe, Unibet stands out with its live streaming, extensive pre-match and in-play markets, and regular special offers.

  8. PointsBet: Known for its unique PointsBetting feature, where winnings and losses are variable based on how right or wrong a bet is, adding an element of risk and reward.

  9. FOX Bet: With a partnership between FOX Sports and The Stars Group, FOX Bet offers a blend of sports analysis and betting opportunities, along with interesting promotions.

  10. Betway: Known for its strong presence in esports betting, Betway also provides a variety of traditional sports markets and a user-friendly experience.


In sports betting, there are numerous leagues and competitions across various sports that attract significant betting interest. At Sports Data Now, because of our flexible tracking system, we are able to add any league that you can bet on, just ask us! We can even include bets on real-world events like elections or the Oscars, so bet away!!

Some of the most common and popular leagues and competitions for sports betting include:

  1. National Football League (NFL): The top professional American football league in the United States, with the Super Bowl as its championship game.

  2. English Premier League (EPL): The top-tier football (soccer) league in England and one of the most popular and watched leagues worldwide.

  3. NBA (National Basketball Association): The premier professional basketball league in North America, known for its high level of competition.

  4. NHL (National Hockey League): The top professional ice hockey league in North America.

  5. Major League Baseball (MLB): The top professional baseball league in North America.

  6. UEFA Champions League: An annual football (soccer) competition featuring top clubs from European countries.

  7. FIFA World Cup: The most prestigious international football (soccer) tournament, held every four years.

  8. Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments: Includes the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.

  9. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (March Madness): A single-elimination college basketball tournament in the United States.

  10. PGA Tour (Golf): The premier professional golf tour featuring major events like The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship.

  11. ATP/WTA Tennis Tour: Regular tennis tournaments featuring top-ranked players.

  12. Indian Premier League (IPL): A popular Twenty20 cricket league in India.

  13. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Organizations: UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and other MMA promotions with events worldwide.

  14. Formula 1 (F1): The top-tier international motor racing championship.

These leagues and competitions offer a wide range of betting options, including moneyline bets, point spreads, over/under bets, prop bets, and futures bets. They attract a significant number of bettors and provide ample opportunities for exciting and strategic sports betting experiences.

Fantasy Sports vs Sports Betting

Fantasy sports and sports betting are both popular forms of sports-related entertainment, but they differ significantly in their gameplay and objectives. Below is a summary of each and sum of the key differences between them all!

  1. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a form of online fantasy sports gameplay where participants create virtual teams composed of real professional athletes from various sports leagues. Players compete against each other based on the statistical performance of these athletes in real-world games on a given day or week. DFS contests typically last for a short duration, such as a single day or a weekend, as opposed to traditional fantasy sports that span an entire season.

Example DFS Platforms: DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo Fantasy, Underdog Fantasy, Prize Picks, and Draft.

  1. Fantasy Sports: Fantasy Sports is a broader concept that encompasses various formats, including season-long and daily/weekly games. In traditional fantasy sports, participants draft virtual teams of real athletes at the beginning of a sports season and manage their teams throughout the season. Points are earned based on the actual performance of the players in real games. The objective is to assemble the best team and compete against other fantasy team managers.

Example Fantasy Sports Platforms: ESPN Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy, CBS Sports Fantasy, and Sleeper.

  1. Sports Betting: Sports betting involves wagering on the outcomes of sporting events. Bettors place bets on various aspects of sports, such as the final score, the winner of a game, player performance, and other specific events related to the game. Sports betting allows individuals to bet on various sports and competitions, such as football, basketball, soccer, horse racing, and more.

Example Sportsbooks/Apps: DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Bet365, William Hill, and PointsBet.

Key Differences:

  • DFS focuses on creating virtual teams and competing based on daily or weekly performance, while traditional fantasy sports involve season-long competitions.
  • DFS contests are short-term and usually last for a day or week, whereas traditional fantasy sports last for the entire sports season.
  • Sports betting involves placing bets on specific outcomes or events in sports, while fantasy sports rely on managing virtual teams and earning points based on real player performance.
  • In sports betting, bettors directly wager money on the outcomes, while fantasy sports are more about competing with virtual teams for fun and possibly prize money in some cases.

It’s important to note that while DFS and fantasy sports are legal and regulated in many places, sports betting regulations can vary by jurisdiction. Additionally, the availability of specific platforms or sportsbooks/apps may vary depending on the region you are in. Always ensure that you are complying with local laws and regulations related to gaming and sports betting.