What does O/U 5.5 mean for betting in ice hockey? A Step by Step Guide

What does O/U 5.5 mean for betting in ice hockey?

It's not all uncommon to see O/U 5.5 when it comes to making a bet on an ice hockey game. This is the betting line bookmakers set for the number of goals to be scored in a game with the O/U signifying the over and under.

If you bet the over you are wagering that six or more goals will be scored. If you bet the under you are wagering the number of goals in the game will be five or less.

The reason the .5 is included is to make sure each bet will have a winner or loser. If you use an exact number such as 5, it's entirely possible the game would end up with five goals being scored and you would neither win nor lose your bet. This is called a push or a tie and when that happens bettors simply get their money back.

In an over/under bet it makes absolutely no difference which team wins the games. In the case of hockey, all that matters is the number of goals scored. And the reason you will often see the number 5.5 is because in the overwhelming majority of NHL games the final goal total ends up being from four to six.

RICK FORTENBAUGH

Although the average game may have a goal total in the five range, there are some other things to consider when placing an over/under bet in hockey.

One of your biggest concerns is whether a goalie is on a hot streak. When a goalie is in top form and receiving plenty of defensive help, going with the under may prove to be a wise strategy.

Similarly, look to see if teams have been scoring a lot of goals lately. Also look to see if star forwards are on a goal-scoring spree.

To do so check the statistics for a team's individual high scorers and their potential league most valuable player candidates because they can tend to make major impacts on the game.

Furthermore, stay up to date on any injuries. If a team is missing one of its highest scorers or two, it could struggle to score goals.

As is the case with just about any sports gambling, check around to see what the various sportsbooks are offering on the over/unders. By doing additional research you might find a goal total more favorable towards what you are considering. Also, take into account if you see an over/under goal total make a sudden move up or down, this means something significant may be going on that could affect the way in which you want to place your wager.

Also, be aware there's a difference between bets on how many goals the two teams will combine to score as opposed to over/under bets on how many goals a specific team will score. If you see 2.5 next to the name of a team, this means you are to bet on whether you think the team will score at least three goals or no more than two.

About Rick Fortenbaugh
Rick Fortenbaugh author profile

Sports writer in Trenton, New Jersey, for over 35 years. Has covered a full range of sports, including pros, colleges and high schools. Owner of a bachelor's degree to teach history from the College of New Jersey.

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