All You Need For Your NHL Betting – Odds, Picks, News & Insights
With an ever-growing pool of Stanley Cup contenders (headlined by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche) and no shortage of young talent (led by Connor McDavid) striving to topple the seasoned veterans, there is rarely a dull moment in the NHL.
NHL Betting Markets
NHL Moneyline bets
Let’s start at the beginning with the market that even casual bettors have likely experienced – the moneyline. This boils down to a single question: which team will win? Based on numerous factors, including form and home ice advantage, oddsmakers will establish a favourite (e.g. the Lightning) and an underdog (e.g. the Buffalo Sabres). As the favourite, the Lightning’s moneyline odds to win the game could be cut as short as -250, while the Sabres might be a +200 underdog.
With overtime periods until one team comes out on top, there are only ever two possible outcomes (just like the NBA).
The margin of victory is irrelevant here. A win is a win. Where the road team is slightly stronger than the home team, you might see even odds for the moneyline, but they generally tilt towards the more talented team, even if they are not playing at home.
NHL Spread betting / Puck Lines betting
In contrast to the moneyline market, spread betting (or Puck Lines betting) is all about the scoreline and margin of victory/defeat. The oddsmakers will set an over/under line based on the difference in quality and form between the two teams – but given the low-scoring nature of the NHL, in comparison to the NBA and NFL, that over/under line stays fairly steadily at 1.5. So you are generally either betting for the favourite to win by two goals (with -100 odds rather than, say, -250), or the underdog to lose by just one goal (or win the game outright).
Going a step further, you can also find odds for “alternate spreads” if you sense that a blowout is on the cards for a particular game – e.g. 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5.
NHL Prop Betting
Among the various NHL props provided by oddsmakers on a nightly basis, expect to see odds for first goalscorer and anytime goalscorer. These are generally long shot bets given how many different players see ice time each night.
Total goals in a game is another popular betting option, and you will find an over/under line for each game, typically with odds of -100 for either side of the line. While the possible range of scorelines is not quite as vast as the MLB, there are similar challenges in identifying the type of matchup that might produce a 2-1 nailbiter rather than a 7-4 goal-fest. The total goals line generally lands between 5.5 and 7.5, with alternative lines also usually available.
NHL Parlay bets
With the potential of a bigger payday, NHL parlays (or accumulators) allow bettors to combine two or more picks into a single bet, regardless of whether the picks involve moneyline odds or against-the-spread odds.
For example, you may feel good about betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins to win their respective matchups. While you could bet each of these outcomes individually, a parlay cranks up the odds but requires all parts of the bet to come through.
NHL Live betting
With breaks in play for penalties, plus lengthy intermissions between periods, NHL live betting is another market to consider – and you can usually access in-play odds for moneyline, spread betting, total points and more. If you like to analyze how a team fares in the opening minutes before wagering, live betting is a simple path to assessing things like players carrying injuries and the impact of the home crowd.
NHL Betting Strategy
Check out our game previews (on our NHL Picks page) for the recommended odds/bookmakers, along with all the latest betting tips. The site is designed to make it simple to add selections to your betting slip. Once you are logged into your account, choosing your bets can be done in just a few clicks.
As you weigh up the NHL betting markets, here are some key themes to keep in mind:
Ice time: Roster depth is especially critical in the NHL. Keep in mind that a regulation game is 60 minutes (three 20-minute periods) and the league leaders in ice time clock about 26 minutes of action. As a result, it is much tougher for a superstar, or even a trio of star players, to consistently impact results.
Goals can come from anywhere: If you are betting on goalscorers, remember that (in addition to the limits on ice time) goals can come from anywhere, with defensemen typically having their share of shooting opportunities and contributions coming from all over the depth chart.
Look out for injury updates: Do not expect to see NHL players on the sidelines for rest or “load management” like we do in the NBA (with the exception of goalie rotations), but injury updates still need to be closely monitored. With players accustomed to being on the ice as part of particular “lines” (groups of players), an injury can force a reshuffle and disrupt a team’s rhythm. Borderline decisions on whether a hobbled player will suit up can drag on until just before the puck drops.
Keep an eye on the schedule: With significant travel and congested schedules, watch out for trap games. Before jumping on what seem like attractive odds, just be sure that one team is not limping into the game after changing time zones multiple times in the past 72 hours. The back end of a long road trip can cause some surprising results too.
Monitor home/road records: As fans return to arenas across the league this season, we should see home ice become a factor again. That could be an important edge for teams like the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers who benefit from especially loud home support.
Like the NBA, the NHL is returning to an 82-game schedule for the 2021/22 season, with the action getting underway on October 12. That also means scrapping last year’s interim divisional format and returning to the 2019/20 structure with four divisions: Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. The NHL also welcomes a new expansion team – the Seattle Kraken.
However, the 2022 Winter Olympics – in which many NHL players will participate – has prompted an adjustment to the typical NHL schedule. The league will take a break in February, before completing the regular season by the end of April. The playoffs will run through May, leading up to the Stanley Cup in June.
Get ready for packed nightly schedules, with NHL matchups from coast to coast. The early timeslots are 7pm or 7:30pm ET while the puck drops at 10pm in the latest West Coast timeslot, with a range of start times in between. You will also find feature games on Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm ET.
Where To Find The Best NHL Picks?
Look no further than betting.com for all the key tips and picks throughout the NHL regular season and into the playoffs. Make our NHL Picks page your home for everything you need to know before betting on the action. We are committed to delivering the best NHL picks and pointing you to places offering the most attractive odds.
NHL Odds Comparison And Live Odds
Visit our NHL odds comparison section during the regular season and the playoffs to weigh up your options for upcoming (and live) games on the schedule.
NHL Expert Predictions
For the latest tips and predictions, check out expert predictions area.
There is no shortage of storylines across the NHL – and a fascinating race for the Stanley Cup lies ahead, headlined by the Lightning’s three-peat quest. Along the way, enjoy the nightly action and the NHL betting opportunities that accompany the must-see matchups.