Ice hockey is an overall very dynamic sport that makes it very exciting for betting on it. NHL is one of the top popular ice hockey leagues in the USA and engages not just American hockey fans: statistics say, sports betting revenues from wagers made on NHL games today are significant worldwide. Combined with a tight National Hockey League schedule with so many games played within the season, NHL wagering is a thing of considerable interest among both professional gamblers and recreational bettors.
Basically, betting on NHL is not much more complicated than placing wagers on such top popular gambling destinations like NFL or European soccer. However, if you know little about how betting works and want to start with backing your fav American hockey team, you came to the right place. We’ll explain all the basics of team sports betting and give you some insights into the best places to wager on NHL and NHL Odds.
How do NHL odds work?
To start, we must note that NHL odds are not that different from most other sports. When you open a random online sportsbook, you’ll see the same most mainstream bet types for NHL, NBA, and other games that imply having two opponents and scores. To keep it closer to our main topic today, we will show you how betting odds work on the NHL betting lines examples we took from real sports betting sites.
A brief intro: there are various odds formats traditionally used in different regions.
The most popular ones are decimal, fractional, and American odds, but in fact, you’ll find some more at Asia-facing betting sites. We’ll focus on the three mentioned above: after all, you’ll most likely need the American ones more than else when you bet on the US leagues like NHL, and they are easy to get as well as the rest two.
Before we start: we will show you how NHL betting odds work on the Money line betting market — it is when a bettor needs to predict who will win outright. It is the most straightforward bet type you can imagine, so we use it to explain the basics, but remember that you will read odds for any other wagers the same way.
Decimal odds. This format expresses chances for a particular outcome through decimal numbers like this:
- Carolina Hurricanes 2.15Boston Bruins 1.71
Smaller odds mean a higher probability of an outcome, and it is pretty reasonable: who would want to pay you much for betting on an event that will most likely happen? Thus, the Bruins are the favorites, and the Hurricanes team are the underdogs.
To see your potential payout, simply multiply your stake amount by odds. For instance, you want to back your fav team Carolina and bet $100 on their victory. If they overcome a bookie’s expectations and win the game, your payout will be $215, where $115 are your winnings, and $100 — your stake that you will receive back. Thus, betting the same $100 on Boston will result in getting $71 as a net profit — that’s a difference, right? Of course, it works out if the underdog wins, but it’s a pretty typical outcome in ice hockey games.
American odds. Obviously, betting on NHL is particularly popular in North America, and sports betting sites facing US and Canada usually stick to the most traditional original American format.
- Carolina Hurricanes +115
- NY Rangers – 140
These money line odds are the same as our previous example: the only difference is the format. Let’s start with the favorites, the Boston Bruins. You see that a bookie gives a negative number to express Boston’s odds to win the game, and it means that you must read it the following way:
Negative odds show how much you must wager to win $100.
So, if you wager $140 on the favorite in our example, your winnings will be only $100. American odds don’t show the total payout, including your stake amount, and express only the net profit. Thus, you will receive an overall $240 from such a bet.
As you might have guessed, odds with a plus sign imply you face an underdog. The calculating formula is different in this case:
Positive odds show how much you will win if you wager $100.
Positive odds are the best to demonstrate how different formats work. Compare our decimal odds example with this one: when you risk $100 to bet on the Hurricanes, you will get $115 if they win. Add $100, your initial stake — and this is the total amount a bookie will have to pay you back.
An important note: sometimes, an NHL game doesn’t have a firm favorite or an obvious underdog, so both have more or less even chances. Don’t be confused to see only unfavorable odds suggested for a market: it is a typical thing in betting on NHL and other sports.
Fractional odds. They are not so popular outside the United Kingdom and Ireland, and most major British bookies usually allow you to switch to a more familiar odds type. However, still, a bit of knowledge won’t hurt.
Fractional odds look like this:
- Carolina Hurricanes 23/20
- Boston Bruins 5/7
Getting this fraction is straightforward: the first number shows your winnings, and the second is your stake. So, if you wager $20 on the Hurricanes, you will win $23. A $100 stake might bring a $230 payout, etc.
Our Guide to the NHL betting odds
You are now ready to know how to make the most straightforward NHL bets. As we focus on beginner bettors in this guide and explain the very basics of NHL betting, we won’t consider exotic bets for now: for instance, prop markets. Yes, they are pretty popular and probably more exciting than the so-called NHL Las Vegas odds we will speak about. However, wagering on them rarely brings large profits and, what is even more important, may lead to significant losses.
Before starting our detailed guide on the most mainstream NHL betting markets, let’s briefly mention two major betting options you can find at any online sportsbook: single bets and multiple bets.
A single bet sounds evident: you choose an outcome (like the Boston Bruins will win over the Carolina Hurricanes), add it to your bet slip, and that’s it.
However, you can add more than a single bet and combine all your picks in a multiple wager. How will a bookie count your profit in this case? It depends on a particular multiple wager type. The most common one is called Accumulator or Parlay: it’s when you add several. Usually, up to twelve selections from different sporting events and your bet slip multiply all odds to generate a better payout. However, a parlay wins only when all selections win, so it’s risky.
You can place single bets (best for beginners) or try parlays with all the bet types we will describe further.
NHL Moneyline Betting
You already know what a Moneyline is: we showed it pretty clearly when explaining how hockey odds work. Once more: it is a bet on a match-winner, and sometimes bookies call it exactly like that in their match coupons. Sometimes, a Money line can have more than two outcomes: it is called a 3-Way-Moneyline, and you can bet on a Draw outcome, too, for example:
- Carolina Hurricanes to win: +115
- Boston Bruins to win: – 140
- Draw: +200
On the one hand, Moneyline betting seems obvious: just wager on a favorite, and you will win! However, sharp bettors wouldn’t support this thought: why invest money in something that will bring only a little bit in return?
A wise approach obviously involves learning and analyzing. What should you study? Well, at least statistics of the respective teams that will meet in the upcoming matchup. The key things you need to know before making your NHL money line decision:
- Never back your fav NHL team just because you love them. We mean, you can if you want to, but it has nothing to do with a) responsible gambling b) betting strategies;
- Look at the previous matchups between the same teams: what was the score;
- How does every team play when they are home or away;
- Will all key players be in the lineup? Were there any substitutions, traumas, etc.;
- How much has the team traveled this NHL season? Is there a tiresome factor for any of the teams?
Betting on the favorite is never an all-in-one solution, especially in NHL. If you check money line trends, you’ll see that underdogs successfully win in almost fifty cases of a hundred, so betting against the fade might become a very profitable strategy, yet a riskier one.
NHL Totals Betting
Totals are easy to understand but not so straightforward regarding predictions. This bet type, also known as Over/Under, suggests that you guessed the overall score: a sum of both teams’ results. A sportsbook gives you a number of goals to make your life easier, close to the most probable outcome. Better see once than hear thousand times, so here is what a Totals (Over/Under) market may look like at an online sports betting site:
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Los Angeles Kings:
- Over 5.5 -120
- Under 5.5 +100
You see already familiar odds, but they don’t show you a stronger and a weaker team. Instead, they express how possible is the Over and Under outcomes, so you don’t care of a team winning the game or scoring the most points.
When you wager on Over 5.5, it means that you suppose both teams will end up with total points of more than five. It can be 3:3, or 2:4, or 0:7 — the winner and a winning margin don’t matter here at all. Betting on the Under outcome means you think the game will be very low-scoring, and teams won’t manage to gain more than six points.
Why do the suggested total points come as a decimal number? It’s easy: to avoid a coincidence when the total score equals the given totals.
For instance, if you bet that the total score will go over 6, but it is evenly six, in the end, the bet becomes invalid: it is not over, and not under, too! Still, some bookies give round figures as the suggested total points and just make a stake refund if a bet becomes void.
So, does it make sense to wager on Totals in NHL? Mindful that the goalies are almost the key players in every NHL or other ice hockey league event, Over/Under might become a very profitable bet, relatively easy to predict.
How can you do it? Again, statistics: monitor how many goals a particular team usually misses or keeps and how it depends on its lineup. A tip from sharp bettors: try to catch the best NHL betting odds for a Totals market before the first rotation.
NHL puck lines
Puck line in NHL (and all other ice hockey leagues) is a name for NHL spreads. While it’s called spread in soccer, football, basketball, etc., hockey wagering suggests its own name. Unlike in other sports, ice hockey point spread (puck line) is always -1,5 or +1,5: the winning margin rarely goes above two, as hockey is a very low-scoring game. Here is a puck line example for one of the upcoming NHL games:
- Chicago Blackhawks -1,5 -143
- Detroit Red Wings +1,5 +110
In our example, Chicago is a favorite, and a bookie evens both teams’ chances by deducting 1,5 points from their final score. Thus, if you wager on the Chicago Blackhawks puck line, they will need not only to win but cover the spread with two or more goals. If you bet on the Red Wings, and they lose with a scoring margin of only one point or win the game, it will be a winning wager for you, too.
NHL Futures Betting
Futures are bets made on some large events like a season’s finals winner. NHL futures involve the Stanley Cup odds and various MVP titles: Hart Memorial Trophy Odds, and more. The futures can involve division winners: for instance, Atlantic Division futures or Pacific Division futures. NHL Futures’ odds can turn out to be very lucrative but involve many risks: for instance, only one team will get the Stanley Cup, so you will need to consider many things before making the right decision.
Here is what the Futures look like for Stanley Cup 2022:
- Colorado Avalanche +550
- Tampa Bay Lightning +750
- Vegas Golden Knights +800
- Toronto Maple Leafs +800
- Florida Panthers +900
- Carolina Hurricanes +1200
- Pittsburgh Penguins +1600
- Washington Capitals +1800
- Boston Bruins +1800
Obviously, the odds fluctuate and won’t remain the same: in fact, every game impacts on the Future’s odds.
Besides, there are Totals Futures: it is a nice combo of an Over/Under and Futures markets, implying that you predict the overall number of goals scored by a particular team.
NHL scores and standings
We kept telling you about checking NHL stats and trends. But how can you do it, and where do you find the most actual and accurate numbers? We’ll share with you some top places to check out in the next paragraph and discuss how to understand scores and standings when you do your research for betting on ice hockey games in the USA and Canada.
So, when you need to learn everything about a team’s performance, you go straight to their standings. For instance, if you open the standings section on the official National Hockey League website, you’ll see a table with standings available from 1918. All standings are divided into large sections: Division, Wild Card, Conference, and League; each shows the same stats, including points, shootout losses, points percentage, goal differential, and more.
You might need various stats for particular bet types; for instance, when you want to wager on Moneyline, it’s reasonable to check Home or Away performance, depending on where the team is playing in the next game. These stats are given as three numbers, for instance:
- Florida: Home: 21-3-0
The numbers mean Wins-Regulation Losses-Overtime Losses respectively. Sometimes, the whole season’s stat doesn’t matter much, so you can check the figures for only the last ten games to estimate the overall team’s shape.
Another example is when you need to make predictions for wagering on the Totals market, you can check the shots on goal stats to see if the team has solid offensive power. The same can be used to wager on the puck line.
The best sportsbooks for NHL odds, NHL standings, NHL lines & NHL live scores
Where shall I find all these stats, and more important — place my NHL wagers? Before you rush to register at the top-branded online sportsbooks, shop the lines: compare odds for the same event at various online sports wagering sites and see if there are any lucrative offers and promotions for ice hockey betting. There can be exciting bonuses for the Stanley Cup playoffs, or some more universal promos available for, say, all parlays.
If you prefer offshore sportsbooks as you value a wide choice of bets, no limits for casino games and private Bitcoin transactions, check out Bovada and BetOnline.
Still, if you feel safer when betting at the websites approved by US authorities, you can take a look at the NHL lines at PointsBet, DraftKings, and BetMGM. If you have a chance to gamble outside the United States, try out Pinnacle: it is usually regarded as a bookie with the sharpest NHL lines.
What about stats? Obviously, you can check out the NHL’s official website and get the most reliable information from their standings and statistical tables. Besides, we also publish the latest NHL odds at our dedicated section, so you can use them to monitor lines fluctuation. We use the NHL daily lines from reliable providers, and our readers can be pretty sure they get correct and updated data on NHL line combinations whenever they visit SuperBetting.
This guide is enough to make your first NHL wager. Don’t worry if it is not the wisest one or loses: after all, sports betting is fun, and losing is a part of this fun, too! In fact, it is one of the responsible gambling principles: stick to it so that you avoid a gambling problem.
Alongside exquisite strategies and pro-betting tips, there are some basic rules you need to remember, no matter what sports you choose to wager. The rules are simple: control your budget, don’t make mindless bets, never gamble when you are drunk or high, and don’t hesitate to contact a counseling center if you feel you are getting addicted.
Need more info on sports betting sites or wagering rules? Read our guides and reviews on SuperBetting: we do our best to deliver you the most actual and useful details about our fav world of sports betting.
We wish you luck!
The odds always mean your potential winnings. Besides, they can imply which outcome is more possible: higher, more profitable odds are usually suggested for underdog NHL teams that are unlikely to win. Heavy favorites, on the contrary, come with less attractive odds, but there are generally more chances to get this smaller profit.
When you opt for the decimal odds formats, you multiply the odds by your stake when the odds look like 2,45 or something. The result is your payout if you win, which consists of your stake plus your winnings.
American odds format is expressed in negative or positive three-digit numbers. If you see a minus sign before the odds, they show how much you need to wager to win $100. Positive odds imply your net profit provided you wager $100.
When you see +100 odds for some outcome, it first means this outcome is not very likely to happen: positive odds are usually given for underdogs and express how much you will win from a $100 stake. Thus, if you bet $100 at odds $100 and win, your total payout will be $200: your stake amount plus your winnings.
The money line is the simplest bet type: a gambler predicts who will win the game, and that’s it. Sometimes money lines can have three outcomes, including a draw score or not involved overtime, but the most traditional and widespread money line meaning is just a bet on the game’s winner.
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