What’s ‘The Hook’ in Online Sports Betting?

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) rushes during an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Pittsburgh, PA.
(AP Photo/Matt Durisko)
BetMGM @BETMGM May 30, 2023, 12:42 PM

Perhaps you’ve heard a team is “catching six and the hook” in NFL betting. Or they’re “catching two and the hook.”

What does that mean?

What is the Hook?

The “hook” means one-half point.

There are simple terms and concepts in online sports betting, including underdog or the spread. And there are complex terms and concepts in online sports betting, including double chance or round-robin parlay.

The hook is the latter, a simple term that means half of a point. It applies to all sports but is most commonly referenced in NFL and college football betting, where half points are common and critical.

For the Steelers-Packers’ spread, someone might say, “The Packers are favored by six and the hook,” which is no different than saying, “The Packers are favored by six and a half points.”

The Hook Means No Push

Perhaps Najee Harris’ one-yard rushing touchdown with four minutes remaining trimmed the Pittsburgh Steelers’ deficit to 10 points, 27-17. Had the Steelers added a field goal in the final minutes – instead of throwing an interception on their next drive, which resulted in a 27-17 final score – they would’ve trailed by seven points.

If the spread was also seven points and the final score was 27-20, it would’ve been a push, which results in a refunded bet. If there’s a hook, there can’t be a push in most sports, including, obviously, football.

If the Steelers added a field goal and the final score was 27-20, they would’ve failed to cover the spread. If the game had gone differently and they lost by six points, they would’ve covered the spread.

Check out BetMGM’s Sports Betting Glossary for more betting terms.

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