As we venture into an NHL season without fans in many arenas, teams have had to get creative in their partnerships to make up for lost live gate revenue. One noticeable difference across many teams’ broadcasts is the introduction of live betting odds. As the legalization of sports betting roars across the country, business is boomin’.
In the two-and-a-half years since the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting, 20 states have passed legislature to allow either online or in-person bets to be placed on sports games. That number is only going to grow, and eventually, California will be on that list.
With sports betting being a relatively new industry to many viewers, let’s give a brief overview of the basics of sports gambling. There are three key figures to understand—the spread, over/under, and money line.
Before we breakdown the bet types,let’s start with the basics. A minus sign denotes that a team is the favorite, while a plus sign indicates the underdog. So, if Team A is -250 and Team B is +250, Team A is who the oddsmakers believe is the favorite. The numbers themselves also are significant, and it all refers back to $100. Odds of -250 mean you would have to place a $250 bet to win $100. On the flip side, +250 would pay you $250 on a $100 bet.
The spread is a bet on a team either winning or losing by a designated number of goals. A +1.5 spread for Team B means that if they only lose by one goal, you would win if you bet on Team B to cover the spread. Team A’s -1.5 goal spread means a bet on them only pays if they win by two or more.
As the name implies, the over/under is a bet on the total goals scored by both teams in a game. Often, they will appear as half-goal figures with either a capital O or U next to it. One note here is that if the O/U and goal total are the same, all bets are a push and are refunded.
Lastly, the money line is the simplest to understand—here you’re only betting on who will win. This will only appear with set odds, which we’ve explained above.
How They Appear
For you visual learners, let’s break down how these odds might appear in say DraftKings or FanDuel, two of the larger sports betting platforms in the United States. (We’ve left some referral links for you to enjoy some free bets when you sign up)
Let’s use a real example—tomorrow’s Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues game. Below is how odds will look when you go to place a bet, with odds courtesy of DraftKings.
What it Means
By reading the spread, we can see that oddsmakers believe the most likely outcome is the Kings either winning or losing by only one goal. Before, we said the minus denotes the favorite, but the over/under has minus for both sides of the coin. That’s because they believe it’s too close to call either way, otherwise known as a pick-em’. Based on the money line, the Blues are fairly strong favorites and you would have to bet $195 to win $100.
Before we move on, it’s important to note that many platforms offer alternate spreads, over/unders, as well as fun prop bets, including fun bets on an individual’s performance. From whether a player will score the first goal of the game, to the over/under on an individual player’s shots in a game, there’s enough variety to keep everyone entertained.
With betting partnerships becoming more integrated into NHL team’s revenue streams, we figured why not get in on the fun ourselves? Throughout the season, we’ll bring you some of our favorite bets on Kings games, as well as others around the league. Let’s call this new segment Tonge’s Ticket, as these bets will come from my ticket each Kings gameday.
Since we already broke down some odds on tomorrow’s Kings/Blues game, let’s start there.
Under 5.5 goals. Darryl Sutter may be a distant memory at this point, but the Kings and Blues aren’t the teams to show that it’s not a 3-2 league anymore. We like this to be a low-scoring tilt in the first matchup between these two teams.
Anze Kopitar to score 1+ points. At -155, those aren’t bad odds for a guy who ended his last game tied for the league lead in points. Kopi stays hot and adds another to his statline.
Kyle Clifford to score first goal. We’re not saying bet the house here, especially with reports Clifford might not even play as Sammy Blais returns from suspension, but +2500 odds for The Colonel to score on his old team might make the risk worth the reward.
Be sure to tune in as we bring you more picks throughout the year, and make sure to follow @AndyTonge1 and my new Twitter account, @HockeysBestBets. There, you will find my picks for the rest of the league. Good luck and happy betting!
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