NHL Betting Guide
NHL Betting Guide
Guest article special to PuckPedia from My Betting Sites
We’ve put together this quick guide to NHL betting to help out all kinds of hockey fans who fancy placing a wager. Whether you’re looking to monetize the crazy amount of hockey knowledge you’ve built up over the years, or you simply want to add a little extra to the mix when you sit down to watch the game later, this page is for you.
NHL Betting Sign Up Offers
The first thing to note is that it’s always worth shopping around: Instead of locking yourself in with a single sportsbook, you can take advantage of generous sign up offers and always make sure you get the best prices by having more than one online betting account.
There are now plenty of online betting options in both the USA and Canada, with more sites going live all the time. Selecting the best bookie for your NHL betting can be a bit overwhelming given the amount of choice, so it’s worth checking out a bookmaker comparison or review site. For those of you in the States, Bookies Bonuses USA is the place to go; for the low-down on the top Canadian online betting sites you should head to My Betting Sites Canada.
NHL Betting Lines
There are many different ways to wager on an NHL game, but the most popular bets are probably moneyline, spreads (or puck line), and over/under lines (total goals).
This is the simplest way to bet on the NHL. With a moneyline wager, you’re betting on the final outcome of the game: With a 2-way money line wager, you pick either the home or away team to win; with a 3-way money line wager, the tie is also an option.
On a 2-way wager, you’ll win regardless of the method of your team’s victory (in regulation, overtime, or after a shootout). A win’s a win. With a 3-way wager, your team must win in 60 minutes - an overtime or shootout win for your team will still lose you your bet.
That means the odds for a team to win on a 3-way wager are higher than on a 2-way wager. So, if you think one team will dominate, it might be worth going for the 3-way, whereas a 2-way wager offers a little more flexibility in tight games.
NHL Spreads - Puck Line
The spread, often referred to as the puck line, is a wager on the match outcome with a handicap applied. For example, a strong favourite may start the game on a -1.5 line. That means they would have to win by two clear goals (‘cover/beat’ the spread) for your wager to win.
Likewise, a very weak team playing an in-form opponent might start on a +2.5 line. Your bet on the +2.5 would win if the underdogs kept to within 2 clear goals of the favourite, but would lose if they suffered a defeat of 3 or more clear goals (i.e., 0-3, 1-4, 2-5).
Puck line wagers are great as the handicap serves to level the playing field in a one-sided game where the payout on the money line might not be worth the risk. If you know your stuff, the spread is a great market to bet on - perhaps you rate an underdog’s defence to be better than the prices suggest, in which case a wager against the spread (on the plus handicap) could be an option.
NHL Total Goals - Over/Under
Another popular option is the over/under line. You’ll also see this on some sportsbooks as the Total Goals market - it’s the same thing. Like the moneyline, this one’s really straightforward: How many goals in total (i.e. from both teams combined) do you think there’ll be in the game?
The line is generally set between 5 and 8 goals, with lower lines in games featuring evenly-matched or low-scoring teams, and higher lines in games featuring strong attacks or mismatched teams. You’ll almost always see the line set halfway between two whole numbers (e.g. at 5.5 or 6.5) - this takes away the possibility of a push, where the total goals equals the line and bets are voided/stakes returned.
As a neutral, total goals wagers are especially good as they don’t require you to back a particular team. Instead, you’re rewarded for your reading of the matchup in general.
Now this is where it gets really interesting! A parlay bet is a single wager with two or more selections, all of which must come in for your wager to win. Each additional selection added to the parlay multiplies the odds.
Say you fancied the Bruins to beat the Senators at -335, the Kings to win at the Canadiens at +116, and the Oilers to win at the Red Wings at -196. Three separate $5 wagers on those three outcomes would net you a total profit of $9.84. However, combine them in a three-leg parlay with the same total stake of $15 and you’re looking at a profit of $48.54!
Popular bets to include in NHL parlays include moneyline, spreads, and total goals - many online sportsbooks will allow you to add a wide range of different bets to a single parlay.
If you know your stuff and you’re confident in your picks, using parlays can see your returns skyrocket. Likewise, if you’re a neutral and want to give yourself an interest in multiple games, parlays are a great way to do that.
NHL Prop Bets
Instead of backing a team outcome (as in all of the betting lines examples above), player props are markets where you can wager on a player’s individual performance.
Fancy Draisaitl to net more than once? Place your wager on the Draisaitl over/under 1.5 goals market. Think Panarin’s going to notch a couple of assists tonight? Likewise, there’s plenty of online sportsbooks that will take wagers on his individual display.
Futures are much more long-term bets that often take up to an entire season to resolve. These are not bets on particular games, rather wagers on general season outcomes.
This is where you can place wagers on teams to, for example, win their conference/division, make the play-offs or win the Stanley Cup while the season is still young (or even before it’s underway).
Lots of sportsbooks also offer player and coach futures, with markets open on season awards like the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Vezina Trophy.
Do Your Research!
The most sure-fire way to ensure that you’re getting the best value possible on your NHL bets is to do your research before you place your wagers. Check injury news and latest signings on Puckpedia for example: If you spot some news before the sportsbooks get round to adjusting their prices, you could secure yourself some excellent value. You’ll have to be quick though, as the bookies don’t hang around!
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