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There’s a certain degree of nonchalance when it comes to the general public’s perception of hockey. That’s great news for punters, since sportsbooks and oddsmakers don’t spend the same amount of time and focus on creating NHL odds as they do more “popular” sports like football or basketball. Check out any of our recommended sportsbooks listed above – you’ll find that NHL games have some of the lower betting limits than you’ll find they impose with the NFL or NBA games. This can generally be interpreted as a sign of mild reluctance on the sportsbooks’ part to accept bets on the NHL compared to the other two sports.

And the only reason for any degree of reluctance is that it’s not as “profitable” for the sportsbooks, meaning it’s statistically more profitable for bettors! In other words, the best thing you can do right now is sign up at one of the featured sportsbook above and put a hockey wager to the test.

Below is a primer of the most common types of bets placed on hockey games.

MONEY LINE:
For money line bets, nearly every sportsbook uses a 20-cent line on the National Hockey League, which is the difference in the odds on the underdog and the odds on the underdog. If a match features a particularly large favorite, the doss will oftentimes be greater than 20 cents.

This is what a typical NHL game looks like:

Calgary + 110
Vancouver – 130

The favorite is Vancouver, and Vancouver betters need to risk $130 in order to $100, while underdog Calgary bettors need to risk $100 in order to win $110.

And this is what the odds on a game with a much larger favorite might look like:

Toronto + 250
Detroit – 300

PUCK LINE:
When betting the puck line, punters either lay 1.5 goals with the underdog or take 1.5 goals with the favorite.

Using the same two games above, the puck lines odds could look like this:

Calgary + 1.5 (-240)
Vancouver – 1.5 (+200)

Bettors siding with Calgary will win their bets if Calgary wins the game or losses by just one goal, while supporters of Vancouver will only win their bets if the Canucks win by at least two or more goals. Note that Calgary bettors need to risk $240 in order to win $100, whereas Vancouver bettors need to risk $100 in order to win $200.

TOTALS (i.e. OVER / UNDER):
Bettors that place bets on totals wager on the total number of goals scored during a game. The sportsbook posts a number, usually between 5 and 6.5, and punters bets that the number of goals will either be over or under the posted number.

There is one primary difference in betting hockey totals as opposed to betting basketball and football totals. Because scoring in hockey is so much lower than in football or basketball, the bookmakers are reluctant to change the number of a total and instead will often adjust the odds.

In hockey, it’s relatively rare for sportsbooks to adjust the total due to the fact that scoring in hockey is much lower than in basketball or football. Instead, they’ll opt to adjust the odds. Meaning, before a sportsbook will modify its posted number from 5 to 6, it’ll adjust the odds upwards (kicking $120 to win $100 (-120) up a notch to $145 to win $100 (-145), for example).

Here’s an example of a totals bet:

Detroit vs. Toronto over 5.5 (-135)
Detroit vs. Toronto under 5.5 (+115)

Bettors who wish to bet on the over will have to risk $135 to win $100, while bettors betting on the under will risk $100 to win $115.

THE GRAND SALAMI:
Works just like the over / under bet above, but the number posted by sportsbooks is the total number of points scored on ALL hockey games played on a particular day.