Hockey is becoming a very large sport in both the United States and especially in Canada. Did you happen to watch the 2010 Winter Olympics? The National Hockey League (NHL) is the largest and most popular hockey league available. Betting on hockey and the NHL is even more fun as it allows you to feel like you are part of the game. Hockey betting is similar to most others sports with a few small differences that we’ll discuss below.
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Hockey Betting Types and Odds
There are only a few major betting types when it comes to hockey.
Moneyline Hockey Betting – You can bet on the Moneyline in hockey just as you would any other sport. The odds makers set a line for each hockey team playing the game to win that game. For instance, if the Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Detroit Redwings we could see a line that looked like this.
Chicago Blackhawks +125 @ Detroit Redwings –140
What this means is you would have to bet $140 to win $100 on the Redwings Moneyline. If the Redwings won the game, you win the bet. If they lose the game, you in turn lose the bet as well. Betting on the Hockey Moneyline is probably the most popular form of hockey bet.
PuckLine Hockey Betting – Something new huh? The PuckLine is specific to hockey betting and hockey betting alone. This works very similar to the RunLine in baseball but it’s basically betting on a team to win by more than .5 or 1.5 goals. An example PuckLine would look like this.
Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 –110 @ Detroit Redwings
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Redwings –1.5 +130
Over / Under Hockey Betting – Betting on the total in hockey is a lot of fun too. A standard over / under line in an NHL game is 5.5 which means players can bet whether the two teams combined will score go over this mark – or under the 5.5 mark.
Futures Hockey Betting – You can place a futures bet on who is going to win the hockey Stanley cup nearly anytime in the off-season. Making a bet on some team to win the Stanley Cup is always a fun way to cheer for a team throughout the season. I like to take a shot on a couple of those 100/1 teams that have a lot of potential. You just never know what can happen in this crazy game of sports.
Hockey Major Events
There are a few major events in hockey that we will discuss here very briefly. Some major events we may just list as there is not much to explain about this event in the first place.
National Hockey League Stanley Cup – The Stanley Cup is the coveted championship trophy that every NHL player dreams of holding. Even if you aren’t a diehard hockey fan, watching and betting on the NHL Championship would be fun.
National Hockey League All-Star Game – There really isn’t a lot of reason to watch the NHL All-Star game. It’s just another game where guys play at half speed and don’t really “try” 100% to win. If you put a bet on this event you might actually have a reason to watch it.
Olympic Hockey – We touched on this earlier but any big time Olympic hockey matchups are both fun to watch and great for the fans.
Hockey Betting Strategy and Tips
There are a few tips you should keep in mind when betting on hockey. These tips won’t guarantee you win every single game but they certainly can help you choose the right side to bet on.
Know the Goaltenders – The goalie in hockey is very similar to the pitcher in baseball. Lines change significantly if the backup goalie is in the game and the starter is getting a rest. Do a little research and find out what goalies are starting before you make your bet.
Know the power of home ice – Some cities and franchises have a must larger home ice advantage than others. Know which teams feed on their crowds. These teams are typically very tough to beat when they are at home.
Be Careful of Empty Netters – Betting on the Under in the NHL can get screwed by one team. But, this also hurts when a garbage goal goes in the net. These last minute, empty netter goals typically mean nothing to everyone except for us.
Injuries – This is a tip for just about any sport but it is real important for hockey. You don’t always hear in the mainstream media what hockey players are injured so it may take a little in depth research to find out what guys are hurt. But knowing who is healthy and who is injured is a great thing to know.