Sports betting glossary

General terms often used in sports wagering


A monetary interest in the outcome of a certain game or event. Action is another way of saying an individual has wagered on an event in some fashion. Some types of bets will have a No Action option, where the sportsbook will cancel a wager if a certain circumstance comes into play. No Action stipulations are common in MLB and are often dependent on whether or not a listed pitcher actually starts the game. The sportsbook will often have a No Action stipulation built-in, which will cancel all bets if a starting pitcher does not end up starting the game (reasons include late scratch due to injury or sickness, among others).

Against the spread (ATS)

A term used for the betting line, most commonly in NFL and NBA wagers. This term is used in conjunction with Point Spread wagers, most often in a reflective or results-based connotation. When a bettor comments about their ATS record, they are discussing their win-loss record in Point Spread wagers. The terms ATS and Point Spread can be used interchangeably.


Arbitrage (arb) is a complex style of wagering where a bettor attempts to gain an advantage over sportsbooks with differing opinions on mutually exclusive outcomes of events. The goal of arbitrage betting is to make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event. This can occur when mutually exclusive outcomes that cover all possible results of an event contain odds that result in the implied probabilities of all outcomes sum to less than 100%, or 1. If conditions are right, a bettor can theoretically spread bets across different bookmakers to cover all outcomes without exposing themselves to the possibility of a monetary loss. The process takes a good amount of mathematical skill, practice, and bankroll. Typically, arb betting does not show a large return on investment as it works on the margins. This type of betting is generally looked down upon by sportsbooks, and many bookmakers will restrict or shut down accounts that they can prove are engaging in it.

Asian handicap betting

A form of point spread wagering. In a sport like soccer, where draws (ties) are fairly common, an Asian handicap reduces the available bet types from three to two, eliminating the draw option and balancing the two teams via a point spread. For soccer, Asian handicaps start at a quarter of a goal but can be seen as high as three or four goals if one team is majorly outclassed. When taking into account the Asian Handicap as well as the Over/Under total for the game, this handicap fundamentally predicts the forecasted final score of the match.

Bankroll management 

Betting bankroll management involves recognizing that the amount of money available in your betting bankroll should be what dictates the stakes in which you are wagering.

Betting line

A betting line, or spread, is the means by which a bookmaker attempts to evenly match two teams of unequal skill level. The betting line can be understood as the number of points the favored team would have to “give” to the underdog team for the game to be viewed as equal. The line is often accompanied by odds that dictate the monetary level of the bet as well as the payout. Let’s look at the example of a hypothetical Raiders at Chiefs game to show what the betting line might look like:

Oakland Raiders +9.5 (-110) at Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 (-110)

A $110 wager on the Raiders +9.5 means betting that the Raiders will either win the game outright or lose by nine points or fewer. The Raiders losing by ten or more points would result in a loss on this bet. With the odds posted, a bettor would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Raiders were to win the game or lose by nine or less. If betting on the Chiefs -9.5, the bettor must wager $110 to win $100, and the Chiefs must win the game by at least ten points for the wager to be paid. In NFL and NBA gambling, the betting line is often called the point spread.


The person or persons who create/calculate the odds and lines on games and events, collect wagers on the events, and payout the winnings to successful bettors. 


A common slang betting term that refers to placing a wager of $100.

Buying points

The act of buying points in sports betting allows for the option of moving the betting line, or point spread, in your favor in exchange for lesser odds. This act can also be taken on game totals for over/under game total wagering. Buying points is popular in NFL wagering when point spreads are around the 3- and 7-point thresholds, as those are the most popular score discrepancy outcomes. For example, if betting on an underdog who sits at +3 at -110, you can often buy a half-point to move the spread to +3.5 and sacrifice odds to -120 or -125, depending on your bookmaker. This can be done with favorites as well. For example, moving from -3 to -2.5 for an NFL game to ensure a successful wager and not a push should the game end with a 3-point discrepancy.


A favorite – normally a heavy favorite – side of a game. Chalk is normally the more popularly bet side of a game by the public. 

Closing line

The line offered when bets are closed by the bookmaker. A successful bettor will consistently find what is called “Closing Line Value” or CLV, which refers to the value of a bet made versus the closing line. A bettor who consistently finds CLV should achieve long-term success.


A type of result on a betting line or point-spread wager. For the favorite to “cover” the line (spread), they must win by more than the line (spread) amount. For an underdog to “cover” the line (spread), they must win outright, or lose by less than the line (spread) amount.


A common slang betting term that refers to placing a wager of $1,000.


A common slang betting term that refers to placing a wager of $100.


Bettors who “find an edge” have the ability to place wagers with a higher predicted probability of winning than the implied probability of the odds at the time the bet is placed.

Expected value (EV)

The amount a bettor can expect to win or lose per bet placed, over a period of time. Bettors who consistently find an edge are known as +EV bettors.


The team that is expected or implied to win.

Futures betting

Futures wagering involves predicting the long-term results of a season. Whether it be choosing a team to win the Super Bowl, a team to win its division, or a player to win a major season-long award, this is one of the more popular wager types amongst casual bettors. The draw of futures bets are the long odds payoffs that come with predicting an outcome well before the results are known. Futures bets are most commonly placed before a season begins but can be made throughout the entirety of the season, with odds changing daily based on the unfolding results of the players and teams involved. Ante-post betting is another term for futures betting, commonly used in horse racing and referring to odds posted at least a day before a race occurs. 


The process of assigning a team or player an advantage through a form of scoring or odds compensation such as a point spread. This process is how bookmakers create point spreads, odds, and lines.


Futures betting allows for hedging opportunities as an event moves toward a conclusion. Hedging provides bettors with an opportunity to lock in guaranteed profit at the expense of losing out on the full payout from an originally placed wager.

Laying the points

A term used by bettors who back a favorite in an event that includes a line or point spread. A bettor is “laying the points” with the favorite because they are hypothetically giving the points to the underdog and therefore starting the game at a disadvantage based on the level of the line or point spread of the event. The inverse of this – “taking the points” – is used for underdog bettors in an event including a line or point spread.

Line movement

The changing of odds and point spreads from the time of release up until the start of the game.

What is Line Movement?

The tracking of line movement helps to provide information on what other bettors – including both sharps and the public – are acting on. Following line movement can help bettors get the best possible price on their wagers.

Live betting

Arguably the future face of sports gambling, live betting allows bettors to wager on events as they unfold. As more and more states pass sports gambling legislation, sports franchises will be increasingly incentivized to include some sort of in-game or live betting option for game attendees. Ted Leonsis – the owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals – has already expressed his interest in placing consoles at seats where fans can live bet the action playing out in front of them. In-play wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. For example, in the NFL, bettors can wager on what type of play will occur next – Pass or Run – or whether the next play will result in a first down, or which player will score the next touchdown. This will undoubtedly enhance the in-stadium experience for individuals who attend games, as well as anyone with access to a sportsbook app or website during live game action. Live wagering also includes dynamic live odds for bets placed during game action on many of the standard betting types like ML, point spread, and game totals. Look for this type of betting to make a huge popularity jump in the very near future, both at sportsbooks and in sporting venues.

Matchup betting

Matchup – or head-to-head (H2H) – betting refers to wagering on one of two possible outcomes in an event, most often the result of who will win a match. Head-to-head bets are most commonly placed in golf or tennis matches, by simply wagering on which individual will win the match. In golf, H2H bets can expand beyond heads-up matches to different combinations of players within the tournament field, and a bettor can predict which player will score better over the course of a round or the entire tournament. These types of bet offerings allow for a vast amount of head-to-head wagering possibilities within a single golf tournament.

Moneyline bet (ML)

The simplest form of wagering when it comes to picking a distinct result of an event. When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply predicting who will win the game outright. With ML bets, it does not matter how many points a team wins by, just that they win. Sportsbooks show the difference in talent or projection between opposing teams with money line bets by weighing the ML with heavier odds on the favored team. For example, a perennially strong team like the Chiefs will likely have substantial odds in their favor when playing a below-average team like the Raiders, as outlined here:

Oakland Raiders (+325) at Kansas City Chiefs (-450)

The plus sign always indicates the underdog team, accompanied by the amount (or the equivalent) a bettor will win on a $100 bet. The minus sign always indicates the favored team, accompanied by the amount a bettor must wager to win the equivalent of $100. According to the above odds, a wager of $100 on the Raiders ML would win $325 (plus the original $100 wagered) while a wager on the Chiefs ML would require $450 in order to win $100 (plus the money wagered). This is how the sportsbooks create balance in an unbalanced game. As sportsbooks collect wagers on both sides of a game, they adjust the money line odds for both teams to account for the money being attributed to each team within a game.


A common slang betting term that refers to placing a wager of $500.

Over/Under bet

Over/Under bets, or Game Total bets, include a line for the total number of points expected to be scored in a game. Based on this line, a bettor will wager whether the total score for both teams will be over or under that total. As bets are accepted on this bet type, the game total and odds will move concurrent with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making game total betting (like others) a very fluid market depending on when a wager is placed. As a hypothetical, the total betting profile for a Raiders/Chiefs game might look similar to the figures below, and then change based on the wagers received.

Raiders at Chiefs Over 47.5 (-115)

Raiders at Chiefs Under 47.5 (-105)

Parlay betting

Parlay bets are defined as multiple bets within the same wager, where all bets have to hit in order for a successful wager to be graded. Parlay bets provide bettors with higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Patriots point spread in their game against the Bills, plus the Cowboys point spread in their game against the Eagles, both the Patriots and the Cowboys must cover their respective point spreads in order for the bettor to be paid out on that wager.

What is a parlay?

If one of the two teams does not cover their point spread, the wager is a loss. An important note on parlay bets in the NFL (as with other sports): most sportsbooks will not allow parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s ML with their team total. 


A game in which there is no spread and neither team is favored. The bettor simply wagers on which team will win the game in order to win the bet.

Player prop betting

Rapidly growing in popularity, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers within the same event. For many players in each game, sportsbooks will offer over/under propositions in major statistical categories allowing bettors to wager on an individual performance within the game. In the NFL, these statistical categories include touchdowns, yardage, and receptions, among others. Bettors can wager on whether certain players will hit the posted lines for any of the statistical categories.


Similar to a teaser bet, a pleaser allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. Contrary to the teaser bet, a pleaser allows the bettor to move the point spreads or game totals favorably for the sportsbook in two or more games chosen. Both bets must then hit, increasing the payout due to the favorable nature of the point spreads given to the sportsbook.

Proposition (prop) betting

A type of sports betting focused on specific outcomes within a game or match itself. Prop bets are often yes or no propositions or multiple-choice type questions allowing a bettor to choose from a group of predetermined selections regarding a game, or a team’s performance within a game. Prop bets are most popular during the World Series and the Super Bowl, as they can add extra entertainment to major games.

What is a prop bet?

Prop bets can also revolve around player performance and results. At most sportsbooks, every major player in a contest will have player props offered on all major statistical categories. Other types of prop bets include more lighthearted wagers, offered on most games but hugely popular during the Super Bowl. These offerings include predictions of the result of the coin toss, the length of the National Anthem, and which company will air the first commercial after the game has begun.


A push occurs in sports wagering when there is a tie against the betting line or point spread. The wager will be returned to your account as if the wager had not been placed. Many bettors attempt to wager at half-points or buy points to avoid pushes.

Reverse line movement

An important term for sports bettors, reverse line movement refers to odds or point spread movement that directly contradicts the betting percentages taken in on each side of a game. This occurs when the majority of bets are placed on one side a game, yet the odds/point spread move in the opposite direction. This can point to the public making many small wagers on one side (the majority of bets) and the sharp bettors making few, large wagers on the other side (the majority of the money). This results in the oddsmakers pushing the line toward the sharp bettors’ side.


When there is a swift and large change in a line or odds as a result of heavy wagering action on one side of an event. Steam moves are caused by professional bettors who are well-respected by bookmakers, and casual bettors are known to follow steam moves on events as they occur.

Taking the points

A term used by bettors who back an underdog in an event that includes a line or point spread. A bettor is “taking the points” hypothetically being given by the favorite to the underdog and therefore starting the game at an advantage based on the level of the line or point spread of the event. The inverse of this, “laying the points”, is used for favorite bettors in an event including a line or point spread.


A teaser is a type of gambling wager that allows a bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. A teaser bet allows the bettor to move the point spreads for the two or more games, where both bets must hit, and the payout is reduced due to the allowance to change the point spreads. For example, a two-team 6-point teaser might look like the following, with both bets needing to win to be paid out:

Chiefs -9.5 TEASED TO -3.5, plus Cowboys -7.5 TEASED to -1.5 (-110)


The underdog – or weaker betting side – will be given points in a betting line or point spread and will be listed with a plus sign for money line wagers.


Bettors use units as a way to keep track of profits and losses over a period of time without using dollars. This allows bettors with varying bankrolls to compare their success. It is generally accepted that a unit is 1% of your bankroll.


The terms vig/juice/margin refer to the amount of fee or commission received by the bookmaker in order to accept a wager. The vig changes based on the type of bet and the odds on an event, among other variables.

Baseball: MLB betting terms

MLB updated


Any single, double, triple or home run. In other words, reaching base not by walk, error, or fielder’s choice. 


When a runner crosses home plate before the third out is made in an inning, regardless of how the runner got on base.

RBI (Runs Batted In)

Crediting a hitter for putting a ball in play that results in a run scoring. There are scenarios in which the hitter does not receive credit, like when the hitter hits into a double play and a runner scores. Hitting into a double play does not allow an RBI to be credited to the hitter.

Stolen base

When a runner on base runs to the next base during a pitch and the defense fails to get the runner out. If the runner does not run until a ball goes past the catcher (a passed ball), it is not counted as a stolen base. Generally, the runner should be attempting to run to the next base before or during the pitcher’s motion and before the ball reaches home plate.

Home run

When a ball is hit over the outfield fence in fair territory. This also results in a hit, a run scored and an RBI for the hitter (plus one RBI for each additional runner on base).


When a hitter reaches first base because the pitcher has thrown 4 balls.


When a pitcher gets 3 strikes on a hitter. After the 2nd strike, foul balls do not count as strikes.

WHIP (Walks plus Hits divided by Innings Pitched)

A common stat referenced in the evaluation of a pitcher’s skill level.

ERA (Earned Run Average)

This measure represents the number of earned runs a pitcher allows per nine innings. An earned run is determined when a pitcher allows a base runner to score in a manner that was actively caused by the hitter. If a hitter reaches base via error and a run scores, that run is not “earned” as it is instead deemed to have been given away by the defense. The pitcher is not charged for allowing the other team to score unearned runs.


Multiple criteria must be met in order to register a save on a pitcher’s record. Per the MLB glossary, a save is awarded to the relief pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team, under certain circumstances. A pitcher cannot receive a save and a win in the same game.

A relief pitcher recording a save must preserve his team’s lead while doing one of the following:

  • – Entering the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitching at least one inning.
  • – Entering the game with the tying run in the on-deck circle, at the plate or on the bases.
  • – Pitching at least three innings.

Quality start

When a starting pitcher allows 3 earned runs or fewer while pitching 6 innings or more, this counts as a quality start. 

Run line

The “spread” in MLB is known as the run line. Every game is set with the favored team listed at -1.5 runs and the underdog listed at +1.5 runs on the run line. Modifications are made to predict differing results by adjusting the odds of -1.5/+1.5 occurring. For example, -300 favorites on the money line could be -175 on the -1.5 run line. On the other hand, -125 favorites on the money line may not be favored to win by more than 1.5 runs and could be +130 to win by 2 or more. 

5-inning line

Just like a moneyline bet for a game, but only applying to the first 5 innings. 

Cy Young

This is an end-of-regular-season award named after one of the all-time great pitchers, essentially the pitching MVP award. This is most commonly offered as a futures bet prior to the season starting and is separated between the American League and National League, as that’s how awards are announced at the end of the year. 

Basketball: NBA betting terms

Updated NBA


Points are determined by baskets made. Players earn 1 point for a foul shot (or free throw), 2 points for a standard basket made – a jump shot, layup or dunk – and 3 points when a basket is made from beyond the three-point line. Any 2 or 3 point shot or tip-in made is considered a field goal, appearing on the stat sheet as “FG”.


An assist is made when a pass is completed that leads directly to a field goal. Unlike some other sports, only one player can get an assist per basket. APG (assists per game) is the average number of assists a player records on a per-game basis.


A rebound – commonly referred to as a “board” – occurs when a player recovers the ball following a missed field goal. Rebounds are broken down into offensive and defensive distinctions, depending on which end of the court the action is taking place within.

Double Double

When a player records 10 or more (indicating double digits) of two different statistical achievements (points, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals).

Triple Double

When a player records 10 or more (indicating double digits) of three different statistical achievements (points, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals).

Field goal percentage (FG%)

The percentage of field goals made by a player or team. This number is determined by Field Goals Attempted (FGA) versus Field Goals Made (FGM).

Free throw percentage (FT%)

FT% is the percentage of free throws that a player or team makes. This number is determined by dividing Free Throws Made (FTM) by Free Throws Attempted (FTA).

Usage rate (USG%)

Usage rate measures the number of offensive plays involving a player that result in a FGA, FTA or Turnover. Maintaining possession of the ball has the most positive effect on a player’s USG%.


A Turnover occurs when there is a change in possession of the ball before a field goal attempt is made. This can be the result of a ball going out of bounds, a steal, an offensive foul or a shot clock violation.


Pace represents the number of possessions a team has during a game/48 minutes. The higher a team’s pace factor, the more offense they tend to generate in a game.

PER (Player Efficiency Rating)

PER is used to calculate all of a player’s attempts – good and bad – to come up with a per-minute rating system that shows how efficient that player is while on the court. This rating helps to compare starters to bench players on a relatively even playing field.

MPG (Minutes Per Game)

This is the total amount of minutes a player averages per game.

TS% (True Shooting Percentage)

TS% combines all shooting categories – FG%, FT%, and 3PT% – to generate an overall shooting percentage.

REBR (Rebound Rate)

An estimate that shows how effective a player is at getting rebounds off of missed FTs or FGs. The stat is measured both offensively and defensively, appearing as ORR or DRR.

VA (Value Added)

Value-added represents the number of points a player adds to a team’s total for the season above what would have been produced by a replacement player.

NBA prop bet terms

Player point total

An over/under wager on the total amount of points for an individual player within a single game. For example, with LeBron James’ predicted point total set at 27.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Player assist total

An over/under wager on the total amount of assists for an individual player within a single game. For example, with Trae Young’s predicted assist total set at 9.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Player rebound total

An over/under wager on the total amount of rebounds for an individual player within a single game. For example, with Andre Drummond’s predicted rebound total set at 15.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Player point, rebound, sssists total

An over/under wager on the total combined amount of points, rebounds, and assists for an individual player within a single game. For example, with Luka Doncic’s PRA total set at 49.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Double Double / Triple Double

A simple wager on whether or not a player will get a double-double or triple-double within a game.

Player blocks

An over/under wager on the total amount of blocks for an individual player within a single game. For example, with Russell Westbrook’s predicted block total set at 0.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Player steals

An over/under wager on the total amount of steals for an individual player within a single game. For example, with Kyle Lowry’s predicted steal total set at 2.5, a bettor would predict whether the total will be over or under that number.

Esports betting terms

Esports updated

A world of technicalities

As it goes with an industry so heavily based within the realm of technology, the terminology used in the world of esports can be as hard to comprehend as a blue screen issue on your computer with vague instructions on how to fix it. Unlike traditional sports, which have only a few blurred terms and unusual phrases, esports are chock full of phrases that wouldn’t make any sense at all to newcomers. Considering how vital information is in competitive gaming, it’s important to have a basic understanding of a lot of the terms used so one can make informed decisions on the gamestate.

General Esports terms list


Kills, deaths, assists. This is a commonly used term – generally considered as a ratio – in competitive games carried out through combat. You’ll also hear KD (the ratio of kills to deaths for a player), which is used to measure the efficiency of a player in a match. In all cases, having a KD or KDA lower than 1.00 means that the player was a detriment, while ranking above 1.00 means they did more good than bad. It’s a very shallow term that doesn’t tell the whole story but that is frequently used to convey effectiveness (even where it shouldn’t be).


Utility is used in different ways relating to different esports. In League of Legends (LOL), it’s used to talk about the impact a given player had on the status effects on the opposing team and their own team. So anything like slowing enemy movements, freezing them, or giving your own team heals or shields. In CSGO, it’s used to refer to grenades. Utility in CSGO is talking about smokes, molotovs, and flashbangs, which are bought at the beginning of each round and a part of a full buy.


This is an acronym that stands for “good game” and is used in both the literal and sarcastic senses. You toss up the GG when the opposing team makes a grave mistake or when your own team makes a grave mistake. It’s not actually used as much to denote the end of the game as much as it’s used disingenuously in the middle of a game to make fun of someone.


Often used when talking about LOL or DOTA2, this term describes a player that has been allowed to take advantage of multiple mistakes and is now much more powerful than other players in the game. Since LOL and DOTA2 are both based on an in-game upgrade system that requires currency to level up, when a player is in position to either get extra kills or extra experience in other ways, they can transition that into items and upgrades before others. This is also where the term “feeding” is used to describe the players making the mistakes.


Tying into the idea of a player being fed, the term OP stands for “overpowered”, or being too powerful for a fair game to take place. Again, this term can be used in less serious ways and as a way to troll people in the middle of a game, but it’s more often used to describe an aspect of the game that has too much influence and not enough counterplay. OP can be used to describe a weapon in CSGO or COD that is too easy to find success with, a champion in LOL that has too much agency or more power than it should, or a certain move or tactic in any esports title that gives an unfair advantage to a player that uses it. This is a pretty overarching term that can be widely used to describe a bevy of different things.

Team comp

Short for team composition. Particularly important in games with different characters that perform different roles. Much like there are positions in traditional sports like quarterback, midfielder and forward, there are positions in esports like support, tank, carry and entry fragger. A team composition is the combination of all those positions and how they interact with one another based on their playstyles and abilities. Solid team compositions in almost every esport involve an engager to soak up damage from the enemy, a supportive style player to heal, shield, block, and throw grenades, and carries to deal the damage. 


The standing of each team or player in the context of a game. A gamestate describes which team is ahead, what kind of economy or items they have, how relatively strong their guns or champions or heroes are, the status of the map in-game, and the chances of a comeback. Gamestates are often discussed in the macro strategy of how a game can be won.


The agreed upon best ways to play and win a game. Within meta-games, there are usually agreed upon roles, characters, items, and weapons that provide the strongest ways to win. Meta-games are ever-changing in esports as new patches come out and things are buffed or nerfed.


Something outside the realm of the meta-game. Often used to surprise enemies or because of a player or team’s unique comfort with it. 


A strategy that is meant to be so far outside of the meta-game that it shocks the opponent and wins because of their unfamiliarity with the strategy. Usually thought of as a suboptimal way to play the game for long term success, but can work in one-off situations. 


A way of referring to the larger conceptual strategy concepts of a game. Teams said to have good “macro” strategy often have the best understanding of team compositions, map positioning, vision, in-game economies, and map control. Simply put, the thinking side of the game.


A way of referring to the small 1v1 battles and physical talent of a game. Players with great “micro” are often seen outplaying their opponents by simply having superior control of their mouse and keyboard.


The totality of in-game transactions. Used to refer to how players manage the gold or money they receive in-game to buy their items or weapons and how well they use them. Economy efficiency is one of the most important aspects of CS:GO, LoL, and DOTA2.


Refers to the cumulative effect of winning plays in esports. When a team is gaining advantages like kills and objectives, they are said to be “snowballing”.


The in-game currency of esports like DOTA2, League of Legends, and CS:GO. Players earn gold through winning plays and then use the gold to buy items and weapons that increase their strength in game.


The status and composition of a game after an update or rework by the developers. Esports are living games. There are frequent changes to maps, characters, items, in game objectives, power levels, etc. Changes as significant as the extending of the three point line was to basketball can occur every few weeks in esports. Patches are usually listed with a number for fans and players to keep track of the changes in the game over time.


This term has two usages in esports – in-game and meta game – with both referring to a statistical increase of power. In MOBAS, there are in-game buffs available from certain monsters that provide increased power on character stats for killing them. Meta-game buffs are updates to the game made by developers that increase the power of certain characters, items, weapons, and objectives. Something is said to be “buffed” when it has become a more powerful tool for winning games.


The opposite of buff. A game developer update to a character, item, weapon or objective that decreases its relative strength. Nerfs usually happen to things thought to be “OP”.


A fun way of referring to a kill. A player is said to have been “deleted” when they were killed before they even had time to react.


A way of referring to a player who is playing above the level of everyone else in the game. Smurfing is the act of purposefully playing against less talented opponents so you can stand out. It is used more casually to mean playing really well.  


A main damage dealer for the team. In LoL, DOTA2, and Overwatch there are characters that are especially fit for these roles with their low health totals and high damage output. In CS:GO this player is often thought of as the “top fragger”.


A player whose main function is to help the others perform their role to the best of their abilities. In CS:GO, this is the player that will throw out the smoke or flash grenades to make space for their teammates to kill their opponents. In MOBAs, this player might engage, heal, shield, and help the team gain vision. In Overwatch, this player always does some level of healing amongst other supportive abilities. 


A smaller version of the map that usually appears on the corner of the screen. Players use the mini-map to keep track of the locations of their teammates and enemies. Different games will have different information available on the mini-map.

Map control

The struggle between two teams to have more of the map covered for advantageous positions. In shooters, this usually means predicting where your opponents are going to attack and being there first. In MOBAs, this refers to a team’s ability to control waves in each lane, set up vision wards around the map, and be first to map objectives.


The act of strategically taking a path that ends up behind or to the side of an enemy’s main focus. For example, if multiple players are coming in through a northern entrance another player may come in from a western entrance at the same time to surprise enemies who are occupied with the northern entrance.

FPS specific terms list

First person shooter (FPS)

A type of game where the player’s main objective is to eliminate other players with weapons.


Used in CSGO and COD, this term designates the “in game leader” of a team. The IGL has the responsibility of coming up with strategies mid-game and making decisions on a macro level so the rest of the team can focus on fragging and setting up the map. Typically, the IGL will be one of the players that has a lower ceiling in terms of kills because they won’t often be found initiating confrontations.


A lot of people associate “frag” with a kind of grenade, but in esports the term is used in place of a kill. When you are talking about a player getting frags, or anything relating to frags, you are referring to the amount of kills or types of kills that player is getting.

Top frag

This term is used to describe the player who ends a map of CSGO or COD with the most kills on the team. It can also be used to describe the player that typically finishes with the most kills at the end of a map and generally denotes a team’s best player.

Entry frag

Similar to a top frag, the entry frag is the main initiator on a team in CSGO or COD and is the first one to enter a site to look for kills. They aren’t expected to use much utility (grenades) and are purely there to look for engagements and clear corners for the rest of the team to follow through. 


A program designed for cheating at a FPS. It is, quite literally, a robot that will track opponents and aim your weapon at them. These are obviously illegal in all FPS games. It is more commonly used in esports as a way to compliment a player whose aim is very good, saying they look like an aimbot.  

Eco round

A round in which a team decides to collectively save their money by not buying weapons, grenades, or armor. This is usually executed knowing the team will most likely lose the current round, with the intent to win the following round. If three or more players do not have the ability to full buy, teams will opt for an eco round.

Full buy

A round in which players are able to buy their full set of armor, grenades, and weapons. Full buy rounds are when teams are at their strongest.

Force buy

A round in which a player is able to buy most of their usual weapons, armor, and grenades, but can’t afford at least one of the items. The player sacrifices one to get the others.

MOBA and Overwatch terms

Champions or heroes

The unique characters available for players to select and control. Each champion or hero has at least three unique abilities typically assigned to the Q-W-E-R buttons on the keyboard. DOTA2 has 119 heroes, LoL has 148 champions, and Overwatch has 32 heroes.


A type of character in MOBAs or Overwatch that is used for initiating team fights and soaking up damage for the team.


A type of character whose main role is to heal damage on tanks and carries rather than dealing damage themselves. A necessary part of every team in Overwatch and popular on supports in LoL and DOTA2.


Acronym for “damage per second” with two meanings in esports. The first means literally the damage per second a player is outputting, while the second is used as a shorthand for the type of player or character who is expected to put out the most damage per second. You will hear this most commonly in Overwatch, but is a part of the lexicon for MOBAs as well. 

Power pick

Related to OP or overpowered. These are champions or heroes that are considered so relatively strong in their games that they must be played or banned in nearly every game.


A fight involving fewer players than the entirety of both teams.


A battle involving the entirety of both teams, usually a 5v5. Teamfights decide the winner in almost every game of a MOBA or Overwatch.

Front line

Refers to the position of a player during a teamfight. Front lines are reserved for tanks and off tanks to soak up and block damage from getting on to the healers and carries.

Back line

The positioning for the main carries and healers behind the tanks.


The collection of spells, abilities, stats, and weapons that make a champion or hero unique. Usually discussed when referring to the champion’s QWER keys.

Counters/counter picks

A counter is anything that is thought to be especially strong when faced up against another part of the game. This can be champions, heroes, spells, and even certain kinds of vision. Counters usually are identified in the pick/ban stage of the game. 

MOBA-only terms

MOBA or multiplayer online battle arena

A type of strategy game where two teams of players compete to destroy each other’s main base. MOBAs are usually characterized by five players split up over a three lane map with towers, small computer-controlled minions, and an in-between lane area called the “jungle”. Players kill the computer controlled minions, map objectives, towers, and one another to get gold and build items that increase their strength. The game is finished when one team is able to destroy the enemy team’s base.  

Picks and bans

The stage of a MOBA where the two teams select their heroes or champions and ban the ones they do not want to let their opponents play. In DOTA2, teams get six bans. In LoL, teams get five. This is a crucial stage of the game where teams set their compositions, discuss strategy and try to counter their opponent’s strategy. Often in MOBAs, teams are said to have “won in pick/ban” when they have crafted a team composition or strategy that is so good against their opponents that they are significantly ahead before the game even begins.


The three main routes from one base to the other base. Waves of “minions” or “creeps” walk down the lanes toward the enemy base to fight champions, one another, and the lane structures. Lanes have 3 towers and an inhibitor. Players must destroy all the towers and an inhibitor in one of the lanes (usually more) to gain access to the base and win the game.

Creeps or minions

The small non-player computer monsters that walk in regularly-timed intervals down the lanes for champions to farm kills on for gold. Each minion killed gives a player gold, while larger minions with more health give more gold. Managing the waves of creeps to put pressure on your opponents’ lane structures is an essential part of solid macro strategy.

CS or “creep score”

A statistic that tracks the number of creeps or minions a player has killed. More CS equals more gold which equals better items. Players with better CS and better KDAs than their opponents are thought to be significantly ahead. Can also be used as the verb “CSing” or “farming” which refers to the act of killing minions. 


The areas in between the lanes. In both games, these areas contain regularly spawning larger NPCs for players to kill and farm for gold called “camps”. The jungle also contains larger map objectives. The player who spends the majority of their time in this area is called “the jungler”. 


The three defensive structures of each lane that laser down minions and attack champions within range. Teams need to take down all the towers in at least one lane to win the game. Killing towers is generally more important than killing champions in MOBAs.

Inhibitors or barracks

A structure behind the third turret in each lane that, when killed, lets a team spawn larger minions called “super minions”. This makes teams’ waves stronger and puts more pressure in lanes than the enemy’s. 

Map objectives

The towers, inhibitors, and the larger, more powerful minions in the jungle that typically require more than one player to kill. In LoL, these are called the drakes and the baron. In Dota2, it is called Roshan. Map objectives provide buffs to the team that kills them and are a central part of winning strategy in both games.


The portions of the map and mini-map that a team has the ability to see. In MOBAs, the areas that surround you and your teammates are automatically visible to everyone on your team. The rest of the map remains dark unless warded.


An inexpensive item that can be placed on the map to grant temporary vision of the area where it is placed. Wards are a powerful tool for map control and securing objectives. 

Early game/laning phase

The early stages of a match in which teams send four players out, split up amongst the lanes, and the jungler into the jungle to clear the minions there. In this phase, the main objective is to efficiently farm minion waves and fight with the enemies who occupy the same lane as you. Junglers use this time to clear minion camps and gank lanes.


The act of showing up in a lane that is not your main assigned lane with the intent to outnumber and kill the opponents therein. These are most commonly performed by the jungler coming out of the jungle and into a lane to try to kill a laner, but can be performed by any player.

Lane pressure

When the minions or creeps in a lane are pushed up onto the enemy’s side of the map, that lane is said to have “lane pressure”. This often will be used to set up objective control as the laner who has pressure can move over to an objective while the enemy laner has to deal with the pressure in their lane.

Objective control

Refers to a team’s ability – or lack thereof – to get the vision, lane pressure, and position necessary to consistently take down the map objectives.

Power spike

Refers to a situation where a player, item, or character has an advantage in the numbers of the game. For example, the champion rumble in LoL is said to have a mid-game power spike because, at that point in the game, his stats for dealing damage are nearly unmatched. Some power spikes are based on champion stats. Others are based on item stats. Most commonly, it’s a combination of the two. If you hear a player has just hit their “power spike”, look for that player to make a big impact soon.


The act of intentionally waiting for the later stages of the game to make plays because of the strength that the team holds once leveled up and with items. Certain champions or heroes are thought of as “scaling” champions because they are weaker in the early stages of the game, but extremely strong in the late stages of the game. Scaling is used to refer to the strategy, team comp, and individual characters.

Esports betting specific terms

Kill Spread

Used in LoL and DOTA2. A spread on which team will have more kills – and by how many – in an individual game.

Round spread

Used in CS:GO. Each individual map is played until one team reaches 16 round wins. This is a spread on which team will win more rounds – and by how many – on an individual map or game.

Game or map spread

Used in all esports when games are played in a “best of” series. A spread on how many games the winning team will win by. For example, if teams are playing a best of three series and the book expects a team to win 2-0, the book will set the map spread at -1.5.

Kill total

An over/under number that a book sets on how many kills there will be in a game of LoL or DOTA2.

Round total

An over/under number that a book sets on how many rounds there will be on a map in CS:GO.

Game or map total

An over/under number that a book sets on how many total maps or games will be played in a “best of” series.

Map betting

The act of wagering on a specific team on a specific map because of perceived or statistical advantages on that map. Useful in FPS games that have multiple maps for teams to play on.

First blood

A proposition bet on which team will get the first kill in a MOBA

First tower

A proposition bet on which team will kill the first tower in a MOBA

First drake

A proposition bet on which team will kill the first drake in LoL.

Round props

A proposition for a team to win a specific round in CS:GO, usually the first round.

Weapons props

A proposition for a player to get a kill with a specific type of weapon in CS:GO. Usually knives, molotovs, and tasers.

Football: NFL betting terms


Time of possession

The amount of time each team possesses the ball throughout the 60 minutes (four 15-minute quarters) of an NFL game. 


The number of passes intended for specific receivers. 

Air yards

The total yards a pass travels in the air to an intended receiver. This metric ignores any yards after the catch and only focuses on yards the football travels through the air. is the best source for this data.

ADOT (Average Depth of Target)

This is simply calculated by air yards divided by total targets for a pass catcher. A depth of target helps to illustrate whether a receiver is being used on short routes or deep routes as it focuses on the distance a pass travels in the air on a per-target basis. 

DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average)

Per Football Outsiders: “DVOA breaks down the entire season play by play, comparing success on each play to the league average based on a number of variables including down, distance, location on field, current score gap, quarter, and opponent quality. While it can be used as a measure of total team performance, DVOA differs from other power ratings because it can be broken down to analyze team effectiveness in any number of ways: by down, quarter, rushing versus receiving, location on field, passes to backs versus passes to receivers, and so on.”

Pressure rate

The percentage of plays during which a defense has put pressure on a quarterback. This can translate into other pressure stats such as sacks (tackling the QB behind the line of scrimmage), hurries (forcing a QB to throw the ball earlier than normal), and QB hits (hitting the QB while he is in the throwing motion).

Yards per attempt

For quarterbacks, this is total passing yards divided by pass attempts. For running backs, this is total rushing yards divided by rushing attempts (also known as yards per carry).

YAC (Yards After Catch)

The receiving yards credited to a pass catcher after the catch is made. 

Completion % above or below expectation

Per Next Gen Stats: “A passer’s actual completion percentage compared to their Expected Completion Percentage.”

QBR (QB Rating)

The measure of a quarterback’s performance considering multiple factors (attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions). 

WOPR (Weighted Opportunity Rating)

A weighted combination of the share of team targets a player receives and the share of team air yards for the same player. shows WOPR in the same stat tables as air yards for easy comparison.

Routes run

Any time a pass-catcher is moving downfield in an attempt to have a pass thrown his way. On a pass play, players are routinely either blocking or running a route. All players who are not blocking are credited with a route run, regardless of who the pass is intended for. 

Yards per route run

The total receiving yards for a pass catcher divided by the total number of routes that pass catcher has run. 

Adjusted line yards

A Football Outsiders metric that helps to measure the level of play of an offensive line. This metric credits the offensive line for shorter runs, while giving a bit more credit to the running back for longer runs. Essentially, once the running back gets to the second level of the defense, the effect of the line diminishes and the talent of the running back creates big plays. 

NFL player props

Passing yards

Yards gained from the line of scrimmage on pass plays, credited to the quarterback (or whoever passes the ball on a trick play).

Rushing yards

Yards gained from the line of scrimmage on a rushing play, credited to the player who ran the ball. 

Receiving yards

Yards gained from the line of scrimmage on a pass play, credited to the player who catches the ball. 

Golf: PGA betting terms

PGA updated

PGA Betting types

Futures betting in golf

This is golf betting in its simplest and most popular form. Futures betting means picking a single golfer to win a tournament. This can be done on a week-to-week basis or months in advance for the four major tournaments (The Masters, US Open, PGA Championship, and British Open).

Place bets

Similar but not identical to betting outright futures, this format allows the bettor to select either top five, top 10, or top 20 finishes. A bettor would not need their selected golfer to win the tournament, just to finish above the selected place.

Live golf betting

Live golf betting refers to any wager that is placed after a tournament begins. This can be done in the form of outright winners, matchups (two ball and three ball), hole scoring, overall score, and props. These odds will adjust in live time to account for what is currently happening on the course.

  • Overall hole score 

This is a live betting format that involves selecting the best overall score on a given hole, not which golfer will finish with a better score. Odds will be given for something like “will either player score a birdie or better?” 

  • Best hole score

A live betting matchup format for individual holes or a stretch of three holes. Odds will be offered for which of two golfers will score better on any given hole. They can also read something like “best score holes 10 to 13”

Matchup betting

Perhaps the most relatable style of golf betting for bettors familiar with other sports, this means placing a bet on one golfer to beat another during a specified round or an entire tournament. Typically, this will involve two golfers who are fairly close together in the outright futures odds market. This is a great way to hedge futures wagers with your golfer only needing to finish higher than one other competitor by the end of the event.

  •  Two ball
    • Matchup betting for a single round. Two balls place odds for two golfers competing in the same group. As described above, this means simply picking which golfer out of a pair will have the better round.
  • Three ball 
    • Similar to two ball, this simply adds a third golfer into the mix. Often on the PGA Tour, the first and second rounds will be played in groups of three. Sportsbooks will place odds on who will win that round out of the three. Odds offer a better payout in this format due to the additional golfer.

Golf betting terms


  • This comes into play in only certain betting types when there is a tie. For example, when betting on who will be the leader after the first round, there will often be a tie. If the original odds for Tiger Woods to lead after round 1 are +3000 and he ties with one other golfer, the odds are divided in half (+1500) when determining the payout. 


  • Used to describe any golfers outside of a selected individual or group. Bettors will often be able to place a bet for one golfer versus the field.


  • Picking a golfer to win a tournament.

Notable stats

Strokes gained

A golf metric used to measure any given player’s performance against the field. The PGA Tour calculates strokes gained by using ShotLink technology. Strokes gained can be used to measure putting, driving, approach shots, or total performance. This can often be a better metric to measure performance than traditional stats because it analyzes performance versus the field, not just individually based.

What is strokes gained?

Strokes gained: total

One of the best metrics for determining a golfer’s overall performance. This combines strokes gained: approach + strokes gained: off the tee + strokes gained: putting

Strokes gained: off the tee

A strokes gained metric that combines driving distance and driving accuracy to measure overall driving performance against other golfers.

Strokes gained: approach

This takes into account any approach shot taken from outside of 50 yards. The PGA Tour will determine how close an approach shot should be from any given distance. If a golfer is closer or further from that average, they will either gain or lose strokes on approach when compared to the rest of the field. 

Strokes gained: putting

A newer stat that measures overall putting performance. First, the PGA Tour takes the average number of putts hit from a certain distance. Then, throughout the tournament, the number of putts a player takes from that distance is subtracted from the average to determine strokes gained or lost. If the average putts needed from 10 feet is 1.5, then a golfer would gain .5 strokes putting by making the shot in one. They would lose 1.5 strokes by needing three putts. This data is compared to the field at the end of the round to determine the overall metric.


This is a stat that measures the effectiveness of a golfer’s short game, analyzing any shot from within 50 feet and whether it results in the golfer being able to complete the hole in one putt or fewer. This is commonly referred to as “getting up and down”. 

Driving distance

Simply put, this measures how far a golfer can hit the ball off the tee. The average PGA Tour golfer drives the ball roughly 295 yards. This is a good starting point when determining if someone is a long or short hitter. 

Driving accuracy

Frequently measured next to driving distance, this takes into account how many fairways a golfer hits off the tee. Some courses have wide fairways while others have tight tree-lined targets. Narrower courses require a golfer more adept at accuracy than distance.

Three putt avoidance

A “ three putt” is exactly how it sounds; a golfer needing three putts from the green to find the hole. If a golfer finds the green in regulation, then two putts would be a par. Three putt avoidance measures how frequently a golfer requires three putts on a hole. The lower the percentage, the better. 

Greens in regulation (GIR)

Finding the green with approach shots is crucial for scoring in golf. A green in regulation is earned by getting the ball onto the green in one shot for par 3s, two shots for par 4s, or three shots for par 5s. GIR can be measured by an overall percentage or by the total number hit at the end of the round. 

Fairways in regulation 

Very similar to GIR, this stat measures how many fairways a golfer finds. This can also be looked at as an overall percentage or a total number. The leader on the PGA Tour is typically around 75% fairways in regulation. 

Hockey: NHL betting terms

Line Movement NHL

Basic stats to understand

Plus/Minus rating

Used to count how many goals are scored or given up while a player is on the ice. If a player is on the ice while a goal is scored by their team, that player will receive a plus-1 rating. If that same player is on the ice when a goal is given up by their team, that player will receive a minus-1 rating. These plus/minuses are amalgamated to generate a skater’s plus/minus rating. 

Time on ice

Calculated by the amount of time a player spends on the ice.

Penalty minutes

Calculated when a penalty is called on a player, creating a situation where the team that committed the penalty will be down a player. Usually two minutes per infraction.  

Power play unit

A group of skaters that take the ice while the opposing team is down a player due to a penalty, creating a situation where the likelihood of scoring a goal increases for the team with the man advantage.

Goals against average (GAA)

The number of goals given up per game divided by the total number of games played.

Goalie save percentage

The number of saves a goalie makes divided by the number of shots on goal they face. 


An advanced stat used to analyze team shots during a game. This includes shots on goal, missed shots on goal, and blocked shot attempts, all totaled and then subtracted by the same type of shots the team allowed.


An advanced stat very similar to Corsi, Fenwick is calculated by adding the total amount of shots on goal and missed shots on goal minus shots on goal allowed and missed shots on goal allowed.

Types of bets to make

Puck line

A bet type specific to hockey, the puck line is a goal spread between two opposing teams. The puck line is typically introduced at 1.5 goals and can shift up to 2.5 depending on the matchup. This means for the bet to be won at – 1.5, the team wagered on must win by 2 or more goals. On the other side of a puck line, a +1.5 bet means a team will need to either win or lose by one goal. 

Grand salami

Another bet specific to hockey, the grand salami is a bet on the total number of goals scored on an entire slate of NHL games played in one night. For example, on a night with eight games being played league-wide, the grand salami would be set around 45 goals. All goals scored by every team will be added up at the end of the night to define the grand salami. A bet can be placed on under or over the goal total.  

Money line

A bet on which team will win the game outright, the money line is very common in hockey due to its straightforwardness. The odds are set by a sportsbook and any side can be taken. For example, if the Winnipeg Jets are the favorite to win at -125 odds against the St. Louis Blues, who are underdogs at +109, a money line wager on either team is simply a bet for that team to win the game. 

Prop bets

Bets that do not have a direct outcome of the final score. There are many types of prop bets that can be placed on a hockey game. Some of the most common prop bets are wagers on certain teams to score a set number of goals, or a specific team to outscore its opponent in one specific period. There are many more prop bets to look at involving individual skaters, such as how many blocked shots a player will record in a game, a goalie’s save percentage, or how many goals a player scores in a game. 

MMA betting terms

Updated MMA


In Mixed Martial Arts, rounds are five minutes in duration and fights usually consist of three rounds. Most championship fights and some other high profile fights are scheduled for five rounds. 

Flat Betting

A wager on a fighter to win a fight via any avenue at the offered odds. Method of victory nor length of fight have any bearing on a flat bet. 

Round betting

The over/under bets of Mixed Martial Arts. The lines offered will be a round number plus a half. For example, three-round fights expected to go the full distance will be offered with a betting line of over or under 2.5 rounds. Three round fights expected not to go the distance will be offered at over or under 1.5 rounds. These lines will often force the bettor to lay larger odds on one side than the other, unlike other sports with popular betting total offerings. An important distinction to be aware of is that the half-round added has nothing to do with the clock in a given round. For example, a fight with a total at 1.5 rounds will see wagers decided as soon as the second round begins. 


A decision occurs when a fight sees all scheduled rounds completed and the victor of the fight is determined by the judge’s scorecards. 


The result of a fight ending in a tie when the three judge’s scorecards are unable to determine a winner. Flat bets are deemed a push in these instances. 


A KO (or knockout) occurs when a fighter wins by rendering their opponent unconscious and/or unresponsive. A TKO (or technical knock) out is the term used for a stoppage win in instances where the losing fighter is unable to continue. This includes referee stoppages in which a fighter is no longer intelligently defending themselves or a fighter appearing unable or unwilling to answer the start of a given round, but is usually a discretionary stoppage by the referee to protect the losing fighter. 


When the losing fighter “taps out” or concedes that they cannot stop or neutralize the submission hold that has been applied. Technical submission also applies and, much like TKO, this occurs when the losing fighter has been rendered unconscious due to a choke or sustained an injury making them unable to continue fighting due to submission hold. In such a case, the referee will stop the fight without a tap. 


A fight stoppage due to rule-breaking by one fighter where the referee awards a disqualification or DQ win to the opposing fighter. The most common infraction, but not the only instance that leads to a disqualification, is kneeing or kicking the head of a grounded opponent. A grounded fighter may only be struck below the head by knees and kicks. 

Winning method betting

A prop in which the bettor receives more favorable odds on a given fighter than they would on a flat bet, but where the bettor must correctly identify both the winning fighter and the method of victory. Methods of victory include KO/TKO, submission, decision, and DQ.

Live betting

Wagers on a given MMA fight while it is taking place. Sportsbooks are constantly updating odds in reaction to the portion of the fight that has already taken place. 

To go the distance

A wager on whether all scheduled rounds will be completed in a given fight. 


“Inside the distance” is a betting prop in which the bettor wagers that the fight will end before completing the scheduled number of rounds. The winning fighter has no bearing on these wagers.

Ending round betting

When a bettor receives improved odds over those available on ITD by wagering on the fight to end in a specific round. 

Winning fighter + round

A wager in which the bettor receives significantly improved odds to correctly identify the winning fighter and the round in which they will finish the fight. 

Winning fighter + method + round

A wager in which the bettor receives the highest possible odds to correctly identify the winning fighter, the round in which the fighter earns a stoppage and whether that stoppage comes via KO or submission.

Grappling terms

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)

The most popular ground fighting and submission-based combat sport. 

Side control

A favorable BJJ position for the fighter on top. 

Full mount

A dominant BJJ position for the fighter on top.

Back mount

A dominant BJJ position for the fighter controlling the back.

Full guard

A somewhat neutral BJJ position in which the fighter on the bottom has submission attacks available to them. 

Half guard

A favorable BJJ position for the fighter on top.


A favorable BJJ position for the fighter on top.


The offensive act of attempting to take the opposing fighter to the ground or the defensive act of defending against an opposing fighter taking the fight to the floor. 


A combat sport popular in MMA that utilizes throws to take the fight to the floor, with elements of submission fighting once the fight reaches the floor. 


The use of wrestling, judo throws, or BJJ trips to get the fight to the floor.

Takedown defense %

The rate at which a fighter stops opposing takedown attempts.

Takedown success %

The rate at which a fighter completes takedowns.


The facets of MMA in which striking is not at the forefront, but control and submissions are the main focus.

Ground and pound

The act of landing strikes while a fight takes place on the floor.


An improvement of position while the fight is on the floor. Examples would be a fighter on top advancing from full guard to half guard, half guard to full mount, or full mount to back control. 


A BJJ term in which each “hook” is a leg around the opposing fighter’s leg while controlling their back.

Back take

Taking the back of an opponent. A full back take entails having both “hooks” in. 

Tap or tap out

A literal tap from a fighter who has a submission hold applied to them. The tap concedes the fight is over and asks for referee intervention to prevent serious physical harm. 

Rear naked choke (RNC)

The most common submission in MMA, taking place from back mount or back control. For this submission, both “hooks” are in and the forearm of the controlling fighter places the squeeze around the neck of their opponent. 

Bulldog choke

A variation of an RNC in which “hooks” are not properly placed but the choke from the back of the opponent is executed in the same fashion. 

Arm triangle choke

The most effective of arm chokes from controlling positions on the floor, this attack uses the opponent’s own shoulder as the device for choking to cut blood flow on both sides of the neck. 

Triangle choke

A submission attack a fighter utilizes from their back in which they wrap their legs around the neck and one shoulder of the opposing fighter, forming a triangle. Just as an arm triangle choke, this attack cuts the blood flow on both sides of an opponent’s neck. This choke also allows for striking while it is applied and can be rolled over into a mounted triangle as well, where additional striking while holding the position will be more effective. 


A submission attack a fighter utilizes from their back in which they isolate a single arm of their opponent and use their own pelvis as a fulcrum to bend the opponent’s elbow to or past breaking point. 


A submission in which a fighter applies two hands to one arm of the opposing fighter, bending the arm backwards and downwards to an unnatural position and threatening to break bones or tear ligaments/tendons. 

Kimura grip

The grip of a kimura submission while on the feet or in the clinch. Not as much of a submission attack but instead a hold often used to improve or reverse position. 

Americana (or keylock)

A submission the fighter on top applies from side control, this tactic sees the opposing fighter’s arm bent unnaturally and upwards. The Americana attacks the arm and bends in the opposite direction of a kimura. 

Front chokes

Submissions attempted from a front headlock position, which is mostly commonly acquired from a stuffed takedown attempt.

D’Arce choke (or Brabo choke)

A blood choke performed by threading the arm under an opponent’s throat and grasping the bicep of their other arm, creating a triangle concept. Essentially an inverted arm triangle choke. 

Anaconda choke

Similar in principle to a D’arce choke, except here the choking arm is threaded under the opponent’s shoulder then throat before grasping the bicep of their other arm.

Guillotine choke

A wind choke performed from a front headlock position by simply feeding a forearm under an opponent’s throat, then squeezing and feeding the hips forward to accentuate the strength of the choke. 

Von Flue

A counter to a guillotine choke, the Von Flue uses the opponent’s grasping of the neck/front headlock against them and sees the applying fighter use their shoulder to directly pressure the neck of their opponent, using the opening given by the opponent holding onto the guillotine/front headlock. 


A shoulder lock that sees a fighter lace the arm of an opponent using their own leg (right leg on left arm or left leg on right arm) to contort the arm in similar fashion to a kimura. The omoplata is not unheard of as a submission in MMA but it is extremely rare and most commonly used to reverse position. 


A derivative of omoplata, this is a choke using the shin bone of the same leg that has the arm wrapped. Also rare in MMA. 

Leg locks

Submission attempts that attack the legs of a given opponent. Leg locks are becoming more prevalent in MMA but they generally have a downside in that the applying fighter often opens themselves up to eat strikes to the head while attempting. 

Knee bar

A version of the armbar that instead attacks the leg. A submission attack in which a fighter uses their own pelvis as a fulcrum to crank their opponent’s knee in a hyperextending fashion. 

Heel hook

A submission attack on the lower leg of an opponent. The applying fighter squeezes one knee of their opponent with both of their own knees and “hooks” the same heel of their opponent with their own forearm while clutching their hands around the achilles of their opponent. They then roll and apply their body weight to the leg to cause damage to the leg or, more ideally, bring a tap from their opponent. 

Calf slicer

A submission attack in which the applying fighter uses their shin bone to apply pressure to an opponent’s calf as they force flexion of the opponent’s leg. 


A Russian grappling-based variation of combat sport. 


Most easily understood as grappling while standing. In MMA, the clinch is almost always done with one fighter against the cage and the other fighter being pressed to the cage. 

Clinch control

The amount of time a fighter is the one controlling their opponent against the cage. 

Dirty boxing

The striking that takes place while engaged in a clinch position. Generally, these are not the most devastating of strikes and are meant to help secure rounds in the judge’s eyes. 


An overhook means controlling an opponent’s arm in the clinch by wrapping one of their arms with a fighter’s own arm.

Similar to an overhook, a whizzer is used in takedown defense to reroute an opponent’s whole body during a takedown attempt. 


An underhook is an arm wrapped around the body and under the arm of an opponent either on the floor or in the clinch. 

Striking terms


Any attack on an opponent using hands, elbows, shoulders, knees or feet. 

Significant strike

A strike that is deemed more harmful to the opponent. In MMA, all strikes from range excluding jabs are considered significant. Most strikes from dominant positions on the floor are considered significant. Most strikes from the clinch and from bottom position on the floor are not considered significant. 


As the sport itself suggests, the punching portion of MMA. 

Muay Thai (or Thai boxing)

A martial art engrained in MMA that uses kickboxing and clinching in combination. 

Low Kicks

Kicks to the leg of an opponent.

Calf Kicks

The most modern variation of the low kick, this technique became quite popular in MMA in 2018. While low kicks previously went to the knee and above, fighters learned they became more damaging and crippling to opponent movement when applied lower, namely to the calf and ankle. This is currently the most utilized strategy for leg or low kicking. 

Soccer betting terms

Line Movement Soccer

3-way moneyline/1X2

A moneyline in soccer has 3 options to bet: either of the two teams to win and the draw. Non-playoff soccer ends in ties after regulation time. Also called 1X2 because of the way forms for this bet type look in Europe.


The European term for parlay. Used in soccer due to the sport’s popularity in Europe.

Goal spread/goal line

A bet on the goal difference between the two teams in a match. Goal line is sometimes used to refer to the goal total. 

Asian handicap/Asian goal spread/quarterball Line

This is a spread with two numbers over which a bet is equally split, named for its popularity in Asia. If a team is a one goal favorite, the line will usually be set at -0.5, -1, meaning if the team wins by 1 goal they will cover half the spread and push the other. Bettors in this situation would win half their stake.

Goal total 

A bet on the total number of goals scored in a match.

Draw no bet

A bet on a team to win the match that pushes if the game ends in a draw. One team will be minus money and one team will be plus money on most draw no bet lines.

Double chance

A bet on a team to win or draw a match. A single bet that wins in both outcomes.

Both teams to score (BTTS)

Self-explanatory. A popular bet type in soccer because of the low-scoring nature of the game.

Clean sheet bet

When a team is able to prevent its opponent from scoring for the entirety of a match, it is called a “clean sheet”. Bookmakers set a line based on the likelihood of a team to “keep a clean sheet”.

Shutout win

A bet on a team to win while keeping a “clean sheet”.

Halftime-fulltime/double result

A bet on the result at halftime and the result at full time, which will have lines on a team winning both, drawing both, etc.

Total corners

When the ball goes out of bounds behind the goal off of a defender, the attacking team is awarded a corner. A bettor can bet on the total number of corners in a match or the total number of corners for each team.

Total bookings

A yellow card or red card is given to a player who has committed a particularly bad foul or a number of fouls. Both are called a “booking”. A bettor can wager on the total number of bookings combined in a match or the total for each team.