How to Bet on Hockey
So, you know hockey better than Don Cherry and Ron McLean put together eh? You've been cleaning up in you NHL Fantasy league for years and making chicken scratch on Pro Line when there “house rules” haven't tripped you up. You may know hockey and lotteries but you still need to know the terminology of hockey betting and how it works if you're going to step up to the big books. Here's a simple primer on all the hockey bets you find online...
This is the most common bet type you'll find and make when your betting hockey online. The book picks a favorite and an underdog and assigns them odds that will look something like this:
Chicago Blackhawks +110
Detroit Red Wings -130
Here's what that means. In this example the Blackhawks are a +110 underdog. That means if you wager $100 Chicago and they win you would receiver $110. That would make the Red Wings a -130 favorite. That means to win $100 you must wager $130. Since the Red Wings are favored to win the game you must risk more to win more. It's that simple. Just remember, a minus means favorite and a plus means underdog.
The puckline is also known as the Canadian line at some books, so make sure you check out their lingo before betting. A puckline is a 1.5-goal spread tacked on to the moneyline favorite that changes the odds and payouts for the game. Let's use the exact same game from the example above with puckline odds.
Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 (-270)
Detroit Red Wings -1.5 (+230)
Now with a 1.5-goal spread to cover the Red Wings are a +230 underdog. Which as you know means if you bet $100 you win $230. But, for a bet on the Red Wings to be a winner they must win by at least two goals to cover the spread. The Blackhawks are now a 1.5-goal underdog and are heavy -270 favorites now. That means you wager $270 on Chicago to win $100. However, the Blackhawks don't have to win for you to get paid. They simply have to lose by less then two goals to cover the 1.5-goal spread. Betting pucklines can pay big money on game you expect to be blowouts.
Betting the total is also sometime referred to as betting the OVER or the UNDER. On this wager the sportsbook will set a total for goals scored in a game. The bettor must decide if the combined final score will go OVER or UNDER that posted total. Here's an example, again from the same game above.
Chicago Blackhawks 5.5 (-120 over)
Detroit Red Wings (even under)
The total here is 5.5 goals. So if the Blackhawks were to win 4-2 the OVER would be paid since there were six goals scored. However, is the final score was 3-2 the UNDER would be paid since there were five goals scored. Also check the odds posted next to the posted total. In the example the OVER is slightly favored at -120.
For every game played most sportsbooks over a ton of props. When it comes to props you can bet on almost any aspect of the game. How many goals in the first period? How many goal scored by Team A and Team B? Player A vs. Player B – most goals or most points, or even most penalties minutes. Betting props is kind of like playing fantasy hockey because your betting on a player's production. Not only can betting props be a smart way to turn your hockey knowledge into cash, it can also turn up the excitement on any game by adding the thrill of winning a bet at any point of the action.
Think you know who's going to win the Stanley Cup and it's still only November? You should be making a future bet. A future bet is a wager on something like the Cup winner or Hart Trophy winner that won't be determined until later on in the season, or in this case after the season. Future bets can be big money winners if an major upset occurs. Imagine what the futures odds on Philadelphia winning the Cup were last year right before the snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the season. The Flyers came up short during their Cup run, but it goes to show you how the odds can change on a day-to-day basis.