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Types of Hockey Bets

Types of Hockey Bets
When betting on ice hockey, you may not be aware that you have a lot of different options to choose from. Everyone knows that you can bet on the game winner, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are quite a few other great bets that you can make that are both fun and can be lucrative if you know what you’re doing.

In this guide, we’re going to cover all of the different types of hockey bets that are out there. We’ll talk about the most popular hockey bets and then some of the more obscure ones that even people who have been around sports betting for a while might not be aware of.

This information is a crucial step in your growth and success as a hockey sports bettor. Whether you utilize these bets or not is up to you. But, you at least need to know they exist and know how they work in case they can play a role in increasing your bottom line profits.

Moneyline Bets

Hands-down the most popular bet that you can make in any sport including hockey is the moneyline bet. This is nothing more than a bet on which team you think will win an upcoming game. The bet is not contingent on how the team wins, by how many goals, or whether the game ends in regulation or overtime. The only criteria that must be met for you to win a hockey moneyline bet is that the team you selected needs to skate away with the win.

While the moneyline bet is genuinely that simple, there is one aspect of it that we need to make sure you are aware of. Not every hockey moneyline bet is going to pay the same profit on a correct selection. If the sportsbook allowed you to make the same amount of money betting on any team in any game, then you’d probably just wait to bet the huge favorites and no one would ever bet an underdog. The sportsbook would lose every bet it took and be out of business before the end of the first season.

To counteract this, the sportsbook does something to entice you to bet on underdogs and discourage you from betting on every single favorite. What they do is alter the payouts where you get more of return for a correct pick on a hockey underdog and less of a return for a correct pick on a hockey favorite.

How big of a difference in payout? Well, it depends on a few things. First, the sportsbook releases the payouts based on how likely they think each team is to win. If the team is a massive favorite, then you’ll get way more money betting on the underdog and way less betting on the favorite because they are that much more likely to win. If they’re just a slight favorite, you’ll get a small amount more for taking the underdog and slightly less than even money for betting on the favorite.

These lines will then change based on the bets that the sportsbook takes in on the upcoming hockey game. They’ll continue shifting things back and forth to try and get equal action on both sides of the game so they can pay the winners with the loser’s money and take a small percentage of the top for profit.

Understanding how to win a hockey moneyline bet is easy. Understanding how they payout is eventually easy with some experience, but it has a tendency to confuse some people. To help you better understand this as well as all the other nuances of hockey moneyline bets, we’ve put together an awesome Moneyline Betting Guide for you linked below with all of this information and more.

Puck Line Bets

If you’re an experienced sports bettor looking to make the jump into hockey, you may be looking for spread bets which are mighty popular in most other major sports. Well, in hockey there isn’t a traditional spread bet, but something known as the puck line bet. It’s similar to a spread bet except with a few major differences. Let’s take a look at it from the ground up so those who have never seen a spread bet either can be on the same page.

What do you do when you think your team is going to play well and you want to bet on them, but you think they are still going to lose the game? Well, making a hockey moneyline bet would be silly because the criteria for a win is your team winning and you don’t think that is going to happen. This is where the puck line bet comes in.

The puck line bet assesses one team as the favorite and one team as the underdog. It then “spots” the underdog some goals (1 ½) and takes those goals away from the favorite to try and even the playing field. So, the favorite now has to win by more goals to win this bet, and the underdog can actually lose as long as they keep it close and you still win this bet. For those of you that are used to spread bets, this is the exact same concept except that the spread never changes; it is always 1 ½ goals. If you’re familiar with baseball run line bets, it’s literally exactly the same except with hockey.

If you’re still confused, you are not alone. Puck line bets are challenging to describe in words, but they’re much easier to understand when you’re looking at an example. Let’s say there is an upcoming game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. Let’s say that the sportsbook thinks the Leafs are going to win. This is what the moneyline might look like for that game.

Now, let’s say that you also think the Maple Leafs are going to win but (-210) is just not very appealing to you. If you were to bet $50 on this game, you’d get a profit of $23.81 for a correct pick. While this might still be a good bet, you’re looking to get some more value. To win this bet, the Maple Leafs only need to win by 1 or more goals. But, what happens if you think they are going to win decisively by 2 or more goals? Well, this is where the puck line bet comes in. Here’s what that would look like in the sportsbook.

When you see the Maple Leafs -1 ½, it shows you that they are the favorites to win the game. What the puck line does is says that they now have to win by more than 1 ½ goals for you to win your bet. You might be saying there are no half goals, so what does that even mean. It means they have to win by more than 1 ½ goals which would actually be 2 goals. They use the half goal numbers to prevent ties.

So, to win this puck line bet, the Maple Leafs would have to win the game by 2 or more goals. If they lost the game or only won by one goal, your bet is a loss. Yes, the Maple Leafs can win the game, and you can still lose this bet. As you can already tell, it’s tougher to win a hockey game by 2 goals than it is just to win by 1. The sportsbook has adjusted for this as the bet now pays out at +105. This means your same $50 bet would net you a profit of $52.50 if the Leafs were to win by 2 or more goals.

The other side of this bet would be the Bruins as +1 ½ goals. They get this distinction because they are the underdogs to win the game. Notice that based on the payouts, they are actually the favorites to win this bet, but they get the +1 ½ because they are the underdogs straight up (on the moneyline) in the game.

So what does Bruins +1 ½ mean? It means that the Bruins are getting spotted a goal and a half. In other words, as long as they either win or lose by fewer than 1 ½ goals, you’d win a puck line bet on them. What is losing by fewer than 1 ½ goals? Well, that would be losing by 1 goal. So, if you made a puck line bet on the Bruins, you’d need them to either win the game or lose by only 1 goal. If they lost by 2 or more goals, you would lose this puck line bet.

The puck line bet is a great wager when you think a team that is going to lose is going to keep it to a 1 goal loss or when you think that a great team is going to win decisively by 2 or more goals.With traditional spread bets in other sports, the payouts are usually relatively similar or identical on both sides of the bet. To encourage or discourage action as needed, they adjust the line instead of the payouts (instead of 1 ½ goals, they might move it to 2 or 2 ½ goals, etc.).

But, because hockey is such a low scoring game, this just doesn’t work because a half goal or full goal move would cause an avalanche of action and be impossible for the sportsbook to balance their action. Instead, they keep the puck line fixed at 1 ½ goals and adjust the payouts on either side of it. Make sure before you make a puck line bet that you look at the payout for the side of the bet that you want to make and that you are happy with the potential reward for the risk you’ll be undertaking with your bet.

Alternative Puck Lines

There are sometimes where a sportsbook will, in fact, offer different “spreads” on a game known as alternative puck lines. They’ll still offer your standard puck line at + – 1 ½ goals. But, they will also offer you odds on a puck line of + – 2 ½ or 3 ½ or sometimes more. You won’t always see these alternative puck lines, but some sportsbooks do offer them especially on higher profile games like the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.

These bets are much more challenging to win when you take the favorite and much easier to win when you take the underdog. But, if you have a more precise prediction and want to get your action in, then this is a great bet to include in your arsenal.

Totals Bets

The hockey totals bet is a pretty popular one amongst bettors looking for entertainment value and those looking to make money. Sometimes referred to as an over/under bet, the totals bet it a wager on the total number of goals scored by both teams in a game. The sportsbook will give a prediction based on how many total goals they think are going to be scored, and you get to pick whether the actual total is over or under that amount.

Usually, in hockey, the totals line is going to be 5 ½ goals, 6 goals, or 6 ½ goals. On rare occasions, you might see higher or lower numbers, but the standard is usually one of those three. Now, how do you win one of these hockey totals bets? Well, it doesn’t matter which team scores the goals or which team wins the game. All that matters is that when you add up the final score for both teams, it’s either over or under the number that you bet on.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to bet that Bruins and Maple Leafs game we used in an earlier example. Let’s say that you have no idea who you think is going to win the game, but you think both offenses are going to score a lot of goals. This is an instance that you might want to make a totals bet. Here’s what that bet might look like

In this instance, you would be the over of 6. Now, wait for a second though…Didn’t we say that it didn’t matter which team score the goals or won the game? Why do we have to select a team then when we’re making our hockey totals bet? Well, good eye. But, nothing to worry about. The sportsbooks just choose to write the bets this way to conserve space on their boards. You can just disregard the team name as it has no bearing on the bet that you are making.

If you bet “Bruins over 6 at -110” then you are betting that more than 6 total goals will be scored. It can be 7-0 Maple Leafs, 8-0 Bruins, or 5-4 either team; it doesn’t matter. As long as more than 6 total goals are scored in the game, you will win the over bet on this game. If exactly 6 total goals are scored, the bet is a push, and all bets are returned. Push is a fancy betting term for a tie. The sportsbook likes to set hockey totals at ½ goals when they can to prevent ties because they don’t make any money when they have to return everyone’s money to them.

If you want to learn more about totals bets, check out our full totals bet guide we have linked below. It’s a great read for anyone that’s serious about betting hockey totals bets and wants to turn a profit doing it.

Period Bets

A hockey game is broken down into three equal length periods. Most of you reading this probably knew that already. But, did you know that you can bet on each period as if it were its own separate game? Yes, you can make a totals bet as well as a moneyline bet on each individual period of a hockey game. It does not matter what has happened in the periods before or the periods after the one you bet. It starts fresh as soon as the period begins and the bet is over as soon as the period is over.

For example, let’s say in our example game that you want to make a period bet on the Maple Leafs to win the second period. Let’s say the first period happens, and the Maple Leafs are losing 5-0. In the second period, the Maple Leafs score 1 goal and the Bruins score 0. So, at the end of the second period, the score is Bruins 5 and the Maple Leafs 1.

You would win your second period bet on the Maple Leafs. Remember, the total score in the game does not matter. As soon as the puck drops in the second period, the bet sees it as 0-0. So, in the period bet’s mind, the final score of your bet is 1-0 Maple Leafs.

Futures Bets

Hockey futures bets are wagers on something that will not be decided by just one game. Usually, it’s a bet made on an end of season champion, series winner, or someone winning some sort of award within the league. The most popular hockey futures bet is a wager on the winner of the Stanley Cup. All you have to do is select which team you think is going to win the Stanley Cup, and if you’re right, then you get paid.

You can make your futures bet really at any point during the year. It’s quite popular for hockey futures bets to be made at the beginning of the season because that’s when you can usually get the best odds on any team. This is because every team technically has a shot to make it in. As the season goes on, the payouts will be adjusted for every team based on their likelihood of making the playoffs, the Stanley Cup, and ultimately winning. If they are crushing the world, the amount you can win with a futures bet on that team will go down. If they are struggling, the amount you can win will go up. This is also adjusted based on the amount of money being bet on each team still left in contention.

If you’d like to learn more about futures bets, check out our full guide linked below. We’ll break down how they work, how they pay, and how to beat them.

Proposition Bets

The last hockey bet type we want to look at today are proposition bets. These are bets where the sportsbook proposes some occurrence, and you bet on whether or not it’s going to happen in the game. The hockey props category usually is a catch-all that encompasses every bet type that does not fall into one of the above categories.

Below, we have laid out the most popular hockey prop bets that you may see. Depending on where you’re betting and how big of a hockey game it is, you may see a lot of hockey props or just a few. There is no industry standard for what to offer. It all comes down to what the betting site or sportsbook wants to offer. This is why it’s important to pick out an online sportsbook that caters to hockey bettors.

First Team to Score

In this hockey prop bet, you wager on which team is going to score the first goal of the game. It doesn’t matter who ends up winning the game, only which team scores the first goal. You will see different payout odds on either team typically reflective of who the game favorite is.

Player to Score First Goal

If you want to take the previous hockey prop bet to a new level, you can bet on which player you think is going to score the first goal. There will be odds on the major players from each squad and then usually a field option which just means every other player that is not listed. Odds will be different for each of the players based on their likelihood of scoring the first goal. Again, it does not matter if their team ends up winning the game or anything else. If the first player to put the puck in the back of the net is the player you bet on, you win.

Additional Individual Player Props

In addition to the prop bet we just mentioned, there are a whole host of other hockey prop bets that you’ll see for individual players. These might be things like whether or not a particular player will get over or under 2.5 points or how many shots on goal a player might have or how many saves a goalie might have. The options are endless. Pretty much anything that can be quantified for an individual player is fair game as long as the sportsbook wants to offer action on it.

Shots Taken Total

This is a hockey prop bet that is exactly what you think it is. The sportsbook will set a line on how many shots they think a team will take during a game, and you can bet on the over or the under of that number. Sometimes this bet is total shots, and less often it is on shots on goal. Just make sure you know which one it is before you make your bet. Usually, you’ll see pretty similar payouts for the over and the under on this bet as the total number is usually high enough that they can adjust it instead of the payouts to encourage and discourage action.

The Grand Salami

This is a hockey bet that is a lot of fun to make but can also be profitable if you have the time to look into each game being played that day. The grand salami bet in hockey is effectively a totals bet. But, instead of being a totals bet for just one game, it’s the totals bet for every single game that is being played that day.

So, you might see the line at something like 79 ½ or whatever the sportsbook decides to set it at for that day. If you take the over, you’re betting that if you add up every single hockey goal scored that day you’ll get 80 or more. If you take the under, you’re hoping that the cumulative number of goals is 79 or fewer. You will see similar payouts on both sides of this bet as they can just move the number to encourage and discourage action, but you will sometimes see some variation so make sure to check and don’t just blindly make your bet.

Regulation Time 3-Way Bet

This hockey prop bet is a wager on who will win the game in regulation or if it will go to overtime. You’ll have the option to bet on either of the two teams or that the game ends in a tie in regulation. The bet ends as soon as the third period ends. If the game is a tie, then anyone who bet the tie wins. If you bet one of the teams, if they are ahead at the end of regulation (and win the game), then you win your bet. If you select a team and they win in overtime, you do not win your bet because this bet is only concerned with regulation time. If you’d like to bet a team to win that continues into overtime, you’ll want to place a moneyline bet.

Total Goals Scored by a Team

This is a popular hockey prop bet where you can wager an over/under on how many goals a particular team scores. This is similar to the totals bet except that instead of it being for both teams, it will be for just one team. Usually the number will hover somewhere around 3 or 3 ½ goals, and the payouts for the over and the under will be adjusted accordingly.

Something to Note (Important)

The last thing we want to talk about to close out this guide on the different types of hockey bets is this. Just because all of these bets exist and there are tons of different ways that you can get action on a game does not mean that you should or have to use them all. There’s a disturbing trend amongst new bettors where they feel like complexity of their system is the key to turning a profit.

This is not the case. The key to turning a profit is placing bets with value over and over again. This can be bets of one type, multiple types, or all of the bets we have listed here. But, the important takeaway is that you can be wildly successful betting on hockey by just betting one or two types of bets. We just want you to be aware of the different options you have in case you have a home for them in your winning hockey betting strategy.