In sports betting lingo, the term handle is often used by the bookmakers to describe the total amount of money wagered over a specific period of time. In that case this term usually refers to total bets over multiple games, particularly during a longer series of pre-scheduled events. When dealing with the total bets placed on one game, the term action is usually used instead.
Please note that the term handle may also refer to the total amount of bets taken. In that case, the bookmaker would be talking strictly about the number of bets – the amount of money taken or the money won/lost would be irrelevant in such a case.
Regrettably, determining the exact meaning of this term in a specific situation depends solely on the context, which means that inexperienced bettors might get slightly confused when reading about this issue.
“This season’s handle was significantly larger than the previous one.”
Super Bowl betting tends to generate the biggest handle of the year for most online sports books. Bookmakers track their handle to gauge which sports and betting lines are the most popular, which allows them to set up new betting lines in the future.