How to Make Money Betting the NHL Puck Line

How to make money betting the NHL puck line.

Key Points

– Smart bettors can make money betting the NHL puck line.

– Finding value is the key to making money betting on hockey.

How to Make Money Betting the NHL Puck Line

Betting on hockey is a lot of fun. One of the ways to wager on hockey is on the puck line. There are a few reasons why NHL betting should be on your radar. 

First, hockey doesn’t receive as much betting attention as other sports do. Lines for games aren’t set by most sportsbooks until the morning before a game that night. That leaves plenty of time for smarter bettors to find lines that aren’t as sharp as they could be. 

Savvy bettors can find an advantage when betting on hockey and specifically when they are betting the NHL puck line. NHL hockey bets are a great way to capitalize at your sportsbook.

What Is the Puck Line

Betting on baseball is the sport that most closely parallels betting on hockey. The puck line is comparable to the run line in baseball. 

Both sports do not see a lot of scoring. Games ending in scores of 4-3 and 3-2 are common in both sports. This makes point spread betting a little different in both sports.

In hockey, the puck line – which is the equivalent of the point spread – is set at 1.5 goals for virtually every game. What this means is that if you bet on the puck line favorite, that team must win by at least two goals in order to cover the spread. 

It’s more challenging to win by two goals instead of one. The risk in betting the NHL puck line on the favorite is typically higher than just betting on a team to win. Because the payoffs on the puck line can be significantly higher, smart bettors will search for value in this market. 


Empty Net Goals

On the surface, there is a significant distinction between the puck line in hockey and the run line in baseball. It is much easier for teams to score runs in baseball than it is for teams to score goals in hockey. 

It’s easier for MLB teams to win by two. However, one factor does level the playing field between the two sports – the empty net goal. 

Late in NHL games, a team trailing by one will often pull the goalie and put an extra skater on the ice. If they tied the game, of course, they could force overtime. This gives that team an advantage with the extra skater, but it leaves that team susceptible to giving up another goal. 

Pulling the goalie gives the team that is ahead an empty net to shoot at. You’ll see this happen from time to time where a team ahead by one late in a game ends up covering the puck line with a late empty net goal.

Betting the NHL Puck Line Example

The power of a puck line bet can be very well illustrated by an example. Let’s say the Detroit Red Wings are playing at the Edmonton Oilers. The Red Wings are on a roll, and are one of the better teams in the league. 

Edmonton is going through a rough patch and is in the midst of rebuilding its team. With Detroit so hot and because they have played well on the road all season, the Red Wings are -140 moneyline favorites. Given their roster and how well they are playing, it’s no surprise Detroit is favored.

The question for the bettor is this – can the Red Wings win by at least two? The power of betting the NHL puck line and pulling a goalie is evident in this example. 

Edmonton keeps the game close and the score is 2-1 in favor of Detroit late in the third period. The Oilers pull their goalie and the Red Wings capitalize with a late empty-net goal. They win 3-1. 

Now, you could have wagered $140 to win $100 on Detroit on the moneyline. For $40 less, you could wagered $100 and won $200 by betting the Red Wings +200 on the puck line. When you can find instances like this, real money can be made.

Have a Plan

There is no denying the effectiveness of the puck line. However, if you are not careful in your role as a handicapper for the NHL, there are problems that can lead to you becoming a losing sports bettor. If you are betting the puck line without a strategy, you run the risk of losing a significant amount of money. 

Regardless of the substantial payouts, placing random bets on NHL puck lines is a recipe for disaster.  When considering placing a wager on the puckline, there are some things you need to consider.

Defensive Matchups

When you are trying to handicap the puck line, you should pay special attention to how well the other team defends its opponents’ top two lines. Take note of the goaltender.

Remember that home teams have the advantage of last line change. That means they can match lines depending on who the opponent puts on the ice. Look at how the top lines played in previous games and previous games against this opponent. 

It is strongly recommended that you do not bet the puck line if you anticipate that the top lines will not have a productive game. 

Be Certain of Advantage When Betting the NHL Puck Line

Be absolutely certain that you have an advantage before betting the NHL puck line. Remember, you are betting that one team will not only win against another team, but that they will also dominate the other team. 

Because of this, you need to put in the additional effort to guarantee that your advantage is as significant as you believe it to be. If your edge is not large enough, then you may need to sit out this game or bet in another market. 

Examine Past Results

Examine the past results of both teams. In handicapping NHL games, look for games worthy of a play on the puck line. Go and research the results of the previous ten contests played by each of the two teams. 

You want to see that one team either won or lost a significant number of those last ten games by multiple goals. If you don’t find either of these circumstances, you might shy away and not place your bet.