The ultimate guide to football betting terms: L-N

We are well past the halfway point in our journey through those football betting terms.  We hope you have stopped for your orange segments and a new shirt, and now ready to proceed from L through to N.  You can check out A-C, D-F and G-K if you need to catch up first.  However, if you are ready, then we can proceed with our betting education.


Lay is when you choose to bet against a certain outcome.  You will usually lay a bet if you are on an exchange site, where you are betting against your peers rather than the sportsbook.  It is also known as laying odds.

If you are the person or the sportsbook manager providing the bet, and so setting the odds, you are then known as the layer.

Laying the points

It would help if you learnt a little about points spread here, as laying the points means you have chosen to back the favourite.  By selecting the favourite, you have agreed to the points handicap set by the bookie.  This handicap is intended to make it a more exciting bet, with much better odds.  The favourite will have to reach a set amount of goals before they are considered on a par, then winning against the lesser team.


The limit is the maximum bet allowed on a football match.  This limit might be self-imposed, and this done by the wisest of gamblers.  Most online sites allow you to set a limit for a month of betting and once reached cannot be exceeded in any more bets that month.  On rare occasions, the sportsbook manager may also set an upper limit on the amount that can be bet at one time.


Line is also known as a single bet.  It is possible to take out accumulator bets and permeations, also known as ACCAs and Perms.  If all you do is set a single bet on one set outcome, then this is a line.

Live betting

This is also known as in-play betting.  This is a relatively new form of betting made possible by instant communication methods.  Some sportsbooks even accept bets via social media.  As the event is in progress, it is still possible to bet on set outcomes – whether it is win/ lose or a points spread.  More likely, for those using live betting options, it is who will score the next goal, the number of corners, who will get the next yellow card – and many more.


You might know this as a banker.  It is a selection that you are almost certain will go your way.  You should always aim to have a lock-in your ACCAs or PERMs, so you have one outcome that will ultimately pay out and cover some of your stakes.

Long odds/ long shot

If you are given long odds, it means the payout will be significant.  100 -1, for instance, is long odds.  However, if it came out in your favour and laid down a tenner, you will be walking away with a grand. But, this will also be known as a long shot.  In other words, the high odds represent the outsider status of the football team you have backed.


Martingale is a pretty simple betting system.  You keep laying down double the amount on the next bet until you win.  The premise: probabilities suggests you should win eventually and by doubling the amount each time you cover your losses.  There is a fine line between confidence in your ability to select a winner eventually and arrogance that could lead to you losing a lot of money.  It is best to set a limit!

Money Line

You will hear this used most commonly when referring to American sports.  However, with the US teams growing in reputation in football, you may hear it used to refer to the outcome of a match.

Nailed On/ Nap

Everyone is looking for that certainty; the bet that cannot lose.  If you find this bet, then you are saying the outcome is nailed on.  It is likely the odds are going to be short and the payout low.  However, if a tipster tells you their Nap, then they are letting you in on their strongest selection.  A Nap might not look to an outsider as a nailed-on result, but the tipster has found that rarity – a potential mistake by the bookie and the chance of a value bet.

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