What Is Puck Line Betting: Examples & Tips

Puck line betting isn't as common as the moneyline bet but is one of the three standard bets in nearly all sports.
In football, basketball and most sports, it's referred to as the spread or points spread. In hockey, it's the puck line bet. Everything else is almost the same but there are some difference you should know and in this guide we've covered it all.

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What Is Puck Line Betting?

As we’ve established above, puck line betting refers to points spread betting. Most sports have three standard bets; moneyline, spread, and totals (over/under).

Here’s an example of a hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers:

MatchMoneylinePuck Line
Canadiens -114 
Flyers +104
Canadiens -1.5 (+185) 
Flyers +1.5 (-225)

In the above match, Montreal Canadiens are the favourites to win. You can back them in the moneyline bet and need to spend $114 to win $100.

If you bet on the flyers to win, you can win $104 from a $100 stake. The teams are closely matched anyway, so the bookies don't expect much of a goal difference. Hockey games are also low scoring.

In the puckline bet, the Montreal Canadiens stand to make a profit of $185 from a $100 bet if they score two or more goals than the opponent, like in a 3-1 or 5-2 outcome. On the other hand, betting on the Flyers requires $225 to make a $100 profit. You win the match when the Flyers win or lose by one goal.

Should You Bet Puck Lines or Moneylines?

The moneyline and puck line bets are the most popular bets in hockey. You'll find them on all NHL events as standard markets featured in snippets. Choosing between a moneyline and a puck line is interesting because they both involve the favourites. You can bet on both in same-game parlays. However, new punters can start with either.

Most people bet on the moneyline, which is the easiest to make. The moneyline is all about choosing the team to win the match. You can bet on the favourite or the underdog. The favourite has a - mark beside their odds, while the underdogs have a +. Puck line bets use the same markings, determining the most likely and unlikely outcome.

If you’re new to hockey betting, you can easily choose one team to win the match. Backing the favourite means spending more to earn a profit. Backing the underdog can increase profits, but what are their odds of winning? If you're confident the favourite will win, you can leverage a puckline bet to make more profit.

Puck line betting involves wagering on the number of goals the favourite will score more than the underdog. The odds get higher with each additional goal. A -1.5 bet is the most popular, but you can find -5.5 bets, depending on the matchup. Puck line odds are perfect when the moneyline bet pays pennies. You can bet on the favourite to cover a wider spread.

What Happens In Overtime for Puck Line Bets?

Overtime in hockey (NHL) is like extra time in soccer. A standard NHL game takes 60 minutes of regular time. Within this time, one team can win, or the match can end in a tie, which is why most bookies feature three-way bets. Here's an example:

  • Montreal Canadiens (-115), Philadelphia Flyers (+104), Draw (+190).

If the game results in a draw, the three-way moneyline bet ends. The game might go to overtime, especially if it's a competitive tournament where teams are knocked out during quarters, semis, and finals. Bookies allow punters to bet on overtime markets, including moneyline, puck line, and totals.

Your moneyline bet ends at the final whistle after 60 minutes of regular time. You can still bet on overtime moneyline markets. In hockey, the first team to score in overtime wins, so one goal ultimately decides the match. This gives the underdog in a puck line bet an advantage because the favourite can't score more than one goal during overtime.

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Three-way Puck Line

A 3-way puck line bet works more like a three-way moneyline. The only difference is the puck line features a handicap attached to one of the teams. For instance, the Canadiens may start the game at a (0-1) handicap, meaning if no team scores, the bookies count it as if the Canadiens lost by a goal to nil.

Handicaps can also come in other formats with a different number of goals given or deducted from one team before the game starts. In the (0-1) handicap, the Canadiens must win their match against the Flyers by at least two goals because they’re starting at a deficit. In contrast, the Flyers would only need to win or lose by not more than one goal because they already have an advantage.

A three-way puck line bet only considers the regular time, which includes the standard 60 minutes plus any extras added due to stoppages. After the match ends, you can bet on overtime puck line odds. Three-way puck line betting is non-traditional and offers three bets. You can bet on the favourite at -1, the underdog at +1, and tie/draw at +1.

For the favourite to win, they need to score by at least two goals more than the opponent. The underdog and win or tie the match if you bet on them. If the underdog loses by one goal, the handicap is applied, causing a draw. Three-way puckline bets end at the end of regular time.

Puck Line Betting Tips & Strategies

Puck line betting can fetch you higher returns when the favourite is obvious. Some NHL teams are just performing at their best level and will knock out smaller opponents on most occasions. Favourites tend to win most of their matches, so betting on them is ideal if you place moneyline bets. The case is different for puckline odds. A favourite might win, but will they score two or more goals than the opponent? A puck line bet or handicap three-way puck line offers different opportunities. Here are some puckline betting tips and strategies to help you buffer your chances of winning:

  • Choose A Reputable Sportsbook

You should register for an account with licensed sports betting sites offering real money markets on NHL and other hockey events. Find credible operators with extensive hockey betting markets, security features, lucrative bonuses, 24/7 support, mobile support/apps, and convenient payments. 

  • Find Matches With Heavy Favourites

Puck line bets are all about leveraging games with heavy favourites. If the favourite is well-backed to win a match, a puck line bet may offer a higher return than a moneyline. Look for teams that can cover the spread. 

  • Research Your Teams Stats & Info

Hockey teams have peaks and troughs during the season. Key players can get injured, and fresh blood in the dressing room can inspire memorable performances. You should keep tabs on key developments that impact performance. Look into head-to-head starts, Corsi & Fenwick, home soil vs away performances, travel schedules, etc. 

  • Follow Your Teams

Following teams, leagues, and tournaments is a good way to keep tabs on new developments. Become a fan and learn more about the game and the different atmospheres surrounding players, teams and tournaments. The goal is to boost your odds of making the right prediction before you start exploring odds and markets. 

  • Set A Betting Budget

Puckline betting is exciting, but you should bet wisely. Set aside your betting bankroll and avoid savings used for other things. Favourites don't always cover the spread. Be prepared for losses and manage your gambling funds wisely to keep enjoying your favourite matches. 

  • Use Accepted Betting Strategies

You’ll encounter many complex betting and gambling strategies you can implement for puck line betting. Make sure the sportsbook accepts such strategies. Some sportsbooks ban arbitrage betting and other techniques used to increase betting profits. Stick to legal practices to avoid issues when it’s time to withdraw your funds. 

  • Leverage Betting Features

When betting on puck line odds, remember to leverage sports betting features, such as live bet, live stream, and cash out. You can also build parlay bets and multi-bets or take advantage of free bets. The goal is to maximize your chances of betting and winning.


What is puck line?

The puck line meaning comes from the hockey disk (puck), which can be closed or open. In sports betting, a puck line is a betting line that allows you to bet on the score difference between two teams. The term spread or point spread is used in most sports. Puck line is the term used in hockey.

Is puck line betting worth it?

Yes. Puck line betting has many advantages in games with heavy favourites. The moneyline bet may require a higher investment to win a reasonable return. Puck line bets allow you to bet on the score difference, which tends to carry higher odds, so you can win more.

How do I make the most of puck line betting?

You should start with a good sportsbook, leverage free bets and bonuses, and set up your betting bankroll. Next, find the best events and do a little research. The more you learn about the teams, stats, and updates, the easier it will become to make accurate predictions.

Where can I find puck line odds?

You can find puck line odds on nearly all Canadian sportsbooks that feature NHL and hockey events. Choose credible sportsbooks with a valid gambling license and the latest security features. You should also look for sleek betting apps, convenient payment systems and reliable customer support.

Can I combine puck line bets with others?

Yes. You can combine puckline bets with other bets in a multi-bet slip. Most bookies allow punters to mix different types of markets in their betting slips. You can choose a moneyline in one event and a puck line in another. You can also build same-game parlays with puck line bets and other markets. 

How does a puck line bet compare with other markets?

The puckline bet is one of the traditional markets for a reason. It's straightforward to place. You can also find three-way puck line bets with handicaps. The bet allows you to win more than a moneyline. You can also use puckline bets to build combo bets.

Which is the best hockey betting site in Canada?

The best hockey betting sites in Canada have a legitimate license from Kahnawake, Ontario iGO, Malta, UK, or other credible regulators. They also have wide sports coverage and feature markets on NHL and other major hockey events worldwide. Other highlights include security, competitive odds, customer service, mobile-friendliness, and fast payouts.


We've reached the end of our puck line betting guide and hope you found enough information to understand the popular market. Puck line bets are fantastic bookie offers you can use to boost your bet slip. All you need is a reputable sportsbook and the right betting strategies.