Puckline vs Moneyline: Betting Guide

There are many ways to bet, and two of the most common are moneyline betting and puckline betting. You’re not alone if you’re asking yourself what does puckline mean? We’ve put together a betting guide to help you understand what both of these betting types are all about and give you a bit of a puckline vs moneyline comparison as well.

Puckline or Moneyline: What Do They Mean?

One of the most important aspects of sports betting is to know what the different betting types mean and what those bets will entail. To help you wrap your head around what it is you’re actually betting on with regards to moneyline vs puckline , we’ve broken down each term (as well as point spread and runline), to ensure that you’re not making any wagers you don’t want or don’t mean to make.

How Does Moneyline Betting Work?

A moneyline bet is the most basic type of bet you can make on most sports. Basically, the sportsbook is asking you, the bettor, to pick who you think is going to win the game in question. Most moneyline bets have two options: a bet on the home team to win or a bet on the away team to win.

Moneyline betting odds are displayed in American odds, with the favorite sporting a “-” in front of their odds and the underdog having a “+” in front of their odds. The number next to the “-” in a favorite’s odds correlates to how much a bettor needs to put down to win $100, while the number next to the “+” in an underdog’s odds represents how much a bettor stands to win on a $100 bet.

For example, if you’re betting on the Montreal Canadiens as -175 odds favorites over the Toronto Maple Leafs, you would need to bet $175 in order for your bet to return $100. Conversely, a bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs as +150 underdogs would mean that a $100 wager would net you $150 if your bet hits.

There are, however, some moneyline bets that have three options. This type of bet is called a three-way moneyline bet or a 60-minute line, the latter of which is specific to hockey. The three-way moneyline bet is used for sports such as hockey and soccer where a tie at the end of regulation is relatively common. Therefore, your three moneyline betting options would be a home team win, an away team win, or a draw/tie.

Due to the added third option, the three-way moneyline will usually offer higher odds for each market because of the possibility of the tie at the end of regulation. More options means a lower implied probability which means higher odds on that market.

For example, if you’re betting on the 60-minute line for the above example, a wager on the favorite Canadiens might have odds down to -110, which means a $110 bet would result in $100 in winnings, while a bet on the underdog Maple Leafs at +250 odds means that a $100 bet would bring you $250 in winnings. The third option, the tie, usually has lower odds than the underdog, so for this example the tie would have odds somewhere around +200, which would mean that a $100 bet cashes out $200 for a winning ticket.

What Is A Point Spread?

The point spread is a popular way to bet on the result of games as well. The difference here is that while the moneyline is concerned strictly with the result of the game, the point spread bet depends on how many points a team wins the game by, most commonly used for football or basketball betting.

The point spread is a way to allow bettors to bet on any game no matter how much of a mismatch it might be. Basically, a sportsbook will handicap a game and determine what they believe is the most likely amount of points the favorite will win the game by based on their research. They then take that number and essentially have the underdog start the game with that many points, or, looked at from the favorite perspective, take that amount of points from the favorite before the game starts.

The favorite will then have to win by more than the point spread for bets on them to cash out, while the underdog just has to lose by fewer points than the point spread indicates for bets on them to win. Unlike moneyline odds, point spread odds are usually set at standard -110 because of the fact that the spread evens the odds of both sides of the bet winning.

For example, if the Toronto Raptors are listed as favorites with a -7.5 point spread against the Detroit Pistons, that means that a bet on their point spread would only win if the Raptors win the game by eight or more points. On the flip side, if you bet on the Pistons to cover a +7.5 point spread, they just need to lose the game by seven points or less or win outright for that underdog spread bet to hit.

How Does Runline & Puckline Betting Work?

Runline and puckline betting is similar to point spread betting, only focused on different sports. While the point spread is generally used for basketball and football, sports which use points as their scoring method, the runline is used for baseball, where the score is related in runs, and the puckline is used for hockey, where the score is based on goals scored with the puck.

The runline and puckline work the same as the point spread, as they give underdog bettors a more reasonable chance to win and favorite bettors more reasonable odds to bet on than the moneyline is offering. The favorite needs to win by more runs or goals than the runline or puckline number, and the underdog needs to lose by fewer runs or goals than that same number.

Unlike the point spread odds, which are generally between -105 and -120, the odds for the runline and puckline can vary much more since there are far fewer runs and goals scored in baseball and hockey compared to football and basketball score lines.

The only difference between runline and puckline is that the runline will change with each game depending on how the two teams match up because there are still a lot of runs scored per game, while the puckline stays pretty standard at 1.5 (though on very rare occasions it can go up to 2.5 or down to 0.5) because of how few goals are scored in hockey.

For a runline example, if you’re betting on the Toronto Blue Jays as a favorite with a -3.5 runline against the Boston Red Sox, a bettor on the Blue Jays would need them to win by at least four runs for the bet to hit. On the other hand, an underdog Red Sox bettor would need the Red Sox to lose by three or fewer runs or win the game outright.

For a puckline example, if you’re wagering on the Montreal Canadiens who are -1.5 favorites on the puckline over the Toronto Maple Leafs, you would need them to win by two or more goals for your bet to hit. Meanwhile, a bet on the +1.5 puckline for the Maple Leafs means they would need to lose by one goal or win the game straight up for your bet to win.

Other Betting Types To Know

Betting doesn’t come down to puckline vs moneyline, however, there are tons of other kinds of bets you can make as well. To give you an idea of what you’re dealing with, we’ve broken down a few of the most common betting types apart from moneyline, point spread, runline, and puckline.

  • Totals: Also known as over/unders, this is a bet focused on how many combined points, goals, or runs are scored in a game rather than on the result of said game. A sportsbook will handicap a game and come up with a total, and bettors then wager whether they think the total will be over or under that number.
  • Futures: Rather than a bet on a single game, futures bets are more long-term and often season-long propositions. You can bet on things like who will win the championship, who will win the MVP, who will make the playoffs, how many wins a team will get throughout the season, and so on.
  • Player Props: This type of bet is focused on one player’s performance during a game. You can bet on any number of statistical categories such as how many yards or touchdowns a player will have in football, how many points or assists or rebounds a player will have in basketball, how many hits or strikeouts or home runs a player will have in baseball, or how many goals or saves or shots a player will have in hockey.
  • Grand Salami: A bet unique to hockey and on rare occasions baseball, this is a bet on the total number of runs or goals that will be scored on an entire night’s slate of games.
  • Parlay: A popular way to hand sportsbooks easy money nowadays, a parlay is a wager where you roll several bets into one, giving you much higher odds and payouts while reducing your implied probability of winning very significantly. You need every bet in your parlay to win if your parlay is going to cash out.


To ensure we’ve covered all our bases when it comes to the puckline vs moneyline debate, we’ve put together a short list of common queries we’ve seen on the topic.

Does the puckline include overtime?

Yes, but if you're betting on a two-way puckline and the game goes to overtime, the bet has essentially already been decided, as overtime ends after one goal is scored and the puckline is generally at 1.5 goals.

Should I bet puckline or moneyline?

It’s up to you as the bettor which one you think is best, but moneyline bets should usually be reserved for bets on underdogs or bets where the favorite has odds between -110 and -200. Odds any lower than that and the risk on the bet is no longer worth the reward, and you should look into the puckline.

What’s the difference between runline, puckline, and point spread?

The three are all essentially the same, with the runline referring to bets on how many runs a team will win by in a baseball game, the puckline doing the same for hockey, and the point spread doing the same for football and basketball.

Is it legal to bet on the puckline in Canada?

Yes, it is legal to bet on the puckline or any other sports betting market in Canada, as long as it’s being done with a licensed and registered sportsbook.

Which sportsbook is the best?

Sportsbook preference is all about your taste as a bettor, our sportsbook reviews can help you figure out which one’s best for you. However, we also recommend signing up for more than one sportsbook so you can line shop and take advantage of more bonuses and offers.

What’s the best bet for a beginner?

The simplest bet is a moneyline wager, so if you’re just getting started, research a game you have a good feeling about and bet on who you think will win rather than how many goals there will be or what the winning margin will be.


Now that you’ve gotten through our betting guide, you should have a much more clear idea of what a moneyline bet is and how it differs from a puckline bet. You should also have a good understanding of the differences between the point spread, runline, and puckline. Remember to always bet responsibly and enjoy the action!