Hockey may not be as popular as football, basketball or baseball, but there is still plenty of casino betting action, and hockey can be one of the more profitable sports for a smart bettor. Since hockey is lower scoring than football or basketball, the most popular bets are money line wagers. These are straight up bets on one team winning, and the odds change based on the inequality of the two teams. You must risk more to win a smaller amount when betting favorites, while with underdogs you risk less for a chance at a high payout. Say that the Chicago Blackhawks (-140) are playing the Boston Bruins (+120). The minus number indicates that the Blackhawks are the favorite while the plus number means that the Bruins are the underdog. If you bet on the Blackhawks, you have to put up $14 in order to win $10 (total return of $24), while a $10 bet on the Bruins would pay $12 (total of $22).
In addition to money line bets, there are a few other hockey bets that you can make. There is usually a “puck line” wager that combines point spread and money line betting. Instead of having a different spread for each game, however, the puck line is always set at 1.5 goals. If you bet the favored team at -1.5 they must win by at least two goals and if you bet on the underdog at +1.5 they must either win the game outright or lose the game by one goal. You don’t get paid off at 10 to 11 odds like with standard point spread betting, however. Instead, you will also take odds just the same as with money line wagers; these numbers are typically listed immediately after the puck line. There is also a totals bet in which you bet whether or not the teams’ combined score will be higher or lower than the posted number, usually about 5 or 6 goals.
In money line bets, the casino carefully selects and adjusts its lines so that it always has an advantage on the game as a whole. The house edge changes based on the odds given, and the particular payouts also determine the winning percentage you must keep up in order to show a profit.
Bankroll Suggestions for Hockey
Hockey betting can be one of the more enjoyable wagers in the casino, as you can squeeze several hours of excitement and action out of just one small bet. A recreational bettor looking for a thrill can happily bet with a very small bankroll. On the other hand, if you want to become serious and make a long term profit out of many hockey betting, you need to be very careful with your bankroll.
Professional sports bettors advocate never betting more than 2% of your total bankroll on any single game. Over the course of a long season, you will experience periods of variance where you lose many games in a row, so you need to have enough of a cushion to get you through times of bad luck. If you bet on more favorites, you need to maintain a higher winning percentage, while betting on underdogs is more of a low risk high reward proposition.
You should never choose your betting strategy solely based on whether you want to bet favorites or underdogs, however. The only weapon you can use to consistently beat the casino at hockey betting is a comprehensive knowledge of hockey players and teams that allows you to identify the most profitable betting lines.
Hockey Betting Tips to Grow Your Bankroll
As a hockey game approaches, the casino readjusts the money line odds based on the bets that have already been made in order to ensure that it has an edge. This means that if you have more information than the majority of the betting public, you will be able to see when the odds have been inflated by other players’ action, giving you an advantage.
If you want to be successful in hockey betting, you need to put in a lot of work. Winning bettors spend lots of energy studying team and player news, rumors, injury reports and other sources of information. The goalie is a very important position in hockey, so when in doubt it can be advantageous to do a little extra research on the players between the pipes.
You should also be sure to specialize in a few specific teams or a particular division. It’s nearly impossible to learn enough about every team in the league; there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. If, on the other hand, you know more about the Atlantic division than 99% of the people that are betting, it will be much easier to find edges in the lines. Keep in mind that the most profitable games aren’t always the most popular ones; you need to be able to look at each line objectively. Finally, refrain from sticking to your favorite team, as holding any loyalty can be very detrimental to your hockey sports betting success.
Since hockey isn’t as popular a sport as football and basketball, the casinos don’t invest as much time and research into oddsmaking. If you take the time to become a hockey buff, it will normally be easier to find advantageous situations than with the most popular betting sports. Before you sign up for a casino, be sure to search for one that offers VIP programs or online bonuses, as these factors can add value to an already profitable situation.