Although wagering on the NHL is nothing but a hobby for most punters, it is not the same for absolutely everyone. While it is undeniable that risking a portion of one’s bankroll on a luck-dependent event is what makes sports betting such a thrilling pastime, there are individuals who look to make guaranteed money from betting instead. Bettors who find this idea appealing will be happy to learn that there are several ways that can help you turn NHL betting into a career, and one such strategy is the practice of matched betting.

Matched betting involves using sportsbook promotions and the lay feature of exchanges in order to ensure a profit, regardless of an NHL event’s outcome. At first, matched punters stick to taking advantage of the welcome bonuses offered by sportsbooks more than anything else. It is easy to use said promotions since there is an abundance of bookies that offer them, and they also tend to be some of the most lucrative bonuses out there. This, however, does not mean that an account’s usefulness is over once you have made use of all available welcome promotions. Bonuses aimed at existing customers are also a more than viable option, and you will still be able to make a considerable profit off of them.

Matched Betting

On the surface, matched betting looks fairly simple. All you need to do is place a bet at an ordinary bookie and then lay the very same bet at a betting exchange. Like all NHL wagering strategies, however, matched betting does have peculiarities you should familiarize yourself with in order to make the most out of your matched betting sessions. The technique is not difficult to utilize once you are used to it, but do not worry if it seems a bit overwhelming at the beginning. With time, you will be able to place back and lay bets with ease and successfully, at that.

Back and Lay Bets

Back bets are nothing new to the average NHL punter, even if one does not know them by name. Backing an outcome entails that you believe it will happen, and you are ready to place money at stake based on this belief.

Laying a bet is the complete opposite of an ordinary wager, although it is, again, something you have witnessed more than you would think. A lay bet is the bookie’s side of a wager. For instance, if a sportsbook offers odds on the Boston Bruins beating the Detroit Red Wings, it means that the bookie believes this outcome will not occur. Therefore, if the Bruins win, it is the sportsbook’s loss, and it needs to pay you according to the odds they had set.

This relationship is the foundation of sports betting as a whole, and the wonders of the world wide web have now made it possible for punters to take on either role, depending on where they are wagering. You can place an ordinary back bet at your run-of-the-mill bookmaker, but you yourself can become the bookmaker if you go to a betting exchange website.

The Process

As stated above, matched betting in and of itself is not too complicated, and it becomes even easier if you opt for using some type of matched betting software. Firstly, you will need to find a sportsbook, check out the promotional offer aimed towards new users, and create an account at the bookie in question. In this example, we suppose that our punter has found a traditional free bet bonus.

Next, you will need to adhere to the requirements which will make you eligible for the free bet. Typically, said conditions will be in the form of what is called a qualifying bet. Take care to meet any additional requirements, like the exact odds of the bet, for instance, and then place your qualifying stake at the ordinary bookie. Next, match this bet at the betting exchange.

With this done, you can now take advantage of the free wager you now have access to. To do so, the process is pretty much the same. Once again, place a bet, this time with the free funds available to you, and match the bet in question with odds at the betting exchange. Regardless of which wager wins, you are guaranteed to walk away with a certain amount of profit.

We need to emphasize once more that these two pairs of bets will, typically, not take you too long, provided you are using matched betting calculators. Software designed for the job will also be of great help.

Underlaying and Overlaying

These are advanced matched betting techniques that can be better than the typical calculations in certain situations. They are both usually reserved for matching qualifying bets.

Underlaying, specifically, refers to the act of placing a lay bet with a stake lower than recommended. When you match a bet this way, it means that the wager at the sportsbook will generate a higher profit, while winning at the exchange will result in a smaller than usual profit. This way of matched betting is usually reserved for situations where you do not wish to risk your exchange bankroll too much, and winning the sportsbook bet is not desirable. Underlaying softens the blow and results in minimized losses.

Overlaying is the exact opposite of underlaying. Here, you wager less money at the sportsbook than at the betting exchange. This way, you risk less money at the traditional bookmaker. Situations like this occur when receiving a bonus is reliant on the qualifying back bet winning.

Risks and Drawbacks

Matched bets are often described as risk-free, but there are several things that can turn your supposedly sure NHL bet into a luck-reliant one, and you will need to have a clear understanding of these aspects of matched betting before you try it out. As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and it does apply to matched betting. Even just the occasional human error on your end can spell bad things for your bankroll.

  1. Bet cancellations are something that can ruin a bet. On occasion, sportsbooks can make a mistake with the odds and void the bet you had placed as a result. Typically, this would not be an issue, as you would just receive your stake back, and that is that. Unfortunately, things are not as simple when you have also matched the bet in question. If it gets canceled, then your other wager is left at the mercy of luck, and you can easily lose money in such situations.
  2. Additionally, something called odds movement can also be the culprit of an unsuccessful pair of matched bets. This phenomenon is usually the result of the sportsbook trying to adjust its odds, and it can lead to a bet with odds that can ruin a matched betting opportunity.
  3. Speaking of extra costs, you will also want to start using matched betting software at some point since it makes the entire process far faster and easier to execute. The prices are not large, but they are still something that you should include in your matched betting budget.
  4. Lastly, you will also need to look up whether winnings attained from gambling and sports betting, in particular, are taxed in your country. If the answer is yes, then you might need to reconsider getting into matched betting in the first place. Taxes can make a noticeable difference in how much money you will be able to make in terms of your profit.

Matched Betting Tips

There are many things you can do to be more successful at placing matched bets on NHL events. For instance, storing your emails and passwords in a neat and organized way can make the process easier and faster. Risking smaller amounts of money is also a good and safe approach early on.

Additionally, keeping your accounts from being gubbed is especially crucial to a matched bettor’s success. It is your sportsbook accounts that enable you to continue with your wagering career, after all. This is why a lot of the tips we have included are focused on how you can keep your accounts safe for as long as possible.

Budget Correctly

Making sure that you have enough money to achieve your matched betting goals without going overboard is crucial for any NHL punter. In general, it is good to have around $100 or $200 when you are just starting out, seeing as you need to make sure that you have enough funds to deposit into your ordinary sportsbook balance, as well as to top up your betting exchange account. Then, of course, you also need to place your qualifying bet at the bookmaker, and match this bet at the exchange. After that, you must repeat the process when you receive your free bet.

If necessary, however, it is definitely possible to start with smaller sums of money. You may not have access to the bonuses of as many sportsbooks in your early days of matched betting, but having control over your bankroll always takes priority.

Keep Everything In Order

Basically, you will have to create accounts at dozens of sportsbooks if you wish to make some serious cash from matched betting. This means you will have to keep track of numerous emails, usernames, and passwords, and this can quickly become overwhelming.

This is why it is crucial for you to organize everything neatly. You could do so by using a traditional paper notebook and writing the information by hand, provided that you are fond of this method of storing data. Alternatively, you could opt for using a proper online password manager. Such managers have become very popular in recent years because, apart from being very convenient, they are an excellent security option when it comes to finance-related information.

Only Wager With Whole Numbers

Have you ever considered how much money ordinary punters wager per bet? Typically, bettors will stick to sums that are easy to type and keep track of. Therefore, you would be correct to assume that the average bettor sticks to whole numbers, such as $10 and $15, when they place bets. Since these are the vast majority of stakes placed at a sportsbook, sums the likes of $13.89 will immediately raise suspicion and result in the sportsbook investigating and, likely, limiting your account.

Decimal wagers are a signature of matched bettors, arbitrage punters, and sharps in general, so it is best to avoid them. Instead, if your matched calculator suggests a strange number, make sure to round it up enough to make it look like an ordinary bet while still keeping the overall balance between the back and lay bets so that you can make a profit.

Do Not Stray Far from the NHL

The NHL is an excellent sport for matched betting, mainly because the league is very popular, and there are many games to wager on during each season and the playoffs. It is for this reason that it is best to focus on NHL bets only and to limit your ventures into different markets to a minimum. Furthermore, if you do decide that you wish to try out other sports from time to time, never visit niche markets. This includes minor leagues that are not big names internationally, as well as sports that do not enjoy much popularity engagement and coverage-wise.

The key is to hide in the crowd, so to speak. You are far less easy to spot when you are hidden among the hundreds of bettors that frequent popular markets than you would be if you were one of the few punters wagering on an obscure listing.

Avoid Rollover Offers Early On

In the beginning, it is very likely that you will have a fairly limited budget to work with. This means that if you are just starting out, it is best to steer clear of promotions that have steep rollover requirements. They can be very costly, and unless you are a daring individual and the amount of money you started with is substantial, a bad rollover promotion can easily exhaust your entire matched betting bankroll.

Instead, it is best to only go for offers where rollover is unnecessary. In either case, always remember to read the terms and conditions very carefully before you commit to a promotion. They can be lengthy, but you must be fully aware of the rules and requirements of any given promotion to avoid nasty surprises.

Embrace Multi-Sportsbook Betting

It is best for matched bettors to create accounts at as many bookies as they can. As we have already established, there is a risk that bookmakers will do something called gubbing and impose a variety of limitations on your account.

Certain types of gubbing only lead to exclusion from promotions. In other cases, however, you might find yourself unable to wager over a certain threshold of money, or your entire account could get suspended. The latter is the worst-case scenario, technically, but the former will also make that account inappropriate for matched betting. In fact, it would practically be as good as useless, so you will need to have alternatives available.

In addition, it is also important to remember that sportsbooks do not always have many welcome offers you can take advantage of. Furthermore, even those that do offer multiple welcome bonuses will often allow you to take advantage of just one. Having accounts at many bookmakers, therefore, enables you to make use of many more promotional offers than you would be able to if you were to stick to a single sportsbook.

Place Mug Bets

This is yet another technique that will help you remain undercover and look like the average punter. Mug bets are, essentially, bad or mediocre bets. We are talking parlays on average odds where the individual legs do not have a high chance of winning, bets that do not offer good value in general, hasty in-play wagers, and the like.

This will show the sportsbook that you are not just using their promotions. In addition, it is also a good way of making them believe that you are losing money by wagering, which is one of the main characteristics of the typical sports bettor who wagers for entertainment.

The last type of mug betting we will recommend is placing bets on one team. There are many recreational punters who simply wager to, in a sense, back their favorites and feel like they are somehow participating in the game. Thus, you can choose a team you like and wager on them semi-regularly so that you look like a fan.

It is also important to emphasize that you can, and are advised to, lay these bets as well. This means that the losses will be few if any, and for situations where laying is not an appealing option, you can use the cash out feature to even further reduce your risk of getting flagged. Either way, these bets will keep your bookie accounts safe.

Refrain From Gnoming

Gnoming refers to having multiple accounts at the same bookmaker. As you know, you cannot do this by using your own name and information, so the practice involves prompting relatives and friends you trust to create accounts at sportsbooks. This way, you can wager instead of them, and you can split the profits. It is not recommended, simply because it is in a gray area legally. In addition, you will also need to set aside some of the profits for the people whose names and information you are borrowing, which is another potential drawback.

Moreover, upon getting caught, many sportsbooks will outright close your account as opposed to just limiting you in some way. You can even be blacklisted from any additional bookmakers that are connected to the first bookie, and your main account will likely be closed as well. All in all, the risks are just too great, and sticking to multiple sportsbooks is the safer option.

Sportsbook Promotions

Given its popularity, NHL bets are often eligible for many of the promotions you will come across. This means that you will, typically, not need to place bets at different markets, which is excellent for die-hard NHL fans. As for what promotions you could find, broadly speaking, there are two main categories: offers for new punters and promotions aimed at users who already wager at the sportsbook in question.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses come in a wide variety, and they tend to be some of the most generous offers you can find at sportsbooks. One such example is the traditional deposit bonus, where a portion of your first deposit will be gifted to you as bonus funds you can use to place bets.

In addition, stake not returned free bets are also some of the best offers for matched punters, and they are, thankfully, very common and the default free-bet offer you will come across. Do bear in mind that they do typically require a qualifying bet to be placed, but on occasion, you could also come across a no deposit free bet that does not have such a prerequisite.

Finally, we once again need to emphasize that you should be wary of offers that are tied to rollover requirements. If you are new at matched betting, these types of promotions can be dangerous for your bankroll, so only start accepting such offers if you do not have other choices to pick from.

Reload Bonuses

Depending on the bookie, the term reload bonus may refer to different things, but it is usually a bonus aimed at existing users as opposed to new ones. A popular promotion of this type includes topping up your sportsbook balance after you have already deposited before, and having a portion of the deposit sum matched. Receiving free bets for subsequent deposits is also not uncommon. Such bonuses are typically offered on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and some might also pop up on special occasions. Although such offers will not always be as generous as welcome bonuses, they can be incredibly useful to matched punters, nonetheless.


All in all, matched betting remains an excellent option for NHL punters looking to enter the world of professional sports betting. How much you will be able to earn per month is reliant on the amount of time you will be able to dedicate to matched betting.There is no such thing as a free lunch, after all, so do be prepared for a reasonable amount of effort on your part if significant profits are your aim.

Matched betting software and calculators can lessen the burden, but you will still want to place back and lay bets on a daily basis to ensure a significant monthly profit. If you are fine with smaller sums of money, however, you will be able to get away with less. Either way, you can be certain that any amount of time you spend on matched betting is time well spent. is a media website dedicated to sports news and reviews of the most popular sports betting sites. Here you will find comprehensive guides on where to bet on football, tennis, NBA, NFL and information about the most popular betting deposit methods.