If you are a lover of the sport of Ice Hockey, or you are looking for unique sports betting opportunity in an undervalued sport, then consider your odds of placing a sports bet for an Ice Hockey event, particularly the National Hockey League. In these games, scoring is more a premium than sports such as football or basketball. This guide will show you why hockey is a unique sport to bet on, how the bets work, and some secret strategies to consider based on how the game is played and what to look for when placing a wager.
Reasons to Bet on Ice Hockey
The main reason to bet on ice hockey is that there are multiple ways to bet and that style of play is the biggest factor. The bets are set up so that if you understand the style of play all 30 teams have and you understand how them matching up will produce a certain number of goals, it can be profitable. Like many sports, there are high scoring and low scoring affairs, and it doesn't take much to look at to know what you can expect in a certain contest. In other words, a team that scores four goals a game matching up with another team that scores four goals a game can suggest a shootout style.
Factors that influence the Outcome
Generally, a favorite in hockey is determined based on the teams standing as well as looking at goals scored and goals against. But unlike basketball and football, these three things don't hold true most of the time. In a game where scoring is a premium, that bad bounce can actually change the outcome more times than not. Therefore, when you see a game with a huge underdog you might find more times than not that the underdog will pull through.
Because this sport is not star-driven like basketball and football, injuries are not as concerning unless it's the goaltender. A hockey team has about 15 players who are usually capable of scoring a goal in any game so the goaltender is the only instance where you might see a drop off in production. You will also find that home and away is not as big of a factor during the regular season. Only a few teams each season show a clear home-ice advantage in the standings, so be careful not to read too much into home vs. away.
The style of play is a crucial piece of knowing where to place a bet. If there are two teams that are averaging 4 goals a game going against each other, it is best to place a total goal bet if the spread suggests for example less than 8. The exception would be if one of these teams has a significantly better goal against average in which case you may want to do a Moneyline if there is a huge favorite.
A puckline spread is often the most challenging bet to place, because in a sport with many underdog upsets, it is added difficulty to also cover a handicap in the score. For example, if a team that scores 4 goals per game and gives up 2 goals per game goes against a team that scores 2 goals a game and gives up 4 goals a game, the most likely scenario is a blowout and a puck line may seem like a statistically smart bet. Puckline bets are usually by .5 increments, meaning that the score would always be above and below the line. So if the puck line spread is 3.5 in this situation, it would be a lot to cover even though statistically, the favorite should win by four goals. Moneyline's are recommended because even if the payout is lower, these heavily favored contests generally deliver guaranteed money.
How to place a bet on Ice Hockey
For the straight Moneyline bet, the favorite will show a negative number in the hundreds meaning you will have to place that number to make one hundred dollars. If you choose the underdog, it will have a number in the hundreds led by a plus sign. This means you can place a hundred dollar bet and if the underdog wins you would get a payout of that number.
For the puck line bet, you will see a number in .5 increments for both teams, a negative number for the favorite, and a positive number for the underdog. The Moneyline bet below it acts similar to the straight Moneyline bet, however, if you pick the favorite, that now means the favorite has to win by at least as many goals as the puck line bet for you to win, while the underdog can still cover if they lose by less than the puck line bet.
Finally, the total goal bet is based on goals scored in the contest and will be in .5 increments, but on one line it will show an over and the other will show an under. Simply put if you bet on the over you expect more goals than the total goal bet line, and if you bet the under you expect less. The payouts will be different based on what is perceived to be most likely to happen.
Always remember, that hockey is a fast-paced sport with a lot of funny bounces and that ice hockey sports betting won't always seem as straight forward as you like. The style of play will suggest more than whose playing, and sometimes it's better to predict the style of play as opposed to the outcome with a total goal bet.