What Does -7 Mean in Sports Betting?

The number -7 is used in several sports to represent the penalty box. In hockey, it’s called the ‘penalty box’ or ‘sin bin’ and in soccer it’s known as ‘the red card’ or ‘red flag.’ In all cases, -7 is used to indicate that a certain part of the game is under the control of the officials and therefore cannot be altered by the players.

These are the seven instances where -7 is used in sports. There are other places where this number has other specific meanings but the general idea is the same.


In the NHL, a -7 miss is a penalty box offense that results in a minor penalty to the offender. The league also uses this number to indicate that the offender is ‘restrained’ in a holding cell for a few minutes until the next play.

In the NHL, a goal plus seven minutes equals a minor penalty. If a player accumulates five minor penalties during the course of a game, the referee will pull him from the action and assess him a major penalty. If a player accumulates ten minor penalties, he will be ejected from the game. Getting two minor penalties simultaneously, will earn you a caution. Once you receive three cautions during a game, you will be assessed a game misconduct and ejected from the ice. Another way to earn this status is to attack an official. Getting into a fight with an official will result in you getting booked for match penalty (a game misconduct) and an additional five minute penalty.


In the English Premier League, a goal plus seven minutes equals a caution, a yellow card, for the offense. This applies to teams playing at home as well as away. The caution is for unsporting behavior and includes ‘time-wasting’ and excessive hooliganism. A second yellow card and subsequent dismissal from the game are also possible.

In the MLS, a yellow card or ‘caution’ is issued to a player in the following situations:

  • When he receives two yellow cards in one game
  • When he accumulates three yellow cards in one game against another team
  • When he picks up a third yellow card in one game
  • When he argues with an official or violates the rules of the game
  • When he uses obscene or abusive language towards another player or an official

There is one more soccer-related instance where -7 is used but it only applies if the game is being officiated in Germany. In the German league, a player who accumulates only one yellow card in a game will be awarded a penalty kick instead of a direct free kick. This is due to the fact that Germany has more regulations regarding soccer than most countries. One more thing; Germany uses a different set of cards to indicate cautions. A yellow card in Germany is equivalent to a yellow card elsewhere. A red card in Germany is equivalent to a red card elsewhere as well.


In the French Open, a fault in the deuce game (the second game of a set) plus seven minutes is a default game loss. So a fault at deuce plus seven means the player has to serve again. A single fault at love plus seven means a triple fault and automatic game forfeiture. A double fault at love results in an automatic game loss. If a player is not feeling too lucky and wants to continue playing, he has to wait 15 minutes until the next deuce game for relief.

In the Australian Open, a single fault at love results in a game loss. A double fault at love equals a warning, a red card, and an additional 15 minute penalty. A triple fault at love results in a game suspension for the player. There is also an instance in the Australian Open where a fault in the first game of a set against Nadal results in a game loss. He must serve again.


In the Masters Tournament, another instance of ‘-7′ being used is when a player incurs a penalty on the hole he is on. If Tommy Bolt hits a sand wedge into the water on the 17th green, he will incur a penalty on the 17th hole. He will be obliged to play the 18th hole from the same teeing ground as the 17th. Another way to get penalized on the hole you are playing is to hit a second shot at the green after having already hit a miss on the first. On the other hand, hitting an approach shot into the water anywhere on the course, results in an automatic game loss. For the same reason, hitting a second ball into the water in the same place as the previous one also results in a loss.

In the PGA Championship, a player may incur a penalty on any hole he plays as long as he is hitting a wood or a metal club on the course. A rule implemented in 2014 states that a player may not pick up a penalty shot on an electric golf trolley. The penalty shot is for actions that would otherwise result in a loss of play. For example, if a player stands on a green and refuses to move until a ball lands in his mouth, he will incur a penalty.


In the NBA, if a team is awarded a technical foul, it will be assessed a penalty of one point to the opposing team. The foul can be given for a variety of reasons but mainly includes acts like talking back to the officials, excessive coaching, or taunting. Two consecutive technical fouls will get you a one-game suspension. Once you are sentenced to a one-game suspension, you will serve it during the next game. Your team will also receive a penalty point for each minute of the suspension. This point will be added to the team’s total and therefore affect the score at the end of the game. Technical fouls are often issued as a response to unsportsmanlike conduct, arguments with the referees, or persistent dives below the free-throw line.

In the WNBA, a technical foul is assessed the same as in the NBA. The only difference is that technical fouls in the WNBA are only given after the conclusion of a play. During a set, once the ball leaves the field of play for a foul call, play will continue without a foul being assessed. These are the only two professional basketball leagues that use -7. There are no other instances of this number being used in basketball.

There are a few more places where -7 is used in sports but these are the most common instances. Hopefully this article has answered your question about what does -7 mean in sports betting. Feel free to leave us a comment below if you have other questions about betting or just want to say hi.