Learn the NHL and bet the NHL

The NHL is one, if not, the best sport to handicap but many bettors don’t even look at the NHL when betting. There are several reasons I can think of as the NHL is not “mainstream” so the common sports bettor will watch and bet a low level college basketball game then watch the NHL on TV. Some don’t take the time to watch and learn the NHL game but believe me, if you give it a shot you will fall in love with the game. If you start watching and understanding the game and start handicapping the NHL you will soon learn why it is the one sport the bookmakers don’t want you betting on. The schedule in the NHL is brutal and team’s schedules play a huge part in handicapping the NHL. Teams go on 5, 6, 7 and 8 game road trips and by the time they hit those late stages of the road trip they really don’t have the legs underneath them. They play on back-to-back nights and teams play really well or really bad on back-to-back nights in the NHL. Teams go on big runs in the NHL and the bookmakers can not adjust fast enough, let’s take the current Ottawa run as an example. At the time of this article the Ottawa Senators have a 10 game winning streak going and in 7 of those 10 games they were plus money underdogs. Lets look back at the last 10 lines for Ottawa and you will see the oddsmakers can not adjust fast enough, here are the last 10 lines on Ottawa +185, +127, +129, +158, -147, +125, -108, +161, -183 and +126. Even after winning 3 straight they were +158 and after 7 straight wins they were +161. We were on Ottawa at the +127 game and the +158 game.


Betting the NHL also requires an understanding of the type of bets offered and that sometimes confuses people. There are 4 basic types of bets in the NHL a Money Line bet, a puck line bet, a 3-way line and the total. Here is a break down of each wager type:


Money Line – Betting the money line is simple and is betting a team to win, the oddsmakers will make one team a favourite and one team an underdog. In this example we will use Detroit +120 and San Jose -140. In this case you can bet on San Jose laying $1.40 to win $1.00 or on Detroit laying $1.00 to win 1.20. This is important; the money line includes overtime play and the shootout. Your team just has to win to cash.


Total – The oddsmakers will also set a total for the game just like in the NFL, NBA and other sports. The total works the same and for example we will use the Detroit and San Jose match up again and say the total is set at 5.5. You can play the total to go over or under 5.5 total goals for the game. Both teams goals count toward the total and you win if correctly pick the total goals under or over the set line.


Puck Line – The puck line is just like the Run Line in MLB as the oddsmakers will set the favourite at -1 ½ goals and the underdogs at +1 ½ goals. By playing the puck line you can take a heavy favourite or underdog and get a better price. For example if San Jose is favoured at -180, the puck line will be -1 ½ goals and around -110. While the payout can be good on the puck line this is my least favourite in the NHL. To win your team has to win by two goals on the favourite or lose by no more the 1 goal as the underdog.


3-Way Line – This line is taking after Soccer lines and the most important note her is to understand that this is a Regulation Only wager, Overtime and Shootouts do not count, the wager is scored when regulation ends. The oddsmakers will set the 3-Way where you can choose either team to win or finish in a tie. The “juice” on a 3-way line is much lower then the money line and allows you to take a larger favourite and play them in regulation at a much lower cost. As an example, lets use Detroit and San Jose again; here is what the 3-way line would look like:


Detroit +140

San Jose +100

Tie +240


In this case you can bet $1.00 on Detroit to win $1.40 or San Jose $1.00 to win 1.00 or you can bet they finish regulation in a tie at $1.00 to win 2.40. Tin this bet your team has to win the game in regulation time.


With the number of pure trend players it would seem the number of NHL players would be huge as the NHL is the only sport that I really look hard and heavily at trends. But still the main focus is schedule. If you can understand trends and schedules you can figure out the NHL.


Let’s just say this, if you not betting the NHL you are letting opportunity pass you by! And if you don’t take the time to learn the NHL, join up with us as the NHL is a common selection on out play lists.