The NHL is the largest ice hockey league in the world, and placing bets on NHL events is a favorite for numerous across the globe. Moreover, the NHL’s stance on sports betting has been relatively welcoming, which is most clear when we look at how the league has treated Las Vegas throughout the years. Often avoided by some of the major leagues due to its reputation as a sports-betting location, the Entertainment Capital of the World received its own NHL franchise in 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights, a feat much appreciated by Vegas-based NHL fans.
Given how entertaining NHL hockey tends to be, it comes as no surprise that a lot of sports bettors gravitate towards it. Thanks to this relatively great demand, NHL punters can pick between numerous markets when they pay a visit to their favorite bookmakers.
This includes classics such as moneyline betting and over/under betting, in addition to puck line wagering which is a variation of the point spread bettors know and love from other sports. NHL props and futures also tend to attract bettors to the NHL listings at bookies. In addition, placing bets while a match is live has also become a great way to enjoy NHL betting.
NHL Moneyline Betting
Wagering on the moneyline is a classic in the sports betting world. It is usually the first bet people learn about even if they do not become bettors, and placing such a bet means that you are wagering on which team will be the winner.
Due to the fact that the NHL introduced shootouts in 2005, the most typical type of moneyline bet is the 2-way bet. This type of wager lets you pick between two choices, i.e., whether team one or team two will be the winner according to your predictions.
In addition, and this might come as a surprise based on what we have written so far, 3-way betting is also available for NHL games. There is something called wagering on the 60-minute moneyline, which is what makes three-way listings possible. This type of moneyline bet does not factor in overtime or shootouts and is instead limited to the regular portion of the game. Because said 60 minutes can end in a draw, you, therefore, have three options to pick from — team one to win, team two to win, or the regulation time ending in a tie.
The odds in moneyline betting reflect which team is the favorite and which one is the underdog. If you decide to chalk bet, that is, place a wager on the favorite, the odds will be less generous. That is because your team is more likely to win, according to the bookie, so the odds are lowered to compensate. In contrast, the odds of the underdog tend to be very good, and this comes at the cost of your bet being, supposedly, far more risky.
NHL Puck Line Betting
The puck line in NHL betting refers to wagering on the spread. The key difference between the NHL puck line and ordinary spreads is that, typically, the puck line will not be larger than +/- 1.5. The reason behind this is NHL hockey’s status as a low-scoring sport, as opposed to sports such as basketball. Another difference is that, as opposed to typical spreads, here, the odds of the underdog and favorite will not be the same.
That is not to say that there is never an option to wager on puck lines that go above or below the 1.5 margin we mentioned earlier. In fact, such opportunities are available, and they are called alternate puck lines. Sportsbooks often offer puck lines that are between +1 and +2.5, as well as ones that go from -2.5. Here, it is also possible for the underdog to receive negative odds, and vice versa for the favorite. In some cases this can be an especially profitable opportunity, so make sure to check if these options are available.
As for the puck line’s relationship with overtime and shootouts, typically the puck line does include them. However, there are selections that allow another option, and these bets are called 3-way bets. Like 3-way moneyline wagers, this type of listing gives you the opportunity to wager on a third outcome. In this case, this is called the “push result”, which means you can place a bet that a push, or the team getting the exact number of the puck line, will happen. It basically functions like a normal win/lose bet, therefore if it ends up being the true outcome, the bettors who went with the other options will lose.
Totals are one of the most popular markets at sportsbooks, especially when it comes to NHL selections. Over/under wagers are a fairly easy bet type to get the hang of, and they are friendly towards newer punters. In addition, experienced punters also place total bets, as winning such bets is often considered easier than other wager types.
Over/under bets typically range between 5.5 and 6.5, seeing as the number of goals in NHL games tends to be fairly low. In general, which one you pick is reliant on many factors. A good goaltender, for instance, can make all the difference.
Additionally, there is an interesting over/under option with quite a peculiar name. We call this bet the Grand Salami. Placing such a wager means that you are betting on whether the combined score of the day in question’s matches will be over or under a certain margin.
NHL Proposition Bets
Proposition bets, which are also known as props, are quite the entertaining type of wager. They are fairly unique, seeing as they are typically offered for very specific outcomes or actions related to the individual players or the team as a whole.
Player props in particular are popular and they are pretty straightforward. The bets in question often include things such as whether a player will score a goal, how many assists they will make, how many goals they will make or prevent, and so on. Apart from player props, there is also a subsection of proposition bets that focuses mainly on the teams, such as first team to score.
Prop bets also offer great opportunities to make use of any expert knowledge you have regarding the NHL. The more familiar you are with an individual’s playing style and their recent performance and how they work with their team, for instance, the higher your chances of winning will be.
NHL Correct Score Betting
NHL hockey lends itself well to correct score betting as it is not a sport like basketball, where the points can often reach triple digits. Instead, NHL games tend to end with a couple of goals on either team’s side, which makes correct score betting here possible. The fact that these bets are viable for NHL events does not mean, however, that they are easy to win.
On the contrary, predicting the correct score of a game can be an incredibly difficult task, so much so that the payouts for these types of bets are more often than not very generous towards punters. This is done to compensate for your relatively low chances of winning.
The following selections are an example of exact score odds for a match between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks. We will be placing a fictional $5 bet on each outcome to see how much money we will receive if we win:
|Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks|
|Bet||Odds||Payout from a $5 bet|
As you can see, the payouts we are talking about have excellent value, and modest bets can result in lucrative winnings. Once again, though, we need to emphasize that these tempting payouts come at a price. Your chances of winning such a wager will be fairly low in general since correct scores are notoriously tricky to predict. They can be exceptionally fun as well, though, so we do not discourage punters from trying these bets. On the contrary, the excitement factor alone can be more than worth it. Just remember to, as always, manage your expectations and treat your bankroll with care.
NHL Double Chance
Double chance bets offer three outcomes, and all of them include the draw. This means that you wager on one of the three outcomes not occurring and that this type of bet is only concerned with the first 60 minutes of an NHL event. If we are to, once again, examine the Calgary Flames versus Chicago Blackhawks match, we will see that the double chance options look like this:
- Calgary Flames to win or Draw
- Chicago Blackhawks to win or draw
- Calgary Flames or Chicago Blackhawks to win
If you go with the first option, it means you are counting that the first 60 minutes will either end in a draw or that the Calgary Flames will beat their opponents. Many punters will immediately take note of how much safer this type of bet is compared to other wager variations. This also means that the odds will be fairy tame, although you could try and put such bets in parlays. Double chance bets make parlays less risky in a way, and in turn, the odds are improved thanks to the multiplication of the multiple selections’ odds.
Futures are a type of bet placed long before the event in question is to take place, and you will often come across bookies that use the term outrights to describe them. One of the most popular future bets in NHL betting is wagering on who the winner of the Stanley Cup will be, and typically, such wagers are available months before the final match happens.
The appeal of outrights is mostly tied to two factors, the first of which is the payouts associated with such bets. Since they are exceptionally hard to predict, the odds are usually lucrative. They tend to stay great too, and the following examples showcase this well, because these selections are available just a month before the Stanley Cup game:
|NHL 2021/2022 Champion Outrights|
|Team||Odds||Payout for a $10 bet|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||11||$110.00|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||11||$110.00|
|New York Rangers||18||$180.00|
|St Louis Blues||19||$190.00|
Evidently, even so close to the due date, the odds are still generous and allow you to win far more than you put at stake. The odds offered earlier throughout the season tend to be even better.
The Stanley cup is not the only type of future bet you can wager on, however. Many bookies will also allow you to wager on other NHL awards, and below, you will find some of the most popular awards you might come across when you visit your sportsbook of choice:
|Stanley Cup||NHL Playoff Champion.||1893||Lord Stanley of Preston|
|Prince of Wales trophy||Eastern Conference Playoff Champion.||1925||Edward, Prince of Wales|
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl||Western Conference Playoff Champion.||1968||Clarence Campbell|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy||Most Gentlemanly Player.||1925||Lady Byng of Vimy|
|Vezina Trophy||Top Goaltender.||1927||Georges Vezina|
|Calder Memorial Trophy||Rookie of the Year.||1937||Frank Calder|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy||Best Defense Player.||1954||James E. Norris|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy||“Player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”||1968||Bill Masterton|
|Jack Adams Award||Coach of the Year.||1976||Jack Adams|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy||NHL forward who “demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game”.||1978||Frank J. Selke|
|Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy||Top Goal Scorer in the regular season.||1999||Maurice Richard|
A parlay, or accumulator, as it is often called, is made when you combine several bets into what is, essentially, one big bet. Winning a parlay is incredibly difficult, since none of your selections can lose, but they also offer some of the best payouts a punter could come across on their wagering journey. To get the overall odds, you need to multiply each leg’s odds by one another, which is how we get the impressive payouts parlays are famous for. Furthermore, each subsequent bet is placed with the payout of the previous one, which shows just how intertwined the selections are.
The size of an accumulator can vary a lot. The smallest one contains two selections (double), but accas could also include three legs (treble), four legs (four-fold), or more. There are also special types of bets that combine different parlays, like the yankee bet, which contains six doubles, four trebles, and one four-fold parlay.
Popular NHL bets that see much use in parlays are ordinary moneyline selections, as well as double chance bets that go a long way to making parlays less risky Speaking of which, draws are typically not a concern for NHL parlays, and they cause no confusion. Ties are either rendered impossible or are a wager you can bet on in the case of double chance selections.
In terms of placing parlays, being thorough in your research is more important here than anywhere else. As previously mentioned, all of your legs need to win for a parlay to be successful, and choosing several winning selections is no easy task, so having knowledge on your side is valuable here.
NHL Live Betting
Wagering on the outcomes of a live match is an experience like no other. It can be incredibly exciting and profitable as well, provided you know what you are doing, of course. The NHL is no different in this aspect.
If you decide to wager while a match is in full swing, you will be happy to learn that, typically, the wagers on offer are great. Prop bets, for instance, are plentiful, and ordinary moneyline and puck line selection are also available. There is ample opportunity to make some money overall.
As for how to be a successful NHL bettor, things are somewhat similar to how you would approach pre-game betting. Research regarding a team’s recent condition, the trends they seem to follow during matches, injuries sustained by players, and general specialized knowledge about both teams are all very important for someone looking to make NHL bets in general. The difference is that you will need to look up all of this data prior to placing your live bets, as you will likely not have the time to do proper research during the game. Apart from this, it will also do you good to follow the match closely and analyze the information you are presented with. This way, you will be able to make the best possible live betting decision.
All in all, placing bets on NHL events can be exceptionally fun, and it is often worth trying as many markets as you can in order to see which ones are to your liking, and which ones are not. NHL outrights, for instance, can be a bit too slow for punters who prefer quicker results. Bettors who love having a bet settlement to look forward to, however, quite enjoy outrights. The situation is similar when it comes to in-play, which can be thrilling. For some, it might be a bit too much, but for others, it is the perfect mix of excitement, entertainment, and challenge.
Additionally, it is important to remember that no matter which wager type you go for, whether it is the moneyline, totals, or parlays, there is more to NHL betting than just luck. In fact, the practice can be an excellent way to make some extra cash or win back some of your sports betting losses. This requires time and dedication, however, so make sure to always keep up to date with the important statistics regarding each event and remember to manage your bankroll responsibly.