Hockey betting accounts for a substantial portion of traffic going through many online sportsbooks, so it should come as no surprise that most sites give you plenty of wagering opportunities to pick from. Even better, the best hockey-friendly sites go beyond focusing on major leagues like the NHL and allow you to put your money on the teams competing in German DEL, Russian VHL or French Ligue Magnus.
As a result, seasoned hockey bettors are able to compare the odds offered by numerous bookmakers and maximize their profits by going exclusively for the most advantageous deals. Fortunately, mastering every popular bet type isn’t all that hard, especially if you’ve ever wagered on other popular teams sports like soccer, basketball or football.
Money Line Betting
Betting the money line in hockey is very simple and intuitive, which means that inexperienced bettors should probably focus on learning how this type of wager works before moving on to more complicated bets. When you bet on the money line, your goal is to guess which team will win the match outright. The lines are marked with an integer, which indicates which team is the favorite and which team is the underdog. Betting $100 on a positive line allows you to win the amount listed on the site, while betting on a negative line requires you to put the amount determined by the sportsbooks at risk for a chance to win $100. Keep in mind that if both teams are considered to be evenly matched, the bookmaker might set both lines at -110 – in this case, you’ll have to wager $110 for a chance to win $100 regardless of the team you pick.
Puck Line Betting
Betting the puck line is very similar to betting the money line – the only difference is the fact that each match has a -1.5/+1.5 spread, allowing you to get better odds on the favorite. However, winning a puck line bet that was placed on the favorite requires your team to win by two points or more. On the other hand, collecting on a puck line wager placed on the underdog is somewhat easier, as you win even if your team loses the game by one point. Consequently, placing a puck line wager instead of betting the money line is often considered somewhat risky if both teams are evenly matched.
Point Spread Betting
While wagering on the puck line is the most popular form of point spread betting in hockey, some sportsbooks tend to offer additional spread options, such as 2.5 or 3.5. Keep in mind that the low-scoring nature of the game means that bets of this kind are always inherently risky if you decide to bet on the favorites. Conversely, putting your money on the weaker team will mean that your odds won’t be as good as in the case of a money line bet or even a traditional puck line wager.
Over/under bets are also known as totals due to the fact that the goal of the bettor is to predict whether the combined score of both teams will be higher or lower than the estimate provided by the site. In most cases, the total is set at 5.5. In such a scenario, collecting on an over bet requires both teams to score at least 6 goals, while receiving a payout on an under bet would require the combined score to be lower than 5.
Virtually every hockey-friendly site allows bettors to parlay their bets, or put multiple money line, over/under and puck line bets on a single ticket. The payout for a successful parlay bet is much higher than for winning each of the wagers separately, but if one of your predictions is wrong, you lose all of the money that you’ve invested. Consequently, parlays are widely considered to be best suited for experienced punters who know how to minimize the risk involved and take advantage of the additional profits.
First Period Betting
First period wagers aren’t really as popular as typical money lines or puck lines, but they provide you with an interesting alternative to traditional bet types. In a bet of this type, only the results of the first twenty minutes of the match matter. Usually, you’ll be allowed to put your money on a first period money line or a 0.5 spread, but some sportsbooks offer second and third period betting which tends to be all about picking the team that has the highest score by that point in the match.
The term “proposition bets” refers to all the bets that haven’t been covered by any of the categories listed above. Props allow you to put your money on the elements of the game that aren’t necessarily connected with the overall result of the match. For example, many sites offer props that allow you to wager on the first player to score, the shot totals or the first team to score.