What is a Hook in Sports Betting? 

how to bet on sports

The hook is one of the many definitions in online sports betting. It has a relatively simple explanation, but the concept behind it plays a huge role in how sports betting odds are prepared. 

What does a hook mean in sports betting? 

A hook is the half point in a total or points spread wager. For instance, if you have the line of a total bet set at 22.5, the hook is .5. If the total is 22, there is no hook. This half a point is important because it removes the possibility of a push. How? 

Well, it is impossible to score half a point to cover the hook. So, having a point spread set at, let’s say 7.5, means that the point difference will always be more than or less than 7.5; never equal. The closest it will come to 7.5 will be 7 and 8, which sit on either side of the spread, hence no push. The same applies to a totals bet. 

This brings us to the next term; losing by the hook. This essentially means losing by half a point. Say you backed the Golden State Warriors to win by a 7.5 spread. However, they win by 7 points, so you lose your bet. In that case, you would have lost by the hook. 

Buying the hook

Did you know that you can buy the hook? When you do this, you remove the half point, so that a 7.5 spread becomes a 7.0 spread, and so on. However, it comes at a cost; odds are typically worse without a hook than with a hook. So, you’ll have to wager more to win the same amount.  

When to buy the hook

If you bet on spreads and totals a lot, you’ll lose by the hook a lot of times. This can be pretty frustrating, which is why you may want to buy the hook. 

FAQs on Sports Betting

Can you remove the hook?

Yes, you can; by buying it. 


Dan Smullen

Hailing all the way from Dublin, Ireland, Dan Smullen has BSC. in the Sports and Exercise Sciences from the University of Limerick. He is data obsessed. In the past he has worked both as a video performance analyst and provided biometric performance testing and analysis for professional rugby teams. Dan is obsessed about helping the average punter become more successful at sports betting through the assistance of good sports betting data analysis. He has worked with over 200 journalists at multiple editorial teams in his previous role as Head of Search for the largest national news publisher in Ireland.

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