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Sports Betting 101: NHL Puck Lines

If you are new to hockey betting, the term NHL puck lines may be confusing at first. However, it is much less intimidating of a bet than you might think. Puck line betting is a great way to make extra money while betting, either as a hedge to another bet or on its own.

Here, we will explain everything you need to know about puck line betting.

What Is a NHL Puck Line Bet?

Similar to betting against the spread in football, a puck line bet involves betting on the margin of victory. Almost every puck line bet will feature a spread at +/- 1.5 goals. This is different than a moneyline bet, where you are merely picking a winner.

Because there is noticeably less scoring in hockey than in football, basketball, or even baseball, puck line bets can be tough to win. If you are betting on a favorite, you need them to win by at least two goals for a puck line bet to payout.

However, if you bet on the NHL underdog, you can win if they win OR if they lose by only one goal. On the other hand, losing by two or more will also cause you to lose your bet. 

For example, a puck line odds listing may read:

St. Louis Blues -1.5 (+140)

San Jose Sharks +1.5 (-180)

In this case, the Blues are favored to win, so the sportsbook makes betting on them to win by at least two goals more enticing of a payout because it is more difficult.

Taking the safer bet on the Sharks plus an extra goal and a half has higher odds, meaning the payout will not be as high.

Must Read > Profiting from NHL Betting

What Strategies Should I Use when Betting NHL Puck Lines?

One common strategy to use is double-dipping, where you can bet on the favorite to win but bet on the underdog to cover the puck line. This way, if the game is close, you can get twice the payout. Also, if the underdog wins outright, you will have hedged your bet to cut your losses.

Alternately, if you have got a really good feeling that a favorite will win by at least two goals. This usually has a better payoff and can be a lucrative bet to make. Puck line bets are not as easy to predict as just picking a winner. This means that sportsbooks can offer more favorable odds on a puck line bet.

When Should I Bet the Puck Line?

The best time to bet on the puck line is after you have done plenty of work to research. This includes the teams, lineups, strategies, trends, and injury reports. The more information you can give yourself about a game, the better your chances of winning the bet.

It is an excellent time to place a puck line bet if you feel there is good betting value making a wager. Remember to check both the moneyline odds and puck line payouts at the top NHL sportsbooks so that you can maximize your profits or minimize your losses.

Good luck, and have fun betting the puck line!