Puckline is a form of spread betting, similar to runline, designed for hockey. It adds or subtracts a set number of goals to the final score of a one team during the game, which gives a sports bettor a different set of odds to wager on. Puckline differs from spread betting on NFL and NBA because it isn’t necessarily designed to make the outcome even or 50/50, though that sometimes can be the effect. It looks to make the favorite the underdog while making the underdog the favorite. That means that fans of a particular team are more likely to to support them with the added risk of the -1.5 or +1.5 goals added to their score. The best way to illustrate this is to work through an example:
I included the moneyline odds in the example to show you that the Rangers are the favorite to straight up win the game. That means the puckline is going to subtract 1.5 goals from the Rangers score or add 1.5 goals to the Flyers, depending on which team you pick. It is always important to pay attention to the odds in puckline. Here, a $100 bet on the Rangers pays $240, meanwhile a bet on the Flyers only pays $35.71. Always check your level of risk using an odds calculator before placing a bet. Those 1.5 goals on the Flyers come at a significant price.
To show the outcome, let’s work through a final score:
In the above a puckline bet on the Rangers means you need to subtract 1.5 goals from the Rangers score. That is going to make the score actually 1.5 – 2, and the Rangers bet loses. To show the other side: a bet on the Flyers means a score of 3 – 3.5 meaning your puckline bet on the Flyers wins.
Let’s look at different outcome:
Here a bet on the Rangers results in a score of 2.5 – 2, meaning a Rangers puckline bet wins. As you can likely see now, the Flyers bet would lose with a score of 4 – 3.5.
If this topic is still a little unclear, click over to the article on the very similar what is the runline article and spread betting explained which give you very similar examples and illustrations to this puckline explanation.