Hockey has vastly changed in playing style in recent years. Referees call a much tighter game than they used to. Leading to less clutching and grabbing and an increase in speed and scoring. In the playoffs, these same refs lighten up and call a looser game than the regular season. Something to keep in mind when deciding what hockey bet to place.
or “The Puck Line” as it’s called in hockey. This is -1.5 for a heavy favorite, usually at plus odds and +1.5 for a heavy underdog usually at minus odds. So, for example, the top team in the NHL was the Colorado Avalanche this year. They were -1.5 in almost every one of their games. So if they win by two goals or more you would win your Avs bet.
The thinking behind taking a team -1.5 is that you usually have a chance at an empty-net goal at the end of a close game. Let’s say a team is winning by 1 or more goals late in the game. The opposing team that is losing will pull their goalie for an extra attacker, making it 6 on 5. Resulting in a makeshift “Power Play” in an attempt to tie the game before time expires. This leaves the net open for the winning team to score another goal, and therefore cover your -1.5 bet. However, if they only win by one goal, you will instead lose that -1.5 bet. The +1.5 bettor would then win in this scenario.
3 Way Betting:
A 3 Way bet is simply on a team to win in regulation. You only win this bet if the team you wagered on wins in regulation. If the game goes to overtime, you would lose your bet. If you are looking to bet a favorite but the moneyline is too juiced, you can use this option as an alternative at significantly better odds, due to the added risk of overtime associated with the bet.
You can bet the game outright by betting the moneyline. Meaning the team you wager on simply has to win for you to win your bet. The means of how the won; overtime, shootout, or regulation, does not matter. Just win baby!
A hockey total typically hovers between 5 and 7 goals, with 6 being the most common total in today’s NHL. Focusing on hockey over/unders can be a highly profitable way to bet on hockey if done smartly. Taking into account the recent form of goaltenders, teams coming off of back-to-back games, etc.
Teams’ playing styles are sticky. For example, this past year the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the most talented teams on offense. But their defense and goaltending ranked as some of the worst in the NHL. This created inefficiency in the market to the trained eye, as they went over all the time due to the style of hockey they played.
These are fairly self-explanatory, but you can bet on regular-season point totals, division winners, conference winners, the Stanley Cup champion, and player/coach award winners. The Conn Smythe winner is also a popular bet come playoff time. This is awarded to the most valuable player throughout the entirety of the playoffs.
The fantasy football world has spread its tentacles into all four of the major American sports. Hockey is no different. You can bet on player statistics such as goals, assists, points, shots, saves, game-winning goals, first goal scorer, last goal scorer, etc. A highly touted goal scorer like Auston Matthews or Nathan Mackinnon will often have juiced lines for over 0.5 points since they get so many of them. Long shot goal scorers could be a good strategy to increase ROI.
Another example: Gabriel Landeskog injured his knee this past year and he could not return until the playoffs. This created a vacancy on one of the best lines in the NHL. Valeri Nichushkin was placed on that first line with Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantenen, two top tier talents in the NHL. This presented Nichuskin with many more goal-scoring opportunities. A sharp would have been quick to notice this change in the lineup before the books adjusted their Valeri Nichushkin goals prop, creating another temporary market inefficiency.