The Degenerate Gambling Corner

If you’re reading this, I assume you watch a decent amount of hockey games, and follow the league or your favorite team relatively closely. Now gambling on sports is not for everybody, and it is difficult to make real money unless you have ACTUAL disposable income to bet big money on big games, and you won’t be strapped for cash if you lose. So if you’re gambling big with money you need to pay your rent, just don’t do it. I am absolutely not an expert, but I’ve learned some things following people on twitter and reading about sports gambling. I personally don’t gamble large amounts. I stick to smaller bets, and spread them out. Though sometimes it is a good time to be a complete degenerate scumbag and set up a couple TVs and laptops to watch a bunch of different games you put money on. Welcome to the first edition of The Degenerate Gambling Corner.(still work-shopping that name. help me out)

Favorites vs. Underdogs

When looking at sports gambling, one thing that trips up new gamblers is determining who is the underdog and who is the favorite based on the American Odds.

The way I remembered it is that if there is a (+) in front of the odds, a win will pay MORE than what was wagered, this is the underdog

When betting on a favorite, there will be a (–) in front of the odds, and a win will pay LESS than what was wagered.


Betting Moneyline is one the simplest bets you can make, and the easiest to understand. If the team you wager money on wins…you win money, if they lose, you lose your wager. Now Moneyline betting is pretty straightforward, but here’s a quick example.



With PIT at +115, they would be considered the underdog. And with CBJ at -135, they would be the favorite.

To win $100 on CBJ, you would have to wager $135. For a total return of $235

A wager of $100 on PIT would win you $115. For a total return of $215

Simple enough right? Now onto some more intricate betting lines.


To keep it as simple as possible, Puckline is to hockeyas the spread is to football. The kicker is that in hockey, the “spread” is almost exclusively +/-1.5. So, in regards to the game mentioned above, these are the puckline odds.



As you can see, the team that is the moneyline favorite has a -1½, and the underdog has a + 1½. In this format, you can bet on the favorite to win by 1.5 goals (so 2 goals), or bet on the underdog to either lose by less than 1.5 (so 1 goal) or win outright.

So, to win a puckline bet on PIT, they would have to lose by no more than 1 goal, or win outright. To win a bet on CBJ, they have to win by at least 2 goals. And of course, the odds are changed, with the underdog favored to win the puckline, because many hockey games are won by only 1 goal.

A wager of $240 on PIT would win $100, for a total return of $340

A wager of $100 on CBJ would win $200, for a total return of $300

Totals (Over/Under)

Betting totals, or over/under, is incredibly simply. The oddsmaker will set a line of the combined number of goals scored in the game, and odds for both over that line, or under that line.

You will likely encounter something that looks like this

O6 (-110)

U6 (-110)

In the photos above, the line is set at 6 goals under the “Total” tab. Meaning, a game would have to have a total of at least 7 goals to win the over, and 5 goals or under to win the under. If the total goals scored in this particular game equals the number set, 6, it would be considered a push, in which the amount wagered will be refunded. So in this particular game, you would have to wager $110 on either to win $100.

Grand Salami

A Grand Salami is a pretty obscure betting line, it is a line that ties in all of the games of a particular day, and is bet as an O/U for total goals scored throughout the league during that particular day. It’s not a bet that I personally have ever bet, but it’s there if you’re crazy enough to take it.


  1. Check where the game falls in the schedule. Take note of how the team has done in their last 10, if they’re on a bad road trip, or if its game 2 of a back2back.
  2. Always check who’s starting in goal for games that peak your interest. It suck’s to put money down on a game you think could be a win only to be let down by a goalie being out and relying on a backup to hold it down.
  3. Check the injury report. Injuries to high profile players can hurt your wallet if you’re not aware of them before placing your wager.

So from here on out, it seems like I’m going to take over hockey gambling here at The Morning Skate. I’m planning on getting at least a couple picks out a week, maybe a couple picks with a write-up on the pick and my justification as to why it’s a good play, along with some gambling tips along the way, so keep your eyes peeled. I might even throw some tips out on twitter, so hit me with some feedback, suggestions, and ask me about your picks or for my thoughts on some games @JakeMurtha on Twitter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s