Tom Gable, Director of Race & Sports at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, provides our readers with insider tips and strategies for making the most of their sports betting ventures. This week, Tom focuses on the basics of NHL betting and the various wagers a bettor can place at Borgata.
The NHL, much like the NBA, had to put their season on pause when COVID-19 shut sports down in March. They restarted their season at the very beginning of this month using a “bubble” concept with teams playing in Edmonton and Toronto. The NHL has now started their playoffs with teams currently playing in their first round series.
Let’s start with the basics of hockey betting, which is similar to baseball betting. You can wager on a team to win a specific game outright on the moneyline (ex. the Dallas Stars are -130 favorites, which means for every $1.30 you wager, you would win $1.00 back, plus your original stake, if the Stars win the game). You can also take a team on the puck line. For example, if the Philadelphia Flyers are favored in a game, they would be listed -1 1/2 +180 on the puck line. Flyers are 1 1/2 goal favorites and have to cover by scoring 2 or more goals in order for a bettor to win $1.80 for every $1.00 you wagered — plus your original stake back. So, let’s say I put down $10 on the Flyers, and they win the game 4-2. I would win $18, plus my original $10 back. Another common wager is on the total number of goals scored in a game. The sportsbook will list what they believe will be the total goals scored, and the bettor will wager if the total will go over or under that number. A common total in hockey is 5, so you would wager if the number of goals scored in a game is higher or lower than 5. Tip: Goalies are often the most important players on the ice when considering the total number of goals scored in a game.
Some additional hockey bets include the top scoring team after the first period and whether there will be a goal scored in the first 10 minutes (this is a simple yes/no wager). This wager has gained popularity over the last few years as customers know if they win or lose the wager after just 10 minutes, instead of waiting for an entire game to determine if you win or lose money.
At Borgata, you can also bet on which team will win the Stanley Cup, the Eastern and Western Conferences, and specific playoff series, including how many games each series will go (between 4-7 games). Remember, to place your hockey bets at Borgata’s Race & Sports Book or at BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar.