NHL Betting Guide

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
9 minute read
NHL Betting Guide

Betting on NHL games is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the hockey season.

With a strong following in the United States, Canada, and even Europe, hockey betting is on the rise.

Sports bettors can take advantage of less sharp odds than in other mainstream sports, increasing the probabilities of making profits when wagering.

Read on to master NHL betting concepts and to learn how to place smarter bets at online sportsbooks.

Trusted Sites To Bet On NHL Hockey 2024

Payment Grade
Bet Now
Please wait ...
  • 1
    100% Up To $2,500
  • 2
    50% Up To $250
  • 3
    125% Up To $1,250
  • 4
    50% Up To $1,000
  • 4
    100% Up To $500
  • 5
    100% Up To $1,000
  • 5
    50% Up To $1,000
  • 5
    50% Up To $1,000

How To Bet On NHL Hockey Games

  1. Pick A Trusted NHL Sportsbook

    The first thing you need to do is finding a trusted sports betting site. Some sites are scams that you want to avoid completely. To make sure you are picking a good one, go with any of our recommended sportsbooks.
  2. Maximize Your Bonuses

    When you first sign up with betting sites, you will get bonuses on the amount of money you deposit. You will then use NHL bets to earn your way for the bonus payout. Make sure to take full advantage of the best NHL Betting bonuses out there.
  3. Make Your First Deposit

    Once you have created an account on a sportsbook, you will want to deposit your betting money. Check the different options they offer you and the associated fees. Betting with debit or credit cards tends to be the safest and more convenient method.
  4. Look For +EV NHL Wagers

    The best way to bet on the NHL and make a profit is to watch carefully for mistakes in the betting lines. Since the NHL is not watched as heavily as other sports, you will find weak lines all over the place.

    Look for a home team that is a large underdog, or a rivalry match that is heavy in odds on one side. We have an entire page dedicated to NHL betting strategies you can apply.
  5. Place Your NHL Bet

    You have found your line and now you are ready to place your bet.

    Double check that the bet you are about to place is, in fact, the bet you want. After that, you will hit confirm and it is a done deal. Now you can sit back, relax and cheer for your team.

Where To Bet On NHL Games Online

Choosing the best NHL betting site is vital for potential betting profits, and to make sure that you receive your winnings during the season.

The following are the safest hockey betting sites we have reviewed at SBS.

Rank NHL Betting Site Deposit Bonus Highlights Get Started
1 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $2,500 Highlights
  • Lots of bonuses
  • Offers VIP program
  • Reliable software
Bet Now
2 Deposit Bonus 50% Up To $250 Highlights
  • Recognized brand
  • Very fast payouts
  • Low rollover offers
Bet Now
3 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $1,250 Highlights
  • Competitive odds
  • Solid banking options
  • Crypto-friendly
Bet Now

Check Out Our Review Of The Best NHL Betting Sites

Most Popular NHL Hockey Bets

Those who are familiar with baseball betting will be right at home with hockey betting markets.

There are no traditional point spreads in ice hockey betting. The baseline odds are in moneyline format.

Totals operate the same way as football and basketball, but with less variation in numbers.

Pucklines are a point-spread-and-moneyline hybrid that is available only in NHL betting markets.

Lets take a deeper look at the most popular NHL bet types.

NHL Moneyline Bets

NHL moneyline bets

Just like with any other sport, when betting NHL moneylines you are wagering on who will be the winner of a game.

Here’s a hockey moneyline example:

  • Boston Bruins +110
  • Pittsburgh Penguins -120

This is a typical NHL contest as a sportsbook would list it. The Penguins are the home team and the favorite. The Bruins are the away team and the underdog.

NHL betting sites’ odds range from -110 to -300, but -300 favorites are generally on the rarer side. This can allow some nice underdog value when the favorites get that high.

NHL Puck-Line Betting

nhl pucklines betting

NHL puck line betting works the same way as baseball runlines. Using the same teams, here’s another example to consider:

Here’s a hockey puck line example:

  • Boston Bruins +1.5 (-250)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 (+230)

Notice that Boston is now a sizeable favorite and Pittsburgh is the underdog. That’s how important 1.5 goals is in a hockey game. NHL games are often tight, and one goal can make all the difference.

If a game goes to overtime, it’s an automatic win if you have +1.5 goals, due to sudden death rules. This is why there’s such a steep price difference compared to the moneyline odds.

Occasionally, NHL betting sites will offer puck lines larger than 1.5, such as 2.5 or 3.5 goals. The availability of lines depends on your preferred sportsbook.

NHL Totals

nhl totals betting

NHL totals bets are calculated in the same manner as in other sports. The total counts the combined scoring of both teams and includes both regulation and overtime.

Both sides of the total will have attached moneyline odds, which begin at -110.

Here’s another example:

  • Boston Bruins
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Total: Over 5.0 (-110) / Under 5.0 (-110)

Totals usually fall between 5.0 and 6.0 goals. Of course, this varies based on the matchup and skill of the goalies, among other factors that the NHL sportsbooks determine.

Some games will fall below or above these numbers. A 6.5 total or higher is projected to be a shootout.

NHL Parlays

nhl parlays betting

Hockey parlay bets do not use the fixed odds system that basketball and football parlays use. Instead, payouts are calculated by the odds of each leg of the parlay.

Strategies for NHL parlays vary. Correlated parlays, such as teasing the over and the favorite are not allowed at most online sportsbooks.

NHL Futures Betting

nhl futures betting

NHL futures betting focuses on the major events surrounding the league, including the Stanley Cup Winner and Western and Eastern Conference titles.

To a lesser extent futures focus on the league MVP and top goaltender.

Each event offers the full field of teams and can offer some large payouts for long-shot bets. The main drawback that some have with futures is that their funds can be tied up for an extended period of time.

NHL Propositions

nhl prop bets

Player and team NHL prop bets usually focus on the number of shots or assists of a player or the number of goals scored by each team.

Other propositions such as which team scores first or the number goals in a specific period are also available.

NHL propositions that are similar to future bets, such as which player will win the Hart Trophy (MVP) or which goalie will win the Vezina Trophy are also available at most NHL gambling sites.

The Grand Salami wager, the total number of goals (over/under) scored that day (all games combined), is also a popular bet.

NHL Hockey Live Betting

nhl live betting

Every major US sport has live betting options, and hockey is no exception. NHL live betting is commonplace at most online sportsbooks.

Nationally televised games are more likely to be offered, and larger events like the NHL Finals or Olympic hockey will almost always have live betting options.

Live betting markets often include live updated odds ranging from pucklines, moneylines and totals, to player and team props.

NHL Hockey Betting Tips And Strategy

Being knowledgeable about hockey and its betting markets makes it easier to take advantage of it as a bettor.

Here are some of our best resources around the sport. Take a look at them and use our NHL betting advice to make smarter decisions while placing your wagers.

NHL Season Explained

NHL Hockey Season

The regular season has the same number of games as the NBA, with 82 games starting in October and running through the middle of April. The NHL playoffs begin shortly after.

Also, parallel to the NBA is their playoff format. 16 out of the 30 teams make the playoffs in the NHL from the Eastern and Western Conferences, with eight teams making it from each conference.

The league uses the format of the best-of-seven games for all playoff rounds. Once the field is whittled down to one team from each conference, the conference champions will face off in the Stanley Cup Finals.

NHL History

1800’sHockey Becomes more Popular

Writings and landscapes from many areas depicted games like today’s game. British officers wrote about playing “hockey” on ice and using rudimentary ice skates. Many of the First Nations played a similar sport at the time.

1883Continued Expansion

The sport continued to expand, and enough teams joined the Quebec National Hockey club that they had a “world championship” of ice hockey in the annual Winter Carnival in 1883. By 1893, over 100 teams existed in the Montreal area.

1902West Penn Hockey League

Professional ice hockey got a start in the United States as the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League. Teams from Michigan and Ontario formed with the PA league, and the first international professional league was born – the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL).

1917National Hockey League

The NHA rebranded as the National Hockey League (NHL). They began expanding into the United States. The Boston Bruins, one of the most storied teams in today’s NHL, were formed in 1924.

2004-05NHL Lockout

The NHL has a lockout which canceled all the games of the season.

2012-13Another NHL Lockout

An NHL lockout canceled a significant portion of the season, limiting it to just 48 games.

1799Hockey is Created

The origins of hockey are relatively unknown. Games vaguely similar to the modern day game of today existed in parts of Europe. The first evidence of “hockey on ice” was written by William Pierre Le Cocq in a letter written in Chesham, England.

1875First Indoor Hockey Game

The first indoor hockey game was played in Montreal on March 3, 1875. The city would become the place where the modern game of ice hockey would be developed. The game was played between two nine-player teams, one from Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink and McGill University Students.

1893Ice Polo Sport Variation

A variation of the game was being played in America at the time. “Ice polo” had been the dominant game, but Yale and John Hopkins University began holding ice hockey games.

1910National Hockey Association

The National Hockey Association (NHA) is formed. Several rule changes are implemented, including, dropping the rover position, dividing the game into three 20-minute periods, and introducing minor and major penalties.

1980Miracle on Ice

The “Miracle on Ice” captivates the country as a team of amateur Americans take down the Soviet Union’s hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

2006Operation Slapshot

Operation Slapshot” was the name given to a sports betting ring on NHL games that involved, Rick Tocchet, an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. Wayne Gretzky’s wife, Janet Jones, was also under investigation.

2016NHL vs Gambling

In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, said that the NHL and the game of hockey, “does not lend itself to gambling.”

20182018 NHL Signs Deal with MGM

With the advent of legal sports betting, the league has made a deal with MGM Resorts International as the official betting partner of the National Hockey League.


NHL Betting Now

NHL betting is on the rise. Online betting markets have grown tremendously when it comes to hockey. Even NCAA Hockey playoff games are now available for betting at lots of offshore betting sites. The league will be around for years to come.

NHL Betting FAQ

Is It Legal To Bet On NHL Hockey Games?

Betting on the NHL online is perfectly legal under federal law. Several states have legalized sports betting in addition to Nevada. Of course, bettors also have the option of betting at offshore betting sites. However, it is important to check the legal situation in your state when it comes to online betting.

Where To Bet On NHL Games?

There are plenty of options to bet on the NHL. We recommend betting at online sportsbooks since they offer you enticing welcome bonuses and promos. Also, you can place your wagers from the comfort of your home or anywhere else with a mobile device and internet connection.

What Is A Moneyline In NHL Betting?

A moneyline in NHL betting is the most common type of wager you can place. Basically, you are betting on who you think will be the winner of a hockey game. This is a straightforward wager and one that is excellent for new bettors.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

This content is not available in your location

We apologize for the inconvenience, but this content is not available.
Go Back
Bet Now Bet Now