NHL puckline betting is hockey’s version of betting on point spreads, similar to wagering on NFL and NBA spreads. Nearly all sportsbooks offer puckline betting for NHL action, providing an opportunity for hockey fans to boost profit or reduce the risk of wagering on specific scenarios and matchups. Learn how to bet on NHL pucklines and the best time to leverage this type of hockey wager.

NHL Hockey Puckline Odds

What’s A Puckline?

An NHL puckline operates like the basketball and football spreads. In hockey, the puckline features a fixed spread of 1.5 goals for every match. NBA and NFL point spreads change from game to game, depending on the circumstances of the matchup. 

For NHL pucklines, the odds given for spreads change instead of the winning margin. For example, the puckline of an overwhelming favourite may feature odds of +115, while a close match might create a +200 puckline for the club most likely to win.

NHL Puckline Favourites

Pucklines favourites require a victory by two or more goals for the bet to win. Since most NHL matches tend to be one goal games, favourite puckline tend to pay out with lines of +100 and above. In cases of extreme mismatches, the payout might dip to -110. 

NHL Puckline Underdogs

Underdogs win the puckline when they remain within one goal of the favourite team, or win the game straight up. The conditions to win this type of bet occur more frequently in the NHL, which makes the underdog puckline more expensive, but more likely to pay out. 

Puckline vs Point Spread

Since pucklines feature a fixed, 1.5 goal spread, they’re a bit easier to predict compared to football or basketball point spreads. When NFL or NBA spreads grow to double digits because of a lopsided matchup, all it takes is an off night for a favourite to fall a field goal or a three-pointer shy of beating the predicted winning margin.

A crucial aspect of puckline betting involves measuring risk and reward, because the lines for NHL spreads range from -110 to +250 – depending on the competitive balance between the clubs. Considering that most NHL games end in one-goal margins, a -110 payoff might not be enough of a reward for the risk. On the other hand, a +150 line might be worth the trouble when betting against a team in a rut.

Point spreads for football and basketball tend to feature odds between +115 and -115, placing focus on the size of the predicted winning margin. Pucklines and point spreads increase the payout and risk of wagering on favourites, while reducing the risk and reward for betting on underdogs.

How To Bet On NHL Pucklines

  1. Log into your sportsbook account. You’ll need to sign up if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Visit the hockey moneylines and pucklines section of your sportsbook.
  3. Select the team which will cover the puckline. The favourite will be -1.5 while the underdog will be +1.5.
  4. Enter the amount of currency to wager. You’ll need to deposit funds into your account before betting.
  5. If you have promo codes or bonus bets, apply them before confirming your wager.
  6. Double-check the team you’re betting on, puckline odds, wager amounts, promo codes and bonus bets.
  7. After confirming all details, click the “place bet” button.
  8. Keep copies of receipts and/or confirmation numbers for your puckline wager. Taking a photo or a screenshot with your smartphone is a quick, easy solution.

Why Should I Pick NHL Pucklines?

Betting on the straight up winner of a hockey game restricts the amount of money you win from lopsided matchups. The best reason to bet on NHL pucklines revolves around boosting profit when wagering on strong favourites.

A recent example involves a meeting between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center. As Stanley Cup favourites, the Penguins had a -255 moneyline for a straight up win, partly because the Canadiens miss key veterans to injury. A $100 payout for this bet would require a $255 wager, which is relatively expensive.

The puckline was +115, which requires a $100 bet to win $115 – a far superior payout for the heavily-favored Penguins. With Pittsburgh playing well and the Habs enduring a lost season, adding the extra requirement of a two-goal win for a sizable payout boost is a reasonable risk.

Selecting the underdog puckline reduces the payout for betting on the team considered less likely to win. Since the ‘dogs only need to remain within one goal of the favourites, the underdog puckline represents a reduced-risk wager. This type of puckline tends to feature lines between -150 and -250, much less than a plus moneyline for a straight up underdog win.

NHL Puckline Betting Tips

Monitor the NHL standings for teams on winning streaks, especially those which earn multiple victories of two goals or more. 

NHL teams enduring losing streaks also represent superb puckline opportunities. Scout for squads in a rut and bet that they’ll lose by two goals or more.

Teams which play road games on consecutive days tend to perform worse compared to clubs with at least one full day of rest. This “schedule loss” scenario may offer a good opportunity to bet the puckline against the road team when the clubs are otherwise evenly matched.

NHL teams deal with physical ailments throughout the season, but the injury bug wreaks havoc with some clubs more than others. Teams struggling with serious injury issues are more likely to lose the puckline.

Goaltending makes or breaks an NHL franchise, just as they dictate the results for puckline betting. A hot goalie can stifle a high-powered offense, preventing a puckline win - and vice versa. If a starting goalie’s injured, slumping, or taking a night off, you might want to consider betting against the team, or refrain from wagering on their puckline.

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