Hockey’s the most popular sport to bet on for Canadian fans, especially when the National Hockey League playoffs roll around, attracting a greater audience. Placing a bet on hockey through a reputable sportsbook adds excitement to the game and provides an opportunity to fatten the wallet. This guide walks bettors through the process of a placing a typical hockey wager while providing the best hockey odds and additional betting resources and tips.
How To Place Hockey Bets
#1 Log into your account if you haven’t already done so. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to sign up with the sportsbook you wish to wager with.
#2 Select the ‘Hockey’ category to open a list of leagues and competitions available for wagering purposes. If you’re looking to bet on an individual NHL hockey game, select the ‘NHL’ category, instead of ‘NHL Props’ or ‘NHL Futures’, which offer more complex types of wagers.
#3 Select the team you wish to bet on to add their line to your bet card. Often, sportsbooks will list the three most popular single game bets together, including the puckline, moneyline and over/under. For this example, we’ll choose the moneyline bet, which requires players to predict the outright winner of the match.
#4 Confirm the team selected and the price provided on your bet card before filling out the ‘Bet Amount’. The potential payout should be calculated as you enter the amount of money wagered.
#5 Double check all details, including your betting selection, winning conditions, odds given, betting amount and payout.
#6 Lock in your wager by clicking ‘Place Bet’.
#7 Record the confirmation number of your wager by taking a screenshot of your bet or writing down the details. Some sportsbooks offer automated bet receipts via email. Always keep a copy of a bet receipt for your own records.
Hockey Betting Types And Wagering Options
Most fans know standard hockey bets, such as betting on individual NHL games, or the eventual winner of the Stanley Cup, but some might not be familiar with the full range of futures, live betting and prop bets available on the wagering market. Expand your NHL wagering portfolio and sharpen profit opportunities by learning more about the diverse range of hockey betting types available for NHL punters.
Standard Hockey Bets
NHL Moneyline Betting
Perhaps the most popular type of sports betting, moneylines focus on which hockey team will win the game straight up. Point spreads don’t matter for this type of bet, and winning bets include regulation, overtime and shootout victories.
Puckline bets are similar to betting against a point spread, except the spread is fixed at 1.5 goals. The puckline favorite must win by two or more goals for the wager to pay, while the underdog wins the bet if they lose by one goal or win the match straight up.
Instead of a standard puckline of +/- 1.5 goals, you can wager on a spread of 2.5 or greater, with the odds adjusted accordingly.
Over/under betting involves predicting the total number of goals scored by both teams in a single match. If the over/under total for a game is 5.5, a total of six goals or more wins the over bet, while under pays if the match finishes with five or fewer goals.
Stanley Cup Champion
Predicting the winner of the Stanley Cup tends to be the most popular futures bet. Keep an eye out on odds throughout the season to get the best payout for your pick.
Eastern/Western Conference Winner
Instead of predicting the playoff champions, this type of wager predicts the winner of the eastern and/or western conference finals series. These teams represent their conference in the Stanley Cup finals.
Presidents’ Trophy Champions
This type of futures bet involves predicting the club which earns the most points during the regular season. The winning club receives the Presidents’ Trophy from the NHL.
The NHL features four divisions: the Atlantic, Central, Metropolitan and Pacific. Divisional futures pick the regular season winner of these groups.
Playoff Series Winner
When the post season rolls around, NHL futures include the option to predict the winner of individual playoff series. Sharp bettors may choose to wager on how many games it takes for a club to advance to the next round.
Hockey bettors may choose to wager on the number of wins a team earns during the regular season. This type of futures bet involves an over/under for total victories.
You’ll need to predict whether a team earns a spot in the post season to win this futures bet.
Individual Player Awards
Betting on individual player awards, including regular season and playoffs, form another type of futures wager. Prestige awards like the Hart or Conn Smythe tend to be more popular than wagering on the Bill Masterson.
Individual Player Performance
The main type of individual player prop bets focuses on whether a player will earn a goal, an assist or a point during a specific game. More options may be available, depending on the sportsbook you partner with.
Hockey betting fans have the option of wagering on the outcome of individual periods. For example, if a team tends to play poorly during the opening part of the game, but plays well in the second period, you can bet on the club losing the first period, or wager on the team winning the second period. Predicting a draw is another option.
First Team To Score
If you know that a club tends to roar out of the gates, you have the option of betting on the team which will score the first goal of the game.
The extra point has increased the number of games decided in overtime or shootout. This type of bet focuses on predicting a regulation win for either team, or a draw after 60 minutes.
Race To X Goals
Another type of scoring prop involves predicting the first team to score a certain number of goals, usually up to a max of four.
Grand Salami Bets
A grand salami bet focuses on predicting the number of goals scored by all teams in a calendar day. This takes the form of an over/under on total goals scored.
Live Betting On NHL Hockey
Sportsbooks close standard sports bets minutes before the game starts, but when the puck drops, many betting services offer real-time action, more commonly known as live betting. Fans of betting on NHL hockey have access to a similar list of moneylines, spreads, totals and props during the game, with odds that fluctuate according to the flow of the match. Live betting rewards players with the potential of greater value.
NHL Live Betting Examples
Live Puckline Bets
Similar to puckline bets before the faceoff, you’ll have the option of wagering on a team beating or covering a spread of 1.5 goals during the match. Expect the odds to change wildly after a goal scored by either team, which greatly changes the probability of a puckline win for either club. Lines will also move as time drains from the clock, with the potential of a shift during penalties or injuries to valuable personnel. Alternative pucklines of 2.5 goals or more will also be available.
Live Moneyline Bets
The odds of either team winning straight up will change throughout the game, although the line movements tend to change less than pucklines. Live moneylines represent an attractive opportunity when betting on a favorite which falls behind by a goal, which may boost the payout for a moneyline favorite.
Predict the outcome after three periods of play while the game’s in progress. You’ll be able to select either team for the win, or a tie game after sixty minutes. Draws tend to pay out better earlier in the game, rather than the finals minutes of a close match.
Live Over/Under Bets
Select whether both teams will score more than or less than a predetermined total. For an over/under of 5.5 goals, over will win with six or more goals between the two clubs, while the under wins with five or fewer. If the teams match the total, a push results, returning the wagers to the bettors. Totals options include over/unders for individual teams and periods.
Next Team To Score
Pick the team which will score the next goal. This type of live bet includes the option of neither team scoring, which pays out well when there’s plenty of time left on the clock.
One of the most difficult types of bets to nail, predicting the exact final score of a match can pay out very well, especially during games which feature wild momentum swings. The more outlandish the final score predicted, the better the payout. In addition to betting on a specific score, you’ll have the option of wagering on “Other”, which covers all the potential correct scores not listed.
Live Period Betting
Wager on the results of an individual period, including puckline, straight up wins and specific scores.
NHL Live Betting Tips
- Avoid the temptation to cover losses with spur of the moment wagers during the game. Live betting works well when pursuing a specific opportunity, instead of hedging in response to a sudden losing scenario.
- Live betting offers the ability to maximize the value of wagers you were already considering. For example, if you believe that a favorite will win despite giving up a goal in the first period, the live moneyline for that favorite will offer a better payout compared to the pre-faceoff line. Teams which allow the first goal are more likely to lose, increasing the risk and reward of betting on them.
- Respond to favorable betting scenarios quickly to maximize the profit of your live hockey betting. When bettors see an edge and move to capitalize, sportsbooks adjust the live odds to make the popular wager more expensive. As such, hesitation may reduce your payout.
Hockey Betting Glossary and Terms
Similar to other special interest groups, the hockey betting community features a rich nomenclature of colorful terms. The language shared between sportsbooks, experts and hockey bettors isn’t always obvious, requiring the occasional translation. Our dictionary of hockey betting terms provides a quick glossary of important phrases, introducing rookies to key concepts while reminding vets of essential hockey betting fundamentals.
A - I
A sports bet of any type.
Against the Spread (ATS)
Betting on the number of points or goals separating competitors. For a 1.5 goal spread, the favorite needs to win by two or more goals for the bet to pay off, while the underdog needs to lose by one goal or win the match. For hockey, a 1.5 goal spread is usually referred to as the puckline.
Hockey bets which don’t follow typical moneylines, pucklines or over/unders. Instead of a regular puckline of +/- 1.5 goals, an alternate puckline might be +/- 2.5 goals, with the odds adjusted to compensate for the altered risk and reward.
An unfortunate occurrence which causes a winning bet to lose suddenly and unexpectedly. Patrik Stefan’s missed empty net goal provides the best example of this phenomenon.
Currency set aside specifically for sports wagering. Preferably, an amount which you’re comfortable losing.
Person placing a bet on behalf of another bettor, usually to conceal the gambler’s identity.
A portion of your bankroll, typically one or two percent, which you place on a bet.
Synonym for favorite.
Fulfilling the requirements to win a favored bet. A favorite needs to win by two goals to cover the puckline and requires a one-goal win to cover the moneyline.
The final set of odds before the sportsbook stops taking action on the event.
A $100 bet.
A $1,000 bet.
Wagering double the amount of your standard betting unit to take advantage of a profitable scenario.
A real or perceived betting advantage gained from knowledge and insight.
A 50/50 bet which pays the bettor the same amount they wagered, with odds of +100, 1/1 or 2.0.
Types of bets which aren’t typical straight up, spread or parley betting.
The team or outcome most likely to win the bet.
A $50 bet.
Betting on an event or outcome which will be determined in the future, such as the winner of the Stanley Cup, or the victor of an individual playoff series.
Wagering on an over/under for the total number of goals scored in all NHL games played during a single day.
Person and/or algorithm which determines the odds and prices for sports wagering events.
The collective value and volume of bets accepted by sportsbooks for an event.
Reducing betting losses or exploiting odds miscalculations by wagering on both sides on a sports event.
J - R
Commission charged by sportsbooks, typically baked into the odds.
Changes in the odds offered by sportsbooks for an event. Lines move for various reasons, including injury, betting volume, weather and suspension.
Betting type where players place wagers while the game is in progress.
A bet considered certain to win, according to the bettor.
A wager which is very unlikely to succeed. Longshot bets tend to pay well, but represent a high level of risk for the player.
The odds that a team will earn a straight up win, regardless of point spread.
A bettor or person who creates bad luck for other sports bettors.
A $500 bet.
The probability of a specific outcome occurring, communicated in numbers.
Wagering on whether an event will end above or below a specific total, typically the number of goals scored by both teams in a single game. Totals also include over/unders for the number of wins a team collects in a single season, and other sports circumstances.
Parlay Betting (Accumulator, Multiple)
Wagering type which involves the combination of two or more bets. Both bets must win for the parlay to pay out. Parlay betting improves the payout by multiplying the odds of each event.
Betting on the outcome of a specific period. Typically, this bet involves selecting the team which scores more goals in the first, second or third period.
A game with a point spread of zero. The winner of the match automatically beats the spread.
Also known as proposition betting, this betting type focuses on a specific outcome within the game, other than a moneyline, puckline or over/under. One type of prop bet would be wagering on whether a certain player will score a goal during the game.
In betting terms, a push is a tie, returning the entire wager back to the bettor. If two teams score six goals and the over/under for the match is six, the bet is considered a push.
Return on investment. The concept of maximizing the profitability of betting activity.
S - Z
A team which faces a tough schedule, reducing the odds of winning a game. This term usually refers to the second leg of a back-to-back on the road for NHL and NBA clubs.
Wagers placed by professional or expert sports bettors, implying an edge which casual bettors should follow.
Money placed on a bet.
Rapid line movement, because of personnel problems or a large volume of bets placed on a specific team or result.
Winning a game, regardless of point spread. Moneylines provide odds for teams winning games straight up.
A professional sports gambler or expert, providing betting tips and advice for money, or without charge.
See: “Over/Under Betting”
The team less likely to win, or an outcome with a smaller probability of occurrence.
A betting expert or handicapper with outstanding results and impeccable expertise, sometimes with access to inside sources.