What is a Puck Line Hockey?
The Puck Line is a bet created solely for hockey. Hence the name. And because hockey games are usually low scoring affairs, the Puck Line is a mixture of a point spread bet and a moneyline bet. The point spread is typically only 1.5 goals (-1.5 for favorites, +1.5 for underdogs) and then the odds are applied to determine the payout. This combination is the Puck Line.
The 1.5 goals is a good median number. Giving more or less than 1.5 goals would tip the wagers too far to one side in a league where there just isn’t much scoring. Higher or lower spreads do happen. Just not very often. There is an old saying in hockey afterall. “No two goal lead is safe.” Whether this was created with the Puck Line in mind is still unknown but no truer statement can be made. Garbage time goals against a pulled goalie are quite common. As are Power Play goals once a game seems out of reach. And this is why the Puck Line is so interesting and popular.
Let’s look at an example:
Here we can see the Washington Capitals are established as the favorite on the moneyline at -125 (This means it would take a bet of $125 to win $100). And the Pittsburgh Penguins are a slight underdog on the moneyline at +105 (This means a bet of $100 would win you $105). This means on the Puck Line, a bet on Washington will be giving the 1.5 goals and a bet on Pittsburgh will be getting 1.5 goals. In order to win a bet on Washington, they would have to win by at least two goals.
To win a bet on Pittsburgh, they would have to lose by no more than one. Now notice how the odds differ from the moneyline. The Penguins plus the 1.5 is paying out at -270 (A bet of $270 wins $100) and the Capitals minus the 1.5 is paying out at +225 (A bet of $100 wins $225). One and a half goals doesn’t seem like much. However, especially in hockey, it completely alters the odds.