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Sports Betting Terms to Know

The Spread: The expected margin of victory of the favorite over the underdog. If the spread is 8, and Toronto is favored over Boston, then the expectation is that the Raptors win by 8 or more.  You can bet on Boston, which means that you expect the Celtics to lose by less than 8 or win outright (Boston +8), or you can bet on Toronto to win (Toronto -8). If the Raptors win by exactly 8, then the bet is a push (a gamblers word for a tie) and you get your money back.

Over/Under: The over/under simply serves as the expectation of how many points both teams will score. An over/under of 65 means that expectations are the sum of both teams’ final scores to be 65. You can bet the under, meaning you expect the actual total to be less than the expectation, or the over, which means you expect it to be more than the expectation.

Parlay: An umbrella bet that relies on winning all of several smaller bets. If you parlay Pittsburgh and Dallas (assume they’re both favorites), that means you're taking the Steelers to cover the spread in their game and the Cowboys to do the same in theirs. If both cover, then you win the parlay and get a larger payout.  However, if either team fails to cover, the bet is lost. The odds of winning your bet are worse, so the payout goes up. You can parlay as many bets together as you would like, but the more you parlay, the less likely you are to win.

Money Line: A bet you make if you just want to pick the winner and loser, regardless of the point differential. Of course, when New England is playing Cleveland, the outcome isn’t exactly 50/50, so there still needs to be an adjustment. And that adjustment comes in the form of the payout. If NE is favored -160, that means you need to bet 160 bucks to win 100. If CLE is the underdog at +145, that means that you bet 100 on Cleveland to win 145.​​​

Prop Bet: You hear about these a lot in poker; a prop (proposition) bet is any bet that’s not on the final score, but on a particular aspect of the game. A prop bet could be anything from the number of three point shots Kobe Bryant attempts in a game to how many combined onside kick attempts both teams will have. These are rarely put on the screen in sports books, but rather listed on fliers near the cage. In poker, Howard Lederer, a vegetarian, once ate a hamburger for $10,000 prop bet, one he won!

Taking the Points: This refers to betting on the underdog of a match when betting the spread. If the spread on Buffalo vs. Philly is Buffalo -7 (Buffalo favored by 7 points), then by taking the points, you are betting that Philly will lose by less than 7 (or win). Simply put, taking the points means betting on the underdog.

UFC 219 & 220: Stipe Miocic v Francis NGannou January 20th!

Michael Mahar looks back at UFC 219, Cris Cyborg v Holly Holm, and discusses the upcoming heavyweight title fight between champion Stipe Miocic & Francis NGannou.

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High Roller Radio

Michael Mahar, a poker dealer and cash game grinder in Calgary, Alberta, is an avid UFC and mixed martial arts fan. @MichaelMarbled brings his poker and fighting mindset to MMA, providing High Roller Radio a fresh, opinionated and unique take on all big fights inside the octagon.

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