The NHL is a league with quite a rich history in the USA and Canada. It was founded in 1917, and since then, countless unforgettable games have entertained sports fans across North America and the world at large. Given its impressive popularity, it should not come as a surprise that tons of punters love to place bets on NHL events as well. One such wager type is the over/under bet, which is one of the three classics of NHL betting.
Broadly speaking, over/under bets allow you to wager on whether or not the combined score of both teams at the end of the game will be over or under the total offered by the bookie. There are some variations available, however, such as over/under futures and the Grand Salami. Traditional totals, as well as the unique bets in question, are all well-liked by those who love to frequent the NHL sections of their favorite bookmakers.
Key Aspects of NHL Over/Under Betting
Totals are, all in all, not too complicated of a bet type. As established, when you place an over/under bet, you wager that the teams will not score as many points as the total of the listing, or that the game will end with more goals than the number given by the bookie. The following bets showcase a typical over/under you can find at a sportsbook:
Florida Panthers – Boston Bruins
Over: +6.5 (1.70)
Under: -6.5 (2.10)
Apart from ordinary totals, variations of this wager type are also possible. For instance, you might be able to bet on the over or under of an individual period depending on the sportsbook you use. Some bookmakers also provide punters with the opportunity to wager on the totals of individual teams. This bet’s availability is reliant on the sportsbook in question, as not all bookies provide such options. In the examples below, we can see that the total for individual teams tends to be between 2 and 4 goals:
|Individual Team Totals
|Tampa Bay Lightning
|Columbus Blue Jackets
|New York Rangers
It is also notable that certain bets use half points, whereas others do not. Basically, a whole number means that the bet in question can push, and this occurs when the favorites win by the exact total offered by the sportsbook. Bookies wishing to avoid such a scenario add half a point to the number, rendering a draw impossible.
Additionally, over/under bets can be restricted to the regular time only, or they will count the overtime. Picking between the two is usually a matter of which bet offers the best value, and it can also be reliant on your preferences. Either way, the ability to choose between the two is greatly appreciated.
Over/Under Line Movement
If you have some experience in sports betting, you might have noticed that, often, the odds of a given listing will change with time. They might become better than they were initially, or they could decrease in value. What happens in such situations is that a sportsbook has decided to adjust the odds or the over/under numbers.
NHL totals are no exception, which is why timing and patience are incredibly important for any punter looking to wager on hockey matches. As for why such changes happen, there are many factors. For one, a new piece of information pertaining to an event might have come to light, such as a player injury. Additionally, one of the bet options might have become a bit too popular compared to the other, which is not good for the sportsbook. In either case, such situations warrant updating the odds to balance things out.
The changes in question will sometimes improve a bet, but they can just as easily reduce its value. Generally, wagering on the favorite early, or going for the underdog a bit later, is a sound strategy according to experienced bettors. It is not an end-all-be-all of strategies, however, and you should always pay close attention to the odds and check other bookies’ odds prior to making a decision.
Last but not least, keep in mind that everything thus far also counts for live over/under bets, but that line movement there is even faster. Being observant and quick to act when a good opportunity presents itself will allow you to make the most out of wagering on totals during in-play.
While moneyline futures, such as who the winner of the Stanley Cup will be, dominate the outright markets in terms of popularity, over/under futures are also well-liked among bettors. Typically, you will have the option to place a bet on how many points a team will have accumulated by the end of the season, the number of their wins in total, and more. The biggest appeal of over/under outright bets is the tempting payout you could receive at the end of it all, provided you win, of course.
With all things said and done, however, there are a few aspects of over/under futures that make them inferior to placing total bets on ordinary single games. First of all, the vigorish of outrights tends to be quite steep. The true value of such bets is, therefore, fairly subpar in comparison to what you can find within other market listings, and it is the primary reason sharp NHL punters avoid futures. Second, the prolonged wait time is not for everyone. It can take months to learn whether the money you had wagered will result in a win or a loss, and having a portion of your bankroll stuck for that long can be discouraging for some bettors.
On the other hand, such futures can be something to look forward to for some recreational bettors who do not mind, or maybe even enjoy, the long wait times. Especially if they see no issue with the vigorish because they find placing such bets entertaining. For anyone else, however, caution is advised.
The Grand Salami
Despite its appetizing name, this bet type does not warrant delving into the culinary arts. The Grand Salami is, essentially, a wager that encompasses all of the NHL games played in a day. To be more specific, if you choose to go for this bet, you will wager on the total amount of goals scored across all matches of a given day.
As exciting as it can be, the Grand Salami is not without its caveats. The first and most obvious one is the amount of research that should go into placing such a bet, at least if you wish to have a somewhat reasonable chance at winning. Each team’s schedules and the players’ health, for instance, are factors that should be taken into consideration, and the same goes for the starting goaltenders. Given that there are often between 10 and 15 games per day, you can see how all of this can easily accumulate into a lot of work. Moreover, if your prediction regarding just one of the teams is wrong, it could spell bad things for your Grand Salami bet, making this wager type very risky.
Basically, the Grand Salami’s nature makes it especially difficult to predict, with confidence, how many points will be accumulated by the end of the day. It is for these reasons that, like futures and parlays, these bets are mainly reserved for those who find them fun and are not put off by the high risk involved.
At the end of the day, over/under bets are something experienced punters are likely already familiar with, even if they have never wagered on NHL events. Totals are a popular bet type across all sports, after all, but this does not mean that the NHL does not stand out. The Grand Salami, while technically tough to predict and quite risky, offers a lot in terms of excitement and is loved by many fans of NHL hockey. This specific over/under variation is only available to NHL and MLB punters, so it is definitely worth trying out, even just for the novelty.
Beyond this, the league lends itself quite well to traditional totals as well, and punters will be pleased with what they will have access to at bookies. Although placing successful over/under bets is no easy task, there is a lot you can do to increase your chances of winning. Researching all available information before a game is one such strategy, and knowing the rules and the players well is important if you wish to analyze a match as it is taking place. So long as you put some time into your betting sessions, you will become a successful over/under NHL punter in no time.