Live Odds: NHL Puckline & Totals

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

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NHL Odds Legend

  • Moneyline

    The most popular form of hockey wagering substitutes the point spread since most games are very low scoring. The team you choose only has to win the game, not win by a certain number of goals (or points as in basketball or football). You will see negative values and positive values and these relate to favorites (-180) and underdogs (+160). It's easiest to picture the number 100 sitting in the middle of these two values. For example, if you want to bet a -180 hockey favorite, you would wager $180 in order to win $100 (or on a smaller scale, $18 to win $10). On a +160 underdog, you would risk $100 and win $160 if the underdog wins. It's a simple way to have the risk-reward scenario. Instead of a point spread, you have to risk more to back the favorite and you get a higher payoff by backing the underdog.

  • Puck Line (aka Canadian line)

    This is a combination of the moneyline and a point spread where a team has to win by two or more goals in order to win the wager. The negative value -1.5 indicates that team is favored by 1.5 goals. The positive value +1.5 indicates that team is the underdog by 1.5 goals. Backing the favorite means the team must win by at least two goals to cover the puckline spread. The underdog team can lose by one goal and still cover the spread. With so many one-goal games and shootouts in hockey, this can be profitable. You will see a -115 or +200 value associated with the puck line. This is the moneyline component and indicates how much you need to risk and how much you will profit. For example, if a team is -1.5, +125 and you wagered $100, that means you would profit $125 (+125) if the team wins by two goals or more. On the flip side, a team that is +1.5, -130, you would have to risk $130 (-130) to back the team. If they win the game or only lose by a single goal, you have a winning wager of $100.

  • Total

    Also known as over-under odds, this is generally believed to be the predicted number of goals oddsmakers think will be scored in the game by both teams combined. It is almost always 5 or 5.5 goals as that is the average number of goals per game. Hockey totals can be higher (4.5 in playoffs) or 6 when two high-scoring teams or backup goalies are playing. In totals betting, you are predicting whether the combined score will be more than or less than the total. So when you see 5.5, you are hoping for 6 or more goals if you bet over and hoping for 5 or less if you bet under. Where you see a moneyline value linked to the 5.5, this is the risk-reward amounts for selecting the over or the under. So if you see 5.5, u-110, that means the total is 5.5 goals and you have to risk $110 (-110) in order bet the under (u indicates under). If the final score is 5-2, the total is7 and you profit $100. You will also sees values for the over such as 5.5, o+105. In this case, you profit $105 by risking $100 if the game produces 6 or more total goals.

  • Futures

    These are odds for predicting an event in the future like next season's Stanley Cup champion. Oddsmakers set lines during the year, depending on the strength or weakness of teams, then offer wagers on each team to win. For example, a league's top team may be +150 to win the championship. That means a $100 wager would pay $150 profit. However, a poor team might be +2000, indicating it is not expected to win and a $100 would pay $2,000 as a huge longshot. Yahoo displays Stanley futures, although provider OddsShark gathers futures on East and West conference championships and more.

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