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How to Bet on Hockey

By Hank Blaine

Although hockey is not as popular as basketball and football, that doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the most exciting sports out there. Bone-crushing hits, blinding speed, and the plain unpredictability of it are just some of the elements which make hockey a must-watch sport. That’s not to mention that the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs is arguably the greatest postseason in all of sports. In this hockey betting guide, you’ll learn that it’s also fun to bet on.

And we know just the perfect thing to even add more thrill to your hockey-viewing experience: betting! If you are just new to the sport, consider this article as your friend in guiding you on the basics of how to bet on hockey.

For a more general overview of bitcoin sports betting, browse through our different NitroBetting Guides on specific sports and events.

How to Bet on Hockey: The Basic Options

There are three basic types of bets in hockey. The first one is the simplest, which is the moneyline bet. The others are the totals or over/under and the puckline bets. We will discuss how to understand each of these hockey betting lines below.

What is A Moneyline Bet In Hockey?

How to bet on hockey? Let’s start with understanding the moneyline.

Every hockey game ends with a winner and a loser. When making moneyline bets in hockey, you are hoping that the team you placed money on will win in order for you to get a payout. In other words, a moneyline bet depends entirely on whether the team you picked wins or loses.

In most cases, a hockey matchup has a designated favorite and underdog. The favorite is the one with the shorter or lower odds to win, and it’s determined by which team is perceived by the public and the circumstances as the likely one to win a contest. The underdog, on the other hand, is the one with the longer or higher odds to win based on public perception and other factors.

What is A Totals (Over/Under) Bet In Hockey?

Unlike in moneyline betting, the totals bet is settled according to the final total score and not on the winner and loser of a game. In totals betting, you are wagering on the probability of the combined score of two teams in a specific matchup being more or fewer than the set line, which is often set at 5.5. It’s rare that a totals line in hockey deviates from that figure.

Using the 5.5 line, let’s assume that the final score of a Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins game is 4-2. If you bet on the over for this game, then you are getting a payout since the total score is 6 and it’s “over” the 5.5 line. If you bet on the under for that game and the final score turns out to be 4-1, then you have won your wager as the total is short of the line. 

What Is A Puck Line Bet In Hockey?

If basketball and football have the point spread and baseball has the run line, then hockey has its own version of those in the form of the puck line. The puck line is more similar to the run line, in the sense that it’s frequently set at 1.5, which is due to the low-scoring nature of the sport compared to basketball and football. 

In puck line betting, you are wagering on the possibility of either the favored team winning by at least two goals or an underdog winning straight up or losing by no more than two goals.

Team Puck Line Odds
Buffalo Sabres (+1.5) (-160)
San Jose Sharks (-1.5) (+140)

Using the table above as the reference, if you bet on the Sabres +1.5, then you’d win if Buffalo either wins the game or loses by no more than two goals. On the flip side, if you bet on the Sharks -1.5, then you’d get a payout if San Jose wins by at least two goals. 

Some Hockey Betting Tips

Learning how to bet on hockey also requires some indirect betting tips to help you succeed in wagering on the sport. When making betting decisions, it’s best to have access to the crucial factors that can affect a game. It will allow you to paint a better picture of what to expect and aid you in making an informed projection of how the game will shape up.

Get To Know The Goalies

Goalies play a big role in the success of a team in hockey. That’s why there’s an award in the NHL specifically made for the players in that position, the Vezina Trophy. However, goaltending is not an exact science, so you need to dig deeper in your research when you want to get a more precise definition of how good exactly a goalie is. You would also want to know if he’s nursing an injury or coming off a game the night before.

Understand Advanced Statistics

Some people hate advanced stats, but when making a betting decision, it wouldn’t hurt you to have a good understanding of hockey analytics, even the basic ones. Take for example Corsi and Fenwick, which give you an idea about how much does a team has control of the puck. Obviously, a team can only score if they have possession of the puck, so the more time they control it, the higher their chance of scoring.

Where to Bet on Hockey

Now that you have gone through a crash course on how to understand hockey betting lines<, you are ready to bet on hockey. Create a free NitroBetting account now and choose from a variety of games in the NHL and other hockey leagues around the world to bet on.

Be sure to also check NitroBetting News for all the updates and latest happenings from around the league.