NHL Lines and Spreads
Straight-up Betting in NHL - The Moneyline
As in all sports, the most straightforward bet you can place on the NHL is a moneyline bet. In a moneyline wager, your job is to pick which team you think will win a contest. It doesn’t matter how many points are scored or who scores them; if the team you select wins the fixture, you will win your bet.
In a moneyline bet, one team is the favorite, while the other is the underdog. The favorite is given negative odds, while the underdog is given positive odds. Here’s what an NHL moneyline bet might look like:
Columbus Blue Jackets (-190) vs. Seattle Kraken (+220)
In this moneyline example, the Blue Jackets are the favorites, as seen by their negative odds. The odds indicate that a $190 bet on the Blue Jackets will return a profit of $100, should they win on the ice. Conversely, a $100 bet on the Kraken will return a profit of $220 if they triumph against the odds.
If you’re keen to pick the winning team in the NHL but would like to spice things up a little, you can opt for a spread bet instead of a straight-up moneyline, as we introduce below.
Spread Betting in NHL - The puck line
A spread bet in hockey is more commonly known as a puck line bet. Spread betting is a way of leveling the playing field, as it handicaps the favorites and provides the underdogs with a headstart. In ice hockey, the spread is usually set at 1.5 by the sportsbook, and it might look something like this:
Montreal Canadiens +1.5 (+140) vs. Washington Capitals -1.5 (-135)
In this puck line bet, the Washington Capitals are clear favorites to beat the Canadiens, even though they have been handed a -1.5 point handicap. So, if you back the Capitals to win in this puck line bet, they would need to win by at least two clear points for your bet to be successful.
Conversely, if you back the Canadiens, provided their margin of defeat is no greater than one point, you can still win your bet. As such, NHL puck line betting is a great way to keep things interesting on your betting slip and invites you to back the underdogs when you might otherwise have looked elsewhere.
Recap: NHL lines and spreads
While there are many different ways to bet on ice hockey, NHL lines and spreads are undoubtedly the most popular betting types, so if you’re just getting started with NHL betting, it makes sense to place some moneyline and puck line bets before testing the water with some more ambitious markets when you feel a little more confident with your predictions.
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