By Eduardo Solano
Even though hockey is not the most popular sport to bet on, it can be lucrative. Many sportsbooks offer wide varieties of hockey bets but hockey still doesn’t get the kind of attention that other sports get. Oddsmakers spend less time creating hockey odds than creating football, basketball or baseball odds. Those who want to bet on hockey usually find lower betting limits in hockey than they will in other sports.
Keep in mind that some teams develop trends such as a tendency for winning home games or playing well on the road or to lose when they aren’t well-rested. As in any sport, home-field advantage is important in hockey, the teams play better when they feed off of the energy of their fans.
The previous matchups between two teams matter, especially when it comes to postseason betting. Keep track of all the statistics so you can make the best choice. Also, remember that the goalie’s performance on the ice directly translates into the success of a team, which makes him the most important player in a hockey game. Always know who is playing goalie, keep track of the starting lineups by monitoring injury reports to see if a backup goalie will play.
Injuries to other players affect the performance of a team as well, if the top scorer is not playing then the team’s chances of winning decrease considerably. Free agency and trades make players come and go from team to team, influencing the way the teams play. New players have to get used to their new teammates.
Now that you have read the advice on hockey betting we can move on and explain the different ways to bet on hockey. Money line, puck line, totals, grand salami and future bets are the bet types available in hockey. Here’s a look at how to use these options:
Hockey money lines are a common way to bet on hockey: the players simply bet on the winner of the game. Here’s an example of a moneyline:
Chicago Blackhawks +110
Dallas Stars -130
This means that if you want to bet on Dallas you have to risk $130 to win $100 and if you think Chicago will win you will have to bet $100 to win $110.
Puck lines are similar to the run lines used in baseball betting. Canadian puck lines and American puck lines are available. The Canadian puck line combines the goal line spread and the money line. The team you bet on to win has to win by the goal line spread and the money line odds determine the amount to risk and the amount to win. Let’s suppose that in a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks the Canadian puck line is:
Vancouver Canucks +1.5 -150
San Jose Sharks -1.5 +130
Here, San Jose is the favorite; they have to win by two goals so that those who bet on them can win the bet. If you bet on San Jose and they win by two goals, then you’d win $130 after risking $100. If you bet on Vancouver and they win outright or lose by one goal then you will win $100 for every $150 you risk.
The difference between an American puck line and a Canadian puck line is that in the American puck line the bettor pays no juice (+100) on either side of his bet. There will always be a ½ point difference between the favorite and the underdog, for example:
New York Rangers +1
Ottawa Senators -1.5
The Senators are the favorite, they have to win by 2 goals or more for you to win $100 on a $100 bet. New York has to win outright or lose by one goal for you to win $100 for every $100 you risk.
With this option you can bet on the total number of goals scored in a game. The sportsbooks usually post a number between 5 and 6.5 so that people can bet that the number of goals scored in the game will be over or under the posted number. Here’s an example:
Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers over 5 (-110)
Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers under 5 (-110)
In this example, you have to bet $110 to win $100 whether you bet the over or the under. In case you bet the over, the total number of goals scored in the game has to be over 5 for you to win the bet and if you bet the under, you win the bet if the total number of goals scored in the game is under 5.
A grand salami is an over/under bet on the combined total number of goals scored in all the games played on a particular day for the cost of one bet. For example, let’s imagine there are 9 games on one day and you bet that the combined total number of goals scored will be over 55, so, in order to win the bet, the total number of goals scored in the 9 games has to be over 55.
In a hockey future bet you can wager on things that will happen in a season before it begins, for example, you can bet on a team to win the Stanley Cup. These bets are made before the season begins and keep you in action all year long. Some sportsbooks offer hockey future bets for a team to win a division or a conference or on a team’s win total for the season.