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Hockey Puck Line Betting Explained

puck line betting explainedPuck line betting may seem a bit confusing to gamblers who have never bet on hockey games. However, if you are familiar with sports betting at all, it is really just a fancy term for spread betting. Quite simply, what run line is to baseball betting, puck line is to hockey betting in terms of bet types.

So, if you’re still a little bit confused, a puck line bet attempts to level the playing field by giving the underdog an advantage and the favorite a disadvantage. For example, a favorite may need to win a game by more than two goals, if you place a puck line bet on them. However, the underdog only needs to lose by less than the predicted scoreline for a bet on them to be successful.

The line differential posted by a sportsbook is dependent on the strength of the two teams involved in the game. The standard line is usually +1.5 goals or -1.5 goals.

That is a basic explanation for the puck line bet in NHL betting. If you would like to find out more, keep reading. Below we go into how puck line betting works and strategies beginners should look at using. We also list a load of the best online gambling sites for sports, so that you can start betting on hockey whenever you like.

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Puck Line Betting Links

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How Puck Line Betting Works

So, as stated above, puck lines attempt to level the difference between two mismatched teams by requiring the favorite to win by a pre-determined number of goals. Because hockey is a low-scoring sport and very unpredictable, most sportsbooks use a standard of 1.5 goals for every game.

The idea of a puck line is to give you a chance of winning a good amount of money on a game that seems to have a clear winner. Usually, in such a situation, the money line variant will have a terrible payout if you bet on the favorite.

When you visit a sportsbook, a puck line bet will be listed as follows:

St. Louis Blues +1.5 -150

Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 +130

As with any standard betting line, -150 and +130 indicate how much you could potentially win if you make that bet. The plus indicates an unlikely outcome, whereas the minus indicates a likely outcome.

However, the figures ‘+1.5’ and ‘-1.5’ are the puck line difference. A team with a line featuring ‘+1.5’ is expected to lose. So, if you bet on them, they need to lose by less than two goals or win the game for your bet to payout.

A team with a ‘-1.5’ line is expected to win the game. But if you place this point spread bet on them, the team will need to win by two goals or more.

A puck line bet will always be listed with a 0.5 part, even if it moves past the “1.5” standard. The reason for this is that sportsbooks do not line pushes. In other words, cases in which a bet result ends in a draw.
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Puck Line Strategies for Beginners

Puck lines may seem a little intimidating to you if you have never made a spread bet on any sport before. They require more knowledge of the sport and the teams involved in the game you would like to bet on than a moneyline.

So, to help you make some better bets from the get-go, we have listed some of our strategies for beginners looking to get into the puck line market.

Focus on the Underdog

So, in saying focus on the underdog, we mean try to look for games where there really is no clear favorite or underdog. With the standard line of -1.5/+1.5, you will win an underdog bet if the game goes into overtime. This is simply due to the fact that the favorite will have no way of scoring two goals to match the required difference.

It is very important to be cautious with this strategy though. While looking for potential close games is a good way to win bets more regularly, the strategy can also backfire easily. In general, in an NHL game, if a team drops a few goals quickly in the later stages of the game, they’ll sub the preferred goaltender out if he is on the ice. And, this sometimes leads to an even worse outcome.

Focus on Starting Goaltenders

When it comes to hockey betting, you need to pay special attention to who the starting goaltender is in a matchup. Sometimes, teams have two great players who can switch out for each other at any time and still play well.

However, teams mostly have one great goaltender and a backup who is there to alternate with the starter throughout the rigorous NHL season. The difference between these two players’ stats is usually very noticeable.

For example, for much of the 2019-20 season, the Vegas Golden Knights seemed to be an easy team to make a call on. If Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t in goal, the Golden Knights had a strong chance of losing as backup Malcolm Subban was not playing very well.

So, a team is starting their second-string goaltender, you should have a look at placing that puck line on the opposition.

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