Ice Hockey is clearly a ‘young’ sport in terms of the professional game here in the UK. That said, it certainly is growing in terms of popularity and media exposure. As a consequence, several major UK bookmakers now take bets on Elite League matches.
This article intends to provide a guide to the popular bet types and the terminology used in ice hockey betting. In the example, it will use the odds provided by Bet365 for the Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants match played on January 5th 2018. If you are looking to bet once you finish reading this article, be sure to check out the best bet365 betting offers in the UK, including hockey bets, before you sign up with a UK bookmaker.
Game lines are the most popular and easiest to understand betting markets in ice hockey. There are three in total: Line, Total and Money Line. The latter is the most basic of all, as it is the simply the bet on the match winner, including OT. In the case of the Steelers and Giants both teams are priced at 17/20 in the Money Line, meaning a £20 bet on the winner would return £37. The odds reflect the fact that it is predicted to be a tight match as the Giants and Steelers are placed 2nd and 3rd in the Elite League table.
Total refers to the amount of goals scored in the game. The betting market will allow you to bet on whether or not you think the number of goals scored (by both teams) will be over or under a specific number. This can change depending on the teams, but for the Steelers v Giants game the odds are 11/10 for over 7.5 goals and 7/10 for under 7.5 goals. The .5 is used to ensure there are no ties.
Lines, sometimes referred to as Points Spread or Puck Line betting, is a form of handicap betting. You can bet on one team starting with a hypothetical lead or deficit of 1.5 goals (again this can change depending on the matchup). For example, if you bet on the Giants to cover the handicap of 1.5 goals you would get a price of 37/20. The bet will only win if the Belfast Giants win by two or more clear goals: 2-0, 3-1, 4-1 etc.
Other Markets and Props:
Props are generally considered to be betting on anything outside of the final match result. For example, you can bet on the highest scoring period. In the Steelers v Giants match the odds for the 1st quarter are 7/2, 2nd and 3rd quarters 21/10, and 27/10 for the 4th quarter. Clearly, the bookmakers have factored in that the middle quarters are statistically the most likely to see more goals. Other examples of props are the first player to score in the game or if the total number of goals will be an odd or even number.
Other markets can vary from game to game, normally depending on the match profile. One popular market is Winning Margin, where you can bet on the number of goals by which a team wins the match. So, if you picked the Steelers to win by three goals and the final score was 4-1 to Sheffield, you would pick up odds of 13/2.
The above gives a flavour of the types of betting markets available for Elite League games in the UK. Generally, more markets are available for NHL games but, as the sport grows in stature in Britain, the bookmakers will inevitably follow.