Nowadays, it seems sports bettors are pretty much spoilt for choice no matter which sport they wager on. The NHL is certainly not an exception, and yet, the classic moneyline remains a staple of punters’ bet slips despite the various other options available. Moneyline betting is, overall, the go-to way to wager on NHL events.
This is partly owed to how easy it is to get the hang of, even for the newest of punters who first decide to pay a visit to a sportsbook. This simplicity also makes the moneyline an exceptionally good bet for in-play. In addition, moneyline bets are a great choice when you are selecting the legs you wish to include in a parlay, especially if you go with a moneyline variation named double chance.
Speaking of which, moneyline bets’ apparent lack of complexity does not mean that these bets are not fun for seasoned bettors. On the contrary, a lot of thought needs to be put into a moneyline wager if one wishes to win without relying on luck too much. Therefore, those fond of thoroughly researching the data related to NHL events will also have the chance to make use of their skills.
The Favorite and Underdog
The moneyline is a bet that relies on the way NHL teams are split into favorites and underdogs at sportsbooks. This dynamic is at the core of how moneyline bets are presented and wagered on, so learning how it works is crucial for any NHL punter.
First things first, we will focus on how an NHL bettor can tell which team is the favorite and which team is considered less likely to win. All you need to do here is observe the odds. If you are viewing the event with American odds, for instance, telling which is very easy. Here, the underdog is the team with the plus before the number. To give an example, a +150 listing shows that if you wager $100 on the underdogs and win, you will receive $150. Favorites, on the other hand, are preceded with a minus, and a -150 selection communicates that you will need to stake $150 to win $150.
As for decimal and fractional odds, determining which team is which is simply a matter of observing which odds are superior. Those would be the underdog’s, and, all in all, this ensures that either outcome has its pros and cons.
Wagering on the favorite is sometimes referred to as chalk betting, and the smaller risk involved is the main advantage of this approach to wagering. However, the odds, and thus, the payout, will be worse overall since you already have an advantage against the other group of bettors. As for underdog betting, the superior odds compensate for the apparent lower winning chance.
It is important to mention that going for the underdog can be especially profitable if you are an NHL punter. NHL events are seldom unbalanced to the point where the underdog can be ruled out, so you can definitely wager on such teams when the data backs up your decision and take advantage of the great odds.
Types of NHL Moneyline Betting
Depending on the selections you can choose from, we can categorize NHL moneyline bets into several types: two-way, three-way and double chance. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, and all in all, there is merit in placing either one. In general, picking between them is a matter of preference or is dependent on the specific situation.
Two-Way Moneyline Betting
This type of moneyline bet is the most typical moneyline variation out there. Here, you simply pick between the two possible outcomes of an entire NHL match, i.e., which team will be the winner.
This type of moneyline covers both regulation gameplay as well as what happens during the potential overtime and shootout. Therefore, it showcases how there are no actual ties or draws in NHL matches. Interestingly enough, this was not always the case, as shootouts were only introduced in 2005. They did the job, and nowadays, no NHL event will end in a tie.
Three-Way Moneyline Betting
Also dubbed 1×2 or win-draw-win, three-way wagers are the second type of moneyline bet you will come across. Previously, we covered the two-way moneyline bet, which had two possible outcomes. Therefore, you would be correct to assume that a three-way moneyline offers you three options to choose from instead of just two. The third choice gives you the opportunity to pick is the draw, as seen here:
- Edmonton Oilers 1.95
- Draw: 4.40
- Dallas Stars: 3.00
You might be wondering how this is possible since, earlier, we mentioned that draws are never the final outcome of an NHL match. While this is true, what ensures that a draw will not occur is the overtime and potential shootout. They are not part of the regulation game, however. The very reason they were introduced in the first place was due to how the first 60 minutes of a game can, in fact, end with both teams having the same number of goals. This means that if we only focus on said 60 minutes, then betting on a draw occurring within that time frame is possible.
Double chance is yet another interesting type of moneyline bet. It is similar to the regular 1×2 in the sense that there are three options to choose from. The choices you will have here, however, will be different:
- Team one to win or draw: 1.30
- Team two to win or draw: 1.20
- Team one or team two to win, 2.40
If you place a bet here, you wager that one of the three outcomes of the regulation time will not occur. You can bet that the second team will not win, that the first one will not win, or that there will not be a draw. This bet is only concerned with the regulation time of an event.
In addition, this is an excellent wager to include in a parlay. In a way, the two balance each other out. Parlays help make this type of bet’s odds better, while double chance bets make for comparatively safe legs that can make parlays less intimidating.
Factors That Can Affect NHL Moneyline Betting
Moneyline wagering is not simply reliant on luck. Instead, you can use your skill and knowledge as a punter to place successful moneyline bets. As for how to achieve this, first, it is important to be familiar with the teams’ schedules, especially if one team is fighting the second game from a pair of back-to-back games. This will lead to tired players, and fatigue does not spell good things for the team in general. Basically, skaters that are not in their best shape might not be able to defeat their opponents, so this can give you an idea of who is more likely to win.
Something else that is absolutely crucial to a team’s performance is the goaltender, which is why looking up the goalies is one of the first things you should do when you are doing your research regarding an event. This goes for both the starter and the backer. On this topic, knowing if a team has underperformed their defense play in recent games is another thing you should look out for.
Last but not least, be careful when it comes to picking between the favorite and underdog, and always pay close attention to the actual value of the odds when you make wagering decisions. NHL hockey is a sport where the difference between the underdog and the favorite is usually small and, sometimes, not enough to warrant betting on the favorite’s inferior odds. If you stick to wagering on favorites too much, especially if you do not take other factors into consideration, you might find that your winnings will not be able to cover your losses.
In addition, remember to follow more general sports betting strategies, too. For instance, it is best to wager at multiple bookies so that you can compare the odds and the line movement, i.e., how the odds can change based on new information.
All things considered, it is likely that moneyline bets will be part of your NHL experience, no matter how new you are to NHL betting. If you are a long-term NHL fan who has been placing bets on hockey events for years, you will also find a lot to like about betting on the moneyline. Regardless, you can be certain that these bets will serve you well as you continue wagering on NHL matches.
Apart from the ordinary two-way bet, you could also give three-way moneyline bets a try, and if you are a cautious individual and fancy an even safer bet, then double chance wager is a great choice. So long as you are conscious of the aspects that can make your bets worthwhile, you will have a great time in the NHL sections of bookmakers.