European Handicap in Hockey

European handicap,

In most sports betting, the Handicap line is usually made available. Its nature and benefits make it the perfect market for a sport like hockey.

Betting in hockey is different from what is obtainable elsewhere due to how the game is played. This article provides the basics of the game and why European Handicap is suitable for this sport.

The Basics of Hockey

Hockey is a rigorous sport between two teams. Each team consists of five skatesmen and a goaltender. There are usually 2 defensemen and 3 forwards. The objective of the game is to get more goals at full time.

The game has three periods, and in the event of a tie over the periods, there would be overtime and then the shootout.

The Uniqueness of European Handicap Betting in Hockey

It is important to note that Hockey games are usually very close and won by a narrow margin. 

Here, the blowouts only happen once in a blue moon. The wins are usually narrow, with 3 – 5 goals in between. Also, the chances of winning by 1 or 2 goals are usually closer than what is obtainable elsewhere.

For instance, when a team is leading by a goal, most times, the opponent would take out the goaltender for another skater.

This often happens during the last minutes of the game. The idea is to strengthen their offence. Nonetheless, it also gives the leading team better scoring chances. So if they are able to get possession, they have an open net to shoot at.

European Handicap is a 3-way bet type, so bettors can also stake on a draw.

European Handicap Betting Odds in Hockey 

Putting additional elements to your bet would naturally increase the odds as you are also incurring more risk. This is the case with European Handicap.

However, each sport has a valuable aspect that punters can leverage. In hockey, the value spot is the prevalence of late goals and the close goal difference.

An Example of European Handicap in Hockey

Let’s take an NHL match between Pittsburgh and Ottawa, for example. With Pittsburgh as the obvious favourite to win the game, a bookmaker writes down odds of 1.56 for an outright win after the complete 60 minutes. However, you can jerk up the odds a little bit by going for a European Handicap of -1.0 goals. This could increase the odds to the borders of 2.0.

This handicap implies that the favourites are given a fictitious goal deficit at the start of the game. On the other end, a goal is added to the underdog to increase their chances and handicap Pittsburgh.

So for a bet on Pittsburgh to come through, they have to win with at least 2 goal lead. The chances can be reduced to what will happen when Pittsburgh are up by just a goal difference.

A common occurrence is that the underdogs pull their netminder to create a better offence. Unfortunately, this also leaves them wanting in the backline. It provides a better chance for the favourite to get another goal over Ottawa.


Hockey is a unique sport with tendencies that punters can take advantage of. One of the best ways to achieve this is with the European Handicap.