Betting NHL Puck Lines
Are you familiar with betting NHL puck lines? Let’s get you caught up.
- NHL puck lines are hockey’s version of the point spread.
- There are strategies bettors can use to take advantage of betting NHL puck lines.
The most popular bets on NHL hockey are similar to those placed on the other major North American sports. Hockey is a little different though and that’s because it’s a sport where there is less scoring.
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In football and basketball for example, scores are higher and point spreads vary. In hockey, scores are lower so point spread betting is similar to that of baseball. In baseball, you can bet on the run line. In hockey, you can bet on the puck line.
What Is The NHL Puck Line?
The puck line is the point spread in hockey. Since scoring is at a minimum, sportsbooks establish the puck line at 1.5 for all games. The puck line is -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog.
What that means is that a favorite must win by at least two goals in order to cover. An underdog can either lose by a single goal or win outright in order to cover.
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Puck Line Example
Understanding NHL puck lines can be made easier by looking at an example. Let’s say the Oilers are playing the Jets.
Edmonton Oilers -110 -1.5 (+180)
Winnipeg Jets +105 +1.5 (-205)
Notice that Edmonton is the moneyline favorite at -110. A $110 bet at your offshore sportsbook on Edmonton to win would pay $100 regardless of the final score. That’s how moneyline bets work.
You see the puck line at 1.5. If you like the Oilers to win by at least two goals, you can bet them on the puck line. At +180 odds, your $100 bet will pay $180 if Edmonton wins by at least two goals. That’s a nice payout.
On the other end of the bet, if the Jets lose by one or win outright, a $205 bet would win $100. You might see something like this over on our best bets page, take a look.
NHL Puck Line Betting Tips
Betting the NHL puck line as opposed to the moneyline may be a preference for some bettors. Oftentimes, smarter bettors will look for heavy favorites whose moneyline price seems a bit low. Betting the puck line can offer a better payout.
A team may be favored to win at -120 or even -130 on the moneyline. That shows that oddsmakers are leaning toward the favorite. The payout on that wager isn’t as great as a, say, +150 payout on the puck line. If this is a little over your head, consider using our premium sports handicapping service.
If a bettor believes the favorite can win by at least two goals, it’s worth a shot at the higher payout on the puck line. It’s also worth noting how games are played at the end of regulation.
A team behind by one goal will typically pull its goalie in an effort to tie the game. More often than not, the team pulling its goalie is an underdog that ends up giving up a late empty-net goal. That empty-net goal allows a favorite to cover.
Looking for heavy underdogs that offer better pricing on the puck line is a strategy worth exploring.
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