Hockey Betting Odds

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Three

With all of the focus that the hockey world puts on NHL betting, it's sometimes difficult to remember that this game isn't just limited to the United States and Canada. In fact, there is a thriving betting community that runs through countries like Sweden, Finland and Russia too.

Because hockey is such an international sport, betting lines don't always carry the same style of odds. In fact, there are three different types of hockey betting odds that you'll see, including the moneyline, decimal odds and fractional odds.

It's definitely a good idea to understand all three types of lines because you might end up visiting several online sportsbooks based in a variety of countries. That said, let's cover the details of how moneyline, decimal and fractional odds work.

The Moneyline (US Odds)

Online sportsbooks that have a high concentration of American bettors use the moneyline. The moneyline is characterized by its usage of plus signs to indicate underdogs and minus signs to signify favorites. Before continuing, here's an example of what we're talking about:

Pittsburgh Penguins  -155
New York Islanders  +145

In this contest, Pittsburgh is the favorite since bettors would be risking $155 to win $100 in profits. The underdog Islanders are offering more money since bettors stand to win $145 in profit for every $100 wagered.

It's fairly easy to break the moneyline down into smaller bets too. For example, if you only wanted to bet $10 on the Islanders – 10 times less than the standard example – you'd have a chance to win $14.50 (145/10).

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds span the most distance around the world since they're popular in Australia, Europe and part of Canada. With these odds, an even money bet starts at 2.0, and moves down for the favorite, or up for the underdog. You can take a look at how this works below:

Dallas Stars  2.40
Vancouver Canucks  1.70


In this line, Vancouver is favored because bettors are risking $1 to win $0.70 in profit ($1.70) total. Dallas is the underdog since people are wagering $1 to earn $1.40 in profit. The simplest way to figure out how much money you'd be trying to win with decimal odds is to subtract one; so for the Stars, you just subtract 1 from 2.40 to come up with the $1.40 amount.

Fractional Odds

If you do your hockey betting at British sportsbooks, you're bound to see fractional odds. Now these odds can look intimidating at first if you have no knowledge of them. However, fractional odds are actually just as easy to understand as the moneyline or decimal variety.

When you see these, the number in front of the fraction indicates how much money you're trying to win. The number behind the slash represents how much cash you're risking. Let's take a look at this in action:

Toronto Maple Leafs  8/7
Boston Bruins  5/7

If you wager on the favored Bruins, you'd be risking $7 to win $5. On the other hand, betting on the Maple Leafs would pay out $8 in profit for every $7 wagered.

As you can see, understanding hockey betting odds isn't too difficult. And once you've got a solid grasp of this subject, you'll be able to take advantage of soft lines at any online sportsbook, whether it's based in Europe or some small Caribbean island that serves US players.