How to Master Hockey Odds


If you are interested in taking your sports betting skills to the ice, Sports Hub is here to help. One of the important pieces of the hockey betting puzzle is the ability to read and master hockey odds. Simply looking at an National Hockey League game on a betting board tells you a lot. Bettors have to know how to make sense of it all.

How to Master Hockey Odds
Bettors That Understand the Basics Have More Success

Knowing which teams are more likely to win based on betting lines and getting familiar with different types of bets can maximize your profits and give you an edge over other bettors. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about NHL odds including what they mean, how bookmakers decide them and tips for making a successful bet. Read on to become a more skilled NHL bettor and understand how to read NHL odds.

An Overview of Hockey Odds and How They Work

The NHL regular season begins every October and runs through to the following April. Then, the NHL playoffs begin. With teams playing 82 games in the regular season and the potential for 28 more during the postseason, there are multitudes of betting opportunities. All of the various wagers begin with hockey odds.

NHL odds, put simply, dictate how much a bettor stands to win or lose on their chosen bet. The odds also determine which team, if any, is the favorite and which team is the underdog. Hockey odds are attached to every single type of hockey bet.

We’ll go through examples of each so that by the time you have finished this article you have a strong understanding of hockey odds. Don’t worry. Sports Hub also has all of the best hockey picks all season long.

Explaining Moneylines, Point Spreads, and Totals

For those new to sports betting, the world of hockey odds and betting lines can be quite daunting. It’s important to understand the three main types of bets: moneyline, point spread, and totals. 

A money line bet is the simplest to understand. A bettor wagers on one team or the other to win the game outright. If the team you bet on wins, you win your bet. The hockey odds would determine how much you would win.

How to Master Hockey Odds
Puck Line, Total, and Moneyline Bets Displayed

A point spread bet is where the underdog team receives a certain number of points to level out the playing field. In sports like football and basketball where scoring is higher, point spreads vary. In hockey, the point spread is called the puck line. Oddsmakers establish the puck line at 1.5 in almost every single NHL game. We’ll discuss the puck line in further detail later on.

Finally, totals bets focus on the total number of goals scored in a game, regardless of which team wins or loses. You wager on the combined number of goals in a game to go Over or Under an amount set by oddsmakers. Understanding these types of bets and the associated hockey odds can give you an edge when betting on NHL games.

Hockey Odds for NHL Moneyline Bets

As mentioned, the moneyline bet is the easiest for bettors to understand. You like an NHL team to win. You bet on them and they win the game. You win your bet. Now, the key to being consistently successful with NHL moneyline bets is knowing where to spot value. We’ll talk more about some NHL betting tips later. For now, let’s look at an example of an NHL moneyline bet.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs +180
  • Montreal Canadiens -220

In the above example, the two teams are listed with their corresponding hockey odds. These NHL odds are set by oddsmakers and are designed to attract an equal amount of betting on both sides of a bet. Betting lines open and will adjust as bets are taken. More on that later.

To understand this bet, Montreal is the favorite since favorites are often listed with a negative number. The Canadiens are given moneyline odds of -220 to win. That means a bettor must wager $2.20 to win $1.00. A $220 wager would pay out $100. 

On the opposite end of the bet, the moneyline odds of +180 for Toronto signify that the Maple Leafs are the underdog. The odds also inform us that a bettor will win $1.80 for every $1.00 wagered. A $100 bet would pay out $180. 

Betting The NHL Puck Line

As mentioned, the NHL puck line is the equivalent of the point spread in sports like football and basketball. Because there isn’t as much scoring in hockey, oddsmakers had to come up with a way to bet on the final scoring margin. Similar to baseball, hockey oddsmakers set the puck line at 1.5. We can take a look at an example to further understand how the puck line works.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs +180 +1.5 (-130)
  • Montreal Canadiens -220 -1.5 (+110)

Using the same game from above, we see that Montreal is the favorite and that the puck line is 1.5. For bettor backing the Canadiens on the puck line, that means Montreal must win by two or more goals in order to cover. 

How to Master Hockey Odds
Hockey Bettors Must Understand the Puck Line

For those backing the Maple Leafs on the puck line, they simply need the Leafs to lose by one goal or win the game outright. The NHL odds next to the puck line determine the payouts for each wager. For example, a $100 bet on the Canadiens to cover would pay out $110 at NHL betting odds of +110.

Toronto puck line bettors would have to wager $130 to win $100 and then the Maple Leafs would either need to pull the upset or lose by one. Interestingly, around 70 percent of NHL games over the past few years have been “close” games, either decided by one goal or by two with an empty-net goal. 

Hockey Odds and Betting Totals

The other more popular hockey bet is on the game total. Oddsmakers will set a total of an NHL game. Typically, hockey totals are set between 5.5 and 7.5. Oddsmakers also like to set totals in increments of a half-point. This way, sportsbooks avoid a push, which is a tie. If a total is set at 6 and the final score is 4-2, then no one wins the bet. Sportsbooks refund a bettor’s stake.

In our Nashville-Tampa Bay example, the game total bet might look as follows.

  • Nashville +180 +1.5 (-130) O 6.5 (+105)
  • Tampa Bay -220 -1.5 (+110) U 6.5 (-125)

In this example, the game total is set at 6.5. If you believe the two teams will combine for fewer than 6.5 goals, you would bet on the Under. In this case, the hockey odds reveal that the Under is the favorite at -125. If you like the Under, you could bet $125 and win $100 if the final combined score was 6 goals or less.

How to Master Hockey Odds
Betting Hockey Totals Is Popular Among Hockey Bettors

On the other side, Over bettors could wager $100 and win $105 if the final score was 4-3. As long as the two teams combined to score 7 or more goals, an Over bet would be a winner. NHL totals bets always come with their associated hockey odds. Your job is to find value in those odds.

Understanding Underdogs Vs. Favorites in Hockey Betting

When it comes to betting on hockey, it’s important to understand the difference between underdog teams and favorites. Hockey odds can vary based on a team’s past performance, injuries, and other factors. Underdog teams may have longer odds, but they can also provide a bigger payout if they win. 

Underdogs are usually identified by their hockey odds on a given game. In our Nashville-Tampa Bay example, it’s easy to see that Nashville is the underdog. You stand to win more if you bet on Nashville and the Predators pull off the upset. 

On the other hand, favorites are considered to have a better chance of winning. As a result, their odds are usually lower. You won’t win as much betting on a favorite, but you will have a higher chance of winning your bet. 

It’s crucial to do your research and analyze the hockey odds before placing any bets. Keep in mind that upsets can happen, and sometimes the underdog team does come out on top. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a newcomer to the sports betting industry, understanding the dynamics between underdogs and favorites is key to making informed betting decisions.

Utilizing Advanced Strategies to Read Hockey Odds

When it comes to betting on hockey, odds can seem confusing and intimidating at first glance. However, with advanced strategies and a bit of knowledge, you can leverage hockey odds to your advantage and make smart betting decisions. 

Understanding how to interpret and analyze hockey odds is crucial to achieving success in the world of sports betting. You’ll want to take into account factors such as team statistics, player performance, and recent trends to make informed predictions. With time and practice, utilizing advanced strategies to read hockey odds will become second nature, giving you the confidence to place smart and profitable bets.

How to Master Hockey Odds
Use NHL Betting Strategies Like Sports Hub Handicappers

You can put these strategies to work to find trends like this one. During the 2020-21 NHL season, moneyline underdogs were not a great bet. They only won about 36 percent of the time. However, NHL puck line underdogs playing at home were a huge moneymaker for those that caught on. By the end of the regular season, puck line underdogs playing at home covered over percent of the time. 

NHL bettors reading hockey odds should also make note of the following. In the modern era of the NHL, moneyline underdogs win about 40 percent of the time. Unlike sports like NFL football, a heavy favorite in an NHL game may be given odds between -150 and -300. In the NFL, you could see a team like the Kansas City Chiefs with odds closer to -1000 if they were playing the worst team in the league.

Betting NHL Futures

Long before an NHL season starts, bettors can actually get in on NHL futures bets. There are hockey odds for many of these bets the day after the Stanley Cup is won. There are odds for the next Stanley Cup champion, NHL MVP, and more. Just like bets on individual games, bettors can find tons of value on NHL futures betting. 

How to Master Hockey Odds
Visit Sports Hub for NHL Futures Picks

Sports Hub is committed to helping bettors have success throughout the NHL regular season. Part of that success can come in the form of winning NHL futures bets. Here’s an example of the quality content Sports Hub has available to help bettors with the NHL futures picks.

  • 2024 NHL Hart Trophy winner: We’ve broken down the race for the NHL’s MVP. The Hart Trophy is given annually to the league’s best player. Sports Hub breaks down the race, gives you the hockey odds for all the candidates, and offers best bets.
  • 2024 Rocket Richard Trophy odds: The Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy is given each season to the NHL player that scores the most goals. Our Sports Hub experts offer up tons of quality content here to help you find the best bet in the category. 
  • 2024 Vezina Trophy odds: The Vezina Trophy goes to the best goaltender in the league each year. Once again, our expert handicappers break down this NHL futures category and provide you with the best NHL futures picks. 

Shopping for the Best Hockey Odds Available

Hockey enthusiasts are no strangers to the thrill of placing a bet on their favorite teams. The key to maximizing the excitement lies in finding the best hockey odds available. Where does one begin the search for the most favorable odds? 

That’s a great question and the answer requires research and vigilance. They are essential tools in the arsenal of any savvy bettor. Carefully scouring various sportsbooks and comparing odds can significantly increase one’s chances of a big win. There are online tools these days that can help bettors identify the best National Hockey League odds for most any bet at any sportsbook.

Seasoned bettors know that even the slightest edge can make a significant difference. An NHL underdog at +150 instead of +125 pays out an extra $25 on a $100 bet. It’s well worth the extra effort to seek out the best hockey odds possible from a variety of sportsbooks.

Use Sports Hub Handicappers’ Picks to Win More Bets

Sports Hub was designed with both the bettor and the handicapper in mind. Our team has decades of experience in every facet of the sports betting industry and when it was recognized that there wasn’t enough support for handicappers, we decided to step in and fill the void. The result is Sports Hub.

We have a network of the best cappers in the industry that are part of our community. We bring bettors and handicappers together in a single, one-stop shop where cappers can post picks and bettors can take advantage of them. SportsHub offers hundreds of picks across all sports on a daily basis. You’ll find NHL picks, NBA picks, NFL picks, and so on. Our cappers offer some of their picks for free. Others are premium service plays and we also have AI-generated computer picks.

How to Master Hockey Odds
Sports Hub Helps You Win More NHL Bets

Speaking of computer picks, ours have won across all sports at a 59 percent clip for the past four-plus years. Sports Hub computer picks are only released when there is a two-point difference in the betting line and the computer betting line. As a result, not many NHL computer picks are made. However, when they are, you might want to get in on the action. 

Last season, Sports Hub computer picks went 16-6 and ended up with $556 in profits. That’s a winning percentage of 72.73 percent. In order to gain access to SportsHub’s computer picks, all one needs is a Sports Hub account. It’s easy to sign up for one. Just click the orange JOIN NOW button at the top of this page. 

Our top NHL capper last season was Pro Picks – Ben who won 53.75 percent of his NHL bets and ended up $1748 to the good. We have numerous NHL cappers with similar numbers.

Analyzing Trends to Make More Informed Bets on Hockey Games

Hockey betting enthusiasts are always looking for ways to increase their chances of making successful wagers. One effective strategy is to analyze trends in the sport. These can provide valuable insights into a team’s performance and inform your betting decisions. By studying factors such as individual player and team stats, team records, and recent game outcomes, you can gain a better understanding of hockey odds and make better decisions. 

With a bit of research and strategic thinking, you can give yourself a competitive edge and increase your chances of winning big on your next hockey bet. For example, NHL underdogs on the road typically lose 65 to 70 percent of the time. That should steer bettors away from betting on NHL road dogs on the moneyline.

Hockey Odds: The Last Word

Hockey odds are a great way to be invested in the games you watch, but they can also be complicated. That’s why it is of the utmost importance to educate yourself on the different kinds of hockey odds and how they work. You have to understand underdogs and favorites in hockey betting.

You can use advanced strategies to read hockey odds, as well as shop around for the best prices at the top sportsbooks. Additionally, analyzing trends and keeping up with current news related to individual teams will help you make more informed NHL bets.

How to Read Hockey Odds FAQs

What is the puck line in hockey betting?

The puck line in hockey betting is the equivalent of the point spread in other sports. Because hockey doesn’t feature as much scoring as sports like football and basketball, the run line is used to allow bettors to wager on the NHL spreads. The run line is almost always set at 1.5. The run line will have corresponding hockey odds for each side. This allows bettors to identify the favorite and the underdog.

What is the Grand Salami in hockey?

The Grand Salami is a fun hockey bet. Bettors wager on the combined total of all games on the schedule on a given day. For example, there are 8 NHL games on a certain day. Oddsmakers set the Grand Salami total at 48.5 as well as the hockey odds for the bet. Bettors then wager on the Over or Under. At the end of the day’s games, you add up the total number of goals scored. If it’s 49 or more, the Over wins. If it’s 48 or less, in this case, the Under is the winner.

What is the best way to bet on hockey?

Betting on the NHL puck line can be tricky. A majority of NHL games are decided by a single goal. If you’re betting on a favorite, remember that the favorite must win by two or more goals in order to cover the puck line. On the other end, it may be difficult to identify which underdogs may lose by 1 goal and cover. That’s why hockey, like baseball, lends itself to moneyline betting.