Sports Betting


Covering the bases on sports betting.


Covering the bases on sports betting.


The act of placing a wager on the outcome or specific events within a sports competition with the aim of winning money based on the accuracy of the prediction.


  • Decide how much money to bet. Remember, “Hope to win, expect to lose.”
  • Set a time limit. Just like athletes need a break, so do you.
  • Wagers can be placed at the sports betting area or on a kiosk.
  • Once the betting ticket prints, check for accuracy.
  • Watch and enjoy the game and hope to win.
  • If the ticket wins, return it to the sports betting area or kiosk to collect. If it loses, do nothing.


Vig: The amount of money the casino charges or makes on a wager.
Spread: The number of points (set by sportsbook) a team needs to win or lose by for the bet to win.
Cover: The betting outcome on a point spread bet.
Favorite: The favorite must win by more than the spread to cover.
Underdog: The underdog must lose by less than the spread or win the game outright.
The Hook: The .5 point in a spread. Avoids a tie.
Off the Board: The game can not be bet on.
Cash Out: A sports book may offer a smaller payout to get them to end the bet before the event’s conclusion.
Straight Bet: An individual wager on a game or event that will be determined by a point spread or money line.
Over/Under: A wager that the points total of the game are larger/smaller than the posted total.
Parlay: A single bet that links together two or more individual wagers. You must win all wagers for the bet to pay. The bets selected will result in a higher payout.
Teaser: A parlay that the bettor is allowed to change the spread in their favor. The more teams, the more you can change the spread. The wager results in a single bet payout.
Futures: A wager on an event, series, or award that will finish in the future. This single wager has a long life instead of being decided on a single event. Payouts are determined at the time the wager is placed.
Proposition Bets: A wager made regarding an occurrence or nonoccurrence during a game that does not directly affect the game’s final outcome.
In-Game Bets: Placing wagers while the game is playing. It can be used to place bets like previous forms of betting. Odds will update as teams score and time ticks down.
In-Play Bets: Also known as “live betting” and/or “micro betting.” The difference from In-Game Betting is the odds change after play or possession throughout the game.


Sports bettors and sports fans are both emotionally invested in the outcomes of sporting events. The only real difference: Sports bettors are also financially invested in those outcomes. Make sure you are betting on a sport you understand, and try to enjoy the game regardless of the outcome.

Image of a laptop computer with paper with plays on top and a mobile phone



Minus symbol (-) is the
amount you wager to win

Plus symbol (+) is the amount
you win on a $100 wager.

EXAMPLE: Team 1 -150 costs
$150 to win $100.
Team 2 +250 costs $100 to win

Disclaimer: This game guide is meant as an introduction. The official regulations for Massachusetts electronic gaming devices can be found at

The GameSense Guide to Sports Betting (PDF).


A swipe icon showing that you can move the carrousel elements with your fingers on the screen.
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