How to bet on the Senators: Moneylines, totals and props


You’re leaving Ottawa for Kanata and on your way to the Ottawa Senators game, leaving you roughly 30 minutes to kill. Or maybe you’re staying in and getting ready for the puck to drop before a big road game.

Either way, you may be looking to place a bet on the Senators game but don’t know how.

There are a number of different ways you can wager on — or against — the Sens. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the more popular options that are available to you from the moneyline to player props.

How to bet on the Senators

What you decide to wager on will come down to a number of factors, such as the opponent, location, trends, and injuries. All of these details and more will ultimately help influence your wager.

Let’s dive into some of the betting markets sportsbooks make available and offer some tips that’ll help you when betting on Ottawa.


If you think the Senators are a good pick to win a game outright, then a moneyline bet is recommended. Conversely, if you’re unsure Ottawa will win but confident it’ll keep it close, a puck line bet may be a better option.

A moneyline bet is a wager on who you think will win the game. Regardless of whether the game goes to overtime or ends in regulation, whichever side wins will represent the winner of a moneyline bet.

With any game, there will be an underdog and a favourite. In order to determine which side is the underdog, bettors will be able to tell by looking at the odds.

If there is a plus (+) symbol in front of the team’s odds, that means it is the underdog. If there is a minus (-) symbol in front of its odds, that means it is a favourite.

Moneyline betting examples

Currently, Ottawa will find itself in the underdog role more often than the favourite. For example, in a road game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sens will likely be a pretty significant underdog.

In a home game against the Philadelphia Flyers, however, the team will likely find itself as a smaller underdog.

Occasionally, the Senators will be a favourite. For instance, in a home game against the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa will likely be favoured.

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

Ottawa Senators (+360) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-480)
Philadelphia Flyers (-188) vs. Ottawa Senators (+155)
Montreal Canadiens (+105) vs. Ottawa Senators (-132)

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

+360 (21.74% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $360.
+155: (39.22% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $155.
-132: (56.90% implied win probability): You would need to wager $132 to win $100.

While the return in the Leafs example is strong, it’s important to look at the implied win probability. Although there’s a chance at a big payout, that chance is evidently small.

Therefore, this may be a better opportunity to actually bet on the Senators puck line.

Puck line

In addition to betting the moneyline, you’ll have the option of betting the puck line. Instead of picking a game straight-up, a puck line will have a spread in which either team will have to cover in order to win.

Puck lines are largely set at 1.5, but on occasion, lines will be set at 2.5 and possibly higher. There will be accompanying odds that will reflect the potential winnings from puck lines, too.

Continuing with the examples listed above, the puck lines for Sens games could look like this:

Senators +1.5 (+160) vs. Maple Leafs -1.5 (-180)
Flyers -1.5 (+145) vs. Senators +1.5 (-170)
Canadiens +1.5 (-205) vs. Senators -1.5 (+180)

For the first two examples, the +1.5 besides the Senators indicates that Ottawa is being awarded 1.5 goals by the oddsmakers. Therefore, the Sens can lose the game by a goal or win outright to cover the puck line.

In the third instance, meanwhile, the -1.5 next to Ottawa means the Senators are favoured and need to win by two goals or more in order to cover.

As a result, the payout structure for a bet on Ottawa looks like this:

+160 (38.46% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $160.
-170: (62.96% implied win probability): You would need to wager $170 to win $100.
+180: (35.71% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $180.

It makes much more sense to back Ottawa on the puck line than on the moneyline against the Maple Leafs. In addition to an improved implied win probability, a bettor will still see a plus return on their wager.

On the other hand, it becomes a tougher decision when deciding to bet Ottawa on the puck line against Philadelphia as the rake (commission fee the sportsbook receives for taking the bet) increases significantly alongside the implied win probability.

Lastly, it makes more sense to back Ottawa on the moneyline instead of the puck line against Montreal. Despite increasingly favourable odds, the implied win probability drops fairly dramatically.

How to bet on Senators totals

In addition to betting on the final result of a game, you can also wager on the total number of goals scored in a game. Typically, game total lines are set at 5.5 or 6.5 goals, and you’ll have the option to wager on whether both teams will combine for more or fewer goals than the total.

Using the Senators and Maple Leafs example, if the total is set at 5.5 and you think the two squads will score six goals or more, you’d place a bet on the over. If you think the squads will score five or fewer, you’d bet the under.

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

Betting on totals is a popular market and alternative to wagering on the game outcome. Photo by Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press.

Additionally, you can bet on team totals. These are usually set at 2.5 or 3.5 goals and work the same way as betting on game totals. You’ll select the over or under depending on how many goals you believe the Sens or its opponents will score.

Totals are a great way to wager on a game, especially if you’re unsure if the Senators will win or not.

For instance, you may not like Ottawa’s chances against the Maple Leafs but still want to bet on the contest. Betting on the game total allows you to still place a wager on the game without having to actively root against your favourite team or pick them solely based on your long-rooted fandom.

How to bet on Senators props

Similarly to game totals, props offer another way that you can bet on a game that doesn’t directly involve the final result.

Prop bets can involve betting on which team will score the first goal, or how many goals a team scores in the first period. Prop bets also deal with player performances, which we will focus on here.

There are a number of potential options you can choose when looking to bet player props. You can place a bet on whether or not a player will record a goal, assist, or on how many shots they’ll take in a game.

When Ottawa squares off against a weak defensive team, it may be a good time to place a bet on a Brady Tkachuk shot prop. Since Tkachuk rifles a ton of pucks on net, he’s usually a good bet to go over his total. Last season, his 220 shots on goal were second across the NHL.

Tkachuk’s shot prop will look something like this:

Tkachuk over 3.5 shots (+120); under 3.5 (-160).

There’s certainly some value to be had wagering on Tkachuk’s over, as a $100 bet will provide $120 in winnings.

Betting on Tkachuk can be profitable even if the Senators aren't themselves. Photo by Adrian Wyld/The Candian Press.

When betting player props, like any other market, it’s important to consider the odds. An important trend to track before wagering on a shot prop is the number of shots per game allowed by the opposing team.

Typically, it’ll favour Tkachuk’s chances of hitting the over if the opponent allows a surplus of pucks on net.

Parlays and specials

Player and game specials are another option offered by sportsbooks, but they typically require you to wager on multiple events. This essentially makes it a parlay, and your chances of winning decrease significantly with every outcome added to your ticket.

If one leg (another name for event) on your ticket loses, you lose the parlay.

Returning to the Senators and Maple Leafs example, you may believe that the Senators will cover the puck line, Tkachuk will record more than 3.5 shots, and that the game will go over the game total of 5.5 goals.

You could bet on all three events separately or you may be able to combine the three together.

Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Senators +1.5, Brady Tkachuk over 3.5 shots, over 5.5 total goals (+992).

If those events were separately bet on, the odds would look like this:

Senators +1.5 (+160)
Brady Tkachuk O3.5 shots (+120)
O5.5 total goals (-110)

Evidently, the return on the parlay is much more than the return on betting each event separately. That’s because, in order to win the parlay, every event needs to win. If the Senators failed to cover the puck line, the ticket would be a loser. There is a heightened amount of risk when betting on two or more outcomes.

There are more ways to get in on Senators action through live betting and the futures market (where you can pick the Senators to win the Cup or Thomas Chabot to win the Norris Trophy).

You can read more on those in our NHL betting guide.


Steven Psihogios writes about sports betting for NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, the Star’s parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @StevenPsihogios

Disclaimer This content was produced as part of a partnership and therefore it may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.

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