World Cup Hockey Odds and Betting | How to Bet on Hockey

World Cup Hockey Odds and Betting

Field hockey is nowhere near as popular a sport in the United States as football, basketball, or baseball. But that presents an interesting option to sports bettors since the sportsbooks might not nail down the odds as accurately as they might for other games.

The Hockey World Cup takes place every four years. While there are usually favorites to win the trophy, like Australia or Germany, the tournament can throw up surprises, such as when Belgium shot to glory in 2018.

This primer will tell you all you need to know about World Cup hockey betting and odds.

USA midfield Michelle Vittese celebrates after scoring a goal against Great Britain

Which Team has Won the Hockey World Cup Most?

Pakistan have won the most hockey World Cup titles, notching up four championships since the tournament’s inception in 1971. The Netherlands and Australia are second on the titles list with three each. India have won one title, which came in 1975, while Belgium have won it once.

Hockey World Cup Format

As for the tournament format, 16 teams are split into four pools. Each team in the pool plays each other once, and the table-toppers qualify directly for the quarterfinals, while the second and third teams make the knockout stage.

The second and third-place teams play one knockout game, with the four winners progressing to the quarterfinals, where the final path to the title begins.

How to Read World Cup Hockey Odds and Betting

It might be intimidating initially, but the odds formats are not as complex as they seem. Time spent studying the system helps internalize the nuances of World Cup hockey odds and betting, which usually translates to a higher success rate.

Moneyline using American Odds

The American odds format is used in moneyline wagers and is a bet on the direct outcome of a game. The favorite has negative odds, and the underdog has positive odds. Let’s take an example:

Australia (-130) vs. India (+140)

In this match, Australia are the favorite, as indicated by the negative number. With negative odds, the number is the amount you must bet to win $100. In this case, it means betting $130 on Australia will make you a $100 profit should they win (you don’t have to bet so large, you can bet in smaller proportions.)

On the flip side, the positive number next to India represents the amount you will profit if you bet $100. So, you will win $140 in profit in this case.

You can see you must bet more on the favorite to win a similar amount to a bet on the underdog, which stands to reason.

At the outset, Moneyline odds are based on the assumption that most bettors will pick the favorite, and the underdog metric is set to cover the losses should the favorite fall.

Decimal Odds

These are most commonly used across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and are considered easier than American odds when calculating payout. In short, decimal odds numbers represent the factor by which you will win. In these odds, the number represents the total payout as opposed to the profit, making it easier to calculate.

Fractional Odds

These odds are most common in the UK. In this case, you multiply the fraction shown by the amount of your bet to arrive at the profit a winning bet would collect. Let’s say the fraction odds are 5/1 for USA against the Netherlands. This suggests that you would win $5 for every $1 you wager if they won. In that case, you will end with a total payout of $6.

World Cup Hockey Betting Types

We’ve gone over the match result bet, i.e., the moneyline bet, earlier in this piece. Here are some of the other popular World Cup hockey betting types you will encounter in your sportsbook.

Point spreads

The spread is the equivalent of puck line bets in ice hockey. These are a handicap given to the teams in terms of the goals margin of victory or defeat. Using the spread, bettors can back both sides with a relatively even chance of a good payout.

In this type of bet, the underdogs will start with a score advantage. In our early Australia and India matchup, Australia would start with a disadvantage because they are considered favorites, while India have the advantage.

With the spread set at 1.5, the odds might read like this: Australia (-1.5, -110) and India (+1.5, +110). So, should you back India, they can win the match or lose the game by a single goal and no more for you to win. This is also known as betting against the spread.

But for a bet on Australia to win, known as covering the spread, they need to win by two goals or more for you to be successful. 

Prop bets

Proposition bets aren’t particularly big in field hockey yet, but there is a thriving market when it comes to big events like the hockey World Cup. These bets refer to bets made on, for example, the number of goals India’s Manpreet Singh will score in the first half against Australia, the number of goals USA’s goalkeeper will save, and so on.

Prop bets tend to focus on occurrences during the game and generally have no impact on the result of the match itself.

Parlay bets

Parlay betting brings together multiple bets and places them on the same bet slip. It’s treated as one big bet, so every outcome in your parlay must win for the bet to pay out. Parlays can be especially tempting because the odds of each bet multiply to create a bigger reward. But conversely, they are riskier.

Let’s say that you predict that the USA (-3) and Pakistan (+4) will cover the spreads during their respective World Cup games. Instead of risking $10 to individually bet on them, you can parlay them together and risk $10 for over twice the payout.

The odds are arrived at by multiplying the decimal version of each individual bet that is tied into a parlay. But don’t worry about the calculations; your bet slip should automatically calculate potential payouts while you compile the bet.

Outrights and futures

With the outright, you are betting on the team you think will win the entire World Cup tournament. An outright is a futures bet of sorts because it relates to a far-off event rather than an upcoming matchup.

There are several types of futures bets to consider, such as which team will qualify for the playoffs, which team is likely to top a group, and also which players could end up top scorers or provide the most goal assists.

The advantage in this hockey World Cup odds and betting market is that the odds are almost always on the higher side early on or before the tournament begins but, for obvious reasons, reduce as the tournament progresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is betting on field hockey profitable?

Field hockey is not a particularly big betting sport in the USA and, therefore, can prove to be a lucrative form of sports betting, and the odds may be more favorable. Knowledgeable bettors may be able to take advantage.

What format are world cup hockey odds and betting presented in?

In the United States, you will come across the American (or moneyline) format the most, but you will have the option to switch to any other format that you are comfortable with. If your sportsbook doesn’t provide multiple odds formats, you can use a reliable online calculator to convert between different formats.

What is +1.5 in Hockey World Cup betting?

The +1.5 or -1.5 symbols in hockey betting are representative of a spread, a handicap that essentially means either the addition or subtraction of 1.5 goals from the final score of the team you’ve backed. If your team is still ahead after this addition or subtraction to the final score at the end of the match, you have made a successful bet. 

Is betting on field hockey legal?

Yes, sports betting is now legal in Ohio, so residents can join a licensed online sportsbook and place bets on many different types of sports, including field hockey and the World Cup.