It is quite simple to bet on hockey using the puck line as one simply must handicap each team based on a 1½ point spread and evaluate the different prices that are offered. Most gamblers do not bet on hockey exclusively with the puck line, but this type of hockey bet frequently offers the best option for wagering on an NHL matchup.
A bet on hockey using the puck line is based on a simple 1½ point handicap that is applied to each game. Therefore, making a hockey bet with the puck line differs from wagering on a side in either football or basketball, because in those sports the line varies between different games depending on the matchup. However, because there is a uniform 1½ point handicap applied to each hockey game, the prices for each team vary, rather than being almost always -110. For example, to bet on hockey one may handicap the following hypothetical matchup: Carolina Hurricanes -1½ -160 vs. Washington Capitals +1½ +140. In this matchup, to hockey bet with the puck line supporting the Hurricanes the squad must win by two or more goals for the hockey bet to win. Given the -160 line, it is clear that Carolina is highly favored over the Capitals, and there is a good chance that to bet on hockey supporting the Hurricanes will pay off. Nevertheless, anyone who chooses to bet on hockey supporting the Capitals only needs the team to avoid losing by two or more goals. In other words, a hockey bet on the Capitals will win even if Washington loses 2-3. The +140 price indicates that there is a high likelihood the Capitals will fail to cover the line, but anyone who chooses to bet on hockey supporting the Capitals will receive a relatively large payout if the team successfully covers.
Besides the puck line, the money line is the other common wager gamblers utilize to bet on hockey. The puck line is not necessarily the best option for every hockey bet, but there is no doubt that gamblers should choose it frequently when they bet on hockey. In fact, to bet on hockey with the puck line can provide advantages when wagering both on the favorite and the underdog. For instance, when you bet on hockey supporting the favorite you may not want to accept a huge price with the money line. However, if you are confident the team will win by several goals then you can wager on the puck line and not have to risk as much. If you want to bet on hockey supporting the underdog then the puck line obviously gives you a cushion that makes winning the wager much more probable. Rather than having to win the matchup outright, with the puck line a team simply needs to avoid losing by two or more goals. This fact is very significant when one considers that many games end in shootouts and a shootout gives the winning team a one point victory.
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