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NHL Betting Odds and Lines Explained

Introduction to Online NHL BettingBetting on games from the National Hockey League can be fun and rewarding, and more and more online punters are starting to realize this. There are many matches to watch and therefore lots of opportunities to achieve a profitable payout. If you want to switch from a passionate fan of Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Jonathan Huberdeau, and the other top hockey players to a successful online bettor, you must start with learning what betting odds and lines tell you. This is fundamental, especially if you plan to perform NHL betting in the long run. Knowing how odds and lines work will help you make the relevant calculations before placing a bet and estimate if it is worth the risk.

While these are actually simple concepts, they may seem daunting to the inexperienced punter. Fortunately, you are in the right place, the current article of our NHL betting guide will provide you with everything you need to know about hockey betting odds and lines, and easily implement the knowledge in your sports betting experience.

Understanding NHL Odds

Basics of Online NHL BettingEven a basic knowledge of the odds will no doubt help you place successful NHL wagers, as you will be able to assess the likelihood of your bet becoming a winning one and whether the potential payouts indicate a good value. As soon as the season of the National Hockey League begins, all eyes are on the board with NHL odds. They are typically presented in the American odds format unless you access a strictly European sportsbook.

Just a brief look at the American odds is enough to give you a hint about which hockey team is considered a favorite and which is expected to be the underdog in the upcoming event. A negative number such as – 128 indicates that according to the online bookmaker this NHL squad has a better chance of winning. If you choose to back it with a bet, you will need to wager $128 in order to eventually add $100 to your bankroll. If betting enthusiasts are not familiar with the American odds format they have no reasons to worry since most sportsbooks have integrated automatic odds converters into their platforms. In this example, odds of – 128 are equal to 1.78 meaning you will gain $0.78 for every dollar staked.

Logically, NHL betting odds coming with a plus in front are to be read just the opposite way. The positive number shows the respective team is an underdog and the higher the number, the less likely it is for that particular squad to finish as a winner. Here again, it is about $100 but the odds show how much you can potentially gain if you wager that amount. Just in case, we make the following clarification – punters do not have to necessarily place a stake of $100. Whatever the amount of the bet, the payout will be calculated using the ratio indicated by the odds.

NHL Betting Lines

Structure of the NHLIn terms of ice hockey, the line (or the spread) serves to show the margin by which a team is expected to be defeated or by how much it should achieve victory. Spreads are represented by positive and negative numbers for each of the two hockey teams and usually, steps are half a point to avoid a tie. If a team is assigned the number -3.5, it is expected to win by 3.5 points. On the contrary, if the number for the team is +3.5, this is the number of points it is expected to lose by. However, the usual NHL games are low-scoring due to the evenly matched strengths of the leading hockey teams. That is why the most common puck line offered by online betting platforms is 1.5 goals. This unwritten rule can also be seen in the table below showing the Spread betting market for a match between New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

Puck LineBetting Odds
NY Rangers-1.5120
PHI Flyers1.5-140

No matter which team you bet on, your aim is to beat the spread. What the above numbers indicate is that the Rangers are favored to win the game. If you decide to put your money on that option, you should know that in order for your bet to be successful, the team must defeat their rivals by 2 or more goals. If they do win but by 1 goal only, you are going to lose your stake. Conversely, if you place your wager on the Philadelphia Flyers and they lose by 1, you win. A loss with a higher score makes your bet unsuccessful.

Sometimes, if you wait until the last minute, you can benefit from better value. Why? Simply because NHL puck lines are not set in stone but change the closer the event gets. Online bookmakers try to balance the odds they provide in an attempt to reflect the bets that have been placed in the days preceding the game. It is in the interest of bookmakers to have an equal value on either side of the bet and they adjust the lines so as to stimulate or discourage betting depending on the current bet ratio. Let’s go back to our example. In case the number of NHL punters who have bet on New York Rangers significantly exceeds the one of Philadelphia Flyers’ supporters, the bookie may decide to change the line to – 2.5. Such an amendment means that the favorite needs to win by more goals than initially stated. Thus, the underdog becomes a more attractive option since the range of the possible winning bet increases.

Final Words

conclusionIf wagering on NHL lines was not part of the hockey betting experience, there would be no noteworthy opportunity to bet on the underdog and still expect some profit. Thanks to NHL spread bets, hockey betting devotees can place their bets on teams they are sure will lose the game which is why spreads are considered a superb element of a winning betting strategy. NHL lines betting is great in terms of having fun and enjoying profitability at the same time. No team can boast of uninterrupted good form and endless victories. Sometimes your hockey favorites have a poor season and lose a lot of games. If you are a real fan, you will not abandon them, of course, but why not make a few bucks (or more) by betting on their losses?