What Is The Hook in Sports Betting?

What Is The Hook in Sports Betting? article feature image

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

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Action Newsletter
Sign Up >
The top betting news and picks for all the big games delivered directly to your inbox daily.
Action Podcasts
Listen >
The award-winning Action Network Podcast covers all angles of betting and DFS from industry-leading pros.
Betting 101
Bet Smarter >
New to betting? No sweat. Check out our betting education hub, which ranges from beginner tips to advanced strategies.
Sports Betting Legalization
Predictions >
When will sports betting be legal in your state? Check our our projections for all 50 states.
Betting Calculators
Try Now >
Easily calculate your winnings for straight bets and parlays using American, Decimal, or Fractional odds.
Expert Picks
Best Bets >
See all of the bets Action Network experts are making in real-time, covering the big games and the hidden gems.

Top Stories