Hockey odds will look very familiar for baseball bettors, as the most popular forms of betting are the same as MLB. Hockey is dominated by moneyline betting, as opposed to point spread in football and basketball. You pick one team to win, risking more or risking less depending on which team is the underdog.
Totals betting, puckline betting (the same as runline in baseball where a team must win by two or more goals) and futures (odds to win the Stanley Cup) are also popular. Check out the odds display that gather data from several top legal US sportsbooks. For more detail, there is an NHL odds legend at the bottom of this page. Good luck!
NHL MONEYLNE – low-scoring hockey games means a traditional point spread doesn’t work for hockey betting. So NHL moneyline has become the main form of wagering, with oddsmakers assigning a value to the underdog and the favorite. The underdog is designated with a plus, the underdog with a minus sign. A typical moneyline would look like this:
This means the Capitals are favored (-170) and risking $170 on them would pay out a $100 profit. For Boston, they are underdogs (+150), so the sportsbook will ask you to risk a little less ($100) to earn a $150 profit. You don’t have to wager exactly $100 per game, but that is how the math works out – risk more on the favorite and risk less on the underdog
NHL PUCKLINE – hockey’s puckline merges the moneyline and point spread and means a team must win by two or more goals. The lines can be a little confusing, so here’s how it looks:
The Capitals are favored but you get a nice little profit if you bet on them to win by two or more goals. The -1.5 indicates the goals and the +140 indicates the payout. So, if you bet $100 on the Capitals to win -1.5, you would get $140 profit if they win by two or more goals (2-0, 5-3, whatever).
On the Bruins, they are +1.5, meaning they can lose the game by one goal and you still win your NHL puckline bet. The -160 means you need to risk a little bit more ($160 in order to turn a $100 profit). But if the Bruins win the game, you win your bet. If they lose 3-2, you win your bet. The only way you lose is if the Capitals win by two or more goals.
TOTALS – Hockey totals are popular with bettors, who like to handicap starting goalies and also the power play and penalty kill efficiencies of each team. A team with a stellar goalie and excellent penalty kill can usually be counted on for low-scoring games. In those cases, a total of 5 or 5.5 goals is common. If the game features backup goalies or high-scoring teams with great power plays, the total might inflate to 6.5 or 7. This depends on other situations like travel schedule, injuries etc. Basically, you are betting the game will have more than or less than the listed NHL total. And you bet OVER the total or UNDER the total.
STANLEY CUP FUTURE ODDS – You can bet on who will win the next Stanley Cup at any time during the year. The future odds will move during each season, with early favorites sometimes giving way if they struggle or suffer injuries. Try to find teams with good ‘value’ meaning not crazy 100-1 longshots or short 2-1 favorites, but that improved team that just traded for a great goalie.
We will monitor and update these NHL championship odds all day every day, so keep checking for line changes and for when it might be a good time to bet on or against your favorite team.