Puck Line Betting – Meaning and Implications of This Bet Type
When it comes to sports betting, all of the most popular sports share three betting markets.
These betting markets are the Moneyline (full-time result), the spread (handicap), and the over/under (total) market.
And just like these markets are sometimes referred to by different names in different parts of the world, they are also sometimes known under different names depending on the sports people are talking about.
Today we are going to talk about the betting market that bookmakers and bettors call the puck line.
What Is Puck Line Betting?
The puck line is one of the many betting markets that bookmakers offer on hockey matches. It is also one of the most popular betting options for this game.
In essence, the puck line is another name for handicap or spread betting and the only difference is that this term is exclusively used for hockey betting.
Just like they use the handicap markets in other sports, bookmakers use the puck line to create a market in which the odds for both teams in a hockey match will be more equal than on the Moneyline markets.
Most bookmakers offer 2-way and 3-way puck line markets. However, bettors mostly bet on the 2-way puck line and most of this article will about the 2-way puck line.
How Does Puck Line Betting Work?
Bookmakers create the puck line by giving a goal disadvantage to the favorites or giving a goal advantage to the underdogs, however you want to look at it.
The most common puck line is -1.5 goals, but depending on the game and the bookmaker, you will find lower and higher handicaps.
For example, the puck line for an NHL game might be displayed like this:
|NJ Devils||CAL Flames|
|Line||+1.5 2.05||-1.5 1.80|
Based on the fact that there is a minus sign before the handicap under the CAL Flames we can conclude that the Flames are the favorite in this game.
The -1.5 handicap means that 1.5 goals will be subtracted from their goal score at the end of the game.
So if you place a bet on the CAL Flames, you need them to beat the NJ Devils by at least two goals.
On the other side, the +1.5 handicap on the NJ Devils means that 1.5 goals will be added to their goal score at the end of the game.
If you place a bet on the NJ Devils, you will win your bet if they win, draw, or lose by less than two goals.
What Does Overtime Mean For The Puck Line?
Overtime and shootouts are included in the puck line market. The rules of the game of hockey are such that if a hockey match goes to overtime or the shootout, the game will end with a one-goal difference.
This means that if you have a bet on the 2-way puck line and the game goes to extra time you will immediately know the outcome of your bet.
If you placed a bet on the favorite, your bet is lost since the puck line is -1.5 goals and the maximum goal difference in overtime can be one goal.
The same goes if you placed a puck line bet on the underdog. In this case, you have a winning bet since the handicap line is +1.5 and the maximum goal difference in the overtime can be one goal.
How Does 3-way Puck Line Betting Work?
The puck line market that has three possible outcomes is called the 3-way puck line.
Apart from giving players the option to bet on the favorite and the underdog, the 3-way puck line also gives players the option to bet on the draw.
For example, the 3-way puck line for an NHL game might be displayed like this:
|NJ Devils||Tie||CAL Flames|
|Line||+2 2.05||+2 5.50||-2 2.40|
Because the 3-way puck line gives players one more option to bet on than the 2-way puck line, the odds are slightly different.
If you place a bet on the CAL Flames, you need them to win with at least a three-goal difference because 2 goals will be deducted from their goal score at the end of the match.
If you decide to bet on the NJ Devils, you will win your bet if the Devils win, if the game ends in a draw, or if they lose with less than 2 goals.
A bet on the tie means that you will win your bet only if the CAL Flames win the game with exactly two goals of difference because 2 goals will be deducted from their score.
What Is the Difference Between Puck Line Betting And Moneyline Betting?
The main differences between the puck line and the money line bet types are in the fact that in one case you are betting on which team will win the game and in the other case you are betting on how big the goal difference will be.
Players who like to bet on the favorites often bet on the puck line since it gives them a better possible return on their investments.
On the other hand, players who like to bet on the underdogs usually bet on the Moneyline since it gives them a chance for a bigger payout.
In the end, for amateur bettors, it all comes down to personal preference.
However, if you want to take betting seriously you should have both options in your arsenal and use them whenever an opportunity to increase your bottom line appears.
Puck Line Betting Strategies
If you decide that you want to add puck line betting to your set of betting skills there are a few strategies you can employ to improve your betting line.
All of the puck line betting strategies have one thing in common, which is finding the betting odds with the most value.
This element of sports betting is universal and you should implement it no matter what sports or markets you are betting on.
By opening an account on multiple betting sites, you have the best chance to find value odds.
Bookmakers adjust the odds according to news and the public’s betting patterns from the moment they release them to the moment the game starts.
Some bookmakers change odds faster, some do it slower, and others don’t do it as often as they should.
You can take advantage of this by placing bets on the highest odds available and thus making it more profitable than if you only had a betting account with one online bookmaker.
Watch Hockey Games
Watching games isn’t nearly as important as many amateur bettors think, but it is still one of the elements you should implement in your betting game.
Watching games will not help you from a strategic point because, let’s face it, you won’t notice anything that millions before you hadn’t noticed already.
However, watching hockey games will help you get more familiar with the sport, which will result in you having more confidence when placing hockey bets.
Pay Attention to the Schedule
The travel schedule is always an important part of betting on any sport. Even though ordinary people think athletes are super humans, this is not the case.
Just like every one of us, athletes suffer from fatigue, mood swings, lack of motivation, and game saturation.
While looking into the schedule won't give you insights into their personal life, it will help you understand the dynamics they face in the professional environment.
Pay Attention to the Teams’ Form
As you get more familiar with sports betting, sooner or later you will realize that it is a game of streaks, both when it comes to your bets and the performance of the teams.
Teams that are on hot streaks will often perform much better than they would if they had mixed results.
This is because hot streaks motivate players to perform even better, the chemistry of the team gets better, and they go into every game with confidence.
Our advice is to skip games in which you were planning to bet against underdog teams who are on a hot streak or are in a good form.
Additionally, you might want to reconsider betting on teams that are favorites but have been struggling in recent games.
Home Teams vs. Road Teams
It is a well-known fact that teams in all sports usually perform better at home than on the road, but what most people don’t realize is to what extent this rule applies.
Depending on the maturity of the team, some hockey teams can have impeccable records on their home ice but be less than mediocre when playing away games.
When betting on a puck line take into consideration the record that the team has at home or on the road, depending on your pick. Even the best teams in leagues tend to struggle on the road.