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NHL Betting Lines and Odds Explained

NHL Betting Lines and Odds Explained

For starters, let’s take a look at a typical NHL betting line:

New York Rangers+125+1.5 (-120)O 5.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Penguins -115-1.5 (+100)U 5.5 (-110)

There are three elements to an NHL betting line – the moneyline, the puckline and the total. Let’s go through each of these three betting options, explain what they are and how they work. Remember, you can find NHL money lines at major New York sportsbook apps, such as betRivers or betMGM. Use promo codes.

What Does -1, -1.5 in NHL Betting Line Mean?

The simplest method for wagering on an NHL game is through the moneyline. You either bet on the favorite or the underdog. If the team you backed wins the game, you win your bet.

Another option is the puckline. This is similar to the point spread in football. Each team is assigned a number. Unlike a point spread, however, almost all pucklines on favorites tend to be set at -1.5 goals, or on occasion -1 goal. Betting with the puckline can get a player better odds on a favorite than playing a straight moneyline wager. And playing the underdog in the puckline gives a bettor a cushion that offers their bet a slightly better chance of cashing.

Suppose the Detroit Red Wings are playing host to the New York Islanders. The home team, the Red Wings are listed in the puckline as -1.5. They’ve been set by oddsmakers as the betting favorite in the game.

Should you choose to wager on the Red Wings, they are assigned a -1.5 goal deficit when the puck drops. It’s as if the Islanders take the ice holding a 1.5-0 lead on the scoreboard.

In order for your bet on the Red Wings to cash, Detroit will be required to win the game by at least two goals.

What Does -180 Mean In NHL Betting?

The betting line for an NHL game features three components – the moneyline, the puckline and the total. 

The puckline is like a point spread wager in football, except instead of points, the bettor is giving or getting goals.  

With the total, also referred to as the over/under, the outcome of the game is irrelevant. All that matters is how many goals are scored by the two teams. Bettors wager on wager that number will go over or under the total established by an online sportsbook.

NHL Moneyline

Moneyline wagers are straight bets on the outcome of a game. Whether you bet on the favorite or the underdog, all they need to do is win the game for you to win your bet.

A moneyline bet is based upon a $100 wager. In this instance, the New York Rangers are the underdog. This is indicated by the + sign before the number. At +125, that means if you bet $100 on the Rangers at Caesars NY sportsbook and they won, you would realize a $125 profit from that bet.

At -115, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the favorites. Moneyline odds on favorites are the flip side of the odds on an underdog. It’s telling you how much you’ll need to bet in order to realize a $100 profit on the wager. In this case, you’d need to bet $115 on Pittsburgh to win $100.

Puckline NHL

The puckline works in similar fashion to a point spread on a football game. You are getting or giving goals, depending upon whether you bet on the favorite or underdog. In almost all puckline wagers, the amount you will be giving or getting is 1.5 goals.

At +1.5, the Rangers are the underdogs in the puckline, so you are getting 1.5 goals. It’s as though if you bet on New York with BetRivers, you are starting the game with a 1.5-0 lead. Should the Rangers win the game or lose by one goal, your bet will be a winner.

In the case of the Penguins, they are -1.5. In essence, Pittsburgh is down 1.5-0 when the game gets underway. Bet the Penguins and they’ll need to win the game by two goals or more to cover your wager.

NHL Total Bets

With total wagering, also known as the over/under, the outcome of the game is irrelevant. This wager is all about the final score of the game. The total is a number assigned to the game by oddsmakers as an estimate of how many goals the two teams will combine to score. In this example, it’s 5.5 goals.

As a bettor, you either wager that they will go over or under this total. Thus, a 3-1 Pittsburgh victory would amount to four goals and hit on the under. However, should the Rangers win 4-2, the total would be six and the over is the correct play.


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