How To Bet NHL Specials



The moneyline, puck line, and game totals are not the only betting options for the NHL. In fact, there are exotic and alternative markets where you can bet in to enhance your profits. In this article, we’ll focus on how to bet on NHL specials with the goal of making larger profits.

Puck Line Handicaps

One of the special types of NHL bets is puck line handicaps. The standard handicap for NHL games is +/- 1.5 goals. This means that a team with a puck line of -1.5 must win by at least two goals in order for you to win your wager. Conversely, a team with a puck line of +1.5 can lose the game by one goal, or just has to win the game, for you to win your wager. When betting on puck lines, our recommendation is to at least receive a +185 (2.85) payout or better since favorites to win the game by two goals or more end up winning only 30% of the time. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the -1.5 handicap for a slightly higher payout compared to the moneyline only to have the team only win by a goal. On the other hand, taking the +1.5 also serves as a sucker’s bet due to the large amount of vig that you’d have to post for this type of bet.

Three-Way Betting

Three-way betting involves taking teams to win games in regulation, which will result in a higher payout as well compared to just betting on the moneyline. Additionally, betting on games to be tied at the end of regulation is also a great exotics play due to the higher frequency of goals in hockey when compared to soccer. When teams have very similar averages in both offensive and defensive categories, it’s worth taking a long and hard look on betting for the game to be tied at the end of regulation.

Alternate Game Totals

Some markets offer alternate game totals at different payouts, giving bettors the chance to assume larger risk for instances where their own handicapping indicates that a game will be much lower or much higher than the game total. One essential piece of advice that should taken is to avoid betting on whole numbers, such as five or six goals. If you truly believe that the game will be low scoring and your analysis backs this as well, you may want to play the game total at under 4.5 goals as opposed to five or six. However, doing so should be taken with a hint of caution as many games tend to be tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, which can only mean that your bet will surely lose since one added goal, whether in overtime or shootout, will end up having you on the over side as opposed to the under side.

Period Wagers

Many bookmakers are now offering the option to bet on individual periods. Keeping track of different trends of teams may be quite useful when it comes to betting on different periods, especially the first period, where a lot of sportsbooks will offer this betting option. By knowing the tendencies of teams and how they come out of the game, first period wagers can prove to be quite profitable if done correctly.