For live up to date hockey odds click the link or scroll down below our article that explains hockey odds in terms of the puck line using an example from the 2006 NHL playoffs.
The puck line odds are one of the most popular ways to bet on NHL hockey. It combines the money line hockey odds with the point spread. Here’s an example of a puck line using two playoff teams.
In the first game of the Oilers-Sharks series, the Sharks as the home team, with a hot goalie and as the higher seed were favored. The puck line would have looked something like this.
Edmonton Oilers +1.5 -180
San Jose Sharks -1.5 +160
In the example above, if you bet Edmonton and they lose 4 -3, you still win because you’re being given 1.5 goals. With the puck line, Edmonton wins 4 - 4.5. If you put money on San Jose, they would have to win by at least 2 goals for you to collect. Put $180 on the Oilers to win $100 and $100 on the Sharks to win $160.
Who really came out ahead in that first game of the series? The Sharks won by one goal. If you bet San Jose, you lost, because they had to win by 2 for you to collect. How many games in the series have been decided by one goal? Of the four, three were won by a single goal.
Thus far through most of the second round, 34 of the 56 games that have been played, were decided by one goal. That’s 60.7% Also, in games decided by more than one goal, the underdog won approximately another 15% of the time. The result is if you had taken the puck line hockey odds in the first 56 games, you would have won 76% of the contests! Why? In almost 61% of the games, the team at -1.5 did not cover and in another 15% of those games the team with the points won, which translates into more wins for you!
However, this does not mean the trend will continue or that you should always bet +1.5 NHL hockey odds line. Along with considering the statistical information above, you want to see who’s in goal, who has the hot scorer and which team has a tough as nails defense. Other things to check include depth charts, recent team performance and home ice results. These are all things sportsbooks use to determine an accurate price when setting the opening hockey odds for NHL games.
NHL Hockey Odds
As teams get deeper into the playoffs, games tend to get tighter because the clubs are usually fairly evenly matched (although not always) and net minders become more stingy. Still, remember that even Patrick Roi and Grant Fuhrer, two of the best playoff goalies ever, had off nights. Every goalie has that one horrible playoff game where they give up five, six or seven goals.
Whatever you do, always wager with your mind and not with your heart. For more information check out the main NHL hockey betting section which includes a page on hockey picks from our experts who bet against online sportsbooks for a living.
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