Betting markets are pored over hour-by-hour and channel-by-channel by oddsmakers and media commentators alike. In short, it's never easy to steal a winning edge. Still, ever the optimist, I'll take a look at how you might do just that across the most popular betting markets on, unpacking some key terminology as I go along…

Core betting terminology & betting features


This feature allows bettors to lock in a profit or restrict a loss without waiting for the final outcome of the game and regardless of its ultimate result. Typically, Cashout is typically used in-play – e.g. if you’ve backed the New England Patriots pre-game to beat the LA Rams and Tom Brady’s bunch are 10-3 up in the fourth quarter (consequently trading at much shorter odds in-game than pre-game) you might like to lock in a profit in case Jared Goff inspires a late comeback for the Rams. Simply punch the Cashout button to realise the cash value on offer for your bet, based on the current state of play.

Parlay (featuring the parlay boost)

An accumulator-style bet on two or more selections / outcomes where the odds on each individual selection are aggregated together to create far larger collective odds and a bigger potential win. However, all selections must be correct in order for the parlay to win. In the event of a “push” (a tie) or a game cancellation, this leg of the bet is deemed void and the parlay’s combined odds revert to the collective odds of the remaining selections (e.g. a four-team parlay becomes a three-team parlay). A parlay boost is a price boost added by on certain parlays (either predetermined by, or based on the bettor making a minimum number of qualifying parlay selections) in order to incentivise this type of bet.


A bet on two or more selections in which the individual line on each selection is adjusted in favor of the bettor, albeit at more cramped odds, in order to probabilistically produce a more likely win. Like a parlay, all selections must be correct in order for the teaser to win.

If Bets

A slightly more complex type of bet which allow bettors to get a better handle on their exposure for money-management purposes. Like parlays, If Bets allow you to make multiple selections (on a combination of two-to-six picks) within one wager for potentially bigger payouts. But, unlike parlays, these are not “all-in” death-or-glory bets. All selections are made active if the first team wins, ties or cancels, then bettors have straight wager(s) on the remaining selections. Therefore, with If Bets, the selection you are most convinced about should always be listed first.

If your If Bet wins or pushes on its first selection, your If Bet carries on to the next selection. However, if the first selection loses, the bet does not progress. Unlike the multiplying format of parlays, the stake on the initial leg of an If Bet is never exceeded in subsequent legs of the bet. There are two types of If Bet:

  1. If Win: a bet settles if your selection loses or pushes.
  1. If Action: a bet only settles if your selection loses.

In-play betting
There's lots of time to adjust and realign your bets in-play, so many bettors prefer to wait until a match has kicked off in order to get a better feel for the game. Regular breaks are also in place for TV adverts, injuries, reviews, timeouts, and the end of each quarter, inning or period. So take your time, and assess your selections carefully.


Having a sound betting strategy is a core component in trying to make money on any sport. Spotting trends and reacting quickly to changes in key variables from weather to team injuries can give you a vital edge. So be sure to check every reliable source available – from the official websites to individual twitter feeds – to keep up to date with the latest news, opinion and defining stats. Mike and his Dataleaks Team will take a deep dive into the relevant stats for the big games every week to hopefully help you uncover some diamonds in the statistical rough. 

Key betting markets

The moneyline
The outright outcome of the match: win/lose (with a tie or “push” meaning money back). Remember, overtime counts.

Points spread / handicap
The oddsmakers’ aim here is to refine each game down to a 50-50 proposition, thanks to a handicap line which offers every game's underdog a chance. Supremacy quotes range from +/-0.5pts upwards. Teams need to outperform their respective handicaps in order to be deemed the winner. Overtime counts.

First-half / first-quarter lines
This in another outright market to establish which team will be leading at halftime, after the first quarter, inning or period etc.

Total points over/under
The combined total number of points scored by both teams in the match. The collective result is either “under” or “over” any predefined number set by the oddsmakers for any match, quarter, inning or period etc. Overtime counts.