The NHL stands head and shoulders above any other hockey league in the world and with century-old rivalries being played out every season, action and drama is guaranteed. Having been around for so long, the NHL is now firmly fixed in the hearts of millions of Canadians, Americans, and fans across the whole world. The game is fast, packed with excitement, and played with unbelievable passion, which often gets the better of one or two of the players every now and again. All of this makes for a great sporting spectacle, but it also brings with it some fantastic NHL betting opportunities which is what we will explain in the following guide.
The NHL is action-packed from the sound of the first buzzer and even if you don’t have a bet on the game, you will be on the edge of your seats for the whole time. If you do have a bet on then it makes your experience all the more exciting, and that goes for pre-match bets and live in-play betting, too. The fact that nearly all the top online bookmakers follow the NHL means that you can quickly and easily find the NHL betting markets.
The age-old rivalries between the top teams provides regular close encounters in both the Eastern and Western conferences, and the road to the Stanley Cup is always full of twists and turns. You cannot deny the attraction of ice hockey and when all the top player’s come together in the NHL, it always leads to excitement and not to mention a mountain of statistics, tips, and predictions to help you find your winning bets.
You now know a little more about the sport and why the NHL is the leading ice hockey league in the world, by a long stretch. So, now it is time to look into the betting side of things and learn a little more about the different bets and what they all mean. We will start off with the basics to give you a good grounding for your NHL betting strategy. From there you can then start to build up knowledge and branch out to the more advanced bets if you so wish.
Here we have the most common NHL bet that punters make, and it acts as the perfect entry bet for beginners. The Money Line bet requires you to predict who the winner of a specific game will be. One or two options can be found with this type of bet with the Money Line bet in regular time, which gives you the option to bet on the tie, and the Money Line with overtime included, which means there must be a winner and so you can reduce the overall betting options.
Let us explain with a quick example. The Montreal Canadiens are priced at -125 to win their upcoming game. A negative number simply means that this is how much you need to place to win €100 (the Money Line is usually based on $100). So, if you saw the Boston Bruins priced at +150, you would win $150 from a $100 bet. Using the $100 base marker gives you an easy way to work out smaller and bigger bets and their relative earnings. These two types of bets are the simplest for NHL fans to follow and they give you an easy route into betting on the hockey.
One step above the Money Line is the Outright bet and here there is one main difference, and that is you are betting on a team to win the season, league, or playoffs. It is based over multiple games and not just one. The major benefit with the Outright bets is that you can find much bigger profits due to the prediction being a harder call to make.
In the NHL, you can find Outright bets for the Western Conference and Clarence S Campbell Bowl winner, and the Eastern Conference and Prince of Wales winner. You can then predict who will succeed in the playoffs and then be crowned the overall season champions with the Stanley Cup final. Of course, you can try predict who will lift the Stanley Cup right before the new season starts and although it will be a long wait for any potential winnings, you could stand to win a fair amount of money if you do predict the winner correctly.
Outright betting is obviously harder but the potential to bring in bigger returns makes it a popular bet for many NHL fans.
If you think you know your NHL and you enjoy digging deep into the statistics of the game, then the Correct Score market could be the one for you. You need to predict the final score of the game to the exact number of points for both teams in order for this bet to be successful, but the high level of difficulty to predict the correct score does offer bigger odds. Some bookies will even offer punters the option for a Draw at the end of regulation time if you think the two teams are evenly matched.
Sometimes this bet confuses the beginners out there, but a quick explanation will show you that this type of bet is not only a useful bet to have in your strategy, but it is also easy to understand as well. A typical Puck Line would be +1.5 or -1.5 against a team. The minus number is given to the favourites and the plus number is given to the underdogs. The number represents goals, and you can either add or subtract this number from the score before the game starts or after the end of the game.
Once you make those changes to the score with the plus or minus scores, you have yourself a winner. Due to the .5 factor, there will always be a winner because you can’t score half a goal. So, now you can see that this bet is not confusing after all and it actually helps to even out a game and the odds.
The Over/Under market is not only a fun bet but one that you can profit from if you do the research. The advantage of this bet is that you only need a game to have over or under a certain number of goals, and it doesn’t matter who scores them. If you bet on the Over 5.5 Goals market on a game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers, then your bet would be a winner if the final score were 3-3 or 6-0 or 4-2, as all those scores generated over 5.5 goals. The same would go for a game where you think there might be more of a stalemate, you could bet on the Under 5.5 Goals market and hope for a highly defensive strategy from both teams.
This bet is one of the more light-hearted bets out there and you do need some considerable luck for the bet to come in as a winner. If you have multiple games being played in one day then you can place the Grand Salami bet, which is to predict how many goals there will be across all the games. Not every online bookmaker will offer this type of bet, but if you consider that there is usually around five goals per game, then you can work out roughly what the total number of goals will be across however many games are being played on that day.
On the face of it, NHL seems to be a straightforward game. You gain possession of the puck and try to score while you continually bash and bruise the opponents as much as possible! However, there is a lot more than first meets the eye and there are many variables within the game that can ultimately affect the outcome of a match. Without even mentioning the huge 82-game season, this fast-paced, high intensity game requires a close eye on the teams, the key players, and the schedule for both home and away on the road.
Knowing when and where a team is due to play can often give you a big advantage when picking the right match result and over/under goal market, too. It has been well documented that players struggle from jet lag and when teams are set to travel long distances in a short period of time, those time zone changes can make a difference. Being on the road can often work for or against a team.
On the one hand the constant traveling can be a huge pain for the teams and even sometimes playing on consecutive days can result in a huge squad issue for the coach. On the other hand, some teams can really start to bond on away trips, and they end up playing strongly away from home. Understanding how each team tends to react on the road can you give you some great insight into where to put your next bet.
During the early years, a group of the six founding NHL teams created a heated rivalry that has managed to burn bigger with every subsequent season. In fact, the Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and the Chicago Blackhawks were all found between the years of 1909 and 1926, so they have had many years to build up that rivalry, and when any two of these six teams play, you know each player will put everything on the line for the win.
More recent rivalries have opened up between local teams such as the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders, the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, and even the Battle for Ontario which consists of the Ottawa Senators and the Leafs. These all involve bitter feuds and they are all great games to bet on because you know that each team will be bringing their A-game.
There is a lot of talk about the underdogs in the NHL and the fact that even the worst teams win around 30-35% of their games means that there is betting value to be found. Unlike in other hockey leagues around the world where the quality gap between the top and bottom teams can be vast, the difference between the best and worst in the NHL is a lot smaller. Always check through the team that the underdog is playing and try to find some weaknesses such as injuries, squad issues, recent long-haul journeys, etc. You may find something that gives you enough evidence to place that bet on the underdog and win on those bigger odds.
We all know that scoring goals can win you games and this is obvious for most goal-based sports, but fewer sports give such emphasis on the goaltender than in hockey, especially within the high-octane levels of the NHL. A goaltender on hot form can give a team a huge lift and so checking out the current form of each goaltender is big tip to remember. Check up on their season statistics so far and recent game form, and if a goaltender is coming into a game in hot form then you should seriously think about backing their team. Scoring is the aim of the game but with an in-form goaltender backing you up, the team is in such a better position overall to win.
We have mentioned earlier on in this guide that picking the right online bookmaker will make your betting experience all the more enjoyable. The right bonuses, the right betting markets for both pre-match and in-play events, and an easy-to-use sportsbook are just some of the factors that you should be considering when signing up to a new betting site.
Don’t worry too much though, as we have already done the hard work and research for you. We have many years’ experience in betting online and so we know where the best sites are and where you can find the best NHL betting opportunities. Remember, it is worth signing up to a few sites, purely so you can pick out the best odds for the bet you want to place. A little bit of odds research can earn you a considerable amount of money over the course of one NHL season.
So, here are our top three online bookmakers for betting on NHL.
William Hill is one of those bookmakers that has been around forever and so you know what you are getting with them. A solid sportsbook with all the top betting markets and a well-rounded in-play betting option, too. Not to mention you get countless bonus offers and promotions thrown in as well. The NHL is a top sport here at Will Hill and so punters will find many markets to analyse and bet on. If you love your sports betting, then William Hill is always a reliable option for Canadians with Canadian dollars.
Being a Scandinavian online bookmaker means that ice hockey is in their blood. While they will have a strong betting market for the SHL and KHL, the NHL is very much high up on their betting list and you can find all the top betting markets on the number one ice hockey league in the world. Unibet is another huge online bookmaker and with plenty of bonus promotions to keep you topped up, this is a safe choice for Canadians and NHL fans alike.
Bet365 is a giant in the online sports betting world and while they might be known for a strong soccer betting market, they also follow all the top sports across the world, and NHL is one of their specialities. Bet365 gives you an easy-to-use sportsbook that makes placing your pre-match and in-play bets a breeze, and you will be given a wide choice of betting options as well as including many of the Outright bets that we talked about earlier. This is a bookmaker that should be in your list of go-to betting sites, purely for the many bonus promotions and the sheer size of their sportsbook. A solid choice for NHL betting fans.
The simple Moneyline bet is always a useful option for beginners that will give you an easy way in to betting on the NHL. The over/under goals market is also a straightforward bet that does not rely on too much knowledge of the teams.
Nearly every top online bookmaker is going to offer some sort of in-play betting on the NHL. The number of betting markets during a top event may differ from bookie to bookie, but if you stick to the sites mentioned above then you can’t go far wrong.
Yes, a lot of the top online betting sites offer bonuses on the NHL and on North American sports in general. This means that you can get free bets and profit boosts on some of the top NHL games throughout the whole season, this is why it pays to bet with the big sites.