There are a wide variety of different betting markets you can consider when betting on the NHL, so to help you get a grip on what you’re dealing with without getting overwhelmed, we’ve broken down a few of the most popular and common betting markets you’ll come across on your NHL betting journey.
NHL Moneyline – The first one we’re touching on is moneyline betting which is the most popular as well as the most simple of the NHL markets you can find. This is a win/lose wager where you choose a team to win, and if they win, so do you. For example: Montreal Canadiens (-140) – Toronto Maple Leafs (+150).
Favorites always have NHL odds that start with the minus sign while underdogs are always denoted by the plus sign. Here, a 140 dollar bet on Montreal would net a total return of 240, while a 100 bet on Toronto would net the bettor a total of 250. Favorites are often the safer bet, but finding value on an underdog is how you make the real big bucks.
Puckline (Canadian line) – This type of bet is pretty unique to hockey. Since hockey games are so low-scoring, there’s always a puck line as well as a moneyline, and the puck line is always at -1.5 goals for the favorite and +1.5 goals for the underdog. This means that if a bettor takes the favorite’s puckline, they have to win by two or more goals, while bettors on the underdog’s puck line will win if the underdog keeps it to within one goal or wins outright.
The puck line for a favorite is usually offered with juiced up odds while the puck line for the underdog offers much less of a payout. This is similar to point spread or handicap betting in other sports, where the handicap evens the playing field out a bit in terms of the betting odds.
NHL Total or Over/Under – The NHL total bet is the same as for any other sport. You simply bet whether two teams will combine for over or under a certain number of goals. Betting in these markets requires a bit more knowledge of the game as well as the trends and tendencies of the two teams involved.
NHL Futures – NHL Futures are a great way for sharps to make big money on eventualities in that season. These types of bets can be made before the season starts but some can be made in-season as well. Futures are essentially long-term predictions on things such as the top goalscorer, the MVP, the conference winners, or even the Stanley Cup winners. Because so much can happen during a season, even the favorites for these futures, or ‘outright winners,’ bets will often offer very profitable odds.