Online sports betting has increased dramatically in popularity and those who are unfamiliar with betting on the fastest game on ice, NHL hockey, only need a few quick tips to learn how to do so. The NHL regular season is comprised of 82 games and there are hockey lines for each one of them.
NHL odds will fluctuate depending on the hockey teams that are playing against each other with the individual bettor asked to risk more money on the stronger team, while the weaker team, often referred to as the underdog, will render a greater financial return than the amount being risked.
Hockey betting lines come in several forms, no different than the sports betting odds you will find in other sports like soccer and baseball. The Vegas NHL odds, those found at the many sportsbooks dotting the Las Vegas Strip and elsewhere, are presented exactly as one would find the hockey lines offered by the online sportsbooks.
Hockey odds are presented in the following ways; moneyline, puck line, and totals. Below we will discuss how each one works and understand that whether we are discussing the regular season or playoff odds, there is no difference in how to read the lines. Whether it is the NHL Vegas Golden Knights, the Boston Bruins, or any other team in the league there are always odds available anytime a game is being played.
When betting on a single game the most popular market for doing so is the moneyline. Unless the game is considered even by the oddsmakers, which is indicated by each side having identical odds, usually -110 on either side, there is always a favorite and an underdog.
There are also puck lines where the favorite is giving up 1 ½ goals while the underdog is getting a one-goal head start. NHL totals are merely the combined goals scored between both teams at the end of the game including overtime or a shootout. The oddsmakers will display a total, for instance, 6 ½, allowing bettors to bet over or under that number.
There are other NHL betting markets available like proposition and futures betting but moneyline, puck line, and totals are the most popular and widely wagered.
Here we have the most popular type of NHL betting – the moneyline bet. This is found in all sports but is most prevalent in hockey, baseball, and soccer. The moneyline odds are always predicated on a $100 denomination, and any amount wagered, whether it be more or less than $100, is simply a derivative of that amount.
A moneyline wager is simple, just pick the team you believe will win the game. There are no point spreads or puck lines to worry about. If your team wins, so do you. If you bet on a favorite then you will be required to risk more money than you could win but if you bet on the underdog then you will receive more money than you risk should your team be declared the winner.
Let’s use an example to illustrate. St. Louis Blues -155/Columbus Blue Jackets +135.
The minus sign (-) indicates St. Louis is the favorite while the plus sign (+) indicates Columbus is the underdog. In this scenario, you would need to bet $155 to win $100 on St. Louis or bet $100 to win $135 on the underdog, Columbus.
That’s all there is to it!
Puck lines, or the Canadian line as some prefer, are akin to a point spread in other sports. A common example is the favorite being handicapped by laying -1 ½ goals while the underdog will get the benefit of a +1 goal.
A puck line bet would look something like this: New York Rangers -1 ½/Philadelphia Flyers +1
The favorite is New York, laying 1 ½ goals, which means they must win this game against Philadelphia by two or more goals.
Conversely, the puck line underdog, Philadelphia, is getting +1 goal which means even if they lose by one goal, 3-2 for example, they still wind up tying the game, or pushing, as their score would equal the 2 goals they scored, plus the 1 goal they are getting as a head start, which equals 3 goals.
In this wager, which team wins or loses doesn’t factor into this equation. This is all about betting over or under the combined goals of both teams posted by the oddsmaker. Goal totals are the only thing that matters and the way this bet is decided is by the combined score of both teams at the end of the game.
For example, the total in the Edmonton/Calgary game is 6 ½ which means bettors can choose to bet over or under that posted total.
If Edmonton beats Calgary, 6-1, or vice-versa, as winner and losers don’t matter, then over 6 ½ would be the winning wager as 6+1 =7, and 7 is greater than 6 ½.
Correct score betting is also available where the sportsbooks will post odds on the exact score in a particular game. However, that is not nearly as common as betting on NHL totals.
Prop betting has become increasingly popular in NHL betting. There was a time when the only props offered by the major offshore sportsbooks occurred on Super Bowl but now we find them as a regular feature of virtually every game on the NHL slate, regular season, and playoffs.
Player props revolve around individual players such as the first to score a goal with corresponding odds. There are also NHL props on anytime scorers which essentially means as long as that player scores at any time during the game, that prop bet is graded as a winner.
Team props are those in which bets are made on a team’s performance such as team points, goals, assists, or even penalty minutes. There is no limit on props and some of the sportsbooks will even allow customers to recommend a prop, and if considered worthy, the oddsmaker will create a line on that requested prop.
Before every NHL season, the oddsmakers put out a list of NHL futures which are merely odds on each team to win their division, conference, and even the Stanley Cup. Hockey bettors can choose one or more teams on which to bet. Odds on individual awards such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Vezina Trophy Award winner are offered as well.
NHL futures bets are all displayed as moneyline odds and are dynamic, as many online bookmakers keep these lines up throughout the season, with the odds shifting depending on the influx of betting money each team or player is receiving.
Futures odds on events like the Stanley Cup also update weekly depending on player performance and game stats.
Betting preferences have changed over the years and NHL live betting has become quite popular. The best online sportsbooks all offer this exciting in-game betting feature.
During the regular season, and even throughout the playoffs, betting action on anything from adjusted moneyline odds on one’s favorite team to which player will score next are examples of the dozens upon dozens of in-game betting options from which the individual bettor can choose.
Game stats are easily accessible so betting while the action is happening live can be a lucrative way to wager.
While fans always root for the home team, an individual bettor would be wise to stay away from that emotional attachment and bet neither on nor against, one’s favorite team. There are 31 other teams with which to utilize betting strategy and perform betting analysis without the mental interference of one’s own personal preference getting in the way.
Some of the best betting advice is to do your due diligence. Scour injury reports, goaltending assignments, and a team’s schedule. If a team is playing on the second night of back-to-back games, that will normally serve as a good opportunity to "fade" (bet against) them.
Betting trends will reveal how teams do in these situations as some are better than others at maintaining their stamina in the second leg of those consecutive contests. Sometimes a late scratch will prove to be the wild card tossed into the mix where a bettor who is adversely affected will try to hedge by betting on the other side. However, sometimes the game has already started and only an in-game wager is possible.
Sports betting odds affect how we bet on a sporting event and betting on hockey is no different. Avoid making a steady diet of big favorites because when they lose it is hard to recover and your bankroll can take a beating. A slight favorite or an underdog is usually what the pros bet so always make sure you bet with your head and not over it.
A 60-minute line excludes overtime. Whatever the score is at the end of regulation determines whether a wager is a winner or a loser. Betting preferences vary which is why the best online sportsbooks carry both the regulation-only line as well as those that include overtime.
The Stanley Cup series is historically the most highly wagered NHL event but playoff games also see a surge in the betting handle.
NHL parlay bets are placed as seamlessly as straight bets. On the betting menu, there will be an icon or indicator reserved especially for parlay bets. Just click on it, enter your teams or totals, along with the amount of the wager, and your bet is made.
These are bets that end in regulation because there are three possible outcomes. One can bet on the home team winning, the away team winning, or that the teams will be tied at the end of regulation. There are corresponding odds for each choice.
Online sports betting can be a tremendous hobby but it is crucial that you bet with a trusted sportsbook like Bookmaker, BetOnline, or Heritage Sports with a strong history of paying on time, in full. The best books all have security systems in place to prevent fraud or malware.