The Beginners Guide to Betting on Hockey

Written by superuser | October 11, 2018

Hockey does not receive the same attention from sports fans, and is a distant fourth in the “Big Four” North American sports. Putting a National Hockey League team in Vegas, and seeing them go on an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year generated more buzz around the sport than ever.


Just because hockey is not as popular as football, baseball and basketball does not mean you should avoid betting it. At times, you can find weaker lines for NHL games because oddsmakers do not spend the same time creating odds for those games, making it a great sport to bet on. Here is the beginners guide to betting on hockey.


Like every other sport that odds are offered by top online sportsbook, there are a lot of options for betting on hockey. Due to its relative low scoring nature, you will not find a point spread for NHL games. The most popular way to bet on hockey is the moneyline, betting on who will win the game.


Hockey moneylines work the same as other sports, and will look like this:


Vegas Golden Knights                          +130

Washington Capitals                            -150


This is the most common moneyline, and is sometimes called a 2-way moneyline, because no matter if the game goes to overtime and a shootout, there is a winner and a loser. There is also a 3-way moneyline, which involves a draw, but we will get into that later.


Pushing the NHL Moneyline with Pay Per Head Bookie Software


In the above example, the Capitals are the favorite, and you would need to wager $150 to win $100. The Golden Knights are the underdog and will pay $130 on a $100 bet.


Total bets work the same as in other sports, with most totals set between 5 and 6. An example of a total line will look like this:


Vegas Golden Knights                          O6-120

Washington Capitals                            U6-110


These bets are straightforward and need no further explanation.


Another popular way to bet hockey is the puck line. The puck line is a close cousin to the baseball run line, as the puck line is always set at +/-1.5, with a moneyline associated to each.


The puck line for the same game will look like this:


Vegas Golden Knights                          +1.5-235 (underdog)

Washington Capitals                            -1.5+195 (favorite)


When betting the puck line, to win a wager on the favorite, they need to win by 2 or more goals. To win a wager on the underdog, they need to win or lose by 1 to be a winning wager, meaning if they lose by 2 or more goals, you lose that bet.


Puck lines provide a lot of value, especially if one team is a heavy favorite and has a moneyline of -200 or greater. If you feel the favorite will win by 2 or more, they will almost always have a + moneyline. I recently wrote an article titled “Handicapping the Hockey Puck Line for an in-depth look at this type of betting.


I briefly mentioned earlier that hockey has a 3-way moneyline that enables you to bet on either team to win or the game ending as a tie in regulation. It is the same as a moneyline except that overtime and a shootout are not included.


A 3-way moneyline for the same game will look like:


Vegas Golden Knights                          +195

Washington Capitals                            -125

Draw                                                       +280


Similar to betting football and basketball halves and quarters, when betting hockey you have the option to bet the three periods. Top online hockey sportsbooks will have odds for side, total and moneyline for all three periods.


NHL periods betting odds will look like:


Side                                        Total                                       Moneyline

1 P Vegas Golden Knights   +0.5-190                                O1.5-135                               +115

1 P Washington Capitals     -0.5+160                                U1.5+115                              -135


2 P Vegas Golden Knights                                                   O1.5-200                               +115

2 P Washington Capitals                                                     U1.5+170                              -135


3 P Vegas Golden Knights                                                   O1.5-185                               +110

3 P Washington Capitals                                                     U1.5+165                              -130


Betting periods can be very profitable if you are able to identify team trends. For example, last season, the Detroit Red Wings were terrible in the third period, so betting against them on the third period moneyline was a great bet all season.


Another fun way to bet on hockey is the grand salami. The grand salami works as it does in other sports, taking into account every game on the schedule that day. The day I am writing this the NHL has a light schedule with only 3 games.


The line for the grand salami for that day looked like:


Side                                        Total                                       Moneyline

Away Goals                                            +0.5EV                                                                    +120

Home Goals                                           -0.5-120                                                                 -140


OVER Goals                                                                                            O18.5-105

UNDER Goals                                                                                         U18.5-115


If you plan on spending the night watching hockey, betting the OVER and cheering for every goal scored will provide you a great night of entertainment. Researching which teams are on the road and which are at home can sometimes reveal some great info, leading you to bet on that side.


Three Tips to Betting Early Season NHL Hockey Games


When looking at the hockey betting menu at your sportsbook will show you odds for futures and props as well. You will find odds for the Stanley Cup winner, Conference winners and much more. So don’t be shy, log into your account and have a look at the options available for betting hockey.


Betting on hockey can be a ton of fun, and not only will get you through to the weekend until we have some football to bet, it will also be there in the spring when there is no football. Get started betting hockey now, so that when the time comes in February, you will be locked and loaded and ready to roll. Hopefully this beginners guide to betting on hockey will help you beat the bookie.