Betting the NHL Puck Line

If you’re looking into betting the NHL puck line, you’ve come to the right place. When betting on major sports, bettors have the choice of wagering on the moneyline, point spread, or game total. 

In the NHL, there is a lot less scoring than in NFL or NBA games making point spread betting difficult. That is why the puck line exists in the NHL.

Essentially, betting the NHL puck line is point spread betting for hockey. The puck line, or spread, is set at 1.5 goals and never changes. It is very similar to the run line in baseball.


When you bet on the favorite, you are betting they will win by two goals or more. A wager on the underdog means you believe they will lose by one or win outright.

It’s that simple.

Why Bet the Puck Line?

If you’re not a hockey bettor, you might wonder why you just don’t bet on the moneyline. Picking a winner would seem to be much easier.

That’s not always the case. Plus, the puck line, or point spread, evens the playing field. It also works to bring in action on both sides of a bet for sportsbooks.

The bigger reason for betting the puck line is that bettors will often find better odds than they would on the moneyline. That means a higher payout on a winning bet.

Take a look at the following example:

Team Moneyline Puck Line

Penguins     -115 -1.5 (+185)

Flyers     +105 +1.5 (-225)

Pittsburgh is favored to beat Philadelphia and if you wager on the Penguins on the moneyline you would need to bet $115 to win $100. A bet on the Flyers to win would win $105 on a $100 wager.

But, look at the puck line. Pittsburgh would have to win by at least two goals and if they did your $100 wager on the puck line would pay out $185. That’s a significant difference.

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Puck Line Strategies

When looking at betting the NHL puck line, there are a number of things bettors can consider. The bottom line is to do the research to make the best betting decision.

One thing that clearly affects play on the ice is travel. The 2021 NHL season will not have the same amount of travel as in season’s past due to division realignment. Still, there will be travel and well-rested home teams playing one that has had frequent travel leading up to the game tend to be favorites.

Another consideration is whether or not a game will be nationally televised. There are certain teams – Toronto is one – that clearly play better when the camera is on them. Watch for underdogs in this situation. An upset could be brewing.

Goaltending is also a big key. One of the early surprises in the 2021 NHL season is Carolina. The Hurricanes are playing the same division – the East – as the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Carolina is 8-3 overall through 11 games thanks to goalie Petr Mrazek. The Hurricanes goaltender leads the NHL in both save percentage (.955) and goals against average (0.99).

There is other data that you can look at, but doing the research is the key in determining how to bet on the puck line.

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