Although the NHL isn’t quite as popular as other American sports like the NFL and NBA, it’s still right up there when it comes to pure entertainment.
But as well as being entertained, you may as well make a bit of extra $$ while watching a game, yeah?!
Knowing how to bet on hockey is a great skill that can make your enjoyment and appreciation of the sport better, while at the same time lining your pockets a bit. And because I hate the bookies, I’m here to show you exactly how to do it.
In this article, I’ll be looking at the BEST ice hockey betting sites, and I’ll also be laying down some bulletproof betting strategies that will help you make killer profits.
Ready? Let’s make a start.
Best Hockey Betting Sites
MyBookie is one of the standout sportsbooks when it comes to the NHL, as well as American sports in general. They offer reliable payouts, competitive odds, and their in-play action is good.
Sign up today and grab a 100% match deposit welcome bonus.
Perhaps America’s most trusted sportsbook of all time, Bovada is the Godfather when it comes to ice hockey props, bonuses, and promos. They also offer live streaming, and their user interface is one of the best around. Withdrawal times are good, and Bitcoin is accepted.
Sign up today and grab a $250 welcome bonus.
BetNow is focused predominantly on U.S. markets. It’s ideal for high rollers who want a site that won’t restrict their stakes, a site where the software is excellent, as well as where their live customer support is the best in town.
Sign up today and grab a 100% match deposit welcome bonus up to $500.
Helpful Stats & Facts For Betting On Hockey
When betting on any sports, it always helps to have a few stats and facts to hand. I’m going to list some of my personal favorites in this section, but I recommend that you find some of your own and add them to a spreadsheet.
- The best-of-5 format hasn’t been used since 1986
- The highest average goals per game over the course of a whole season for any team since 2000 was the Capitals’ 3.82 goals in 2009/10
- No one has scored more than 4.0 goals per game since the Penguins in 1995/96
- Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets scored a goal on his birthday in the last two seasons
- Sidney Crosby of the Penguins has averaged over a point per game for 14 consecutive seasons
- Detroit Red Wings have had a handful of players who’ve scored three overtime winners in one season. They have never had a player score four OT goals in one year, however
- There are still eleven teams who have never won a Stanley Cup, with the Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues going the longest (50 years) without winning it
The Most Popular Types of Hockey Bets
There are different types of hockey bets you can place. Some bettors prefer to mix things up and try different types of bets, whilst others like to specialise in one or two types. Some are also easier to get right than others, but all require skill, judgment – and a bit of luck.
Here are the most popular types of hockey bets:
The moneyline bet is the most popular of all NHL bets, probably because it’s the simplest and not too difficult to get right.
All you’re doing is wagering on who you think will win the game outright. You can bet on the underdog, the favorite – or the tie.
And here’s the thing: Your bet only counts during the 60 minutes of regular time. It doesn’t include overtime. If a game is tied in regular time and goes into overtime, your moneyline bet is won or lost on the tie.
Of course, money lines offer smaller payouts for the favorite, but payouts for the tie and the underdog can often be quite handsome.
Puck Line Handicap
A puck line handicap is a type of bet that can only be placed on ice hockey games.
It’s kinda like “spread betting,” a type of bet that’s based on a point spread applied to both teams. But NHL bet lines are a tad different.
With the puck line handicap, a puck line (NHL betting line) is always set at 1.5. The favorite then receives a -1.5 goal puck line handicap. If you choose to wager on them, they need to win by 2+ goals. This means that, if they win by a single goal, you still lose the bet (despite them winning!).
Conversely, the underdog receives a +1.5 puck line handicap. If you wager on them, they cannot lose by 2+ goals. If they do, you lose the bet.
Over/Under Number of Goals Scored
Over/under bets are popular in many sports, including the NHL.
It’s a really simple bet. All you need to decide is whether or not you think a game will have X number of goals scored.
For example, let’s say the Bruins are playing the Penguins. Because you think this will be a low scoring game, you bet on “under 2.5 goals.” For your bet to win, there can’t be more than 2 goals. It doesn’t matter the exact total number of goals – you just don’t want there to be more than 2.
On the other hand, let’s say Tampa Bay is playing the Ducks. You think this will be a fairly high scoring game, and so you wager on “over 1.5 goals.” For your bet to win, there needs to be more than two or more goals scored.
The correct score bet is tricky to get right. But the payouts are often big, and it’s a really fun bet to place if you’re going to be tracking the action live.
All you need to do is a wager on the exact score you think will materialize. Your bet will only win if the actual score matches your correct score bet.
Hockey Betting Strategy
It can be a tempting bet on instinct. I know – I’ve been there. You’re watching a game unfold, you see a betting opportunity all of a sudden, and quickly stick the wager on.
Then, you watch in horror as you lose the bet.
On another day, you might win the bet. But it’s just pure dumb luck.
It’s MUCH better to stick to a consistent hockey betting strategy that you know yields profits over the long term.
There are a lot of hockey betting strategies you can employ, but in this section I’m going to share my personal favorite. Please note, though, that past results do not guarantee future wins.
Back The Underdog
In sports betting, it is – of course – seen as more favorable to back the favorite.
But how often have you taken a punt on a favorite … and they’ve lost?
It happens because, as rare as it might seem, favorites do lose. My buddy had never bet on sports in his life when he decided to back the Lakers in the NBA to win their next game “for some extra beer money.”
Bear in mind, the Lakers were the reigning champions who were massive favorites. It seemed a dead certainty that they would beat the depleted Bulls. What happened? They lost.
And in the NHL, a league where there are 82 games across a season, the favorites lose more often than you might think.
Think back to the 2015-15 season. The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on the back of a 48-34 win-loss record.
That’s 34 times they lost during a single season. That’s a lot!
Therefore, it can be really profitable over the long-term if you back the underdog because the odds will be in your favor (the payout will be far bigger than backing the favorite with big money, especially when just one defeat can wipe you out).
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should back the underdog blindly without discretion. Rather, you still need to look at the form and see if you can spot when an upset is coming (check the tips below to help you). But if you stick at this strategy and never bet more than you can afford to lose, it can pay dividends throughout a season.
Top Tips For Betting On Hockey
Who’s The Goalie?
As mentioned just now, there are a LOT of NHL games over a single season. Players need rest – and goalies get more rest than their teammates.
When looking at potential games to bet on, check whether or not the main goalies are playing. If a main goalie is missing, there’s a big chance that their team will lose.
In-Play Power Play Action
Power Plays are key ingredients in a game of ice hockey because they can swing a game in a whole new direction.
Whenever a Power Play occurs, make sure you know exactly how both teams normally handle the situation. How good is a team at taking advantage of a Power Play? How bad is a team at managing a Power Play? Do they tend to score or concede more goals?
When you know these kinds of stats, you can take advantage with some Power Play in-play betting.
Be Mindful Of Fatigue
Injuries obviously play a crucial role in the outcome of a game (and therefore your betting strategies). But what about fatigue?
Fatigue might not seem as obvious as an injury, probably because the commentators aren’t going to tell you pre-game that a player is “tired.”
But remember – there are a lot of games in an NHL season and players get tired. This affects their ability to skate quickly and perform at their max.
Before any game, look at how many games a team has played in the last few days and weeks. Have they had a packed schedule? If they have, poor performance might be coming up.
Common Online Hockey Betting Tools
- Swish Analytics – Swish Analytics is a machine learning system that predicts the outcome of NHL games. You shouldn’t absolutely swear by its results, but it can help you make a better betting decision
- OddsPortal – When placing a bet, you need to be sure you’re getting the best odds possible. OddsPortal compares odds at various sportsbooks to ensure you’re maximizing your profits
- Flashscore – Flashscore is one of the best websites around that lets you track the form of any NHL team. It also includes game-by-game stats
Final Word On Hockey Betting
Now that you know how to bet on hockey, the next step is to pick a sportsbook that’s right for you. Then, use the tips in this article to help you place better bets. Don’t forget to make use of tools, too. But remember – never bet more than you can afford to lose.
With that said, I wish you the best of luck. Don’t forget to leave a comment letting us know how you get on!