Online Hockey Betting
How to bet on Hockey Online
Hockey betting is quite popular in northern countries like Canada, Russian, Finland and Sweden, where people grow up with the sport. But on an international scale, hockey popularity doesn't rank as high as baseball, basketball, soccer and football.
This being said, bookmakers aren't as concerned about spending time creating hockey betting lines. So if you put some work into the matter, you can find really soft lines and pull nice profits through this game. Of course, everybody needs to learn the basics first, so let's go over the main points on how to bet on hockey online.
Finding an Online Hockey Sportsbook
Most online sportsbooks offer hockey lines, so you can go pretty much anywhere and start wagering during the NHL season. The big thing to look for is a book that offers a wide range of banking options, plenty of promotions, good customer support and some prop bets, if you're into this. As for customer support, send them an email or use live chat to see how responsive and knowledgeable the team is.
When you've signed up and made a deposit at a particular sportsbook, you can simply navigate to the hockey section and begin wagering. If hockey betting lines look like Greek to you, keep reading to learn about the moneyline, 20-cent lines, the puck line, totals and the Grand Salami.
Many internet sportsbooks - especially those in North America - use a moneyline to create hockey lines. When betting on a moneyline, you're merely picking which team you think will win the game, regardless of the final score. But in order to keep action even on both teams, sportsbooks attach odds to make underdogs more attractive. Here's an example:
Detroit Red Wings -170
Columbus Blue Jackets +200
Detroit is favored to win this game because bettors would be risking $170 to earn $100 in profit. Wagering on the underdog Blue Jackets would require risking $100 to collect $200 in profit.
In NHL betting, you'll hear the term "20-cent line" thrown around a lot. 20-cent lines are often used in evenly matched NHL games and refer to the difference between teams' odds. You can check out a sample 20-cent line below:
Boston Bruins +110
Chicago Blackhawks -130
Ignoring the plus and minus signs, you can see that there's a difference of 20 between the two lines - thus the name 20-cent line. Here people are risking $130 on the Blackhawks to win $100, and betting $100 on the Bruins to earn $110.
Anybody who's ever wagered on baseball - where there's a run line - should immediately understand a puck line. Basically, the puck line is a spread of 1.5 goals that's used in conjunction with the moneyline. Take a look at how this works below:
Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 (+190)
Philadelphia Flyers +1.5 (-180)
The Penguins are favored here because they have to cover 1.5 goals for a successful wager. If Pittsburgh only wins by one goal, anybody who bets on them loses. Because the Penguins have to cover 1.5 goals, people only have to risk $100 to earn a $190 profit.
The underdog Flyers can lose by one goal and still provide a successful bet. However, since Philadelphia is being spotted 1.5 goals, bettors must risk $180 for every $100 in profit.
Rather than wagering on teams going head to head, you can also bet on how many goals the two teams will collectively score. Totals is a pretty easy concept to understand, so we'll just jump right into an example:
Dallas Stars Over 5.5 (-110)
Phoenix Coyotes Under 5.5 (-110)
If a bettor takes the over, Dallas and Phoenix must combine to score 6 goals or more for a successful wager. Anybody taking the under would hope for both teams to score 5 goals or less. Both bets would pay out $100 for every $110 wagered.
Do note that sometimes there'll be different odds attached to the over and under, rather than flat -110 odds. Here's an example of this:
Dallas Stars Over 5.5 (+105)
Phoenix Coyotes Under 5.5 (-115)
This contest isn't expected to be a high-scoring affair, so players taking the under would risk $115 to earn $100 in profit. On the other hand, they'd be wagering $100 to win $105 in profit by taking the over.
The Grand Salami
One really fun and unique aspect of NHL betting is the "Grand Salami." The Grand Salami is an over/under wager on the amount of goals scored in every NHL game during a particular day. Here's an illustration of this wager:
Grand Salami (10 Games) Over +55.5 (-110)
Grand Salami (10 Games) Under -55.5 (-110)
This works just like any other totals bet since taking the over requires all 10 teams to score 56 goals or more; those betting the under will hope for 55 goals or less.
When you understand the basics of hockey betting, it makes the activity much more fun and enjoyable. And hockey wagering is even better when you develop a good strategy and start winning!