Betting NHL Puck Lines at Online Sportsbooks
Most of the betting action on NHL games at online sportsbooks such as Vice gravitates towards the moneyline odds and the total line. Both bets are fairly simple to understand.
The moneyline adds more financial risk to betting the favorite in a straight-up game. The reward for betting the underdog is higher.
The total line is covers the OVER or UNDER on total goals scored. This includes any goals scored in overtime.
The third betting option is the NHL puck line. This bet combines the moneyline with a set 1 ½ goals spread. The favorite now needs to win by two or more goals to cover the spread. The underdog wins the bet by winning the game but now they can still cash as a winner with a one-goal loss.
The twist in the puck line is an adjusted moneyline. Most times, there is added risk for betting the underdog and plus money for betting the favorite. The difference between the two can be seen in the following listing on Vice’s NHL betting board.
Toronto Maple Leafs +110
Boston Bruins -135
NHL Puck Line
Toronto Maple Leafs -165 (+1 ½)
Boston Bruins +145 (-1 ½)
In order to bet Toronto on the puck line as an underdog plus 1 ½ goals, you would have to risk $165 to win $100. This would be a winning play if the Maple Leafs win straight-up or lose by a goal.
To bet Boston as a home favorite on the puck line (-1 ½ goals), you would earn $145 on a $100 bet if the Bruins win by two or more goals.
In most cases, there is a reversal of plus and minus money between the underdog and the favorite. In cases where one team is a very heavy favorite, the overall risk is lowered. For example, if Boston was a heavy -225 favorite on the moneyline, you might be able to bet the Bruins as -135 favorites on the puck line by giving the 1 ½ goals.
There is no standard difference between moneylines and puck lines at online sportsbooks. That is why it is so important to familiarize yourself with NHL betting lines in general.
Most times, you will find the best value on the puck line betting favorites. Turning them into a plus money option by giving up the 1 ½-goal spread becomes an attractive play.
Sometimes it is worth the added risk betting the underdog plus the 1 ½-goal spread. Certain teams know how to keep games close win or lose. Certain matchups between division rivals that face one another quite a bit are often decided by just one goal.
Look for teams that play a high number of overtime games. Any game that is tied at the end of regulation becomes an automatic winner for the underdog in a puck line bet.
One of the most important aspects of the handicapping process for any sports bet is your overall level of confidence. It should be high for any bet you place. When it is extremely high, you need to seek out the best way to bet it.
The NHL puck line is a perfect example of using a certain type of betting option to gain an edge. If does not come into play for every NHL game. However, there are times when this option offers the best value on the board.