# What Do NHL Betting Lines Mean?

NHL betting lines are usually very simple to understand. They generally denote the total number of goals that will be scored during the game. For example, the Philadelphia Flyers are listed at +175 for the win, while the Colorado Avalanche are listed at -165. When placed on a sportsbook website, this is obviously much easier to comprehend than other types of sports betting odds. However, it’s still relatively easy to misinterpret, so let’s dive into this a little bit more.

## Why Are NHL Betting Lines Typically Set At Even Money?

As mentioned above, most sportsbooks offer even money bets for NHL games. This is primarily because the vast majority of NHL games are fairly balanced. There are rarely any outrageous underdogs or upset winners. It is also because it is very difficult to predict the outcome of an NHL game. Even the most accomplished handicappers rarely pick more than four or five winners from a game featuring eight or nine teams. This is why it’s usually best to go with picks that are well within your means, rather than betting huge amounts of money on upsets, which you might not win. One other reason why the lines are typically set at even money is because it’s difficult to find value in an odd amount. If you are a serious sportsbettor, you will naturally look for value in any market. The same goes for online sportsbooks. This is why they offer 1/2 or 1/3 bets as well, in order to find some value in an odd or even number.

## How Do You Calculate The Goals/Margin Line?

NHL betting lines are usually set with the expected goals/margin as the metric. Calculating goals/margin can be a bit complicated, but most serious handicappers use a combination of two different methods. One is simply by looking at the current trends of the participating teams. The other is by analyzing statistics from the last several seasons. Let’s take a look at how each method works in more detail.

### Method 1: Define The Trends Of The Teams

It’s always a good idea to look at the trends of the teams. This is especially important if you are trying to figure out where to place a wager before the start of the game. If you define the trends of the teams, you can figure out approximately how many goals will be scored in the game. Trend analysis is always a good starting point when trying to figure out the outcome of an NHL game. The trends of each team will determine how you have to adjust your wagering intentions. Let’s take a look at a few key trends, and how you can use them to better wager on NHL games.

### Goaltending

Goaltending is one of the most important factors to consider when predicting the outcome of an NHL game. The quality of the goaltenders will determine how well your wagering strategy will work. A winning wager on goal differential alone will rarely, if ever, pay back. Good goaltenders can make the difference between a win and a loss, and vice versa. This is one reason why it’s usually best to look at the goals/defensemen trend when trying to figure out the outcome of an NHL game. Defending is extremely important in hockey, as your defensemen have to jump into the fray and block shots from the opponent. This is why every team’s defensemen have been on a tear the last couple of seasons. Back in 2014-2015, the St. Louis Blues were the only team in the NHL to allow less than 2.00 goals per game. This year, every team in the league has allowed at least three goals per game. This is why it’s critical to consider goaltending as we make our predictions. It’s also why we need to take a look at the team’s home ice advantage. Some teams are just better than others when it comes to home ice, and this will greatly affect the outcome of the game. As a general rule, it’s always best to avoid betting on goals against, due to there being so many variations in a game, where a team could score a lot of goals in a short period, but then completely fall asleep behind the net and give the puck away the rest of the game. This is why we need to focus more on the trends of the teams than the actual goals scored in a game. In order to calculate the goals/margin for a particular team, you would simply need to subtract the goals the team allows for per game, from the total number of goals the team has scored.

### Power Play And Penalty Kill

Power play and penalty kill are also extremely important factors to consider, especially if you are trying to pick a winner before the start of the game. The man advantage is essentially the players’ chance to score at a much faster pace than the ordinary offensive unit. Most teams are now using two or three lines of players with a couple of face-off men at the very front. The face-off men are responsible for drawing the opposition’s defense into an offensive posture, so that the other players on the ice can take advantage. Face-offs are extremely important, as it is a common occurrence for a team to win a face-off and immediately attack the net. This is why we need to look at the power play and penalty kill trends when trying to figure out the outcome of an NHL game. Games where the power play and/or the penalty kill were effective last year are likely to be pretty close to even this year. Last season was an odd one, as there was a huge disparity between the power play and the penalty kill. The former was 10th in the NHL while the latter was 27th. Fortunately for the bettor, this was very much an anomaly, as the majority of NHL games were quite close. Even this year, the discrepancy between the two is likely to remain close to the same. If you are looking for value, then the power play and penalty kill are places to look. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to profit from these trends, as it is all too easy to underestimate the effectiveness of a highly regarded team’s special teams. This is why it’s usually best not to rely on these trends to directly calculate the number of goals in an NHL game, but instead use them as a base from which you can make further predictions.

### Strength Of The Other Teams

The strength of the other teams is also important to consider, as it determines how easy or difficult it will be for your team to win. Most people think about this when trying to pick a winner before the start of the game. It’s always best to avoid betting on the teams that are directly across from you in the standings. When placing a wager, it’s important to look at the strength of the other teams, so that you can determine how effective your wagering strategy will be. This is why you should look at the following:

• The strength of the opposing teams;
• The overall league standings;
• The injuries to individual players to other teams;
• The weather (the temperature – whether it’s cold or hot); and
• Home ice advantage.

The last two points are extremely important. If you are wagering on a game that will take place in your area, then home ice advantage is likely to be a factor, especially if it’s a night game and you are placing a wager later in the afternoon, on a Saturday, assuming that the game is being played on Friday, etc. In order to determine how effective your wagering strategy will be, you will need to consider all of these factors. It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality it’s very much a case of looking at the facts and using your brain. Calculating the goals/margin for a particular team is very much like math, but there is an art to it that takes some practice. Even the most accomplished handicappers miss on occasion, and this is why it’s always best to keep practicing.

NHL betting lines are usually very simple to understand. They typically denote the total number of goals that will be scored during the game. For example, the Philadelphia Flyers are listed at +175 for the win, while the Colorado Avalanche are listed at -165. When placed on a sportsbook website, this is obviously much easier to comprehend than other types of sports betting odds. However, it’s still relatively easy to misinterpret, so let’s dive into this a little bit more.

## How Do You Calculate The Goals/Margin Line?

NHL betting lines are usually set with the expected goals/margin as the metric. Calculating goals/margin can be a bit complicated, but most serious handicappers use a combination of two different methods. One is simply by looking at the current trends of the participating teams. The other is by analyzing statistics from the last several seasons. Let’s take a look at how each method works in more detail.