What Does -1.5 Mean in Hockey Betting?

Hockey is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting, with many people placing bets on the games they love to follow. But, what does -1.5 mean in hockey betting, and how can you use it to your advantage? Let’s find out!

The Basics

When someone places a bet on a hockey game, there is usually no set point spread involved. Therefore, regardless of whether the game is played at a 4-4 draw or a 5-3 victory, the bettors win or lose the same amount.

This is why -1.5 is so intriguing to bettors. Because, depending on the game’s result, the payout can either be a gain or loss, but it is always a flat line bet. What this means is that if the game ends up being, for example, a 1-1 draw, then both players have exactly the same amount to win or lose. This is why -1.5 is considered a ‘push’ in hockey betting, as the puck hasn’t moved from its position at the beginning of play. Hence, the name ‘zero inches of play.’

The Lingo

In hockey, there is a lot of betting lingo that you need to get familiar with. The main terms you will need to know are:

  • Moneyline
  • Over/Under
  • Parity
  • Double/Straight Up
  • Pick/Pair

These terms will be explained in more detail below.


For those who are not familiar, the moneyline is the line that is staked on the game. So, in the example above, the moneyline would be +1000/-1000, as the bookmaker is taking the side of the home team, the Senators. This is a short way of saying that the home team is going to win the game, and the odds are going to reflect this. You can also think of the moneyline as the consensus in the betting market at any given moment before the game starts.

To determine the exact moneyline for a given game, you will need to look at the summation of the spreads on both teams. So, in the example above, the moneyline would be (Sens -1000+(Wash+Atl+)1000) / (Sens +1000-(Wash+Atl+)1000), as the two teams have a combined spread of -2000, making the over/under 10 units. It is also important to note that for hockey betting, the number of units bet is irrelevant, as long as you are betting the right amount and on the right team —- it does not matter whether you bet 1 or 10 units.


An over-under is a straightforward wager where you either stake on the team to win more or to lose more than a set amount. For instance, if the over/under is set at 5 goals, and the favorite wins by 6, the bettors win an amount equal to (and in this case, the over wins) the set amount of goals, while those who staked on the under lose the amount they were betting on the over to win. This is a popular type of bet in hockey, mainly because any given team might win or lose by more than expected, making it a winner-take-all wager.

The reverse is also possible, where the underdog wins and the bettors win what they were betting on, while the favorites lose the amount they were staked. This is why it is crucial to keep track of both teams’ spreads in cases like this —- it is easy to lose sight of which team is which when the spreads are similar and the games are close. For those who are new to betting but would like to wager on hockey, it is advisable to stick with the straightforward over/under, as this type of bet is extremely easy to understand and use.


The parity conditions for a given game depend on whether or not the two teams are evenly matched. The term ‘parity’ stems from horse racing, where a horse that runs against a fellow undefeated racehorse is considered ‘par’ —- or even.

For example, if the over/under is 5 goals, and the two teams are evenly matched with no injuries to either squad, then the final score of the game will be 5-5, with the two teams winning the same amount. In situations like this, the bookmaker will not take sides, resulting in a push. But, if one team is clearly superior to the other, the bookmaker will favor the superior team, no questions asked. This is why in cases of extreme parity, it is almost always a push. In cases of extreme parity, it is almost always a push.

Double/Straight Up

Double up or straight up is a wager where you either win or lose what you are betting. This type of bet gives the bettor the opportunity to parlay his or her winnings from one game into another. For example, if the over/under for a given game is 5 goals and the favorite wins by 6, the bettor can double up on this result, playing 5-4-1 on the total score of the game. Or, if the favorite wins by 3 and the over/under is 5, the bettor can ‘straight up’ on this result, playing 3-6 on the total score of the game. This type of bet is easy to use and understand, as it requires no calculations —- all you need to do is consult the bookmaker’s website to see all the current odds for the different outcomes of the game.


The pick is when you bet on the outcome of a game, while the pair is when you bet on the game’s total number of goals. For example, if it is a playoff game and you choose the underdogs, then you are placing a pick, and if you stake the over/under, you are setting up a pair. It is very easy to lose sight of which team you are picking for the underdog situation, and in cases like this, it is advisable to use picks as opposed to pairs, as it makes it easier for the bettor to keep track of all his or her wagers, as well as the various conditions attached to them. However, if you are extremely experienced in sports betting, you can use picks to your advantage and place them strategically in cases where you can correctly predict the winner of a game. For example, if you think the Montreal Canadiens are going to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game, you can place a pick on the Canadiens, and another pair on the Lightning —- it is often beneficial to spread picks across different games, as this can net you profits in the long run when you factor in the spread of winning bets on different teams and games.

Why Are All These Terms Important?

To start, let’s take a minute to examine the importance of understanding these terms. First, the moneyline is always a key consideration. This is how the bookmakers make their money —- taking bets on both competitive teams and paying out on the moneyline. In cases where there is extreme parity, it is almost always a push —- this is where the bookmakers make their money.

The over/under is also important to keep an eye on, as this is how much the bookmaker is willing to risk on a given game. The point spread is also essential, as the bookmakers make their money on the spreads, especially during the season, when games are more frequent. However, parity conditions are also key to examine, as you never know when they might come into play. If you do your research and keep track of the various conditions for each team and game, then you will be able to maximize your profits in the long term.