Intro to NHL Betting
Betting on the NHL can be a great way to be involved in the game. As a fan, this could be another way to get more out of the hockey season.
There is a handful of betting options to take, too, rather than just the winner of the game. The beautiful thing about NHL betting is that there is something for every type of bettor out there.
These include straightforward bets such as the NHL moneyline and puck line. Other bets include a complex world of parlays and even some other popular bets along the way.
Whatever your betting needs are, you can follow along with this guide to get an idea of what you would like to accomplish. From novice to the experienced bettor, below, you will see how to apply this in practice.
How the NHL season is Constructed
The season structure of the NHL in the past has been divided into various sections such as the pre-season, regular season, and the Stanley Cup playoffs. There are also usually 82 games total in a season.
However, in the 2021 season, this has been adjusted to a 56 game season. Each team will only play their divisional games this season.
Furthermore, each team in the East, Central, and West will also only play every other team in its division eight times. Looking at the teams in the North division will play every other team in its division nine or even ten times.
This realignment is interesting since it is a method for limiting travel and ensuring that each team will not have to cross the United States-Canada border more than needed. In addition to these changes, one division will be composed exclusively of the league’s Canadian teams.
Looking at how the format has changed, you could potentially see a Stanley Cup Final that would feature two teams that normally play in the same conference in a traditional season. This is a wild time for sports betting.
You can also expect teams to often play several games in a row against the same opponent. This is not really anything new to sports, since baseball usually does this practice anyway, but new to NHL for the time being.
The NHL has elected the league to allow teams to play games within their home arenas during this upcoming season. The NHL has also allowed individual teams to decide if they want to allow fans in the arena or not. Some teams have already stated that they would allow limited attendance.
Where to Bet on the NHL
Trying to find a great NHL betting site does not have to be difficult. But for some, it can be quite frustrating, especially in your location.
However, with the right information, you can quickly pick and choose a reliable and high-quality NHL betting site that has competitive odds and payouts. There are no secret tricks or gimmicks; you just need to know what to look for.
The quickest thing to take note of a sportsbook is by checking a handful of criteria before diving into it deeper. This means they are licensed and legal, various payment methods, good odds and features, and any bonuses or offers upon signing up.
For sign up bonuses, this is money that you do not want to leave on the table. If you can afford to meet the basic terms and conditions, these bonuses can be worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
You need to read the fine print when comparing the NHL bonuses that are available. By looking over these terms and conditions, it will give you details as to how much money you should plan to deposit and what you will get in return.
You could also look at how well the sportsbook caters to new bettors. Some include in-depth features or how-to guides with their platform.
This means they are user friendly and want to educate you rather than take your money. However, just because a site does not have one does not mean it does not care about you. Overall, your location and research are going to play a big role in figuring out where to bet online.
Different Types of NHL Bets
Before diving into your NHL bets, let us take a look at an example of how to read the odds. Below you will see a variety of bets to make for two teams going head to head.
Boston Bruins – Spread: -1.5 (-115), Moneyline -180, Total 5.5 (-105) over
Detroit Red Wings – Spread +1.5 (-115), Moneyline +160, Total 5.5 (-105) under
Betting $100 would return you $160 for the Red Wings on the moneyline bet. You would have to bet $180 to get a $100 return on the Bruins if they win. Below you will see how those are applied to other bets.
Betting on the puck line is very similar in nature to betting the run line in baseball or even betting against the spread in football. You might even hear the puck line be referred to as the NHL spread or hockey point spread.
The puck line is an interesting bet because you are not choosing an outright winner. To keep this simple, if you pick the favorite, then this means that they must win by a specified number of goals. If you choose the underdog, then this means they cannot lose by the specific number of goals.
So when you see the puck line, you are always taking the favorite to win by two or more goals. Then, with any other outcome, you are expecting the underdog to cover and to win the bet.
For just about every bettor out there, when you see the NHL moneyline bet, you know what this is. This bet is who you think is going to win the game straight up.
When betting totals (or referred to as over/under), you are simply taking a wager on whether the total score of the game for both teams combined will be enough to be over or not enough for under a certain number. The number will be provided by the sportsbook.
Looking at futures betting, the NHL playoffs are a popular bet. Many sportsbooks will offer other various future bets like the winner individual series, respective conferences, and so on. In addition, these bets for the Stanley Cup will be offered later on when the time comes, but they will often be significantly different than when they were at the beginning of the season.
The Grand Salami is another term you might come across. This hockey bet is simple and fun to watch play out.
This bet is an over-under number that is posted on the total goals that will be scored in all the games for a particular day. For example, say you have five NHL games, all with individual totals of 5.5. The Grand Salami number would be something like 28 for the total goals (5.5 x 5 is 27.5).
Parlays are as volatile and interesting as any of the bets mentioned. They are a combination of any bet you want to place a bet on all in one ticket for a higher payout. However, losing just one of your bets causes you to lose the entire parlay.
How to Live Bet on the NHL
With the first game of the season, all the way to the NHL playoffs leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals, live betting can be an important tool for a hockey bettor. Compared to regular betting style, you are given the same options of betting on the moneyline, puck line, and totals but are able to adjust live.
The puck line and odds will be modified in real-time. This will change as the score of the game and the volume of bets changes in real-time as well.
Live betting in real-time is useful for someone that wants to be engaged in NHL betting throughout the entirety of the game. Breaking down each period of the game arguably takes a lot more work but could prove to be beneficial.
Tips for Betting the NHL
There are a few big takeaways from learning this information. The hardest part is trying to remember every detail.
It is perfectly fine not to remember all of these bets or tips. Simply refer back to this each time you place a bet.
The key here is that you keep a level head, do your research, and watch your bankroll. Do not bet when you are in a bad mood or not in a good mental space to make judgments on betting.
Doing your research is absolutely crucial for any success when it comes to betting. You will need to research both teams at play, such as scoring, their defense, injuries, or anything that could affect the game.
Keeping a budget and knowing how much to spend is another step in NHL betting. You do not want to spend all of your money or continue to play when you are in the hole.
Overall, do not let any one person tell you a full proof method on how to bet. You should take everything with a grain of salt and test it out yourself.
This way, you will know what works for you and what does not. If you find that parlays are your thing but hate moneyline bets in general, then go for what works.
How do I practice my NHL bets?
If you would like to practice your NHL bets, you can simply write down your predictions. Then you can compare the games to your predictions. Also, try watching the game in real-time and making predictions too.
What is a good bankroll amount?
This number is really up to you. By creating a budget, you will know exactly how much money to spend each time you place a bet. Whether it be $50 or $1000, just know what you are comfortable with.
How do I win more often?
By engaging in responsible betting more often, you are more likely to win bets this way. However, continuous research and staying on top of your bets is the only way to really know how you are doing.
Is one bet the best bet?
If moneyline bets click with you, then, by all means, stick to the moneyline bet. You do not have to choose all of them or the most popular option. This is your money, so put it where you earn on the best option.
What is the best place to research teams?
You can try to stay up to date with the NHL website or sites like ESPN. There are a handful of other betting sites that will follow a team or league very close, so it is valuable to check these out too.