The National Hockey League has already a full century under its belt with long traditions and lots of avid fans across the US and many parts of the globe. In terms of sports betting, it is still not in the top position as football and basketball, but in recent years there has been a significant increase in the interest shown by online punters.
The nature of ice hockey determines the availability of various types of bets that cover different elements of the game like teams, players, goals, periods, etc. This is one of the main reasons why a growing number of betting enthusiasts are turning to NHL games wagering. To help you find your way around and choose the betting market that best suits your preferences and current knowledge, we have provided comprehensive explanations of the most popular NHL bets below.
NHL Moneyline Wagers
Moneyline betting is the most popular type of sports wagering, known even by people who have not been involved in betting so far. The popularity of moneylines is due not only to the fact that they are simple enough for novice sports bettors to understand and properly use but also with the right strategy can bring significant profits, which makes this betting market widely used by professional punters too. The only thing you must predict is which NHL team is going to win the match regardless of the exact score.
The moneyline betting market is invariably included in the portfolio of online sportsbooks along with Spreads and Totals. As soon as you visit the website of your bookmaker of choice and head to the NHL section, you will most probably see a table looking like this:
|Detroit Red Wings||+ 2.5|
|Carolina Hurricanes||– 2.5|
From the previous articles in our guide, you already know that the minus in front of the odds indicates the favorite, while the plus stands for the expected underdog. If numbers are far apart, the game is unlikely to be contested. If they are closer to each other, the teams are more evenly matched. Favorite’s betting odds also show how much you need to wager to win $100. The positive number assigned to the underdog tells you how much you will add to your bankroll if your $100 bet is successfully settled. No matter how close the betting odds are, there will always be some difference that leads to different payouts.
In order to place successful moneyline bets, it is important that you learn to use your knowledge and find odds that you think do not accurately reflect the actual probability. A possible approach is to bet mostly on favorites and at first glance, it seems the most logical decision. However, since you can almost never completely ignore the underdogs, it is extremely important to be selective with the favorites you place bets on. If a particular game comes with odds of – 112 and + 125 you better avoid risking your stake. The favorite’s odds are equal to 52.8% implied probability which shows uncertainty on the part of the bookmaker. Even if the prediction turns out to be correct the eventual profit would be minor and that’s not a good price to pay for the risk you take. Due to the high degree of volatility of the hockey game, it is best to look to wager on favorites where indicators like these are absent. Without visible external factors, an NHL match where the difference in the odds for the favorite and the underdog are significantly different from each other is the best choice.
If you want to be a successful punter, you must learn to avoid traps. Don’t be fooled by suspiciously advantageous odds. If a bet seems too good to be true, it usually is. It is important to do your own research and be not blindly guided by things like changing the odds before the game. Being aware of what the odds say is an integral part of your betting experience, but make sure you personally find arguments to support your bet.
NHL Over/Under Bets
Also called just Totals, the Over/Under wagers on games from the National Hockey League are among the most popular ice hockey betting markets. They give extra flexibility in betting, allowing you to place a bet on the course of the game, no matter which of the two teams will be the winner. No in-depth knowledge of the sport is required and the relatively low level of risk makes this type of betting attractive to beginner punters. In the third column of the table above you see two numbers preceded by “O” and “U”, respectively. They show that betting enthusiasts need to predict whether the total number of goals scored will be above or below 6. Based on the expected chances, payouts vary accordingly. These bets are a suitable option if your research shows that a game will be particularly offensive or defensive. If an upcoming match is about to be more tactical, for example, if a tie is enough for both teams to move forward, the wiser decision is to bet on the under option. In such cases, teams often try not to lose by putting more effort into their defense and scoring goals is not a priority.
In disciplines with few points such as hockey, baseball, and football, for example, the result to be bet is usually a single digit. That is why bookmakers do not have many options when needing to move the lines. Most of them prefer leaving the Totals threshold the same and moving the possible payouts in one direction or another.
NHL Prop Bets
Proposition bets are probably the most entertaining and at the same time trickiest form of wagering regardless of the sport. As regards the NHL, these are generally divided into Player props, Team props, and Game props, each coming with various options. In the below table you can see a small portion of the proposition betting markets featured by the top online sportsbooks.
|Washington Capitals vs Colorado Avalanche|
|Anthony Mantha – Goals||Over/Under 0.5||+ 300/- 400|
|Alex Ovechkin – Points||Over/Under 0.5||– 188/+152|
|Tom Wilson – Assists||Over/Under 0.5||+ 210/-265|
|Evgeny Kuznetsov – Shots on Goal||Over/Under 2.5||– 110/+120|
|Washington Capitals Total||Over/Under 1.5||+ 123/- 152|
|Colorado Avalanche Last to Score||Yes/No||– 139/+ 142|
|Will There Be Overtime||Yes/No||+ 380/- 550|
|1st Period Total Goals||Over/Under 1.5||– 170/+ 140|
The Shots betting market is arguably the easiest to predict player proposition bet. Here, variables are far less than with Goals where some external factors like cooperation with teammates and contender’s goalkeeper skills. It is true that shots may go wide or be blocked but they are more predictable based on player’s usual shot production. Checking the statistics will help you to a large extent to decide whether to wager on the Over or Under option.
If you are an avid fan of a particular team from the National Hockey League, Team Props may turn out to be the perfect possibility for low-risk profitable betting. This is a suitable type of bet if, knowing the team well, you think you can predict how it will perform in the game, but you are not sure how the opponent will oppose. The bet can be successful regardless of whether your favorite will end up as the winner because the subject of wagering are elements such as the number of goals scored by the team for the entire match or one of the periods.
The last type of NHL proposition bets is Game Props whose diversity is determined by how the game is organized. There are three periods, overtimes, and shootouts which are just the base of Game proposition wagers. Market availability differs among online sportsbooks, so if you plan to place prop bets check the NHL section of the website in advance. Game props include but are not limited to Will There Be Overtime, 1st Period Total Goals, Highest Scoring Period, and Total Odd/Even.
NHL Future Bets
As you can guess from their name, these bets are placed well before an event is conducted. This type of wager is most often placed on the team that will win the Stanley Cup or the playoffs. With the right prediction, betting before the start of the season will result in a much more profitable payout than betting at the end of the season, so with future bets, there is a chance of huge additions to your bankroll. We have mentioned line shopping before, but it is of utmost importance to keep it in mind when it comes to future bets. Accurate predicting is a difficult task anyway, but when important details such as the physical shape of players, change of coaches, contracts with sponsors, etc. are not clear, the oddsmakers end up with different numbers. Take a look at the example with the currently available odds of New York Rangers winning the 2022 Stanley Cup.
New York Rangers Winning Odds
As the season progresses, future betting odds change as teams show more or less ability to qualify for the playoffs. Almost every week we witness amendments in the odds as teams move up and down in the standings. If you are not hesitant about the team that deserves your bet, the most reasonable move is to look at a few trusted online bookmakers and wager through the one that offers the most profitable odds. We advise you to stick to smaller-sized stakes on markets with noteworthy value. The Stanley Cup winner is not the only possibility for placing NHL future bets. Bookies allow wagers on teams to win their respective conference or division titles as well as Most Valuable Player (Hart Memorial Trophy), Coach of the Year (Jack Adams Award), Regular-Season’s Point Leader (Art Ross Trophy), Best Goaltender (Vezina Trophy), Rookie of the Year (Calder Memorial Trophy), etc.
NHL Parlay Betting
Just like any other sport, betting enthusiasts can place NHL parlays covering more than one bet. The relevant stake is multiplied by all the odds in the betslip that may contain two different bets parlayed together up to as many as the respective online bookmaker accepts. With the proviso that betting rules applied by the different wagering platforms slightly vary, in the general case, every event within the parlay needs to be a winning one for the parlay bet to be successful. If you have placed a four-game parlay and only one of your predictions fails, that is a losing ticket.
While not that often a tie result may occur. In this case, the particular bet is considered a push but the parlay can still be successful if all other bets win. The final payout is calculated excluding the odds of the game that has finished with a tie. Although the win amount would be lower, needless to say, this is a far better situation than suffering a loss. NHL parlay betting does not necessarily include one bet type only. Actually, putting different kinds of NHL wagers in your betslip is the most common way of practicing this type of betting. Combining markets like moneyline, puck line, total, etc., gives online punters a possibility to include more probable predictions in a single parlay ticket.
In the past, sports betting simply required the winner of an event to be named. Fortunately, over time, the field has developed significantly and today we can wager on every aspect of the sport we can imagine. What we tried to do in this article of our NHL betting guide is outline the most commonly used hockey bet types so that you can decide which one is most suitable for your current knowledge level. Undoubtedly, puck line bets also fall within this category. However, we believe that they should be paid more attention, so we have dedicated a separate part of the guide to them. Let’s move on.