HOCKEY BETTING GUIDE
Hockey is Canada’s unofficial official sport and North America’s favourite winter game. With heavy-hitting action and approximately 1,271 regular season games, there are tons of exciting matchups to wager on. If you’re thinking about putting your money down, check out these key takeaways before betting on hockey.
3 popular markets in hockey:
A bet on which team will win.
A bet on whether one team’s score will beat or cover an assigned point handicap or margin. Hockey’s version of a Point Spread.
A bet on whether the total number of points will fall over or under an assigned total. Also known as ‘totals’.
- Puck Line bets can be based on whole numbers but are often set at 1.5 to avoid a ’Push’—forcing the favourite to have to win by 2 or more goals to ‘beat’ the spread.
- North America’s major pro hockey league has a regular season of 1,271 games.
- PROLINE+ lets you bet on hockey leagues from North America and around the world.
Every choice you make when betting on hockey has associated odds that indicate which bet is more likely to win, and what the potential payout will be if it does. Here’s an example of a hockey Moneyline market, showing decimal odds:
Decimal odds are the default on PROLINE+, and relatively simple for calculating payouts. When you see a decimal figure like 1.62 or 2.40 on a betting line, you’re dealing with decimal odds. The decimal amount tells you your potential payout and whether you’re betting on the favourite or the underdog:
- Potential payouts are calculated by multiplying your wager amount with the decimal odds. E.g., If you won a $10 bet with odds of 2.40, the full payout would be $24 (including the original bet).
- The higher number is the underdog, or the less likely outcome. A riskier bet with a higher potential reward.
- The lower number is the favourite, AKA the more likely outcome. A safer bet with a lower potential reward.
Moneyline markets in hockey are simply about picking which team will win a game, the underdog or favourite.
In this example, the odds tell us that Ottawa is the underdog and Toronto is the favourite. Making a Moneyline bet is as simple as selecting whichever team you think will win, outright, without spreads or totals.
Bets on the favourite payout less if they win since that’s the expected outcome. Bets on the underdog payout much more if they win since that outcome is less likely.
A Puck Line is hockey’s version of a Point Spread market. It’s all about guessing whether one of the teams will score over, or within an assigned handicap, (the ‘spread’). Puck Lines are often set to 1.5, but can be set to other figures including whole figures. If set at 1.5, then favourites are assigned a -1.5 Puck Line, while underdogs are assigned a +1.5 Puck Line.
|PUCK LINE (MATCH)|
Above is an example of a Puck Line market. The puck line (1.5) is the number beside each team’s name:
- Ottawa is +1.5—if they lose by less than 1.5 points (or win the game), they win the puck line bet.
- Toronto is -1.5—if they win by more than 1.5 points, they win the puck line bet.
From a betting perspective, the Puck Line keeps a game competitive and interesting. An underdog team can lose the game but still win the bet, while a favoured team must do more than just win and score beyond the spread to win the bet.
An Over/Under market is a about whether the total number of points scored in a game will go over or under a set total. This is why you’ll often see them referred to as ‘Totals’.
In the example above, you’re betting on whether the combined total score of both teams will add up to over or under 5.5. In this example, the over is a safer bet. It offers a lower payout if you win, but higher odds of winning.
OTHER COMMON MARKETS & BET TYPES
Period markets are simply about whether you think something will happen by the end of one of the three periods of the game. It could be a Point Spread or Over/Under that is specific to a period, or it could be a Prop Bet—like whether or not there will be a goal in the 3rd period. It all revolves around different periods of play within the game.
Prop Bets or ‘props’ are a type of market for specific outcomes in a game (‘game props’) or outcomes related to a player’s performance (‘player props’). Prop Bets are sometimes made as ‘yes/no’ or ‘either/or’ decisions, and in hockey can often intersect with other betting factors like totals. Will the game go into overtime? Which player will score a goal? These are examples of Prop Bets.
A Parlay is when you have multiple selections on one betslip, and each one of them must win for the overall Parlay to win. The more selections you have in one Parlay, the less likely it is to win, so the bigger the payoff if it does. You can combine different markets (e.g., Puck Lines, Moneylines, and Over/Under from different games and sports into the same Parlay bet.
Combiboost: PROLINE+ offers a bonus multiplier when you add 4 or more eligible selections to any Parlay. If you win, the Combiboost will enhance your payout rate. Learn more about Combiboost.
PROLINE+ gives you the ability to bet on games as they are happening, with dynamic odds that constantly update in response to what happens in the game.
CHECK THE LINEUPS
Hockey teams are made up of lines and those lines have history and chemistry. At any moment during games, coaches can switch up the lines, potentially changing the play dynamics within and between teams. Being able to catch those changes and understand how they might impact the game (and in-game bets) requires deep knowledge of each team.
KNOW THE SCHEDULES
Scheduling over a thousand games in a season isn’t easy. Sometimes leagues have to reschedule games or periods of play to make up for some that were cancelled or postponed. This might mean the teams involved are forced to play more than usual, travelling long hours, and getting less rest. If you can reasonably assume a team may be exhausted based on their schedule and travel distance, their opponent might have an edge.
KNOW THE TEAMS
Past performance is not a guarantee of how a team will do in the future, but there are some potentially reliable statistics that can inform who you think will win or lose. If one team has a consistently better performance in key areas like shots, turnovers, or goaltending, then they might outperform in their next matchup. Of course, there’s always the chance of an underdog pulling off an upset, so use team stats with caution.
SET A PERSONAL WIN LIMIT
It’s no fun to be up and then lose it all. Counter it by deciding on a win limit—the point at which you plan to walk away, even if you’re up. Some players set this at double their bankroll.
THINK ABOUT LOCATION
Home team advantage might sound like pure superstition, but there is some serious research backing its benefit. It makes sense: the crowd’s on your side, you’re not tired from travel, and all of this helps to put you in a positive mindset that can focus on the game. Give consideration to the location of the game, but don’t bank on it as a guaranteed win.
COMMON HOCKEY BETTING MISTAKES
NOT KNOWING THE LINEUPS
Imagine this: a team is on a winning streak, but tonight their backup goalie is going to be in net, so they’re more likely to underperform. If that ends up being the case, then a Moneyline bet against them would have been a good bet. Knowing the lineup can help you make an informed bet.
You can’t know for sure how players and teams will perform, but you can still factor in historical stats and game developments into your decision-making. That said, knowledge can only go so far—it’s not as powerful (or as fun) as the random chance of the game.
MISMANAGING YOUR BANKROLL
Not establishing a bankroll and planning how much you’re going to spend could result in betting more than you’d intended, which might take the fun out of things for you.
BETTING ONLY ON YOUR FAVOURITE TEAM
The hockey season features a ton of games, and it’s hard for even the best teams to maintain wins throughout the season—eventually fatigue catches up. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on betting the favoured team, or if you often bet on your favourite team.
TRACKING WINS AND FORGETTING LOSSES
People have a funny habit of remembering the good and forgetting the bad. Sometimes this carries through to their betting. Keep an accurate tally of how much you’ve won and lost for a truer sense of what you’re spending over time.