Understanding Ice Hockey Bet Types

by Rae Dover
| 23/11/2020

Ice hockey is a famous North American and European past time. Whether you are watching the game live or following the updates on your phone, the game is always a little more interesting when you are cheering on a bet! We will explain a large variety of markets on offer for us bettors during this article.

If you are unaware of some of the betting terminology in this article, we highly recommend reading our hockey betting guide, it has everything a beginner will need to know when betting on ice hockey.

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Moneyline / 3-Way Moneyline

Moneyline betting involves a decision on which team will win the game, for example, you place a bet on Pittsburgh Penguins beating the Philadelphia Flyers in tonight’s match-up. A moneyline wager will also take into account both overtime and penalties. So, if the team you backed wins the game in overtime, your bet will be successful.

3-Way moneyline bets are settled at the end of regulation (at the conclusion of the third period). This opens up the possibility of a tie game, so please be wary of this prior to placing your bet. The odds offered for the 3-way moneyline market are usually more favourable for the bettor, but you must be careful because many teams in ice hockey are evenly matched and overtime / penalties are common.

Puck Line

Puck Line is also known as handicap or points spread. With ice hockey being a lower scoring game compared to football or basketball, the handicap placed on teams is either -1.5 / +1.5.  An example is provided below:

New York Islanders (-1.5) @ New York Rangers (+1.5)

Here, the Islanders are the favourites and have been given the Puck Line of -1.5. This means they will have to win the game by two or more goals for your bet to win. The Rangers and their +1.5 Puck Line allows them to lose the game by a single goal (perfect for tight games that could go to overtime / penalties), or they could win the game outright. If either of these outcomes occurs, then you will win your bet.

Sportsbooks also offer an alternative Puck Line market, so if you think the game will be a blowout, then you can back the team to win by 3+, 4+ or even 5+ goals. This will provide you with much higher odds, but the probability of this happening is a lot smaller.

Total Goals

For each ice hockey game, a sportsbook will offer a set number of goals to be scored in the match, for example 5.5. You will bet on whether the total number of goals will be above or below that figure.  You can also place wagers on the over / under total goals scored by each team – see below for an example:

Montreal Canadiens @ Vancouver Canucks
Canadiens Team Total Over / Under 1.5
Canucks Team Total Over / Under 3.5

If you think the Canadiens defence will play well tonight and keep out the Canucks, then placing a bet on Canucks team total under 3.5 goals will be your best bet. Spending time researching each match-up will give you a better idea of how many goals you think will be scored and point you in the right direction.  Please note that these markets are offered for every single game, whether it’s in the NHL or the KHL, so there is lots of opportunity for us to find the right bet.

Player Proposition Markets

There are other markets that are offered by sportsbooks that centre entirely on an individual players performance during the course of a match. These markets include a certain player to score a goal, how many shots on goal will a player record and whether someone will provide an assist during a game.

You can also bet on a player scoring a goal in a specific period. This would be very hard to predict, but the odds are fantastic and would lead to large pay-outs if you chose correctly.

Other Ice Hockey Markets

The biggest markets in ice hockey betting have been explained above, but we will now highlight a selection of other markets that you can take advantage of:

  • Draw No Bet – here you will decide on a team to win the upcoming match. However, if the result is a tie at the end of regulation, your bet will be a push. This means you won’t win or lose your bet, and the money you put on will be returned to you. This provides you with a cushion, but the odds are relatively low.
  • Correct Score – you will choose what the final score will be. For example, the Los Angeles Kings play San Jose Sharks, you could predict the score will be 4-2 to LA. Again, this is very hard to predict, but has very large pay-outs if you win.
  • Highest Scoring Period – if a team starts off quickly and is likely to score goals early, then you could look at placing a bet on the 1st period containing the highest number of goals in a game. You can also do the same for the 2nd and 3rd periods.
  • When Will the Match End – you choose whether you think the game will end in regulation, overtime or penalties.

With such a large number of markets available, every sportsbook offers slightly different odds. Please see our list of the best online sportsbooks for Canadian bettors to help take advantage of the ones that offer the best odds for the ice hockey markets highlighted throughout this article. 

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