Understanding How To Bet Hockey

The seasons are changing. Summer is giving way to fall and cooler temperatures are on the way. In the world of sports that means it's time for the winter sports to take center stage. One of those sports is hockey. On its own, hockey is a fast paced, exciting game. It's a game of speed, power and agility. And if you add in a little side bet it's made even more exciting! Hockey isn't seen as one of the more popular sports to bet on, but that doesn't mean it's a lost cause. If you know the types of bets to make and what to look for, you can come away a winner by betting on hockey. Today, we're going to take a look at just that and make things a little easier to understand so that the next time you have a sportsbook ticket, you can feel confident adding a hockey game - or two - to it. Let's get to it!

Betting On Hockey: The Big Three

Like all sports, hockey has three main bets you can place on the game. But unlike sports like basketball and football, it offers a slightly different variation on one of those bets.

  • The Puck Line

The puck line bet is the hockey equivalent to the spread in football or basketball. But where the spread in those two sports can be single or double digits, the puck line in hockey will always be set at 1.5. This makes it more in line with baseball's run line. That's because in hockey, there's more variance - the puck can bounce weird ways - so the puck line will always be set at 1.5.

So, for example, if you want to bet a puck line on a game you'll see the favorite listed at -1.5 and the underdog listed at +1.5. If you wanted to bet on the favorite, then that team would need to win the game by MORE than 1.5 goals. That's because they are laying 1.5 goals. So if the favorite wins the game 2-0, you win! But, if the game is closer than what people expected and the favorite only wins 2-1, your bet would lose.

On the other hand, if you bet the underdog at 1.5 then they could lose the game and you could still win your bet. That's because they are getting 1.5 goals. So if the underdog loses the game 2-1, congrats! You win your bet! The underdog could lose the game by no more than 1 goal and you would still win your bet. But if they lose by a larger margin like 5-1, your bet would lose. If the underdog wins the game outright then your bet is a winner as well.

The puck line in hockey is a tricky bet. Like we said, lots can happen in a hockey game, so betting the puck line is risky.

  • The Money Line

The money line bet in hockey is the same as in all other sports. This bet doesn't involve winning by a specific amount. All that matters in the money line bet is that your team wins the game outright. For money line bets you'll see odds like -110 or -150 for the favorite and +110 or +150 for the underdog. A favorite will always come with negative odds and an underdog will always come with positive.

So, if you want to bet on the favorite at -110, you would need to bet $110 to win $100. That's because the favorite is seen as the better team and the team that is supposed to win. Therefore, the risk is lower and you need to bet more in order to win.

If you bet on the underdog at +150 than a $100 bet would win you $150. A little can go a long way with underdogs, but don't get carried away. They're underdogs for a reason!

  • Over/Under

An over/under bet is placing a bet on the COMBINED amount of goals that will be scored during a game. Let's say the oddsmakers have place the over/under at 6.5. That means if you place a bet on the over, you need both teams to COMBINE for more than 6.5 goals. A bet on the under means you need the COMBINED goals to be under 6.5.

If you want to place a bet on over/under make sure you take a look at the two teams playing. Is one team more explosive on offense? Does the other team have a solid goalie? All these things can make or break your over/under bets.

And since hockey is played in 3 twenty minute periods, you can bet the puck line, money line and over/under on each separate period. Just note that the puck line bet for a period will always be 0.5.

Game And Player Props

Hockey has a nice collection of both game and player props that are available. Prop bets differ from the main three bets in that they don't necessarily have anything to do with the outcome of the game. They are more focused on players or teams achieving certain things during the game…

  • Game Props

Game props in hockey can be things like "team to score the first goal", "will both teams score", "will the total amount of goals be odd or even". These props are available for the entire game and also for each specific period. So in theory, you could place a "team to score first" bet four different times and win each time!

  • Player Props

Player props in hockey include things like "Player A will score at least 1 goal", "Player B will have a TOTAL of 3 points" - a 'point' in hockey is when a player either scores a goal or has an assist on a goal - "will Goalie A have a shutout".


So there we have it! A lot of players out there might stay away from betting on hockey because they assume it's too difficult to understand. But as you can see, betting on hockey is just as simple as betting on the other major sports. It has its differences of course, but once you get the hang of it you'll be skating your way into some winning tickets!