What Is The Hook in Sports Betting?


Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Mason Hays

As you make your way into the sports betting world, chances are you’ll be faced with some terminology that makes not a lick of sense at first.

Some will be fundamental in understanding how to properly bet on sports, like units, for example. And some will simply be sports betting jargon for basic ideas that don’t require much explanation.

Like the hook.

What Is a Hook in Sports Betting?

In sports betting, a hook — more commonly phrased, “the hook” — is the name for the last half point of a non-whole number spread.

Consider an example of Ohio State being favored by 7.5. The hook is the “.5” being tacked onto the 7.

As such, the following phrases are fairly common regarding “the hook”:

  • “Losing by the hook”

As it sounds, losing by a half point. In the above example, if Ohio State wins by exactly 7, OSU bettors would “lose by the hook.”

  • “[Number] and the hook.”

A way of phrasing the point spread in a given game. “Ohio State is favored by seven and the hook.”

  • “Buying the hook.”

Buying a half point off a whole number. In a case where Iowa is +3, “buying the hook” would mean buying a half point to +3.5.

Next in Betting Education 101: Hedging

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