NHL Odds, Spreads & Betting Lines
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NHL Odds & Betting Lines
Ice hockey is arguably the fasted game on earth, with the quickest players reaching speeds of more than 25 miles per hour on a rink only 200 feet long.
It's also one of the most thrilling. As interest in the NHL continues to grow, so too does interest in betting on NHL Games, thanks in part to the legalization of sports betting in certain U.S. jurisdictions, enhanced statistics to help inform bettors, and the league’s move into Las Vegas.
How do NHL odds work?
At BetAmerica, you’ll be able to find NHL betting lines on just about every aspect of the game, from moneyline odds, to puck line – hockey’s variation of the point spread – and total goals, as well as a variety of prop bets.
How to read NHL odds
To better understand hockey odds, let’s take a look at an example from an NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The first column on the left features the two teams, with the away team on top and the home team on the bottom. The second column is the puck line odds, the third column is the moneyline, and the fourth column is the total goals.
NHL Puck Line
The NHL puck line is hockey’s version of the point spread, and is always listed at 1.5, as there are far fewer points scored in hockey than there are in football or basketball.
The favorite, which is the team expected to win, is listed at -1.5 goals, while the underdog, the team expected to lose, is listed at +1.5 goals. If you bet on the Penguins at -1.5 on the puck line, Pittsburgh would have to win the game by two or more goals. If you bet on the Canadiens at +1.5, and Pittsburgh still wins the game by one goal, your bet would be a winner, as Montreal would need to either win the game outright or lose by just one goal.
A bet on the NHL moneyline at BetAmerica is a wager for the team you believe will win the game outright.
The Canadiens are assigned positive odds for this game, indicating they are the underdogs. The Penguins are assigned negative odds because they are the favorites and are expected to win.
For your bet on the NHL moneyline to be a winner, you must correctly identify which team wins the game. The positive and negative odds indicate how much money can be won on a wager. To win $100 on a wager of Montreal to win at odds of +140, your amount wagered would need to be just over $71. On the other hand, if you were betting on the Penguins to win, you would need to wager $180 to win $100.
The total is the projected total of goals the two teams will combine to score during a game. If you believe the Canadiens and Penguins will combine to score more than 5.5 goals, take the O 5.5, indicating the Over on the total.
If you believe this matchup might produce a lower scoring game, and you don’t believe there will be six or more goals scored in the contest, take the U 5.5, indicating the Under.
NHL Future Odds
With a futures bet, as the name suggests, you can wager on the outcome of an event that may or may not happen in the future. This can include bets on which team you believe will win the Stanley Cup, either the Eastern or Western Conference, or regular season win totals.
Futures bets can be made prior to the start of the season. For example, almost immediately after the Stanley Cup is awarded in 2020, odds on which team will win the Stanley Cup in 2021 should become available.
Futures bets can still be made during the regular season, and even during the playoffs for the Stanley Cup outright market, however, the odds will likely change week-to-week, or even day-to-day, depending on things like injuries, trades, and streaks.
Tips on how to win NHL odds
Betting on the NHL is a popular way to add excitement to an already fast-paced game. But it takes research to make sure those bets have the best chance at becoming winners. Here are a few tips on how to win your NHL bets:
Look at team trends
Looking at trends can help provide information about how a certain team has been playing over a stretch of games, or how they perform in certain situations.
Those trends can include a team’s record over its last five games, its last 10 games, or its record for home or away games.
Take a deep dive into the statistics
It’s important to use statistics when deciding which bets you want to make, and the evolution of hockey analytics, or advanced statistics, gives bettors a wider variety of data to help inform their decisions.
Take shooting percentage as an example. If an NHL team has a season shooting percentage of 9% over 40 games, but has suddenly scored on 17% of their shots over the last three games, you might decide that their hot streak is unsustainable and it might be best to bet against them.
Know the starting goaltenders
NHL lines will typically come out the morning before games are scheduled to take place, and those odds – specifically the moneyline – can change with roster news, such as which goalie is starting.
Teams will usually announce a starting goalie following the morning skate on game day. Goaltending can have a profound impact on the outcome of a game, or even a futures market. For instance, the Canadiens might be underdogs against the Penguins in a game, but their great equalizer lies with starting goalie Carey Price, one of the best goalies in the game over the last 10-plus years.
The Canadiens might be outmatched on defense or at forward, but Price has the ability to absolutely deny an opposing team’s offensive attack, giving his team a chance to score just enough goals for an upset victory.
Bet on the NHL now
Residents of Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania can now enjoy legal NHL betting at BetAmerica with our hockey odds today. Find all the latest NHL odds and get ready to add even more excitement to your game-day experience!