All hockey betting lines will give a total, also known as an over/under option, as a wagering play for an NHL game. There will be a number associated with it. For instance, let’s say you are on the sportsbook site at PointsBet and you are checking out the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames.
You see a total set at 5.5. That’s the sportsbook’s line on how many goals it predicts both teams will combine to score during the course of the game. Your decision is to bet whether the actual number will be over or under that number. By giving a line with half a goal, the sportsbook is ensuring that all bets will be winners and losers and none will be a tie, or what’s known in sports betting as a push.
Over/under wagering doesn’t stop there, however. Thanks to the explosion in popularity of live or in-game betting, you can make plays on different totals throughout the game. For example, PointsBet offers five different total bets for each period. They vary in number from 0.5 goals per period to 3.5 goals per period. You can play any or all of these wagers if you so choose by wagering on either the over or under outcome.
But wait, there’s more. PointsBet also offers total goals markets for both the home and away team, again set on an over/under basis for wagering. There are also four alternate total lines for the game on offer, ranging in amount from six to eight goals.
Since these are all live wagers, you will notice that the odds can change at a moment’s notice, and that the amount you could win varies from wager to wager. As the period progresses and the outcome appears more certain, expect the odds to decline. If you want to make a bigger score, your best bet is to wager early. But if you want a much better chance at winning in exchange for less of a return on your wager, wait and make your play later into the period.