Skip to content

The NHL, like the NBA, is the pinnacle of a global sports phenomenon. Professional Hockey is a blend of NFL-level hits, MLS-quality grace, and, when the gloves come off, the excitement of the UFC but on ice. NHL players are believed and paid to be the best hockey players to ever touch ice. Combine that with the marketing firepower of US professional sports, and you’ve given birth to one of the best betting sports available. With a wide range of markets, from moneyline odds to handicap bets and over/under bets, there’s something for everyone in the NHL betting scene. From the early regular season rounds to the thrilling playoff games, betting on the NHL adds another layer of powder to the game. There is nothing like having your spouse sent to the box for a noise infraction because you have $100 on Carolina in the second game of the season.

The key to ending that powerplay is showing up with a winning ticket and dinner plans. Here’s how you do it: betting on the NHL. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bettor, it’s crucial to do thorough research, keep up with team performances, and understand how the odds work to maximize your chances of success. With the right strategy and insight, betting on the NHL can be both exciting and profitable for those willing to take the risk.

NHL Odds: For Beginners

The NHL season spans 82 games, followed by the Stanley Cup playoffs, where seeded teams play to the best-of-seven for the chip. That said, there are ample opportunities to bet. 82 games, 32 teams, 23 players per team… there is absolutely no shortage of futures, team, or player props to bet or parlay your way to a positive bankroll. Easier said than done, in hockey, like no other sport, any team can beat any team, and there is often no overwhelming favorite.

All those factors mean a whole lot of oddsmaking and a lot of value to be extracted from those odds. Most NHL Bookmakers present NHL odds in American Odds (Moneyline) format, which will imply a team’s probability to cash the bet. However, analyzing the team’s form, injury status, and previous encounters is the only way to bet the NHL some degree of consistency. However, even the most sound betting strategies are subject to disappoint you and hurt your bankroll, so be sure to bet responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose.

NHL Odds and Markets

Deep betting markers are available on major NHL bookmakers like Bet365 and Pinnacle. In addition to standard futures and deeper props, bookies like Unibet are raved about for their live betting options. The most popular NHL betting markets are usually:

  • Moneyline: This is a straightforward bet on which team will win, including overtime or shootouts if necessary. Unlike soccer betting, ties aren’t an option, simplifying the betting process.
  • Handicap Betting: This involves betting on a team to win by a specific margin or not to lose by more than a certain number of goals. Handicaps can vary, especially if there’s a clear disparity in team strength.
  • Over/Under Goals: Bet on whether the total goals in a game will exceed or fall short of a set threshold.
  • Period Betting: You can also bet on the outcome of individual periods, which adds layers of strategy as teams may perform differently at various stages of the game.
  • Player Props: These bets focus on individual achievements, such as betting on a player to score a goal or notch a point during the game.
  • Specials: Some markets, like betting on which team will score the first to a certain number of goals, can offer great value, especially if you have strong insights into team tactics and scoring patterns.

How NHL Odds Work

In NHL betting, at least Stateside, is presented in American odds. But, it’s a global game, so depending on the league, the bookie, or where you are, you may also see them in other formats:

  • Decimal Odds are prevalent in Europe, encapsulating your total return within the odds for ease of understanding.
  • Fractional Odds: might seem less straightforward, but they are straightforward once you understand them. They show the ratio of profit to stake.
  • Moneyline Odds are favored in the U.S., reflecting how much you need to bet to win a certain amount or how much you win on a standard bet.

NHL Futures: The Long Game

An 82-game season is a grind. Realistically, 99% aren’t going to watch every game for our team or place a bet on every postseason prop. For those who are a little more hands-off but still want the maximum value and win potential of their season… there’s the futures. Long game bets on a team’s results at some point of the season. Here’s a breakdown of the most engaging long-term NHL bets to consider:

  • Stanley Cup Winner: The quintessential bet in the NHL world is predicting the Stanley Cup champion. Odds fluctuate as the season progresses, reflecting shifts in team performance. Top performers in the regular season often carry lower odds due to their higher probabilities of winning.
  • Conference Champion: A strategic bet can be placed on which team will dominate their conference. This is particularly savvy if you feel a team has the chops to make it to the Finals, even if they might not clinch the Cup.
  • Division Winners: For those with a keen eye on specific team dynamics, betting on division winners is an excellent opportunity. This requires a solid understanding of each team’s strengths and potential weaknesses throughout the season.
  • Award Winners: Markets on NHL awards like Rookie of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, and the league’s top scorer are always popular. Platforms like FanDuel often provide extensive odds on these categories.

When sailing the seas of outright and futures, it’s best to practice caution and do your due diligence. All those months is a breeding ground for the unforeseen, whether that be trades, injuries, a hot or cold run. You’ll lock in your odds when you make your bet, but the season is dynamic and so are the odds. Spreading your bets and avoiding heavy investments in single outcomes are prudent strategies to manage risk effectively, and leave the book in the black, or at least not cripplingly red.

Advanced Insights for Betting on the NHL

To truly excel in NHL betting, consider these expert strategies:

  • In-depth Research: Arm yourself with comprehensive analyses before laying down any bets. Delve into teams’ historical performance, current season statistics, home and away records, player conditions, and injury updates. The richer the data at your disposal, the more precise your betting decisions can be.
  • Understanding Odds: Grasping how odds reflect the probability of outcomes is foundational. Lower odds typically indicate a higher likelihood of occurrence, but remember, higher odds mean greater risk—and potentially greater rewards.
  • Leverage Your Knowledge: Place bets on teams you know inside out. Familiarity with a team’s capabilities and weaknesses enables more informed and confident betting choices.
  • Diversify Bets: Avoid the pitfall of only backing favorites or low-odds teams. Keep an open mind to underappreciated options where the odds might undervalue the true potential for an upset.
  • Bankroll Management: Define your betting budget and stick to it. Responsible bankroll management prevents the risk of significant financial losses.
  • Stay Informed on Player Conditions: Player injuries and suspensions can drastically impact game outcomes. Keeping up-to-date with such changes is crucial in making informed bets.
  • Shop for the Best Odds: Always compare odds from various betting sites to ensure you’re securing the best value for your bets.
  • Explore Various Betting Formats: Don’t limit yourself to one type of bet. Experiment with different betting formats like over/under, match bets, and more to diversify your betting portfolio and enhance your chances of success.

These strategies will not only enhance your NHL betting approach but also elevate your overall engagement with the sport, which is the reason we all bet, right?

Share this article
Article link copied! Editorial Promise