Online Sports Betting- Betting Puck Lines
The primary way to bet on a hockey game is through the moneyline odds between the favorite and underdog. This is similar to baseball while both football and basketball games incorporate a pointspread between the two.
The puck line in hockey could be considered a hybrid bet using a moneyline and a pointspread. The puck line adds a 1 ½ goal spread between the favorite and the underdog. This comes with an adjusted moneyline to reflect that spread. Below is a HRWager online sportsbook listing for a typical NHL game.
NHL Moneyline Odds:
New York Rangers +110
Philadelphia Flyers -130
NHL Puck Line Odds:
New York Rangers (+1.5 ) -175
Philadelphia Flyers (-1.5) +155
In this game, New York is the road underdog. Betting the Rangers plus the 1.5 goal spread would cost $175 to win $100. They would have to win the game straight-up or lose by just one goal to cash a winning ticket.
Taking the Flyers as home favorites minus the spread would pay $155 on a $100 bet as long as they win by two goals to cover the 1.5-goals spread.
There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to betting NHL puck lines. Turning the favorite into a plus money play adds quite a bit of value in that bet as long as you see that team winning by at least two goals.
Some bettors are willing to increase their betting risk to get the extra goal and a half if they are expecting a very close matchup.
One school of thought is to bet heavy favorites on the puck line. For example, if Boston is a heavy -225 favorite on the moneyline, you might be able to get much more favorable -125 odds betting the Bruins on the puck line.
Betting any game using any form of odds comes down to your level of confidence in predicting the outcome. When it comes to hockey, if you are extremely confident a favorite will win, then the basic moneyline becomes an attractive bet. If you believe the favorite will win with ease, then the puck line comes into play.
As far as betting the underdog, the straight-up moneyline offers the best value. Granted, there are quite a few one-goal games where the underdog still loses but the added risk in the puck line bet is a strong deterrent.
Keep in mind that overtime is factored into the final score. When it comes to games decided by a shootout, the winning team will have one goal added to their score. Also keep in mind that any game that is decided in overtime is an automatic winner for the underdog on the puck line. They will either win the game outright or cover in the one-goal loss.
Betting underdogs on the puck line who happen to have quite a few overtime losses in their record makes some sense. Going back to the 2018/2019 NHL regular season, the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers each registered 14 losses in overtime. Neither team qualified for the playoffs so you know they closed as underdogs in the majority of those games.
Not all puck lines are created equal. By tracking the actual difference between the moneyline and puck line for every NHL game, you will begin the recognize the best value in the numbers betting the favorite or the underdog.