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How to Bet NHL Pucklines

Similar to point spread betting in most sports and the runline in baseball, pucklines are also available for bettors willing to dig a little deeper for some profits when wagering on NHL games.

The typical way of betting the NHL involves the moneyline, and simply picking the team you think will win the game between the favorite and underdog. But the puckline is hockey’s version of the spread and identical to baseball’s runline, with oddsmakers favoring one team by 1.5 goals with the other heading into the game as a 1.5-goal underdog.

The puckline is adjusted accordingly based on how strong the favorite is and how weak the underdog is. Those who want to bet the favorite but do not want to lay such a heavy price may consider the puckline a more affordable option.

Hockey Puckline Example

For example, if the Detroit Red Wings are rolling into Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers, the moneyline could look like this:

Detroit +110
New York -130

In this case, you would need to bet $100 on the Red Wings to win $110, or $130 on the Rangers to win $100. However, the puckline offers much greater value and may be a better wager if you think the favorite will win the game by two goals or more:

Detroit +1.5 (-175)
New York -1.5 (+150)

It is easy to see that the oddsmakers expect the Rangers to win by one goal because they are essentially making them underdogs to win by two or more. Betting the Red Wings to win or lose by a goal is the favored play in this case and provides a much smaller return while wagering on the Blueshirts to win by two or more garners the biggest payday.

When the Puckline Makes Sense

There are definitely instances where betting the puckline makes more sense than others. One particular situation is when there is strong appeal in backing a prohibitive favorite on the board and little value on the huge underdog. By wagering on the fave to win by two or more goals, you can get the likely winner of the game at a reduced price.

Hockey bettors can also use the puckline to parlay their moneyline bets. By combining a moneyline bet with a puck line wager on a team to win by two or more goals, bettors can reap some serious rewards in the right spot.

Winning NHL puckline bets requires good luck and good money management.