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How Does the NHL Moneyline Work?

The moneyline is a bet that involves wagering on a team to simply win a game straight up as opposed to covering a point spread or puckline.

Understanding the NHL Moneyline

The NHL moneyline works the same as it does for any other sport where you’re simply picking one team to win over the other. However, you’re going to get different odds for each team depending on how they match up. For example, if the Philadelphia Flyers are hosting the Pittsburg Penguins, the moneyline could look like this:

Pittsburgh +120

Philadelphia -130

Besides always being sunny in Philadelphia, you’d have to bet $130 to win $100 on the Flyers because they are the favorite. The Penguins, however, are the underdogs and you’d need to lay down $100 to win $120. The risk associated with the Penguins is greater which is why if they win you’d net a bigger payout.

NHL Moneyline Betting Strategies

While the NHL certainly has dominant teams every season, any team can win on any given night. With an intense schedule that involves major travel, we often forget that hockey players are human beings that need their rest and not robots. For this reason, huge favorites are not always worth their high price. If a team is -300 and loses you put yourself in a serious hole and have some ground to make up.

Betting slight favorites or underdogs is the smart way to go when wagering on NHL games. There’s a bit more risk involved but in the long-run you’ll probably see bigger profits.

Goaltending is Key in Hockey

Goaltending is the most important factor to consider when betting on hockey. The goaltender is very similar to the quarterback in football, transforming a good team into a great one. Unless the quarterback is Ryan Leaf in which case you’re getting a Rick DiPietro situation. Conversely, a team with a mediocre goalie can cost its backers tons of cash. Having in-depth knowledge of goaltenders’ stats will give you an edge when picking underdogs and small favorites.

Handicapping Energy and Fatigue

Keeping track of team schedules and travel is important when betting the NHL moneyline – or any hockey wager for that matter. You’ll need to know who is fresh like a pair of Air Jordans and who is tired like a pair of Crocs.

Many bettors look to fade teams with the moneyline on the second night of a back-to-back series, most notably when they are up against teams playing on home ice. Fatigue can impact team performance just the same and determining which team has energy and which team doesn’t can be the difference between winning and losing your NHL moneyline bet. Winning is better than losing. Just ask Ron Tugnutt of the Quebec Nordiques as his team went 12-61-7 for the 1989-90 season.