How to bet on the Canadiens: Moneylines, totals and parlays
Despite their struggles, there are still many different ways to bet on a Canadiens game. Photo by Michael Reaves/AP

It hasn't been a great year to root for the Montreal Canadiens, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to add some entertainment to a Habs game through betting.

There are several different ways to bet on — or against — the Habs. So for those looking to get in on the action, we’ll break down some of the betting options that are made available to you each time they take the ice.

We'll go through everything you need to know when betting on the Canadiens and offer tips so you know how to make the right wager.

How to bet on the Canadiens

If you're interested in wagering on the Canadiens, you'll notice there are a number of options available — from the moneyline to player props.

In addition to the variety of offerings, there'll also be several factors to consider before placing your bets such as the opponent, location, trends and injuries. They all matter.

Moneyline

If you think the Canadiens are going to win their next game, you'll likely want to make a moneyline bet.

A successful moneyline wager involves backing the team you think will win the game outright. The squad you select can win the game in regulation, overtime, a shootout, or by any margin to win the bet.

The underdog will be denoted with a plus (+) symbol in front of its odds and the favourite will have a minus (-) symbol in front of its odds.

More often than not, Montreal finds itself in the underdog role this season. There are very few instances where the Habs are listed as a favourite.

For example, in a road game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadiens will likely be considered a big underdog. In a road contest against the Detroit Red Wings, however, Montreal will be a slighter underdog. Very rarely, like in a home game against the Arizona Coyotes, will the Canadiens be listed as a favourite.

The odds for each of these games could be presented as such:

Canadiens (+380) vs. Maple Leafs (-500)
Canadiens (+210) vs. Red Wings (-250)
Coyotes (+115) vs. Canadiens (-135)

In these examples, the payout structure for a bet on the Habs looks like this:

+380 (20.83% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $380.
+210: (32.26% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $210.
-135: (57.45% implied win probability): You would need to wager $135 to win $100.

In a game against the Red Wings, the Canadiens would likely find themselves as the underdog. Photo by Paul Sancya/AP.

While the returns in the Leafs and Wings examples are nice, it's important to peak over at the implied win probability. In those instances, the Habs aren't considered to have a strong chance of winning the bet.

Against the Coyotes, however, it makes much more sense to back the Habs on the moneyline. In addition to a solid implied win probability, it only requires $135 to win $100.

There are still ways to back Montreal against Toronto and Detroit, though, which we will look at in our next section on how to bet on the Canadiens puck line.

Puck line

Aside from betting on the moneyline, you'll also have the option to bet on the puck line each Habs game.

A puck line wager varies from a moneyline bet as you're now picking the game against a spread. Puck lines are usually set at 1.5, although they will sometimes be listed at 2.5 or higher. Additionally, there are accompanying odds that reflect the potential winnings from puck lines.

Using the examples noted above, here is how the puck lines for Habs game would shake out:

Canadiens +1.5 (+180) vs. Maple Leafs -1.5 (-200)
Canadiens +1.5 (-120) vs. Red Wings -1.5 (+100)
Coyotes +1.5 (-210) vs. Canadiens -1.5 (+175)

For the first two examples, the +1.5 next to the Canadiens indicates that the oddsmakers are awarding 1.5 goals to Montreal. Consequently, the Habs can lose either game by a goal or win outright and cover.

The -1.5 in the third example means that the sportsbook is subtracting 1.5 goals from Montreal's total. Therefore, in order to cover, Montreal must win the game by two goals or more.

Using the odds provided above, here is what the payout structures for a bet on the Canadiens looks like:

+180 (35.71% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $180.
-120: (54.55% implied win probability): A $120 wager would win $100.
+175: (57.45% implied win probability): A $100 wager wins $175.

It would be wiser to bet Montreal on the puck line against the Maple Leafs and Red Wings opposed to the moneyline. In both instances, the Canadiens' implied win probability rises significantly while the payouts remain solid.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to wager on the Habs puck line against the Coyotes, but we'd prefer a moneyline wager based on implied win probability.

How to bet on Canadiens totals

Betting on totals is another popular option if you don't want to wager on the final result of a contest. Game total lines are typically set at 5.5 or 6.5 goals and you'll be able to wager on whether the two sides will score more or fewer goals than the specified total.

Staying with the Red Wings and Canadiens example, if you believe the squads will combine for more than 5.5 goals, you'd bet the over. If you think Detroit and Montreal will score fewer than 5.5 goals, you'd bet the under.

Totals can also be presented as an over/under or O/U, but they all refer to the same thing.

Totals are a good betting option if you don't want to bet on the outcome of the game. Photo by Jason Franson/The Canadian Press.

In addition to betting on game totals, you can also bet on team totals. To clarify, this refers to wagering on the number of goals an individual team will score in a game.

These lines are usually set at 2.5 or 3.5. If you believe Montreal will score more than 2.5 goals, you'd bet the over. If you think the Habs will score fewer than 2.5 goals, you'd bet the under.

Considering Montreal's struggles this season, betting on totals presents a great way to bet on a Canadiens game without having to root against your favourite team or picking them solely based on your fan allegiance.

How to bet on Canadiens props

Similar to totals, prop bets provide another option for bettors who don't want to wager on the final result of the game. Prop bets are a wide-ranging market and can include wagering on which team will score first or if the game will need overtime.

Prop bets also focus on player performances, which is the market we'll review.

Player props involve a number of different betting options, such as whether or not a player will tally a goal, assist, or on the number of shots taken in a game.

For example, if you believe Nick Suzuki is poised to record an assist in the upcoming Habs game, this is how his odds will be presented to you:

Nick Suzuki to record an assist: Over 0.5 (+155) / Under 0.5 (-210).

If you think Suzuki will register a helper in the upcoming game, a $100 bet will return $155 based on the provided odds. A bet on the under at -210 odds would require a $210 bet to win $100.

Parlays and specials

Player and game specials are other offerings available at sportsbooks and typically require you to wager on multiple events. This essentially makes your bet a parlay, which decreases your chances of winning with every event added to the ticket.

This is because if one leg (another name for event) of the special or parlay loses, so does the whole ticket.

Coming back to the Canadiens and Red Wings example, you may believe Montreal is a good bet on the puck line, the game will go over the 5.5 goal total, and that Suzuki will record an assist. You could bet on all three events separately, or you may be offered a special that allows you to combine each event.

As a result, here's how that offer would appear:

Canadiens +1.5, Canadiens/Red Wings over 5.5, Suzuki over 0.5 assists (+792).

The odds for each individual event would look something like this:

Canadiens +1.5 (-120)
Canadiens/Red Wings over 5.5 (-110)
Suzuki over 0.5 assists (+155)

Clearly, the return on the special is much higher than the return on betting each event separately. The reason for that is due to the increased risk involved with grouping each leg together for one bet.

There are more ways to get in on Canadiens action through live betting and the futures market (where you can pick the Habs to win the division or Cole Caufield to win the Calder Trophy).

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How to bet on the NHL
Chris Toman
NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.