Most professional sports refer to their playoff series as a, “second season,” but when you’re talking about the National Hockey League (NHL) it’s actually true. No professional sport steps up their game in the playoffs the way hockey players do on the road to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Hockey playoffs take almost two months to complete and are considered by fans to be some of the best hockey of the entire season. But are the playoffs the best time to bet on hockey games?
One factor that makes betting on the NHL playoffs a good value for punters is that teams tend to exaggerate the qualities that got them to the conference and divisional finals. Everything about the playoff is blown to epic proportions. Bettors who have been following the regular season closely will see this dynamic at play right away.
Of course any time you have two teams playing in a best of seven series you’re looking at a good betting opportunity. Over the course of a longer series, bettors can get the kind of in depth look at individual matchups on a level that isn’t really possible during the regular season. The flip of playoff hockey is that teams tend to make fewer mistakes and that’s something bettors definitely count on during the regular season.
And the later you get into the NHL playoffs, the fewer mismatched series you’re going to see. So count on having a tougher time handicapping games in the later rounds.
No matter what time of year you bet on NHL hockey the standard bets are going to be the same.
There’s always the standard moneyline bet. That’s a simple pick on which team is going to win straight up. The odds on favorite is expressed with a negative number indicating the amount that has to be wagered in order to win $100. If the moneyline on the Colorado Avalanche is -110, that means that bettors have to wager $110 to win $100. The moneyline underdog is expressed as a positive number, say Chicago +200, that indicates the
Online sportsbooks also offer an NHL wager on what’s called the puck line. Puck line bets are a little bit of standard point spread betting mixed with a moneyline style payoff. A puck line bet is a wager that the favored team will by 1.5 goals, or that the underdog will lose by less than 1.5 goals. Of course hockey bettors can also put money on goal totals and the over/under.
Over the past few years more and more online casinos and sportsbooks are also offering in-play betting. It’s identical to standard betting only punters can place their bets at any time during the game and enjoy continuously changing odds as the game goes on.
Few sports offer a playoff season as exciting and action packed as the Road to the Stanley Cup Finals and that makes betting on NHL playoff action and exciting and profitable proposition.
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