Puck Line Betting – Hockey’s Moneyline Bet Explained

Puck line betting, is a popular hockey wager, that is similar to a point spread bet. It involves gambling on a goal margin by which a team will win or lose. It is particularly exciting for bettors since it gives better odds than a regular money line

If you want to see the puck line explained in more detail, keep reading. We will thoroughly explain what is puck line betting, and share tips or instructions for this method of wagering.

What is Puck Line Betting?

Puck line betting is a kind of bet in hockey that has a goal spread, much like the point spread of basketball or football. While moneyline simply requires you to guess the winner, the puck line sets an additional win condition in the form of a point difference.

Bookmakers usually create a so-called “hook,” which is a .5 point difference, to make things more interesting. This means a team needs to score one extra point to cover the spread. They might allow you to remove the hook, but in most cases, you’ll get the same odds as with a straight moneyline. 

Some types of puck line betting allow you to bump up the margin difference for better odds. But in most cases, bookmakers will offer the standard puck line, which is set at -1.5 goals for the favorite and +1.5 goals for the underdog.

Finally, the result is settled once the regular and extra time expires. The scores or outcomes that are achieved in the over-time don’t count. So, if the score is tie when the regular time expires, you will lose on -1.5, or win +1.5 bet.  That said, some of the best sportsbook operators allow for puck line bets that are settled using overtime results. If this is the case it’s always outlined in the terms or betting rules.

Editors' Choice

Sign up To Claim 50% Welcome Bonus Up To $1,000

  • Official betting partner of La Liga, Golden Boy, and the LFA, offering Pick'em and Survivor
  • The earliest moneylines, with access to odds before events commence
  • Cutting-edge live in-play sportsbook, with multi-view options

How Does Puck Line Betting Work?

Puck line betting is very straightforward. For a -1.5 wager, the team that wins needs to win with a 2-point difference to cover that spread. If you bet on the underdog with a +1.5 spread, you win the bet if the team wins, ties, or loses with a single-point difference.

There are a few variations of this wager, so let’s go over them explain how they work, and provide some examples.

Puck line betting

Period Pucklines

Hockey is played in 3 periods, and you can place a puck line bet for the point difference for each period. So if you place a first-period puck line bet on Toronto Maple Leafs -0.5, that means that by the end of the first period, they need to lead with at least a single point.

Reverse Pucklines

This is a risky wager with higher payouts because you decide to back the underdog. So if in the regular puck line the odds on New York Rangers is +1.5, in a reverse puckline you’d bet on  New York Rangers -1.5. Since the underdog needs to win with at least a 2-point difference the payout is significantly higher.

Alternate Pucklines

In the alternate line wager, you can bump the spread for the favored team from -1.5 to -2.5 or make a more favorable situation for the underdog from +1.5 to +2.5. So if the odds for Montreal Canadiens are +1.5 (-200), you can change it to +2.5, but it will likely bring down the payout to -400 or more. This means you’d have to bet at least $400 to win $100 (total payout $500).

Puck Line vs. Moneyline

Hopefully, we’ve explained what is puckline in hockey in a way that a newbie can fully understand it. Now we’ll do a puck line vs moneyline comparison to help you decide which one is better.

Both the puck line and moneyline are essentially gambles on the outcome of a game, but they have some notable differences in terms of the amount of money that can be won.

Puck line betting

Moneyline is the easiest form of wagering, where all you need to do is select a team that you believe will win. The odds represent the chances of the two teams to triumph in the match-up. For example:

  • Boston Bruins -200: A $200 wager on the Bruins will earn $100 if the Bruins win.
  • New York Rangers +180: If the Rangers win then a $100 bet on them will return $180.

In conclusion, the moneyline is simple and suitable for newcomers, while the puck line is more complex and suitable for those who want to earn more, which is why experienced bettors prefer it.

How to Place a Puck Line Bet

Now that you’ve learned what is puck line betting and how it’s different from a straight moneyline, you need to know how to make this wager. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to place a puck line bet in hockey.

  1. Step 1: How to Choose a Reliable Online Sports Betting Site

    Choose a licensed operator that accepts US bettors; you can easily find the site that works for you by narrowing your search to the best NHL sportsbooks. Then click on the join now button to start creating your account.
  2. Puck line betting

  3. Step 2: Complete the Sign Up Form

    Fill in the sign-up forms by entering the requested information, and then open up your email to verify the account. Once that is done, you can log in.
  4. Puck line betting

  5. Step 3: Make a Deposit

    Once you have the account, you will have to go to the “Cashier” tab and pick a preferred deposit method. You can make a minimum deposit amount or a bigger payment to utilize some of the best sportsbook bonuses fully.
  6. Puck line betting

  7. Step 4: Browse the Sportsbook Options

    To continue, go to the NHL section. Search for the NHL puck line betting odds of each game. These odds are generally offered in the hockey markets since they are widely used.
  8. Puck line betting

  9. Step 5: Read Through the Policies of the Bookmaker on Overtime

    For NHL puckline wagers, some bookmakers consider overtime while others don’t. It will always be beneficial to know exactly what is puck line betting policy the operator uses to settle the wager.
  10. Puck line betting

Puck Line Betting Tips

Below you can learn some common tips that help you make more prudent decisions. If you are using online sportsbooks for the first time it would be wise to get acquainted with important sports betting terms to get a better understanding of how certain wagers work.

Puck line betting

Formation of Research Team and Conditions for the Bettors

It is worthwhile to check how teams have been performing in their most recent matches. Some of the things to look at include whether there is a streak of wins or losses and if these games were won or lost by big margins.

Also, keep track of the latest information on players‘ injuries and suspensions. Substitution of key players can greatly affect a team’s performance. The home turf advantage is another important metric that impacts overall performance.

Analyze Goaltending Matchups

There is no doubt that goaltenders play a crucial role in determining the outcomes of NHL puck line betting matches. Find out who the starting goaltenders are and how they have been performing lately. A good goalie can make games competitive even against a more formidable team.

Motivation of the Team and Scheduling

Some teams may give a higher level of performance due to their desire to clinch a place in the playoffs or desire not to lose for a number of games in a row. On the other hand, teams that have already qualified for the playoffs may bench players or play at a lower intensity.

Take a look at the calendar of the team. Some teams are on the back-to-back games or have long road trips and it can be a problem because they will be tired and cannot cover the puck line.

The Movements of the Lines

Large line shifts can point to where the professionals are placing their puck line hockey wagers. A drastic change in the puck line or the odds may help in predicting how the game might pan out. Sometimes, it is more advantageous to wager early since the lines may shift, while at other times, waiting till the end game can yield better odds due to public betting.

Editors' Choice

50% Match Bonus up to $250 on First Deposit

  • Crypto and fiat sports welcome offer for new bettors who sign up
  • Earn rewards from every wager and redeem them for prizes
  • Rewards points on NBA, NFL, Golf, and Soccer parlay boosters daily

Responsible Betting

Puck line betting, like other forms of gambling, carries a certain risk. That’s why it is always advisable to gamble responsibly and bet what you can afford to lose. Establish a time limit on gambling so that you don’t spend too much time and money on this hobby.

Also, accept losses as a part of the journey, and resist the urge to recover them with additional wagers. If you feel this habit is getting out of hand and is affecting you in a negative way you can look for professional help on these sites:

The fastest way to get professional help is to call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Puck Line Betting FAQs

What is a puck line bet?

What is the puck line in hockey?

How does the puck line work?

What does a 1.5 puck line mean?

Is puck line a good bet?

How do you win a puck line bet?

How often does the puck line hit?


About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Lewis Humphries
Sports Betting Expert

Lewis is a seasoned sports writer and betting expert at ReadWrite. He has been written about sports, remote betting and sportsbooks for more than 10 years, with his work featuring in publications such as The Boot Room, Yahoo Sports and 90min. He writes most extensively about soccer, basketball, American football and boxing, but retains an interest in a huge range of sports.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.