Hockey betting has become popular as legalized sports betting spreads across the United States. The fast-paced nature of the sport is already exciting, and adding real-money wagers to the mix can enhance the experience.
Can I Bet Real Money on Hockey Online?
American bettors can place real money wagers on NHL games as long as online gambling is legal in their state. There are over 30 legal sports betting states, but only slightly more than half of them provide online services.
When the NHL season begins in the fall, all major online sportsbooks will offer a variety of NHL options. While hockey betting is not as popular as football or basketball, it is available at all major online betting sites.
Hockey Betting Odds
When it comes to hockey, one of the most popular forms of betting is on the moneyline. We recommend it for new bettors because all they have to do is concentrate on who might win any given matchup. Though the NHL has its share of contenders and cellar dwellers, hockey can be a volatile sport. It only takes a couple of puck bounces for an underdog to upset even the top contenders.
Moneyline betting requires keeping track of recent player performances, injuries, and winning/losing streaks. An 82-game season can produce a variety of outcomes, which is why it’s critical to stay as current with league trends as possible.
Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to assist in researching hockey betting trends, particularly when it comes to the moneyline. There is no limit to the amount of information available with player stats and team trends available with the click of a few keys.
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Betting on Hockey Puck Lines
The puck line is another popular way to bet on hockey. Spread betting is a term used in other sports to describe betting on whether a team will win by a certain number of points. Larger spread lines, such as -5.5 or higher, may be seen in high-scoring sports such as basketball and football. That is not the case in hockey, where games usually end with lower totals. Instead, 1.5-goal spreads are common in NHL markets.
Following the listing of the spread, teams are given their odds to cover. For example, the New York Rangers may be 1.5-goal favorites over the Montreal Canadiens with -115 odds to cover the spread. It might look like this at a sportsbook:
- -1.5 New York Rangers (-115)
- +1.5 for the Montreal Canadiens (-105)
A simple internet search for “New York Rangers betting trends” will yield a plethora of results demonstrating how they’ve fared against the spread (ATS). Teams that win a lot of games don’t always perform well against the spread, emphasizing the importance of research.
Hockey Over/Under Betting
Some bettors avoid betting on the winner and loser of a hockey game. Over-under betting, also known as totals markets, is a fun alternative that allows you to bet on the total number of goals scored. Totals betting on hockey is one of the more unpredictable sports. One team may compete in a 2-1 shootout one night before playing in a 7-5 barnburner the next.
Conducting research on a specific team is essential for wagering on the over/under, as it is for other types of hockey betting. The number of goals scored is determined by a variety of factors, including goaltending trends and a team’s overall defensive make-up.
Two teams with elite defenses or goaltending are unlikely to combine for a high-scoring matchup, as might happen if a Stanley Cup contender faced one of the worst teams.
While betting on the moneyline, spread, and total of hockey games can be entertaining, some bettors want more. That’s where NHL futures markets come in, providing some variety as well as the occasional chance to win larger payouts.
Futures betting is exactly what it sounds like: you bet on events that will occur in the future, whether in a week, a month, or a year. It’s a good way to make simple bets without having to know everything there is to know about the hobby.
NHL futures are constantly shifting due to free-agent signings, trade deadline deals, and even injuries. Participating in futures betting can also provide you with an incentive to pay closer attention to the league as the long season progresses.
A large portion of NHL futures betting is centered on the league’s 32 teams and how they perform throughout the season. The following are some of the more popular futures markets available at most major online sportsbooks:
- The President’s Trophy is awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the regular season.
- Worst Regular Season Record: Predicting which team will have the lowest point total at the end of the season.
- Conference/Division Winners: Place a wager on which team you believe will win their respective division or conference.
- To Make/Miss Playoffs: Betting on a team that you believe will or will not make the NHL playoffs.
- Regular Season Points: Betting on which team(s) you believe will surpass a set point total of 100 points.
Betting on individual player awards is much more difficult than betting on team-based markets. Over 700 players are on the opening night rosters of the NHL’s 32 teams. Even if only a few of those players are good enough to win an award, it shows how difficult it can be to predict these outcomes.
Here are some notable player awards futures available on the most popular sports betting sites:
The Hart Memorial Trophy is the NHL’s MVP award, presented to the league’s best player. The importance of a player to their team’s success is always taken into account, so keep in mind that the individual with the highest point total does not always win this award.
The Vezina Trophy is given to the NHL’s best goaltender of the year. Again, statistics are important, but the award is intended to go to the goalie who was most important to their team’s success.
Rocket Richard Trophy: Bet on which player you believe will lead the NHL in goals this season.
Conn Smythe Trophy: Once the playoffs are set, you can bet on the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Line of 60 Minutes
Some sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, provide a 60-minute line. It’s similar to moneyline betting in that you’re focused on the end result. However, you are only concerned with what occurs during the first three periods.
The difference between 60-minute line betting and moneyline betting is that the former allows you to bet on a tie. If you believe a game will not end after regulation, you can choose a tie.
Hockey World Cup Betting Live
Life gets in the way sometimes, and you forget to bet on a game you were looking forward to. Fortunately, some of the most popular legal sportsbooks offer live betting, allowing you to place bets after the puck has dropped.
The odds for live hockey betting can change as the game progresses, so keep an eye on the action.
The difference between pregame and live betting is minimal. The available markets are usually the same between the two.
Because the game is already in progress, the odds change quickly in live betting. By waiting for a game to begin, you risk losing an advantageous line. If the team you want to bet on is trailing early on, you might get a better line.
Hockey WC Betting on Parlays
The process of combining multiple hockey wagers into a single bet is known as parlay betting. The only catch is that you must win every bet (or leg) in order to receive your payout.
At first glance, parlay betting can appear intimidating. A parlay wager would be something as simple as predicting the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Calgary Flames to all win their respective games on the same night.
In the hockey betting world, there are two types of parlays:
A same-game parlay is a combination of wagers on multiple prop bets from the same game. This is the simpler form of parlay betting if you only want to focus on one game.
However, not all online sportsbooks provide same-game parlays. Still, if you can find them, they’re a simple way to get a feel for a parlay before moving up in stakes.
Parlays involving multiple games
Multi-game parlays, unlike their same-game counterparts, allow you to bet on multiple NHL games at the same time.
When people talk about parlay betting, they usually refer to multi-game parlays. It’s a fun way to follow the action in the NHL while getting longer odds and increasing your potential payout.
Some bettors prefer to bet on individuals rather than teams. There are plenty of NHL-related prop bets available to satisfy that craving. These props can range from predicting whether or not a player will score a goal to the total number of saves made by two goaltenders.
Popular skater props reflect a player’s individual performance, such as the number of goals, assists, and/or points they’ll have at the end of the season. You can even bet on the number of shots and hits thrown at some sportsbooks.
During each NHL season, a few players go on goal-scoring streaks. Skater props allow you to participate in the excitement while also earning some money.
Props for Goalkeepers
During an NHL game, skaters aren’t the only ones on the ice. Goalkeepers, like forwards and defensemen, have their own prop markets (albeit less extensive).
A goalie prop might include Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy having a save total of 28.5 with -110 odds on both the over and under.
Props for the Game
Instead of the players and goalies involved, game props can reflect the actual NHL matchup. Betting on the total number of goals scored by one team rather than both is an example.
Game props can also include more time-limited scenarios, such as predicting the score at the end of the second period or betting on the final combined shot total.
How to Place a Bet on the Stanley Cup
There aren’t many trophies as recognizable as the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The good news is that most major regulated sportsbooks accept wagers on who will lift the Cup. The majority of the above markets are also available during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Betting on who will win the Stanley Cup is another popular hockey futures market. Once the postseason begins, sportsbooks will offer a variety of Stanley Cup-related props, so keep an eye out for those.
Betting on the NHL Draft
The annual NHL Entry Draft is one of the most exciting aspects of the game. While watching young players realize their dreams is enjoyable, so is betting on the multi-day event.
Prop bets are common in NHL Draft markets, ranging from which prospect will be selected first overall to who will be selected fifth overall. There are even positional markets, such as which defenseman prospect will be selected first, for example.
When your favorite team does not have a high draft pick, watching the NHL Draft can become tedious. Fortunately, draft day betting can spice things up.
Other Hockey Gambling
The NHL is without a doubt the most popular hockey league in the world, but online hockey betting isn’t limited to just one league.
The IIHF World World Junior Hockey Championship is one of the sport’s most popular tournaments, pitting some of the world’s best under-20 players against one another. World Junior betting markets are available at sportsbooks such as FanDuel, just like they are for an NHL game.
Every four years, bettors can also wager on Olympic hockey. Again, you’ll find your typical gameday hockey markets here, as well as futures betting on which country will win the gold medal.