NHL Odds Legend
The most popular way to bet on your favorite hockey team is moneyline betting and it replaces a point spread because the scores are so low. Your team has to win the game, not win by a certain number of goals. In NHL odds, negative and positive values are attached to favorites (-180) and underdogs (+160). Think of it as 100 sitting in the middle of these two values.
Example: if you want to bet a -180 favorite, you would risk $180 to win $100 (or for smaller players, $18 to win $10). On a +160 underdog, you would risk $100 and win $160 if the underdog wins. Without a point spread, bettors have to risk a bit more to bet the favorite, but you earn a bigger payout if you back the underdog.
Puck Line (Canadian line)
The puck line is a hybrid form of NHL betting that merges the moneyline and a point spread. It means a team has to win by two or more goals to win the wager, much like a runline in baseball. Negative values such as -1.5 indicate that team is favored by 1.5 goals. Positive values like +1.5 indicate that team is the underdog by 1.5 goals. Betting on the puckline means the team must win by at least two goals to cover the puckline spread. The dog can lose by one goal and still cover the puck line. That’s right – a team can lose 3-2, but still win on the puckline if they are +1.5 goals.
NHL action sees many 3-2 and 4-3 games and shootouts in hockey, this can be profitable. You may also see a -135 or +180 value associated with the puck line. This is the moneyline component and shows how much you need to risk and how much you will profit.
For example, if a team is -1.5, +180 and you wagered $100, that means you would profit $180 (+180) if the team wins by two goals or more. On the other side of the NHL betting window, for a team that is +1.5, -135, you would have to risk $135 (-135) to back the team. If they win the game or only lose by just one goal, you have a winning wager of $100.
Total or Over/Under
Known more commonly as over-under odds, this is a number set by oddsmakers (usually 5 or 5.5 in hockey) and bettors must decide if the total number of goals scored in the game by both teams combined is higher or lower. So when you see 5.5, you are hoping for 6 or more goals if you bet over and hoping for 5 or less if you bet under. Where you see a moneyline value linked to the 5.5, this is the risk-reward amounts for selecting the over or the under. Example: 5.5, u-110 means the total is 5.5 goals and you have to risk $110 (-110) in order bet under the total. If the final score is 2-1, the total is 3 and you profit $100. You will also sees values for the over such as 5.5, o+105. In this case, you profit $105 by risking $100 if the game produces 6 or more total goals.
Who will win the Stanley Cup next season? You can bet on it today and every other day by wagering on NHL futures. Oddsmakers set and move lines during the season, depending on the relative strength of NHL teams. The top-ranked team in the league may be 4/1 odds to win the Cup. That means you would earn $4 for every $1 wagered if that team goes on to win the Stanley Cup. However, the NHL’s last-place team may be 250/1. It would pay out bigtime, but it’s a crazy longshot.