How to Read NHL Hockey Betting Lines

Most people are aware of sports betting and how to read betting lines, but not many know how to read hockey betting lines. After all, there’s not a lot of variance in the game – it’s usually either a win or a lose scenario. That said, it’s still fun to follow the game and wager on the outcome. Below, you’ll discover how to read the odds and what to look out for when betting on hockey games.

The Basics

Hockey is a fast-paced game that requires a lot of movement. There are five on-ice players that touch the puck every time it’s in play, including the goalkeeper. Meanwhile, the defense consists of six skaters that each take a shift and a single defender in most cases. As a result, it’s quite common for there to be seven or eight goals scored in a game. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the total goals scored line in order to determine the winner.

In terms of the hockey season, it begins in the winter and ends in the summer. Games are usually played on ice rinks – either indoors or outdoors – with a couple of exceptions, including the Winter Classic, a regular season game that pits two big-market teams against each other. The total game time is usually two hours, with at least three or four overtimes. It should be noted that overtime periods do not count as official game time.

The Ice Time Line

As the name implies, the ice time line is simply a graphic that indicates how many minutes have been played on the ice as of the publishing of this article. In other words, it shows you how much time is left in the game. Although the ice time line is quite simple, it can still be used to determine the winner of the game. In fact, since hockey is a zero sum game, if you happen to wager on a team that is trailing, the ice time line can still work in your favor. The key is to keep an eye on the latest developments and be among the first to take advantage of any changes. The below example shows the ice time line for the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators game from November 26, 2019.

As you can see, the game is still ongoing, but already close to the end with just under two minutes left in regulation time. This is bad news for the Nashville Predators, who had been gaining ground over the greater part of the game. However, if you’re a fan of the Boston Bruins, you might want to consider getting some bets in before the end. In this case, you’d better hope for some sort of miracle because otherwise, the game will end and your wagers will not be considered.

Overall Odds

If you’d like to wager on hockey, online betting firms such as DraftKings and FanDuel offer a variety of money-making opportunities, including the popular over/under wagering option. One important thing to keep in mind is that the overall odds are usually very good because there’s so little variance in the game. For example, if you wager on the over/under, the spread is usually between 1 and 2 points so you’d have a good chance of profiting from a win or losing bet.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to take the home team and, whenever possible, avoid laying bet on the underdog. In other words, the Bruins have a lot of experience beating the Predators and vice versa. As a result, the former is likely to win by a comfortable margin.

That’s all there is to know about reading hockey betting lines. Simply keep in mind the basics and you’ll have no problem winning or losing. Of course, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could always venture into the jungle of exotic bets offered by online betting sites for those looking for value-betting opportunities.