In the NHL and all of the other hockey leagues the odds will be posted in a moneyline format just like practically every other sport. Once you’ve learned how to read hockey odds once you won’t need to do again as its super simple to learn. All you need to be able to do is some simple math which you should have learned back in grade school. Make sure that you understand what the odds mean before betting because the last thing you want to happen is lose a bet because you misread the odds.
To understand hockey odds you need to really pay attention to the sign in front of the odds. When the sign is a (-) it means you need to pay the juice on the game and if the sign is a (+) it means you’ll make more then double your money on the bet. The favourite will always have odds posted with a (-) sign, but the underdog may have odds posted with either a (-) or (+) sign.
• Toronto Maple Leafs +220 vs. Calgary Flames -185
By using the information in the above paragraph you’ll be able to determine that the Flames are the big favourites over the Leafs in the game. If you pick the Flames to win you’d need to bet $185 to win $100. If you decided to go with the underdog Maple Leafs you’d win $220 on a $100 bet. The only thing you need to remember is that the (-) sign means you need to pay the juice on the wager and the (+) sign means that the house pays the juice.
Types of Hockey Bets
• Straight Wagers – The most popular bets in hockey are straight wagers. The two most popular straight wagers include picking which team will win the game and picking the over/under of a posted goal total. Players can also bet on single periods if they would like with most sportsbooks.
• Goal Line Wagers – A goal line wager is when you’re taking a team to win by a given amount of points or taking a team not to lose by a given amount of points. Typically you can find goal lines ranging from -1 - -2.5. The odds get really good when taking goal line wagers and you can often find odds nearing the +500 range on favourites with a -2.5 spread. In hockey not a lot of teams win by 3+ goals, but there are definitely occasions during the season where it happens and it could definitely pad your bankroll nicely.
• Future Wagers – In the NHL you can bet on quite a few different futures wagers including what team will win each division, which team will win each conference, which team will win the Stanley Cup, which players will win the yearly NHL awards and much more. Most sportsbooks will post over/under lines for regular season wins by each team and this is a great way to have some fun while watching your team play all season long.
• Prop Wagers – Most sportsbooks offer prop wagers for every NHL game where you can bet on different outcomes such as player with the most goals, most shots on goal, most saves, most assists, most hits and much more. Often you’ll find players in groupings of 2-5 where you need to pick the player that will win.