One of the best NHL hockey betting markets is the moneyline bet. Moneylines are common throughout sports betting, and the sport of hockey is no exception to that rule. Unlike NHL totals and NHL spreads, the only thing that matters in NHL moneyline betting is which team wins the game. And with NHL moneylines being available in the regular season and playoffs through the Stanley Cup Finals, this is one of the most common NHL betting markets. In this guide to NHL moneylines, find out how moneylines work and how to place a moneyline bet.
For a bettor, the goal of the NHL moneyline bet is to simply predict the winner of hockey games. Unlike NHL puck lines, which are point spread bets for NHL games, the margin of victory does not matter. And unlike total betting, the total number of goals scored does not matter. The only thing that matters for the purposes of a moneyline bet is whether or not the team being bet on wins the game. And unlike future odds, these bets are settled in just one game for a fast payout on winning bets.
In NHL moneyline betting, there is a favorite and an underdog in each game. The favorite has odds that begin with a minus sign. That number for the favorite indicates the amount that a bettor needs to risk in order to win $100. The underdog has odds that begin with a plus sign. That number indicates the amount that a bettor would win if they risked $100 on that underdog.
For the same amount risked, a bettor receives a bigger payout when the underdog wins than if they were to put the same amount on the favorite. Because of that, betting on underdogs is very popular in the moneyline market.
In the NHL, there are two main types of moneyline bets. The first is a two-way moneyline bet, where oddsmakers ask bettors to pick the winner of the game at any time. In this market, the game can be won in regulation, overtime or a shootout. There is also a three-way moneyline, where each team is an option as well as a tie. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the tie option is the winner of the bet.
In this example of an NHL moneyline wager, the Vegas Golden Knights are playing against the New York Rangers. The Golden Knights are a -150 favorite to win the game, while the Rangers have moneyline odds of +125 as an underdog. This means that a bettor would need to risk $150 to win $100 if they bet on the Golden Knights. And if they bet $100 on the Rangers, they would come away with $125 if that team wins.
For the purposes of this example, let’s say that the Golden Knights and Rangers were tied at the end of regulation, but the Knights won in a shootout. In a two-way moneyline bet, the Golden Knights would be considered the winners of this bet. If this was a three-way moneyline, with the tie being an option at the end of regulation, the tie would have been the winner of the wager.
There are some important things to integrate into your NHL betting strategy when betting on the money line in this league. Chief among them is to keep an eye on the goaltender matchups heading into each game. In the regular season, a hockey team often rotates its goalies to keep their starter fresh before the postseason. Because of that, a bookmaker may adjust their NHL odds depending on how severe a downgrade the backup is compared to the starter.
Another item to consider before placing NHL moneyline bets is that being the home team doesn’t always mean winning a game. Betting sites know that home ice advantage is one of the criteria bettors weigh heavily before placing bets. But in a high variance sport like the NHL, home ice doesn’t matter as much as the small bounces and deflections that decide a game on a given day. Bettors shouldn’t lay extra juice just because of home ice advantage.
How to place an NHL moneyline bet depends on the laws in a bettor’s individual state. Some states allow for online sports betting through legal sportsbooks such as DraftKings, while others only allow for in-person sports gambling. Other states, of course, do not yet allow for legal sports gambling. Bettors should be aware of the laws in their own states before trying to place an NHL bet.
For states that do have legal sports betting, the sportsbooks that offer NHL moneylines often offer other bet types as well. Hockey bettors can make a puck line bet or wager on the total score of games. They can often place more exotic hockey bets as well, such as an NHL futures bet, parlay or prop bet.