Puck line market is a specific wager for ice hockey betting. Alongside with moneyline, it is one of the top popular bets people make on hockey matches. It might seem a bit complicated for rookies, but all you need is to get the concept of spread betting. In this brief guide, we will explain it in the simplest words so that everyone could have a clue.
Moneyline and Spread betting in team sports
Before we exactly get to the puckline term, we’ll explain how do the simplest betting markets work. Moneyline bet is a wager on a match winner — as simple as it sounds. A sportsbook offers odds for every team and suggests to choose one that might win outright. Here is how it looks in the ice hockey markets:
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
· New York Rangers +120
· Tampa Bay Lightning -170
In our example, we used the American odds format: three-digit numbers with a positive or a negative sign. Negative American odds show a favorite of the game. In other words, they imply that the outcome (in our case, the Tampa Bay’s victory) is more probable than the second one. Respectively, the Rangers are the underdogs.
Now, let’s briefly mention how to read the odds. Negative odds mean how much you need to wager to win $100. Odds with the plus sign show your possible profit from a stake of $100. Of course, you don’t need to place an exactly $100-stake: you can count the proportion for any amount.
So, while it’s pretty clear with the moneyline, spread betting is a more complicated topic. Still, it’s not a rocket science: you just need to get the main point of it.
When you wager on spread, you basically place a bet on a winning margin in the final score. For instance, a spread bet for some NFL matchup may look the following way:
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
· Buffalo Bills +5,5 +120
· Miami Dolphins -5,5 -170
You see the same American odds, but a sportsbook added extra points: +5,5 and -5,5. Such points serve to equalize the teams’ chances. When you bet on the Dolphins in this example, you don’t just wager on their victory. Instead, they must win and score at least 5,5 points more than their opponents. Otherwise, Miami will still win the game, but your spread bet will lose.
What if you want to back the Bills? In this case, your wager will work out if they win or lose with less points than 5,5.
Now that you know about spread bets, it’s time to see how they work in ice hockey.
How does puck line betting work?
NHL puck line betting is a very popular wager type at all US sports betting sites. Puck line bets are a version of the point spread. The main difference is that puck line has always the same spread points: 1.5. The thing is that ice hockey is a very low scoring game. The highest scoring matchup finished with just 12-9, so it’s just unreasonable to offer a larger margin in most cases.
So, it’s pretty obvious that when you wager on an NHL puck line, a favorite must win by two goals, and an underdog must lose by one — or win.
However, some sportsbooks offer to bet puck lines in an alternative ways. Thus, you can find NHL games with 2 or 2,5 point spread.
Is betting on puck line profitable?
If you ask hundred hockey bettors, they all might give you different answers. Yes, there’s no particular solution on how to wager on ice hockey games, and which is more profitable, a money line or a puck line. Still, armed with some stats, you can make a better decision.
According to the latest stats, a puck line wager brought more profit to bettors who wagered on the underdogs. So, there is a great chance that an underdog puckline will appear to be more lucrative than the moneyline for the favorite in the same NHL game. The thing is that an underdog puck line bet odds are usually pretty high, so provided you analyzed teams well, it can bring you some good income.
However, your success depends on a range of other factors, so don’t just count on a single statistical fact here. Puck lines best work for matches that don’t have strong obvious favorites, and can be a great alternative to a moneyline, but be careful as ice hockey is a pretty unpredictable game.