With 32 National Hockey League teams playing 82 games each, there are 1,312 regular-season games to wager on and dozens of ways to bet on each game (and that number doesn’t include the playoffs).
Here we address all of the popular NHL betting options, including the Money Line, Puck Line, Spread Bets, Goal Totals, and player and team proposition bets.
1. Choose Carefully
There are many betting sites to choose from. It’s best to select an established bookmaker with whom to place your bets. When choosing the best online casino or sportsbook to wager, look for a licensed operation that’s been in business for over a few years. Additionally, confirm that they have multiple and secure two-way payment options. Moving money in and out of your online account quickly and efficiently is critical.
2. Understand Hockey Bets
Like other sports, there are many ways to bet on hockey. Some, like the money line, are no different than wagering on baseball or basketball. However, hockey does have some betting options that are unique to the sport.
Understanding how American Odds are expressed in terms of money is essential. In American Odds, everything is based on the $100 standard and adjusted accordingly. American Odds are represented as either a plus (+) or a minus (-). If the odds are minus (e.g., -300), that money must be wagered (laid) to win $100. If the odds are plus (e.g., +300), that is the amount paid on a winning $100 bet.
The Money Line is the simplest way to bet on an NHL game. A bet on the Money Line is one on which team will win the game. With overtime and shootouts, an NHL game ending in a tie is no option. Money Line bets are always expressed in a plus (+) or a minus (-).
Puck Line wagering is the hockey version of spread betting and is similar to the baseball Run Line. Puck Lines change from game to game, with some being +/- 1.5 goals and others up to +/- 2.5 goals, depending on how favored one team is over the other. It’s rare to see anything higher than +/- 2.5 goals.
Favored teams will have a negative Puck Line, and the underdog will be a positive number. American Odds are usually displayed immediately after the Puck Line and will affect the payout.
Unlike football or basketball, you will never see the Puck Line move, and because there are no ties in hockey, the Puck Line is always expressed as a fraction and will never be a whole number.
Total Goals bets are simple over/under bets made against the combination of all goals scored in a game (shootout winners are awarded one goal). Bookmakers set total goals generally ranging between 4.5 and 8.5 goals, depending on the teams playing. The Total Goals never change once set, and over/under bets are paid in American Odds.
Player and Team Propositions
Proposition Bets (also known as Prop Bets) are bets on an occurrence or nonoccurrence of a specific player or team based on a particular statistic, outcome, or result. Propositions are generally paid in American Odds.
As with other sports, points and goals largely shape a player’s performance, and you’ll often find these listed for players on both teams. Player Proposition wager examples might be total goals or points by a player but often include over/under wagers on shots, saves, hits, or blocks.
Team Proposition bets are similar, including over/under wagers on total team goals and points, but also unique items like period goals, how the game will end (regulation, overtime, shootout), and which team will score first.
Futures Betting, as the name would suggest, is generally a season-long wager on a future outcome such as the Stanley Cup Championship. Typical hockey Futures include championship, conference, and division results, over/under bets on total team points, and individual achievements such as the awarding of the Hart and Vezina awards, overall scoring title, and goals leader.
The Grand Salami
The Grand Salami is a unique and classic hockey bet. The bet is a Total Goals bet involving all games played on a specific date. You bet the over or under, and payouts are made at American Odds.
It’s essential to do your research before betting. Understanding matchups, teams, and players can significantly reduce the house advantage when placing your bets. Always look for weak odds and prices, as bookmakers are not perfect, and be wary of “sucker bets” that seem too good to be true.