Profit margins are everything in sports betting. It’s the difference between winning and losing. Too many people get careless and underestimate the importance of this number, thinking that they won’t lose a lot of money even if they have a bad week or month. But the truth is that even a small mistake in this area could cost you a lot of cash. You must learn how to calculate your profit margin correctly, so you can minimize the amount of risk that you take on each bet.

## Learn the Lingo

Before you dive into the nitty gritty of calculating your profit margin, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the lingo associated with sports betting. There are so many different ways to make money in sports, but unless you are completely familiar with all of them, you will undoubtedly end up in a bit of a pickle. To give you a better chance at winning, most operators will give you sign-up bonuses and offer some of their best sportsbooks to new customers. In addition, many online sportsbooks have learned to trust customers who are based in countries outside of the United States, as a lot of their revenue is generated from overseas betting customers. But if you want to be able to analyze your betting activity correctly, it’s important to learn the lingo and terminology used in the industry. Here is a glossary of some of the terms you will encounter, along with their meanings:

## Wins (W)

The number of games your team won (for example, the Cleveland Browns had 13 wins last year, giving them a winning percentage of 79.3%.)

## Losses (L)

The number of games your team lost (for example, the Cleveland Browns lost 12 games last year, giving them a losing percentage of 20.7%).

## Money Line (ML)

The amount you are playing for, either winning or losing (for example, the Cleveland Browns had to cover the point spread in 11 of their 16 games last year, so there is a 50% chance they will win each game they play.)

## Spread (ST)

The amount of money you are paying to guarantee an outcome (for example, the line for the Cleveland Browns – Kansas City Chiefs game was $3,600 to win $2,400, so you are paying $1,200 to win $800).

## Injury Matchup (IMC)

The matchup between two teams where one of them is hurt (for example, the Houston Texans had the highest-paid defense in the NFL last year, but their running game was mostly ineffective, as they had to play a lot of one-on-one matchups versus the Browns and Jaguars. So their RB’s injury was a big blow to their chances of winning last year’s Super Bowl.)

## Money Management

The act of managing your bankroll, or how much money you are willing or able to lose on a single wager (for example, if you are playing with $10,000 and you lose, you will be kicked out of the game for insensitivity to the risk-taking nature of sports betting.)

## Winning Percentage (WP)

A measurement of a teams’ success in a given year, expressed as the ratio of wins to total games (for example, the Los Angeles Clippers had a winning percentage of 59.3% last year, as they won 18 games and lost 10.)

## Parity

Even though most sports are considered “manual” betting, or done via a point-spread system, it is still considered “parity” when two teams are evenly matched.

## Over / Under (OV / U)

The amount you are playing for, either winning or losing. If you bet on the over (for example, the Cleveland Browns had to win by two touchdowns or more in order to win last year’s Super Bowl), you are betting on the outcome to be more than the sum of the parts (for example, their offense was very good, but their defense was very bad, so they couldn’t keep the football and had to settle for three points because of it.)

## Point Spread (PS)

The spread is the amount of money you are paying (or being paid) to guarantee an outcome (for example, the point spread for the Cleveland Browns – Kansas City Chiefs game was -3, so you are getting $1,200 to win $800). You are typically getting $3.60 to win $2.40 on a money line.

## Rushes (RU)

The total number of rushing attempts a team makes (for example, the Cleveland Browns had 144 rushing attempts last year, while the Indianapolis Colts only had 64.)

## Receiving (RB)

The total number of passes a team catches (for example, the Buffalo Bills had the highest-paid wide receiver last year, but their quarterback was also the third highest-paid, so they didn’t get too many opportunities to make a catch last year.)

## Catch Rate (CRT)

The percentage of passes a team catches (for example, the Buffalo Bills had the highest catch rate in the NFL last year, snatching 60.3% of the passes thrown their way.)

## Yards Per Game (YPG)

This is simply the total yardage a team gets per game (for example, the Pittsburgh Steelers had 1,646 yards per game last year, meaning they averaged out to be 131.7 yards per game.)

## TDs Per Game (TDPG)

This is the total number of touchdowns a team scores per game (for example, the New England Patriots had 37 touchdowns last year, so they had an average of 1.37 touchdowns per game.)

## Interceptions (INT)

This is the total number of interceptions a team throws, whether or not they complete a pass (for example, the Houston Texans had 16 interceptions last year, the most in the NFL. But they only had 66 pass attempts, as their quarterback was constantly under pressure.)

## Sacks (SACK)

This is the total number of times a quarterback is sacked, either by the defense or the other team (for example, the Jacksonville Jaguars had 22 sacks last year – more than any other team in the NFL – but they only had 80 pass attempts, as their quarterback was pressured all the time.)

## QB Rating (QBR)

This is the rating given to the quarterback, based on a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being the best. It measures his performance, taking into account both his accuracy and decision-making (for example, Joe Flacco had a QB Rating of 74.7, which was good for 16th in the NFL last year.)

## Adjusted Yards Per Game (AYPG)

This is simply yards per game, with adjustments based on down, distance, and field condition (for example, the Buffalo Bills had 4.1 adjusted yards per game last year, meaning they averaged 14.5 yards per game on all their plays.)

## Adjusted TDs Per Game (ADPG)

This is the total number of touchdowns a team scores, with adjustments based on down and field condition (for example, the Chicago Bears had 5.7 adjusted touchdowns last year, on average 14.5 yards per game on all their plays.)

## Fumbles (FUM)

This is the total number of times a team loses the ball due to a fumble (either by the offense or the defense), where it is taken by an opponent (for example, the Los Angeles Rams had the highest rate of fumbles in the NFL last year, with 19, as they gave up the ball away on almost 40% of their plays.)

## Fumbles Lost (FL)

This is the total number of times a team loses the ball due to a fumble, where it is not returned for a touchdown by the defense (for example, the St. Louis Rams had the highest rate of fumbles last year, with 19. They gave up the ball away on almost 40% of their plays, but they only had 67 offensive possessions, due mostly to fumbles lost by their defense.)