Puck Line Betting Explained

Puck Line Betting Explained

Puck line betting is unique to hockey, so an average bettor might not be familiar with it. However, it is just a fancy name for point spread wagering, so it is a straightforward market. In this guide, I will cover everything you need to know about this wagering option, from how it works and examples to tips and strategies to increase your chances of winning.

How Does the Puck Line Work?

When you place a puck line wager, you predict that a certain team will win or lose by a specific number of goals. It is simply the hockey version of spread or handicap betting.

You can bet on the favorite or the underdog with the puck line. The favorite is usually indicated by a negative sign accompanying the spread, e.g., -1.5. On the other hand, the underdog carries a positive sign. I’ll explain this better under examples.

Placing a Puck Line Bet

Follow the steps below to place a puck line wager:

  1. Find a reputable betting site that covers hockey games
  2. Sign up with the sportsbook
  3. Fund your account
  4. Navigate to the hockey section and select the puck line betting option
  5. Choose the game you want to wager on
  6. Select a puck line, set your wager amount, and place your bet.

Puck Line Examples

Say I want to bet on an NHL match between the Florida Panthers and the Boston Bruins. The spread has been set to the standard 1.5, with the Panthers as the favorite and the Bruins as the underdog. The sportsbook will give the Panthers a negative puck line sports betting spread (-1.5), while the Bruins will carry a positive spread (+1.5).

I can decide to wager on either team. If I bet on the Panthers, they need to win by two goals or more for my wager to be successful. On the other hand, staking on the Bruins means they have to win or avoid losing by more than one goal for my bet to win. 

Let’s consider some other puck line examples.

Puck Line 3 Way

You can also have the three-way puck line in hockey betting. Unlike traditional puck lines, this option includes a third outcome: the draw. For instance, with the Panthers being favorites, the sportsbook may set the spreads at +2 for the Bruins, -2 for the Panthers, and -2 for the draw outcome.

If you bet on the Bruins, they must win or avoid losing by more than one goal for your wager to be successful. On the other hand, if you bet on the Panthers, they have to win by at least three goals for your wager to be successful. However, to win a puck line bet draw outcome in this match, the Panthers must win by exactly two goals.

Alternative Puck Line 2-Way

As the name implies, the option is an alternative to the traditional 1.5 spread option. You can have a 2.5, 3.5, or even 4.5 spread on either team.

 +1.5 Puck Line

As mentioned earlier, placing a +1.5 puck line in betting is a wager on the underdog. You’re simply predicting that the underdog team will win or lose by less than two goals.

-0.5 Puck Line

Following the regular pattern, a -0.5 puck line is on the favorite team. You’re simply predicting the favorite to cover the spread and win by at least one goal.

-1.5 Puck Line 

Again, a wager on the negative spread is a wager on the favorite of two teams. With a -1.5 puck line, you’re predicting that the favorite team would win by at least two goals, covering the spread.

Puck Line -2.5

With this option, you’re betting the puck line on the favorite team to win by at least three goals. For example, a -2.5 puck line on the Panthers as a favorite against the Bruins would mean that they need to beat the Bruins by three goals or more for you to have a winning bet.

Puck Line -3.5

With this option, you’re still betting on the favorite team. However, they have to beat their opponents by four or more goals. If the goal margin is less than 4, you lose the bet.

Live Betting NHL Puck Lines

Placing a puck line live bet means you’re wagering on the puck line as the game goes on in real time. The best time for a live puck line wager is usually towards the final minutes of the game.

To have an extra attacking player and hopefully equalize, most NHL teams usually pull their goalies when they’re down by one or two goals in the final minutes. It gives the leading team the opportunity to expand their lead by scoring in an empty net. As a bettor, you can take advantage of this scenario to bet live on the leading team to cover a 0.5, 1.5, or 2.5 spread, extending their lead.

Puck Line Betting Tips And Strategies

Here are some tips and strategies to employ for more successful wagers in puck line gambling:

Odds Shopping

Odds shopping is simply all about comparing and finding the best odds for the option you want to wager on. You can follow reputable odds comparison websites to compare the puck line odds offered by different sportsbooks before opting for the most favorable ones. Better odds offer better potential returns in the long run, even if they’re just slightly better.

Line-ups and Injuries

Always check the line-up of the teams you’re betting on. It gives you important information about the kind of players starting, which informs your decision. For example, if a team’s number one goalie is sitting out a match, perhaps because of an injury, it may be an opportunity to bet the -1.5 puck line on their opponents, especially if the goalie stand-in is not as good.

Stats should be a major determinant in the wagering choices of sports gamblers. By studying historical data, you can identify teams that score a lot of goals and those that do not. You can then place your puck line wagers based on this information. There are several reputable sports stats tools online to help you achieve this.

Puck Line vs Moneyline

Unlike the puck line, a money line bet predicts the outright winner of a hockey game. Let’s compare the two and consider when it’s best to use each one.

Puck Line Moneyline
A bet involving the number of goals scored. A wager on which team will win the game.
It can be an ideal option for wagering on underdogs. Betting on the underdog is usually risky.
Best used when you believe the favorite will win by a wide margin or the underdog can keep the game close and concede less. Best used when you need a team to win regardless of margin.
Puck line bets are slightly more complex. Straightforward win/loss bet.

Should You Bet on the Puckline?

Hockey betting is mostly about moneyline wagers, so the puck line is a more attractive market with better chances of winning. However, regardless of which choice you make, your wagers must be backed by adequate research. You should also compare odds between sportsbooks to maximize your profits in the long run.

Rebecca E
Writer & Media

Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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