NHL Odds Breakdown
If you’re considering diving into the handicapping and sports betting world, you first need to get a firm grasp of the basics. Bankroll management is, of course, paramount to success, but so too is having a solid understanding of the different wager types and determining which angle will give you the best chances of cashing.
To help you on your way, we’ve broken down four of the most popular types of bets in hockey, starting with money lines.
Easily the most targeted type of wager, money line betting is when you are choosing the final outcome of a game. Suppose the Chicago Blackhawks are at home against the Nashville Predators and that sportsbooks have them listed at -130 on the money line. Nashville, meanwhile, is quoted at +130.
In this example, the Blackhawks would be considered the “favorites”, as denoted by the “-“ in the posted number. The Predators would be the underdogs (+) in this situation.
What do the numbers actually mean? Referring back to the Chicago example, if you were really confident in their chances of winning and don’t mind paying a little extra, you would essentially be risking $1.30 to get back every $1.00 you wager. On the other side of things, if you believe the Predators are the play, you would be putting up $1.00 to win $1.30 if you took them on the money line.
If you don’t have a strong feeling with regards to picking the winner in a matchup, you can always take a different route by trying to forecast whether the total number of goals will fall OVER or UNDER the number that sportsbooks have made available.
In the NHL, you will most commonly see either 5 or 5.5 goals on the board, with the latter number suggesting we could see more of a high-tempo, higher-scoring game. Whenever two top-notch goalies are scheduled to be between the pipes, or if two extremely good defensive teams are matched up, you’d likely see a lower number posted.
For those willing to take on a little more risk (or the opposite), you can satisfy that craving by attacking puck lines. Like run lines in MLB betting, you’d be selecting a team to win by at least two runs, in return for a better payout.
If you want to play it a little safer, you can back a team to lose by less than two goals (or win straight up), although the returns won’t be quite as handsome.
In these instances you’ll see something like below posted at the top sportsbooks:
Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 (+125)
Nashville Predators +1.5 (-125)
Instead of posting action on a single game, you could try your hand at forecasting in a different manner. Future wagers are based around long-term propositions, such as choosing who the Eastern Conference or Stanley Cup champion will be.
Overly confident the San Jose Sharks will win it all this season? Be ready to pounce on a favorable number on the futures odds board and you could be sitting pretty with a massive payout if things fall your way.