When you see a negative number in a betting line on an NHL game, it means that you are giving odds to the sportsbook. Say you were wagering at BetStars and you played the Nashville Predators to beat the Winnipeg Jets, and the moneyline on the Predators was -135.
First of all, this indicates that BetStars has listed the Predators as the favorites to win the game from the Jets. Moneylines are based on $100 increments. In a negative moneyline such as this one, the -135 means that you would be required to wager $135 on the Predators if you desired to finish the game with a profit of $100 on your bet.
The moneyline isn’t the only place in an NHL betting line where negative numbers are going to appear. You will also see minus numbers next to one team in the puck line, but you might be surprised where you see these digits.
The puck line is hockey’s version of point spread wagering that is hugely popular in football. In almost every instance with an NHL game, you will either get 1.5 goals or give 1.5 goals. If the Jets were listed as +1.5 against the Predators at BetStars, that would indicate that as the underdogs, you will get a 1.5-goal handicap for a wager on Winnipeg. Next to the +1.5, you might see a number such as -130. In the puck line, since you are being given the advantage of having an extra 1.5 goals on your side of the wager, the underdog Jets have become the favorites in the eyes of the bookmakers and therefore you will need to wager $130 on the Jets in order to win a $100 stipend.
You will also find negative numbers in play if you choose to wager on the total. Once they have established a total on the game – say 5.5 for this Jets-Predators tilt – he sportsbook will generally favor one side of the equation, either the over or the under. For example, if it read under (-115), it means BetStars is leaning toward less than 5.5 goals being scored by the two teams. Therefore, if you play the under, you will be giving odds to the house.