When it comes to betting on NHL lines, the bookmakers like to keep things pretty simple. Therefore, NHL betting odds are pretty easy to figure out. For the games themselves, there are really only three things you have to learn: the NHL moneylines, puck line and over/under. While prop bets are becoming more and more popular with NHL oddsmakers, they remain the outlier for now.
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NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Odds
There is a world of opportunity for the NHL betting enthusiast here, both with futures bets and in-game or series prediction bets.
Most bookmakers offer futures odds on NHL conference champions, along with the Stanley Cup champion. They fluctuate a lot, usually in tandem with the official league standings, but generally, the preseason favorite for the Cup often stays that way throughout with the bookmakers.
When the playoffs start, series outcome odds are available to bet, but be careful here. The NHL typically has more early-round upsets than the other sports. A hot goalie can and often does steal a series against the favorite by himself. Home-ice advantage typically doesn’t matter as much in the NHL playoffs until a seventh game.
In the NBA, eighth seeds rarely beat No. 1 seeds in the postseason. In the NHL, it happens quite a bit in comparison.
You can still bet the moneyline, puck line and over/under for playoff games, but be careful betting the over in an NHL playoff game: they are usually lower-scoring than regular-season games, because of the defensive and physical intensity that gets ramped up.
NHL Regular Season Odds
Let’s discuss a little further the mainstay of NHL hockey lines and NHL daily lines: the moneyline. Simply put, these are the odds for the favorite to win the game outright. A win by one goal, five goals, 10 goals or a win in overtime or a shootout - it’s the same thing on the moneyline.
The puck line is a bet where you’re hoping your team you put your money on either wins the game by a minimum two goals or more, or loses the game by a minimum two goals or more. Almost all puck line odds are plus/minus 1.5 goals. It’s because hockey is a fairly low-scoring sport, and blowout wins are fewer in number than close games.
The over/under is fairly straightforward: most of the time, the over/under will be set at either 5.5 or six goals. For higher-scoring teams, it sometimes goes to 6.5 goals. If the over/under on the Maple Leafs / Canadiens game is at 5.5 and you bet the over, there must be a minimum of six goals scored (the final shootout team “goal” counts in this total to win the bet). Anything under six? Sorry, you lost.