What’s up, fellow puck line degenerates? The Tweet above has my NHL gambling picks from Episode 151 of Spittin’ Chiclets (the one with Tampa Bay superstar Steven Stamkos—click here to listen). I know there aren’t many hockey gamblers out there as only about 2% of Vegas sports gaming action is via pucks. But based on feedback on social media, Chiclets listeners have really taken a liking to NHL wagering and the puck line in particular.
For the uninitiated, the standard line on an NHL game is the money line (similar to baseball). So the more a team is expected to win, the more money you’ll have to risk. For example, to win $100 on Montreal tonight, you have to risk $125. Conversely, if you take the opposing Blue Jackets, you get back $105 for every $100 you risk.
There are all sorts of other wagers you can make: team totals, first period winner, over/under, etc. But I’m a big fan of the puck line. The puck line is more similar to betting on a basketball or football game in that your team has to cover a -1.5 goal spread. However, you get a much better return than on the money line. So if you take the Canadiens tonight on the puck line for $100 and they win by 2 or more goals, you get back $215.
If you want to lay the -1.5 with the underdog, that’s typically referred to as an Alternate Line. If your shop offers it, fantastic because you can make some serious cabbage on it. Unfortunately, not every shop offers the Alternate Puck Line so you can only lay the -1.5 with the fave. Still, there’s cash to be won with the puck line.
(You can also take a team +1.5 but I don’t recommend this as the juice is usually not worth it. For example, Columbus +1.5 tonight is a whopping -560. So you’re risking $560 to make $100 that, essentially, the Blue Jackets will lose the game by a goal. Because if you liked them to win, then you’d just take them $100 to make $105. Yeah, sure, you’re a guaranteed winner once it goes to OT. But if they lose by 2 or more, you dropped over a nickel.)
As for the “unit”, a “unit” is basically your particular standard wager. So if you typically bet $100 a game, then that would be your unit if tailing me (i.e. following my action above). If you bet a dime a game, then your unit is a dime. Capisce?
Happy gaming and good luck to all.
To listen today’s ep and more background on the picks…