NHL is fun and exciting with lots of ice-action, making sports book happy to provide bettors with a means of playing their systems and hunches by listing the lines for games played. NHL offers three main types of lines; moneylines, totals and pucklines.

  1. Moneylines are simple bets on who wins the game. As teams are not equal, bookmakers adjust lines to reflect this. The bets usually include shootout round, overtime and if the game is tied after overtime.
  1. Pucklines are bets with a prop of ‘will the favored team win by 2 or more goals?’. There are suitable bets compensating the fact even if the favored team wins the game, NHL games are decided by a goal. Games going into overtime means an automatic win if you have a +1.5 puckline.
  1. Bets placed on the total number of goals by both teams are called totals where the normal totals range from 5 to 7, with 5.5 being the most common. There usually is a large amount of juice on either side when totals are posted.

In case there are 6 or more goals in the game, you win $100 for every $100 risked and if there are less than 5 goals, you win $100 for every $100 wagered. Bookmakers consider it easier to attach juice on totals like 5.5 to encourage some action instead of increasing the total to 6.

This is because chances are that the game will end under 6 or exactly on 6 to give lopsided action on the under. Each half goal is important to NHL, which is reflected by the juice.


A recent trend would be betting on Detroit to win at home. With Detroit winning 21 straight wins on home ice, it’s a moneymaker if you had backed them from the start. Other trends to look out for are playing out over a few days, months or years.

Like baseball, the goalie too has a big place in hockey. Hot goalies give the entire team a lift which can ride through all wins. Nothing is more deflating to a team which scores 6 goals only to lose 7-6 in overtime due to a soft goal.

To bet on this trend, check recent play for teams you plan to bet on. Check the puckline of goalies showing great play lately as great play from goalies can keep a team within a goal if they aren’t winning outright.

Home ice advantage affects the NHL as some teams are practically unstoppable at home and others, hover around. Though bookies are aware of this, heavy public may force books to adjust lines beyond their fair value to scoop up ‘unfavorable’ teams at a great price. Underdogs at home are a good play as home ice advantage is largely underestimated by the public who see each team’s record and bets on the team with the better record.

Hockey books

As hockey is one of the smaller major sports in America, there aren’t many ‘hockey specific’ books. Some books however offer better value than others. If you want different options, look for books offering a variety of NHL bets.

If you are looking for quick payouts or various withdrawal options, check online reviews for a book providing that and stick to it. Common offering differentiating books from each are other are game props, futures, team props, individual period betting, live betting, alternate totals and pucklines. It’s better to peruse various books, check the betting types offered and find one suiting your style of play.

Major hockey events

While many bets take place during the regular season, there has been a spike in the following three annual games and the Olympics.

  • NHL All Star Game is a mid-season recreational game of best league players.
  • NHL Stanley Cup happens after playoffs in May or June, based on the length of the game. The final game is between the league’s best two teams.
  • Winter Olympics held every 4 years have teams competing for the gold. So huge is the event that NHL postpones their games to accommodate these participating players.