Who will win? If you want a simple way to bet on hockey, betting the moneyline is for you.
NHL point spread betting explained
NHL point spread betting, or betting the puck line, is unlike your standard bet. It’s not about picking winners or losers, it’s about predicting how much a team will win or lose by. It’s here you can find hidden value where you wouldn’t expect it.
NHL point spread rules are just like betting the spread in other sports. Rather than betting on who the winner will be (taking the moneyline), you are betting on whether the favorite will win by more than the spread or if the underdog will will not lose by more than the spread and/or win the match outright.
The general idea of point spread betting is to provide a handicap that make games fairer, or more attractive to bet on, with points/goals taken from the favorite and given to the underdog.
Compared to moneyline bets, where the odds will always be positive for the underdog and negative for the favorite, NHL point spread rules differ slightly. Depending on the match-up, it’s not unusual to see a favorite have positive odds too. If you’re confident your team is going to win by a certain margin, or lose by one (or pull off a shock win), it can be more profitable to bet on an NHL point spread rather than take a winner. They’re also a great addition to parlays, as taking an NHL point spread rather than picking a winner can be a neat way to increase your payout.
Let’s look at NHL point spread betting explained with an example involving the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.
|Puck Line (including OT and shootout)||Total (including OT and shootout)||Moneyline (including OT and shootout)|
|Bruins||+1.5 (-205)||O 6.5 (-103)||+132|
|Penguins||-1.5 (+170)||U 6.5 (-118)||-152|
We feel confident that the Penguins are going to win, and win big. We could play it straight and take the moneyline, but the idea of winning more money sounds appealing, so we take the Penguins against the spread instead, which is the puck line, set at 1.5.
Should they win by at least two goals, then a $100 bet will result in us winning $170. Had we bet the moneyline, our $100 would have won just $65.79.
Of course, we can bet any amount we want. Enter your stake and odds into our bet calculator and it’ll show you your return instantly.
Sometimes taking an NHL point spread works in our favor and sometimes it doesn’t. Take the same example. Had we taken the Bruins and they won straight up, we would have won $132. But had we taken the spread and they won or lost by one, we would have won $48.78.
Find out why betting over/unders, AKA totals betting, is an important skill for any online bettor.
Also called 'the line' or 'the spread', find out how this margin is used to handicap the favorite team.
Want bigger odds and bigger returns on your hockey bets? Then parlays are for you.
Sportsbooks will have their own formula for how the opening point spread is calculated. But oddsmakers will shift the spread leading up to the game according to how people are betting, this is so they can attract more bets and limit their exposure.
When you bet against the spread that means you are taking the underdog to win outright or to lose by less than whatever the NHL point spread/puck line is for the game.
The NHL point spread, or line, is used to handicap the favorite team. This is expressed via the number of goals the favorite is expected to win by. If you bet against the spread and take the underdog, the spread is a chance to bet on the loser of the game but still win your wager.
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