So You’re Thinking About Placing a Bet on the Stanley Cup Final

Gambling on sports has pretty much gone mainstream over the past two years. First the NHL and NFL agreed to put teams in Las Vegas; once a forbidden thought. Then, sports gambling became legalized. And ever since, people are more and more willing to openly talk about the thrill they get when placing a little action on a game.

However, if you’re new to the scene, you may be wondering where to get started. Regardless of who comes out on top of the Blues-Sharks series, you have a little time to prepare for the eventual Stanley Cup Final – which is set to begin on May 27th in Boston. With that in mind, here’s a primer to get you all dialed in for Game 1:

NHL Betting: Puck Line vs. Money Line 

As with the other three major sports in North America, sportsbooks offer a plethora of options when wagering on the NHL; perhaps none more common than the puck line and money line bets. 

The Puck Line Explained 

The puck line is the hockey version of the run line in baseball, or equivalent to a point spread in football (or basketball), but it typically comes with a fixed number of -1.5 goals when backing the favorite or +1.5 if betting on the underdog. 

Oddsmakers have determined that the 1.5 spread is a good variance of two-way action. If the number came at a higher price, the bookmaker would be exposed on one side over the other with more risk than reward and would most likely lose money in the long run. 

The Money Line Explained 

money line in hockey is a bet that you can make on who will win the game without a point spread involved, but the odds are adjusted based on the two teams squaring off on the ice. 

Here’s an example of the puck and money lines that will usually be found at the top online sportsbooks: 

 

TEAM  MONEY LINE  PUCK LINE 
New York Rangers  +120  +1.5, –155 
Los Angeles Kings  -140  -1.5, +175 

 

What this means is the LA Kings are positioned as the favorite with odds on the money line of -140. Said in more simple terms, you have to stake $140.00 to win $100.00, and in the same scenario backing the dog you would win $120.00.  

However, on the puck line, giving up -1.5 goals will change the odds drastically as the Kings would payoff at $175.00 for every $100.00 wagered if they could win the game by at least two goals. Conversely, you would need to put up $155.00 to win $100 for the Rangers to lose by less than two scores. 

Hockey Betting Wisdom  

Every bettor has their own strategies when it comes to making wagers, but in hockey a classic quote should always be top of mind. It goes a little like this – “No two goal lead is ever safe in hockey.”  

The moral to this hockey proverb is that there is a lot of garbage time at the end of hockey games, and before you count your bet as a winner, remember teams often pull goalies; which can — and will — have a major effect on the final score. Sometimes this is for the good or bad, when it comes to winning or losing a wager. 

Could it be bookmakers created the puck line with this notion? One never knows for sure, but it certainty lines up with the odds. 

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