Online Sports Betting- How to Bet On Hockey

Playing hockey is completely different from playing baseball. Yet, the two sports are exactly the same when it comes to betting on the games. While the NHL is not the biggest professional sports league in the US when it comes to overall betting revenue at online sportsbooks, betting on ice hockey games can offer quite a bit of value in the betting lines.

The three most popular ways to bet on a hockey game are with the use of a moneyline, puck line and total. Of the three, the moneyline tends to attract the most betting action.

Betting Hockey Moneylines

The oddsmaker’s job is to create a betting line that spreads the money as evenly as possible on both sides of a bet. Since the moneyline is based on a straight-up outcome between two hockey teams, it is designed to create more financial risk for betting the favorite while providing added financial gain for betting the underdog.

For example, the NHL moneyline for a Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers game might be listed as follows:

Philadelphia Flyers +120

New York Rangers -140

As a general rule, the road team is listed first and the underdog has a plus (+) in front of its betting odds. The favorite is designated by a minus (-) sign.

In this case, a bettor would have to risk $140 to win $100 for a bet on New York as the home favorite. If they bet $100 on Philadelphia as the road underdog, they would win $120 if the Flyers went on to pull off the straight-up upset.

With a NHL moneyline, the bigger the favorite the higher the risk from a betting standpoint. Certain online books offer dime lines and even nickel lines to make it more enticing to bet the favorite. They would be listed as follows:

Dime Line                           Nickel Line

Philadelphia +120              Philadelphia +120

New York -130                   New York -125

The reward for betting the underdog remains the same but the risk for betting the favorite is lower.

Betting Hockey Puck Lines

Hockey’s version of a pointspread is called the puck line. The spread is always set at 1.5 goals. To win a puck line bet on the favorite, that team needs to win the game by at least two goals. The underdog bet still pays off if that team only loses by one goal or wins outright.

Using the example above, the puck line for this game might look as follows:

Philadelphia Flyers (+1.5) -125

New York Rangers (-1.5) +105

Adding in the 1.5-goal spread, the adjusted moneylines would return $105 on a $100 betting New York while costing $125 to win $100 on Philadelphia. Giving up the 1.5 goals adds quite a bit of value to betting the favorite if you are confident they can win that game by two goals or more.

Betting Hockey Total Lines

The other popular way to bet on a hockey game is the OVER/UNDER on total goals scored. The betting line for NHL totals is set within a very thin range.

The tightest defensive battle may have a total line of 5 goals. When two offensive-minded teams face off against one another, the total line will probably be set at 6.5. The total line for just about every NHL game falls somewhere in this range.

If a game ends as a tie in regulation, the winning goal in overtime is added to the total score. The winning team in a shootout will have one goal added to its final score.