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Has your buddy been calling you a square for years? If so, you have two options.

1. Start calling them names, too. Or perhaps find a nicer friend.

2. Study up, they were likely suggesting that your sports betting game was lackluster. Such a kind gesture on their part.

Either way, you may learn a thing or two by taking a look at this quick guide of sports wagering terms. Check out Lines, And Teasers, And Spreads, Oh My: A Sports Betting Glossary Pt. 1 for more betting-centric lingo.

Sports Betting Glossary: Part 2

Closing line: The final spread on a game. Since sports betting spreads and odds are influenced by public money, this will likely be different from the opening line, set days or perhaps weeks in advance of the game.

Line movement: Something that rarely occurs at Walmart. This is when a spread or total increases or decreases due to betting action on one side of the line. If substantial money comes in on an underdog that was at +3, the new line might be +2.5 or +2. Drastic movements such as that +3 becoming a +0.5 indicate heavy, often times “sharp” action on a particular team.

Prop: A wager on a specific player performance or in-game occurrence. “Will Malcolm Brogdon record a double-double?” would be an example of a “prop” bet. This bet type is independent of the final outcome of the game, with a few rare exceptions.

Puckline: A term you should be careful using in church. Refers to the spread of a hockey game, which is always 1.5 goals.

Runline: Same deal as “puckline”, different sport. This one’s for baseball, and it’s always 1.5 runs.

Push: A tie resulting in a refund of your wager. For instance, if the spread on a game is -6 in favor of the Colts and they win by exactly 6 points, that bet would be graded as a “push”.

Sharp: A professional bettor, perhaps with the ability to move betting markets based on their high-volume action. This is someone who is very aware of line movements and shops around for the best odds (two practices I highly recommend).

Square: For you Sandlot fans out there, an L7 weenie. In sports betting terms, someone who is new to the sports wagering world and bets a majority of favorites. “Square books” are sportsbooks that inflate odds on favorites and overs so people who make those bets aren’t getting fair value on their return.


“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” -John Wooden



Title photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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